It’s been a fantastic few weeks and I am just starting to slow down a little and get back into some sort of routine. I always find it difficult to structure my training and racing when I am jetting off around the country and the usual pattern is changed. These last few weeks however have been filled with training camps and holidays so I am not complaining that’s for sure ;o)
The very first FTP Training & TORQ training camp was run in the first week of December up in the fantastic Mt Beauty. The week turned out to be a fantastic time with a great motivated and fun group of individuals. The basic structure of the week was to get away from the standard lets go out and ride for 6 hours type format that I have seen in most camps.
I wanted to split the sessions into morning and afternoon and have the focus for the camp on threshold development. By addressing threshold we could complete 2 – 4 hour structured intervals on the numerous mountains in tea res in the morning come back for a break and lunch then roll out for a recovery spin on the road or tech session on the MTB’s.
First up we got everyone set up with a power meter and tested everybody’s 20 minute power to establish training zones for the week and relate heart rate to power thresholds for those who would continue after the camp with heart rate. The rest of the week followed this pattern with post ride analysis and evening seminars on training and racing. Nutrition was looked after by TORQ and all riders raved about the products. Dean had everyone on the post ride recovery shakes and it worked wonders allowing a super hard week of training to be managed and enjoyed.
On Saturday the crew lined up for the Inaugural Alpine Assault promoted by the Finish Line team of Iain and Clayton. They had altered the first day of the Terra Australis course to include a cracking couple of laps around Mt Beauty taking in nearly 3000 meters of climbing, but, yielding well over 4000 meters of descending with the big drop a arm pumping 1600 meters in 25 km’s!!! Oh yeh;o)
With the likes of Paul (the man) Van De Ploug on the start line it was always going to be a tough race. The lead group stayed together for the first 20 or so km’s until just before the big descent when young Mark Tupalski (TORQ, FTP Training Rider) clipped off the front on his new GT hard tail. I followed and a few of the riders struggled to hold the pace. As we began the descent Josh Carlso Carlson (Total Rush, Specialized, and FTP Training Rider) had overtaken us and was dropping downhill like a man possessed.
I followed hanging on for my life and it was FTP 1, 2, 3 with Paul chasing hard to catch us. At the bottom of the descent Josh was out of sight and I was caught by both Paul and Mark. Paul had the big guns working and we couldn’t stay with him as he chased down Josh. That was how it remained the big guns battled it out just up the road and I managed to drop a tiring Tupalski to snatch 3rd. It was a great day for the whole FTP, TORQ crew as most of the podium positions were taken by the training camp contingent. Mel Behrens won the 67 km race with Jacqui Kennett in 4th in the open women’s, Dean managed to win the masters and round out a great race and a fantastic week of riding.
From the camp I flew straight up to Cairns for a break with the rellos over from England. I travelled up without the bike and just a bit of kit, helmet and shoes. The guys at www.pumpnpedals.com.au were sensational and looked after me lending me a specialized epic to get out on the trails and maintain a little from the weeks training camp. The trails up in Cairns are not for the faint hearted and tested the xc bike to its max on the tech downhills, they were a lot of fun and I highly recommend trying them out. If you are up in Cairns pop into see Brad and he will point you in the right direction.
It’s all go now with ITT training and some Crit specific work for the Jayco Bay Crits and the National ITT Championships in early January. The form is good and the weight is coming off so let’s see if the old fella can do a decent ride this year.
Have a merry Xmas and a very happy new year and I look forward to catching you all out on the trails or the road.