Monday, 31 March 2014

3 and 5 Dams Challenge - Final Training Week

Welcome to the final training week!

Months have become weeks and weeks have now become just days! The hard training is now done and our final task is to taper down from the hard training to some basic workouts to help maintain the level we have reached as the remaining days turn into just hours. This is not about suddenly toning down our efforts to just recovery rides with the intent to be fully recovered and expecting to go in "fresh" for the event. This is about maintaining a level and allowing the work we have done to come through and be completely ready to take on the challenge in a peak physical (and mental) condition. I'll also cover some "do and do nots" in this final edition of the program as part of our final approach.

You might often hear people talking about carbo loading during the week leading up to an event. While this is a common practise, we still need to be careful with the carbohydrates we are taking on. You should still maintain a good balance during the first part of the week ensuring that you work off what you put on while during the last few days before the event, you might put on a few more calories than you work off so that you have a bit more of an energy store worked up. Do not overdo it or you will be carrying more weight than is necessary during the initial hillier aspects of the course. Remember, there are plenty of places to refuel during the event.

With your taper, you will start the week's training as you normally would with a Monday recovery followed by some interval efforts on Tuesday that should be enough to work your system. On Wednesday you will continue with a non-interval based effort but at a lesser intensity as you begin to taper down to Sunday. This means that by the time you reach the day before the event, you should not be doing much beyond an enjoyable and easy ride. This week, you should avoid any long hills rides as you want to conserve that sort of effort for day of the event.

What to do this week:

  • Do taper our training - start reasonably hard then ease off our efforts
  • Do basic carbo loading toward the end of the week
  • Do ensure that your recovery properly after any ride
  • Do try to relax and think less about the ride
  • Do prepare a ride plan including map, nutrition and hydration


What NOT to do this week:

  • Do NOT avoid the bike completely this week
  • Do NOT go too hard toward the end of the week
  • Do NOT ride a long hills ride until the event itself
  • Do NOT overdo carbo loading and put on too much weight
  • Do NOT over-analyse everything. Maintain a relaxed frame of mind

It is important to ensure you are fully prepared well before the event. Visit the shops mid-week to ensure that you have enough nutrition and hydration to take with you on the bike. Also ensure that you have either printed off or obtained a copy of the course map to take with you, or memorise it to ensure you know where to go and what to do if you take a wrong turn. The course will be well marked, but you should still be prepared just in case. Figure out how you are going to carry things with you on the bike. If you don't have enough room in your jersey pockets, take a trip down your local bike shop and see what options they have available for carrying extra items. While you're at the bike shop, have them do a good once over on your bike to ensure that it is in the best condition:

  • Check tyres and wheels
  • Check the drive train
  • Check cables, derailleurs and shifters

Unless they can fit in a full bike fit today (Monday) I would probably avoid having one done now as your body may not fully adapt in time. Minor adjustments to saddle and saddle height may be OK. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and prepare you ride kit accordingly (jersey, knicks, etc).

For the day of the event, I'd advise you to have some gels and/or a banana or two to help you get through and definitely two bidons of hydration mix to keep you well hydrated and to help stay off any cramping. You will be able to replenish your bidons during the event. Another good one to pack in your jersey pocket are Fruit Crash-ups or Power Pulps from SPC (you can find these pouches of energy at any IGA). These come with a twist-top cap so you don't have to consume the entire thing in one hit. Simply have half, re-cap it and put it back in your jersey pocket until feel you need it again. If you like them, Fry's Turkish Delights are a good source of sustained fuel that you can have before the ride and top up as you go.

As usual, for the 3 Dams riders, I have combined both experience levels into the same training program as whether you are a novice or you have ridden the 3 Dams event before, you should be working to the same level to be ready in time to complete the challenge on the day. For the 5 Dams riders, there are separate programs that largely incorporate the same efforts but with slightly longer and harder rides for experienced riders.

Week #12 - 3 Dams (Novice & Experienced)
MonRE riding, no hills (1-2 hrs, easy riding)
TueIntervals. Complete 5x30s sprints up Forrest Drive in Kings Park (a bit further up the climb). Start just out of the corner leading into the climb. Go as hard as you can for the 30 seconds which should take you up around the first bend. 4-5 mins recovery between efforts.
WedEndurance. This session requires you to keep a reasonable power level for the duration of an hour. A good place to do this is between the roundabouts of Bruce St/Melvista Ave in Dalkeith and the one at the end of Victoria Ave in Claremont. Complete as many of these repeats (out and back) as you can in 1 hour of riding. This does not require a full effort so keep the HR below threshold.
ThuRE riding, no hills, intervals or hard efforts (1-2 hrs, easy riding).
FriTake the day off. Do not ride. If you want to get out, try a brisk walk instead. Begin carbo loading taking on slightly more than you need.
SatEnjoy an easy ride around the river. You should avoid significantly hard efforts especially if you climb any hills (e.g., Pt. Walter climb). Take it easy and enjoy the ride.
SunBWA 3 Dams Challenge

Week #12 - 5 Dams (Novice)
MonRE riding, no hills (1-2 hrs, easy riding)
TueIntervals. Complete 6x30s sprints up Forrest Drive in Kings Park (a bit further up the climb). Start just out of the corner leading into the climb. Go as hard as you can for the 30 seconds which should take you up around the first bend. 4-5 mins recovery between efforts.
WedEndurance. This session requires you to keep a reasonable power level for the duration of an hour. A good place to do this is between the roundabouts of Bruce St/Melvista Ave in Dalkeith and the one at the end of Victoria Ave in Claremont. Complete as many of these repeats (out and back) as you can in 1 hour of riding. This does not require a full effort so keep the HR below threshold.
ThuRE riding, no hills, intervals or hard efforts (1-2 hrs, easy riding).
FriTake the day off. Do not ride. If you want to get out, try a brisk walk instead. Begin carbo loading taking on slightly more than you need.
SatEnjoy an easy ride around the river. You should avoid significantly hard efforts especially if you climb any hills (e.g., Pt. Walter climb). Take it easy and enjoy the ride.
SunBWA 5 Dams Challenge

Week #12 - 5 Dams (Experienced)
MonRE riding, no hills (1-2 hrs, easy riding)
TueIntervals. Complete 5x40s sprints up Forrest Drive in Kings Park (a bit further up the climb). Start just out of the corner leading into the climb. Go as hard as you can for the 40 seconds which should take you up around the first bend. 4-5 mins recovery between efforts.
WedEndurance. This session requires you to keep a reasonable power level for the duration of an hour. A good place to do this is between the roundabouts of Bruce St/Melvista Ave in Dalkeith and the one at the end of Victoria Ave in Claremont. Complete as many of these repeats (out and back) as you can in 1 hour of riding. This does not require a full effort so keep the HR below threshold.
ThuRE riding, no hills, intervals or hard efforts (1-2 hrs, easy riding).
FriTake the day off. Do not ride. If you want to get out, try a brisk walk instead. Begin carbo loading taking on slightly more than you need.
SatEnjoy an easy ride around the river. You should avoid significantly hard efforts especially if you climb any hills (e.g., Pt. Walter climb). Take it easy and enjoy the ride.
SunBWA 5 Dams Challenge

Be sure to perform some stretching before and after your rides to ensure muscles are appropriately warmed up prior to riding and relaxed afterwards. Take sufficient fluid with you on the bike for the expected duration of your rides. For example, longer rides may require two bidons while just one might suffice for shorter, less difficult rides.

I hope that these training guides have been useful to you and have helped to get you into shape to take on your chosen challenge.

On behalf of all of us at Unicorn-Specialized Cycling Team, your Ride Ambassadors and everyone at BWA, all the best of luck to each and every person taking on one of the two challenges. Please ensure you ride safely and arrive at the finish with your ride partner to enjoy the spoils of your accomplishment.

Regards, Charlie.
Ride Ambassador

IMPORTANT: The above advice and guide ("the advice") is provided to you, the reader, free of restriction and encumbrances, in the hope that it will be useful but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. You are free to do with the advice as you so please, but understand that by reading and/or using the advice, you acknowledge that you RELEASE THE AUTHOR and any of his related parties, including, but not limited to, Bicycling Western Australia, the Unicorn-Specialized Cycing Team, and any of their previous and/or currently engaged sponsors and related third-parties, including, but not limited to, Hall Cycle Training, of ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the advice or the use, inability to use, or other dealings in the advice.

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