Hi All, I'm hoping someone can give me some advice on training. I've signed up for the 3 Peaks Challenge and have been doing my own training up and down every hill I can find in Adelaide for the past few months. I've been working hard but decided to try the training guides from "Cycling-Inform" advertised on the 3 Peaks website. Most of the training plan is completed on an indoor trainer and gets you to do interval training while keeping in the correct heart rate zones etc. The workouts are tough, but only an hour long and I feel like I've got more in the tank (although not when doing the VO2 Max workout..). Am I wasting my time? Are my morning rides up Monatcute to Mnt Lofty a better way to go as I work harder, but obviously dont have any structure apart from attacking the ride as hard as I can. Thanks.
Some thoughts from someone, for whom the 3 peaks would remain unattainable.
3 peaks is in victoria - most Melbournians, can't easily get to to hills to train on. Hence, perhaps, recommended training is indoors-based.
Also, advice from 12 years ago when I wanted to start off-road riding. Went to the local gym. They did weights, rowers, machines, cardios. I asked for exercises, to get fit for off road biking. They said, best training for an activity, was to actually do it! So I headed for the roads and have not been to the gym since...
Partly correct re: hill access for Melbournians. However, those committing to the 3 peaks would have very little difficulty hitting the Dandenongs - even if they have to drive across town to get there, and they have a couple of mountains on the door step (a couple of hours drive away) in Lake Mountain and Mt Donna Buang (spelling??) which would easily be doable in a day trip.
I think the latest in training advice suggests that a quality indoor training program can focus on specific areas for improvement and is therefore why it is widely used....
As Frank says they are both good, but they are doing different things.
Any speed work that you do will make 3 Peaks easier, but you also need to build in some long rides so that you are used to being in the saddle for 9 or 10 hours.
When I was training for 3 Peaks I would try to get in one ride of around 2 hours one day during the week (on top of my usual 1 hour each way commute to work), and then do a long ride on the weekend. The long rides started around the new year at around 140km, then built up by 10 to 20 km per week peaking at around 230 km in mid to late Feb - to give the body a chance to recover I would put in one shorter week (back to 140 km) around the end of Jan. These rides should include quite a bit of climbing to get you used to the amount you will do in 3 Peaks.
These long rides shouldn't be done particularly hard, although putting in a few hard efforts every now and then is ok. As such they are complemented by the shorter speed work, which will help when you do need to put in an extra bit of effort
I hear you Mr Schleck. I too have signed up for the attempt and have probably been scratching together my own training plan based on the time I have at my disposal (work, young kids / family, etc).
I struggle to find time to ride during the week, so have been on the trainer as a supplement, and have been doing longer and more demanding solo rides on weekends with as much climbing as I can find time for. I have been managing to swim a few mornings a week as a bit of cross training... Although I am solidly built and only been riding 12 months or so, I can see my hilllclimb times (as well as my weight) steadily dropping, and my speed and endurance increasing.
If you haven't already, check out Donadudes blogs about last years event, the Climbing Cyclist website (which is awesome) and ZimmZamm has been posting some pretty useful stuff. I'm sure he'll tell you that he has been picking the brains of those who have gone before us and any time he says something about the event, I am listening earnestly!
I am one of those whose challenge on the event is to finish. I don't care about my time - as long as it is under the cut off. PM me if you ever want some company on a big early morning hills ride!
Cheers and good luck...
By the way, to all who have signed up, I hope you have a great ride; it really is a beautiful part of the world to ride in, and is a challenge to do.
Just make sure that you leave a bit of energy, and have a low enough gear, for that last climb :)
Thanks for all the feedback guys, much appreciated. Some good and useful advice.
Its 225km and around 4000m of climbing right?
Each weekend do 3-5 times up and down Greenhill Rd from the round about to the the look out. Easy gears and chill heart rate. Come the event you will have the mental confidence that you can climb that distance no worries. Your body will also have the physiological adaptions starting too.
You can under train and battle it out come event day but thats not much fun ESPECIALLY when you finish up FALLS CREEK! lol!
Do an easy 200k ride 2 weeks out from the event too.
Indoor trainer is good for crit training but when your doing the long hilly stuff...get out side whenever you can.
Hit 10g of carbs per kg of body weight per day each day and take 1g of carbs per kg of bodyweight per hour. Undereating carbs means your red blood cells wont have enough glucose for health and that means lower hemoglobin etc.
REMEMBER its gonna take you about 10-14 hours so you MUST start easy or just go hard with the newbies and totally blow and be hating it till you DNF or hit the finish.
Start easy to finish strong.
Drink enough so your peeing every 2 hours.
Ive literally done hundreds of rides over 200km. You gotta go easy and drink before your thirsty and eat carbs before your hungry.
Get a compact crankset too. Even Contador and Basso use em.
Depends what time you do it I guess. Ive never thought of it as a dangerous piece of road. Perhaps maybe cos Ived lived in London, LA, Paris, NYC, Bangkok, KL, stressed kidney Sydney etc.
I took some mates down it from Shepp last week. They loved it. Longest down hill they had done for a while!
I mean one could take the bike path for sure but its a bit short and flat unless you ride up to the top via summit road.
I choose Greenhill cos its the most specific climb to the 3 peakes challenge.
If you can do laps of Coach House all the way up Woodlands Way to the top of Norton then you will be able to ride up any paved road in Australia quite easily at grupetto pace.
great words of advice, @durian rider - every tip a winner... multiple repeats up greenhill and then some woodland way to simulate a little back of falls climbing...
Get yourself a gps device and a strava account (www.strava.com) if you want to accurately record what you are doing on the road, quite a few of us on here use it.