The 2018 silly season is done and dusted and while people are coming up with fresh New Year’s resolutions, I’ve already begun preparing for the 2019 season. This will again be a busy one for me trekking across Australia and the globe.
Being an organised and calculated guy, I like to plan all my training out week by week, month by month up until the season opener. This way I will build a solid base fitness and then the remainder of the year will be purely maintaining my fitness or adjusting to suit upcoming events.
From the beginning of January through to March I will do BIG, BIG hours of training squeezing as many sessions into the week as physically possible. One every afternoon during the week after work and then the weekend is always a killer. Saturday will normally consist of two sessions of cross training plus one session of moto and Sunday will be just a big moto fest until mid-afternoon when I pack it up and get everything cleaned and prepared for the following week.
My partner Lesley, who is an Exercise and Sports Scientist has been helping out with my training for years and has recently created Peak Strength and Performance. My training, along with custom individualised training programs are available to the public or teams alike.
I can’t express how much being organised and planning ahead maximises your efficiency and time management, especially if you work full time like myself, every minute is valuable.
If you think I would rack up the km’s on my KTM’s throughout the year, well take this on board. In the past few years, I have put more km’s on my mountain bike than I have on my KTM’s! Thousands and thousands of km’s grinding away in the heat, rain, wind or night, sometimes all in one. Ranging from short sharp sprints at my local cross country tracks to long half to full day mountainous climbing treks. Cycling is single handily my most effective form of cross training.
The old stand up paddleboard fits many categories for me. Both training and leisure, but also hunting mud crabs in the river!
But on a serious note, SUP in the river is especially effective for balance, motor control and core strength.
The athletic position required on the SUP mimics an efficient riding position. Throw in some river currents or waves and you will have all of your balance points firing on all cylinders keeping you high and dry. Both the core and upper body are engaged through the entire session, which is imperative to good posture and riding technique.
The added bonus of being out on the water where it is a much cooler temperature than pounding laps on the bike in the forest during the Australian summer.
Now strength training is a heavily trafficked topic of discussion in the motorcycle world, every trainer or rider seems to have an opinion hitting the weights in the gym.
So I will give you my opinion and I will let you decide whether you think I’m right or wrong.
I don’t go to the gym at all, I haven’t for years, that’s not saying its taboo or that you shouldn’t go, it’s just I find it more effective for me to have my own equipment and do it on my own away from everyone where no one can talk in my ear or distract me.
I do however still complete my fair share of strength sessions using free weights, suspension trainers plus my own body weight. Each week I allocate time to work on strength and stability. I focus on ensuring technique is correct to prevent injuries and increase mobility. It is essential that I do not increase muscle mass or become stiff as it would only impede my performance on the bike.
But I will be the first to admit along with constant reminding from Lesley, that I need to work on it a bit more….
This is something still very new to me and very foreign, but it is worth its weight in gold when it comes to sharpening bike skills.
A year ago I bought a trials bike off Jack Field to help boost my technical finesse for the hard enduro races I compete in around the world, but unbeknownst to me it would help almost every element of my riding and racing from cross country to hard enduro.
Every week I try to make time to get out for at least an hour or so to sharpen up the skillset. Trust me, if you have any imperfections with your bike control or balance, this little terror will amplify it to the point where you think you have forgotten how to ride!
Finally, we are down to the nitty gritty of why I do all of the above, MOTO MOTO.
Preseason I will burn ridiculous amounts of fuel through my KTM’s, both cross country training on my 350exc-f and hard enduro on my 300exc TPI.
For cross country training I will work on short sharp interval sessions for the most part to get that heart rate up high and try to improve my overall speed. My long distance stamina mainly comes from off bike cross training so while that is getting taken care of I try improve my speed.
So in the Transmoto races I can run at 80% speed for majority of the race with a relatively low heart rate (approx. 135bpm) keeping fatigue at bay but also allowing for room for increased intensity if need be to go faster or if conditions change throughout the race. In addition to the above, I will also mimic a traditional time card enduro scenario and trail ride to different test tracks I have in the forest and upon arrival do sprint laps and then move onto the next and so on and so forth. These days are often long and extremely draining in 35*c plus conditions with humidity in the 90’s.
For hard enduro, these days are by far the longest and toughest. I’m talking a 4hr sprint over 40kms without stopping (unless stuck!) with an average heart rate of 160bpm and high of 195bpm. This happens rain hail or shine so that I can get comfortable in every kind of conditions I will face across the globe.
I have even had to be winched out of a gorge after getting stuck by myself for five hrs, running out of fuel, water and food. Thankfully I had some mates I could call on to hike in to find me otherwise I might still be there. I guess that’s why they call it hard enduro.
As this isn’t my first rodeo, I have learnt a lot through trial and error over the years as to what works for me personally. Not all riders are the same so make a start and be prepared to change it up as you go and be realistic as to what you can achieve with your time and body.