Persistence and hard work pays off with a Jayco Herald Sun Tour stage win
So the head frother of FTP training, Fenz, asked me to write a bit of a blog about the journey thus far for the two of us so here it goes.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Fenz since 2016. Fenz took over my training when I joined Avanti IsoWhey in 2016. Since then Fenz continues to still get the best out of me and is always finding new sessions to push me to my limits. After a late end to the season last year at the Tour of Hainan, I took a break and then built up for Nationals. As it was a late end to the season we had about a 6 week build for nationals so we hit the training pretty hard. The first few weeks just consisted of base kilometres and endurance rides. We then started to add some strength work (SE’s) into the endurance ride and increased the endurance rides to lots of 5-6 hour days on the bike. This was all forming a solid base for Nationals and my year ahead. This also accumulated with some gym off the bike as well to maximise the strength work being done on the bike. As the weeks went on and Nationals came closer we started to reduce the long endurance rides and throw in some intensity. The intensity sessions included the “double tap 5’s” which was one of my favourite sessions. It was basically 8x5 minute efforts done with 15 seconds at 150% FTP, 4:15 at 95% and the last 30 seconds back to 140% FTP. I found these were a really good session and simulated attacks for the climb at Bunniyong. We also did a Nationals specific session around the national’s course at Bunniyong. This was done behind the motorbike and included 12 times up the famous Bunniyong climb all done at threshold with the last 2 laps attacking the motorbike and race simulation. One of the final training sessions included some 1 minute Vo2 efforts and sprints. Once these were done I was set for Nationals. At Nationals I had a good day out on the bike finishing 7th in the elite men’s road race. Once Nationals was over there was not much done on the bike in the following week. There were a few days off, lots of rest, and then once the weekend came around we started to throw back in some long endurance rides.
My next race was the Herald Sun Tour and with one of the hardest courses for the last few years. We had to prepare well for it so I stayed at home and trained hard. We managed to squeeze in a pretty solid training week which included lots of 5-6 hour days on the bike, some 8 minute climbing thresholds and some more gym to maintain the strength work. A week out from the Herald Sun Tour the opportunity arose to ride for the National team at the Towards Zero Race Melbourne so we thought this would be a perfect race before Sun Tour. This meant we were able to do a key session a couple days out from the race which included a 20 minute effort on my local climb Mount Alexander at home. This then meant an easy day and I was able to get stuck back into racing at Race Melbourne which was a great opportunity to race all the World Tour teams around Albert Park. For me the race was all about looking after Steele Von Hoff so I did everything I could for him and put him into a position to sprint which resulted in a 3rd place finish for him. Once Race Melbourne was done we just had to keep on top of the load as the CTL (Chronic Training Load) had been hovering around 120. We reduced my rides to easy endurance rides and kept them around the 3 hour mark. This allowed me to freshen up for the Herald Sun Tour. Well, the Herald Sun Tour couldn’t have gone much better for me. A good prologue start, unfortunately lost a little bit of time on Stage 1 in the crosswinds then bounced back to be 10th up Lake Mountain, and a stage win on the last day at Kinglake and a 7th overall on GC. All the work up to Nationals and in between Nationals and Sun Tour made this possible. All was possible to get the result because of Fenz too. Someone who has put a lot of time into me and my training and something I couldn’t be more grateful of so here is to you Fenz!
Photo attribution: Ogaram, Con Chronis, & Neil Walker