January TransRockies Training Plan

My Christmas cold has gone, the snow and ice has finally melted (it’s a full 15 deg warmer than it was a week ago!), it’s the 1st of January tomorrow and I can’t put it off any longer…my 2011 TransRockies training needs to start.   Well, maybe tomorrow – New Year’s Eve to get out of the way first!   As we’ve done for the last 7 years or so, we’re spending New Year with a bunch of friends (and dogs), including 2 other mountain bikers, a personal trainer and a fitness writer (who also happens to have swum the Channel twice!).  These weeks seem to involve what we’ve come to know as detox-retox sessions – lots of exercise during the day, followed by way too much eating and drinking at night!!

Team mate Mark (2nd on the right) also following the New Year's Eve Training Plan!

The exercise this week has included running, biking, swimming, kettlebelling (is that a word?), “z training” (a set of straps and handles that let you use your body weight for training….hard to describe, but good workouts!), eating cheese in unimaginable quantities and drinking.

As well as all that, I’ve been putting some thought into my January training plan (well, maybe “plan” is too strong…how about guide?!).  By the way, in case anyone reading this is in any doubt…I’m NOT a professional trainer or biker or anything..all I can go on is my own experience having trained myself for lots of half and full marathons, and having successfully completed the TransRockies in 09.  This year’s training will be a variation of what I did last year – it worked for me then, and I hope it will work this year too!

In general, I try to follow the “2 hard weeks, 1 easy week” rule  – all the running schedules I’ve ever followed recommend this, and it should keep me injury free.   My target training for the hard weeks in January is:

  • 2 x 1 hr turbo sessions*
  • 2 x 30-40 mins swimming
  • 1 x off-road ride (3-4 hours)
  • 2 x 40 minute run

I’ll also be doing a bit of core strength work (weights etc), tacked onto the end of other sessions.   For the easy week, I’ll cut one turbo session, and one run, take out the weights sessions and just stretch instead.

I’ll talk another time about how I’m going to vary the training from 2009 – with shorter, more technical days on the 2011 route, I think I need to be able to work for longer with my heartrate above my threshold…but I need to think about it a bit first!

So,  Day 1 tomorrow…a few hours on the mountain bike…..hangovers permitting!

* I think I’ve said before, I use Carmichael Training Systems “TrainRight” DVDs for my turbo sessions – they make a session interesting and…er…fun (well, as fun as any turbo training can be!).  I’ll be using the Climbing 1 & 2 sessions through January to build leg strength – these sessions have you training either at very low cadence pushing the highest gear you can, or maintaining a higher cadence at your threshold heart rate.  To make these sessions work, you do need to have a heartrate monitor and cadence sensor (though these are pretty cheap now, and don’t need to be integrated into one device).



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