Worried it might be difficult to keep in shape for Peaks Challenge Falls Creek during the festive season? Don't be, it is quite easy to have your cake (or Christmas pud) and still stay in touch with the Peaks peloton.
Like all challenges, it will take some dedication over the Christmas break – but with a week off work (or two if you're lucky), sunny skies and plenty of Christmas leftovers to keep you fueled, it's actually the perfect time to turn up the training.
Plus, it may serve as the perfect excuse to escape the in-laws for an hour or so!
One way to stay motivated is by joining the 10 year anniversary of the world famous cycling challenge, the Rapha #Festive500 – 500 kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Simple, right?!
Using this as a guide, Team Bicycle Network 11 hour wave leader rider Daniel Frawley has put together a little holiday plan below to help shape your plan of attack. Scroll to the very bottom for some other useful links to keep you on track over the break.
Notes from the 11 hour wave leader
This festive season I have grand plans on trying to balance the two approaches, structured training with a dash of extras for that Festive 500 finishers roundel from Rapha.
I follow a written program, using a power metre to measure my effort, but the following will give you a guide to the type of riding and variation that will help you get your climbing legs ready for The Beast up back of Falls Creek.
Here’s my plan (subject to change depending on how many serves of christmas pudding I get stuck into).
Monday 23 December
Head out and find a 20-30 minute climb and ride at threshold, before descending down and repeating the climb at threshold before an easy ride home. 90-100km.
Tuesday 24 December
Tempo ride focussing on spinning easy gears. 60-70km. Maybe an extra 10-20km to add to Festive 500.
Wednesday 25 December
Christmas Day, have a rest! Or maybe a short, easy spin while everyone’s in a food coma (and to keep on top of that Festive 500 target). 30-40km.
Thursday 26 December
Above threshold intervals. After warming up, 2 minutes above threshold, and 3 minute easy spinning between. Repeat five times. 5 minute rest then five more 1 minute intervals with 2 minutes rest between. Easy spin home. 40-50km
Friday 27 December
Hill repeats. After warming up, pick a 3-4 minute climb and ride at threshold, finishing with a 10 second max effort. Repeating 6-7 times. 40-50km
Saturday 28 December
5 minute intervals. After a warm up, 5 minutes above threshold, 5 minutes recovery. Repeat 6-7 times. Easy spin home. 40-50km
Sunday 29 December
Easy recovery ride spinning easy gears. 40-50km
Monday 30 December
More threshold climbing. 90-100km.
Tuesday 31 December
Tempo ride focussing on spinning easy gears. 60-70km, or whatever’s needed to knock off Festive 500!
Wednesday 1 January
New years day! Day off.
Thursday 2 January
Back to work after some more early morning intervals!
Hopefully this guide will help you keep building towards Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, but the important thing is to get out on your bike, find some hills and have some fun!
Other useful links
Bicycle Network Women's Community Strava group
In 2019, only 10% of Peaks riders were women. We're trying to change that. Join the Women's Community strava club to connect with like-minded women on their cycling journey.
Dr Stephen Lane from HPTek's training programs
Our dedicated cycling coach Dr Stephen Lane has refreshed the three brand new training plans to help you smash your goals in 2020. They kicked off in November, but its not too late to jump on board.
Peaks Challenge Falls Creek Facebook group
Join the official Peaks Challenge Falls Creek Facebook group to keep up with all the latest event information and training updates and connect with fellow Peaks riders over the break.
Smoke and riding in the fire season
If you are based in NSW or any other area affected by smoke haze or bush fires, please be vigilant, take necessary precautions and adjust your training plan accordingly.
The impact of bushfire smoke can vary significantly based on current health and medical conditions. The AIS have released guidelines and recommendations based on the current air quality index (AQI).
For healthy individuals, the AIS recommends that if the AQI reading is above 150, outdoor training should be rescheduled indoors and exposure minimised as much as possible. Asthmatics should not compete or train
outdoors if the AQI is between 100 and 149.