It’s 12 weeks until the Snowy Mountains Cross Tri.  Having recently come back from a winter holiday in Queensland I’m reflecting on how training has gone so far, what aspects I can improve on, and starting to think more about the course and as more info has become available.

2016_World_Champs_AGE_GROUP_lores

Training so far:

After qualifying at Xterra Rotorua. I took a couple of weeks break then eased back into base training.  I re-joined Scottish Harriers after a couple of years break to take part in the winter cross country and road races as part of my build up.  I had a great race at the early season (and very hilly) Vosselor 5K XC in May with one of my best times ever which felt promising.  I started parkour classes once a week at Karori recreation center in Wellington, partly just for fun, partly as a bit of a crossover into XC running, and loved them.   They are very well taught and I find I get alot of energy from just being with the others in the class – it’s a 13-adult class and I’m the oldest by far but it’s so much fun hanging out with people who are so free and energetic!

June got a little busy with doing a few course outside of work (including website building) and training was in more of a holding pattern but, this was planned as the best month to do these courses.

During July/early August I got a bit wintered out and wished we’d booked a break a little earlier!  During this time I had an OK race at the Wellington Cross Country 10K in very muddy conditions and felt pretty strong there, although I just got pipped at the finish in a final sprint with my friend Jo.  But I was happy enough with it and it was a good test of what running a 10k XC will feel like at the end of the Snowy Mountains event – although hopefully not quite as muddy!  I also went tubeless on my MTB after getting 2 punctures 2 weeks in a row on my mid-week MTB ride!

The winter break to Hervey Bay in Queensland couldn’t come soon enough and by chance we ended up picking the coldest week of the year to go away so escaped a week of icy southerlies in New Zealand.  There’s some good MTB parks in the area and we checked out Toogoom Forest near Hervey Bay and Victory Heights near Gympie.  Coming back I felt recharged and ready to go again.

Victory Heights

Enjoying the flow at Victory Heights MTB park (Gympie, Queensland)

 

The month ahead:

Training volume has increased slightly with an additaional easy run and bike ride in the weekly program and I’m continuing on with some strength work and my parkour classes.  I also do some yoga and pilates for flexibility and relaxation – the yoga mat is permanently out in the living room for stretching and foam rolling etc!   In early September I have the Scorching Duathlon which will be a good opportunity to test out race nutrition as it’s a similar length race in terms of time to what I will be doing in the Snowy Mountains.  I am also doing an MTB skills clinic in mid-September with a friend who is doing Xterra Worlds this year. Looking forward to brushing up on my technique and putting it into practice on the trails.  I think fast cornering will be key.

Outside of physical training I’m focusing on sleep, good nutrition and flexibility as I’m at my best when these are dialled, plus just chilling out more!  I’ve also plan to have a couple of extra massages than I usually do – one more or less every 2-3 weeks instead of about every month.

 

The course:

The profile maps are now available on the course so this gives us some more info for training strategies.  The race venue is at 1140m elevation and air temps in November should be around mid 20 degrees C and water temps around 20.  For age group athletes, the swim is 1500m in Lake Crackenback, the bike is 30k in the surrounding forest and and the run is 10k with a few obstacles like creek crossings, a river run, suspension bridge, obstacles, and rock scrambles – hopefully the parkour classes will come in handy for these!!

Here is a flavour of the event from a similar race in 2014:

There is also a video of the MTB course available which is great for course familiarisation while I’m doing indoor wind trainer sessions in the garage over winter!