Words by Jenni King

The Peaks Challenge at Falls Creek covers 235km and includes 4,000m of climbing - all of which has to be covered within a 13-hour deadline. While it’s a tough day out, it is definitely an achievable goal, so long as you get stuck into the right sort of training.

It's important to begin your training and preparation for an event like this early to allow your body time to adapt to the loads placed on it and gradually increase fitness levels. Ideally, you should follow a 10-12 week training plan - with the first five-six weeks aimed at gradually increasing volume to make sure you can cover the distance and the second five-six weeks, aimed at increasing your threshold power to make sure you can cover the distance at good pace!

The first goal is to build a base of endurance, then you can work more specifically on increasing threshold power and muscular endurance. Pedal efficiency and core stability will also be crucial to avoid wasted energy and to stay clear of injury.

The training program listed here will cover these key components of fitness required to complete a tough event such as the Peaks Challenge and to also complete it at your best possible pace.

THE THREE PHASES

GENERAL PREPARATION: The main goal over the initial six weeks is to gradually increase volume to make sure you have the endurance to cover the event distance. Also, increasing your aerobic endurance/base will mean that the body will cope with higher power training during the next five weeks of specific preparation

SPECIFIC PREPARATION: Training will become increasingly specific to the Peaks Challenge during this five-week phase. It will be important to concentrate on lifting threshold power so you can maintain a higher pace for longer period of time.

FINAL TAPER: The aim of this two-week Taper Phase is to freshen the body and include a few ‘hit-out’ sessions to make sure of peak form on the day of the event.