Peaks Challenge 2021 – A Self-Motivated Challenge

March 21, 2021

I entered on a bit of a whim…as an incentive to train and force myself to see if I could go faster. When I asked my son Sam about what my training plan should look like over the 3 months available, he said just lose 20kg…that was confronting.

So I ignored him, and set about actually training…which was a first for me. 
I spent the first few months doing long rides…and the rest doing lots of hills. I got to know Corin and Black Mountain much better than I wanted to…but pleasingly, times were improving.

Two weeks out a few of us headed to Jindabyne and did Beloka and Tom Groggin before starting to wind it back.

The ride metrics of 235km, 4500m of climbing and a 13 hour hard cutoff loomed over my thinking in the entire lead up…the distance and climbing I could do, but not within 13 hours.

On the day I just set about getting it done…over the three climbs, my average climbing power fell from 250w on Tawonga, to 220w on Hotham, down to a measly 180w up the Back of Falls.

If I was to give you any tips or if you were contemplating it…they would be:
1) if you’re on the heavier side, make the time up in the descents if you can…then find a sustainable climbing rate that doesn’t try and keep up with everybody who’s passing you2) manage food in a way that ensures you don’t get to the Back of Falls and can’t stomach anything sweet, but desperately need calories to get up the hill…3) don’t compare yourself to anybody…just ride your own ride…everybody is different…it can be mentally challenging having people speeding past you on the hills
After all my nonsense, I slipped in before the cutoff and had a delightful pasta dinner thanks to our soigneur extraordinaire Michael Ryan.
This whole thing really proved to me what Vikings is about…everywhere I turned there were club members with supportive and motivating comments, helpful training ideas and useful experiences that I could draw on for my own planning. We formed a pretty tight group of Vikings who, despite having very different training approaches, speeds and goals, all supported each other to help us all get there. We shared a couple of apartments in Falls which really added to the shared camaraderie.
Vikings punched above its weight bringing a team of 16, comprising 25% women