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Best type of training for Kowalski

webby's picture

By webby - Posted on 19 September 2016

With the Kowalski postponed until mid October (fortunately as I was under prepared) what do you believe is the best training rides/regime for the race?
As with the convict I would just hit the trails in Terry Hills and Cascades and get serious kms in those legs but the Kowalski seems to be a different race.

Would 4 hard laps of Manly dam and possums with a few laps Serrata thrown in be more beneficial than hitting the long fire trails of Terry Hills etc even though that many laps would only be around 50kms?

GarethP's picture

I would say definitely that some hard laps of the dam are better than fire trail riding as training for the KC. It's got a ton of single track including some pretty tricky sections - the new sections last year were probably the most technical I have seen in a XC race before.

Laps of Ourimbah or any tricky XC course would be good also.

hank's picture

I'm in the same boat.

I've chosen riding to work to get the km's in and then multiple laps of Mount Narra to get my eye in for the tricky single track. I agree the dam plus possum, Serrata and daisy dukes would be good too.

I've noticed they've put the hellish Stairway to Heaven in around the 85km mark this year which will play on my mind all race.

Lach's picture

... but in the 50, in the past you've needed to be able to cope with a sprint up 100m of vert (Seismic Hill) in the first kilometre, before hitting the sniggle and then pounding out the remaining 49 or so km's. Nothing like a bit of anaerobic work from the get go to set you up for a hard race.....

DudeistPriest's picture

Chillax, open up a beer and don't worry about it too much.

Antsonline's picture

If you just wanna ride from your door - then Manly Dam (all of the trails you mention) and Narra are pretty good. I wouldnt exclude the fire-roads altogether, particularly at either the end or the beginning of some tech single-track. If you can hit some ST fatigued from a 2min effort on a fire-road and still maintain good control / tech skill - that's a good gauge of bike handling and fitness.
Wylde is also a good place to do some harder efforts, as is Annan. The thing that upsets a lot of riders on such tight ST is the need to remain seated but to control speed (up and down)- and often you find yourself in too big a gear. It causes all sorts of problems you dont face when you just 'cruise' with your mates - and is often the cause of lower back pain that people experience. Riding fast ST and getting your flow and your gear selection correct can help you finish much faster.
Try and hit some ST at real race pace / effort, do a few fire-roads before or after.

But - as has been said, just ride your bike, chill and have a few beers also - you'll be fine regardless I am sure.

staffe's picture

Is what you need regardless of how you get it. Fire trail, road, ST whatever. Need to build that up. Then on top of that you need as everyone advised the overall ability to conquer ST for a very long ride. Hands, arms, shoulders, lower back takes a beating.

I would first build up general endurance fitness on FT or road. Do a few 100kers at good pace on relatively simple conditions like road or FT then take that fitness and do it on ST to build up the endurance in hands, arms, shoulders, back etc. Many laps around the dam will be a good workout for the rest of the body once you have the legs and cardio to do it. I think hitting MD for many laps without the underlying endurance fitness you won't be building either endurance nor ST fitness effectively as you wont have the legs to keep up the pace and push your ST fitness for as long as you need. Hence why I think you should do it in two stages but that is just my amateur opinion based on what works for me.

Also, If you have an option to ride to work, that is a time effective way to clock up the mileage then do bigger riders over the weekends.

adski's picture

This years course puts the majority of rough trails and 5x big climbs in the second half - evil grin! Having stamina to chug up 5x big climbs after having done 3hrs already in the saddle is where you want to be. Don't forget to practice getting water / nutrition on endless singletrack so you don't bonk or cramp

Try doing 5x 15minute hills in a no-break 3hr ride, to simulate
* long time
* groinder
* tea pot
* bloodnut stout
* stairway

While flagellating your lower back with lantana. Then you'll be in a good place for the race. I'm really looking forward to it!

Loop 2 reccie:

webby's picture

when you say big climbs are they fire trail climbs like heath track out to Belrose or single track Daisy Dukes..or bigger?

Pete B's picture

Only trail from the list above I know is Stairway. Think Daisy Duke x3 (or 4)

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