James Birrell and his pals have taken a more serious approach to this year?s Etape, enlisting the help of Pure Sports Medicine performance coach David Smith to get them into shape for July.
Name: James Birrell
Years cycling: 16
?I started racing when I was 21 ? I used to do criteriums back home in Sydney ? but then I got into rugby so cycling went on the backburner for a while. My build is not great for going up mountains. I started at 99kg and am down to 95kg but the target weight is 90kg. It took a little while to get the cycling muscles back but the big shoulders [from rugby] are gradually going.
?This will be my fourth Etape. Last year it took 10h 30m and I can?t say it was pleasurable ? the heat made a big difference.
?Training seemed like a chore previously but now there is a goal for each session and it?s a lot more fun. We are riding well as a group and getting faster. We used to go out with a target distance in mind, but now we go out with specific instructions ? you have to think, and you have to work with the other guys in the team. It brings you a lot closer to the other guys you are training with.
?We have had our muscle and bone structure checked and a 4k static bike test every two months, and a nutritionist who has focussed on keeping sugar levels constant throughout the day.
?I do three rides, two sessions in the gym and either a swim or easy ride every week. After the first few weeks, I thought ?why am I doing all this?? but I?ve enjoyed the fact that you do see improvements. The whole six months has gone so much quicker than last year.?
|Date||10/07||2/08||4/08||6/08||Body weight||98.1kg||99.1kg||97.7kg||96.3kg||Chest||111.3cm||112cm||109.7cm||110.2cm||Hips||107.5cm||108.2cm||106.3cm||105.3cm||4k TT||04:45||04:44||04:30||04:16|
THIS WEEK’S TRAINING
Monday: 50 mins @ 80rpm plus 30 mins @ 125-130rpm (60 seconds easy every 4 mins)
Tuesday: Gym session focussing on strength work
Wednesday: 3 mins hard @ 95rpm (4k TT pace) plus 3 mins moderate pace, 10 sets
Thursday: 50km steady pace @ 90rpm
Friday: 30 mins easy am, easy swim pm
Saturday: 125km steady pace @ 95rpm