Today we’d like to introduce you to a client and friend of ours, Fiona. Fiona is one of the quietest and humblest achievers I think I’ve met and it so turns out she has a love for adrenaline like no-one else with her passion for competitive downhill mountain biking. A competitor in this years’ Queensland Gravity Enduro series – Fiona has been achieving amazing results on the track – and with the amount of hard work she puts in, it’s not too difficult to see why.
So What’s She Actually Doing?
In a nutshell? Downhill Mtn Biking, but done in the following way (I’ve read up on the series and spoken with Fiona on this, but if I get the details wrong here, it’s entirely my own mistake):
Each event is a series of downhill tracks that must be undertaken, the catch however, is that the riders must then ride (or walk/push/climb), their bikes to the point of start for the next downhill section. So the race is not merely a series of timed downhills, but also a matter of endurance, strength and cardiovascular fitness as the riders need to traverse to the next section start point. Which may be uphill…….a LONG way uphill. I don’t think I need to tell you that being physically and mentally fatigued, and THEN going hell for leather downhill is a challenging prospect. And there are some serious schenanigans at play here – check this airtime of Fiona……you need some serious speed to be pulling this off.
Apart From The Obvious Why Is It So Impressive?
Fiona is in her 40’s and has the mental and physical toughness of someone in their 20’s. With mid-20’s considered to be the prime time for high adrenaline sports, what Fiona is achieving and doing with ease is absolutely remarkable. Talking to her about it, the first thing she’ll say is that she’s doing nothing special, after all she’s had a BMX history and has ridden bikes her whole life. As an Athlete Coach and someone who also gets their thrills from high octane – I beg to differ. In fact – the photo above….I’d much rather skydive 50 times, than take this jump on at the speed she does. And this is one obstacle on one track on one event day. Nerves…of…steel. And this year she has
routinely been on the podium!!! And has multiple sponsorships in support of her charge, justifying her ability on the track.
I shouldn’t be surprised really. When she’s not flying through trees, working full time and practicing the courses – she comes and trains with the Assume Its Possible TRITAN squad. I’m not going to lie when I say she gives it her absolute all as well. Just finished a 12hr night shift? Raced the day before? No worries….turns up, smiles and the ridiculousness of the workout challenge that I’ve come up with on a full sleep and recovery….and jumps in! To describe Fiona as dedicated would be – understatement.
An Athlete Following Her Passions:
The thing is – I had no idea that Fiona did all this until very recently. I knew she rode bikes. I knew she did mountain biking. But at the competitive level she’s at – and frankly through the craziness of some of the courses….I had zero inkling…She just does it because she loves the sport. She’s a huge advocate for biking in general, but I’ve only found out through general conversations and some background digging, that she is the athlete she is….and yes Fiona – you are, accept it please :). Today’s post is about Fiona and her passion. A showcase that someone can train rigorously, put hours upon hours of effort and background work in – and achieve quietly for the love of the Sport.
Find the passion in what you do. Love your training, lifestyle and efforts. The end result is not necessarily important – but rather the enjoyment had in the process. Fiona – you such a humble achiever, and today we’d just like to train our little spotlight on you.
You may have seen, and indeed been part of the fires that affected the O’Reilly’s region of the Gold Coast Hinterland. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected to be sure in such tough times. Of a lesser note – there was the scheduled Gold Coast SPARTAN RACE due to take place that same weekend 7th Sep. With the race postponed (but now rescheduled) the Assume Its Possible Crew (called “TRITAN”) decided to still put the weeks and months of training to good use by hosting a TRITAN RACE with all three distances (7km, 14km, 21km).
How Would You Even Simulate It?
Good question – there is only so much treadmill running one can do before you go insane. However, there are factors like elevation (Spartan isn’t a flat course) and obstacles to consider. We implemented any elevated running on the treadmills and incorporated distances between obstacles that aren’t dissimilar to the Spartan event. The obstacles were copied for some of the more notable ones like the “Spear Throw” and “Farmers Carry”, others were newly devised to make the race a unique event for us. Things like Assault Bike charges and Skierg sets were also thrown into the mix. The penalities for missing technical obstacles were kept at 30 chest to floor burpees – after all, we’d been training for that – wouldn’t want to miss out now would we? The 7km Event was totally contained within our Host Gym Facility – EZYFIT HEALTH & FITNESS CLUB, whilst the 14km and 21km had sections that ran a 5km loop around a nearby water body, quite a lovely run actually. You can see and download a full set of our obstacles, sequences and layouts below.
How Hard Was It?
Having completed a number of Spartan Races – and having podium-ed in all of them – these three distances, with the layouts and obstacles as they are….were right on par with how hard a Spartan Race feels in my opinion. Of course, the two are quite different with things like swims, weather conditions, and obstacles all being different – but in terms of energy expenditure and body physicality, I came out of all three distances feeling like I did at the end of competitive Spartan. From a Coaches perspective, this is an invaluable training tool in preparing your athletes for such events, to provide perspective, nutrition and hydration experience. The 21km in particular was very good at planning out energy gel and hydration intake – and understanding the body when it started sending the signals.
How’d Everyone Go?
Incredibly well. As friend to each and every one of the amazing people who did it – I was honoured to race with, and support them all. As a Coach – watching people take on distances they had never even run before, let alone with obstacles….take on elements, burpees and challenges that pushed them mentally…..I could not have been prouder. Every single person finished – the fastest 7km section was approx 55min, the fastest 14km around 2 hrs and the final 21km hit the 3hrs 2min mark for the fastest time.
To have it based out of our home gym – to have a bbq cook up and drinks afterwards – made the entire episode an epic social affair. And at the end of the day – that’s what these such events are about aren’t they? There is the competitive side to it, for sure, but there would be no competition without other people. There would be no event. This was our event – our TRITAN RACE and it…was….sweet.
Can’t wait to do another one towards the end of the year.
Thanks for such a great race A.I.P TRITAN Squad.
Cheers – Pete.
Let’s Talk Boxing First Up:
You see heaps of people at the gym dancing around bags and throwing hits for ages. Don’t get me wrong – this is a great thing to implement, hitting things hard and often is the fundamental of the sport…BUT…..its not a fabulous way to train up your pure oxygen usage. When you see big men in the boxing ring go for 5 rounds, they stop dancing…the punches come out rarely…they’re wrecked. Our workout will get you throwing down and combining it with some good, hard cardio – and then we’ll see if you can STILL throw down. Up for it?