Tony Jurlina’s Peaks Challenge Falls Creek Ride Report

Hi David,

Firstly it was great to meet you in person, just sorry we didn’t get more of chance to chat.

Despite my best efforts I was unable to complete the ride. The first part up to Harrietville went well and I rode within myself and found a group to help pull me along. I started the climb up to Hotham and unfortunately suffered bad cramping at The Meg and was forced off the bike. I could not stop the cramps and was dogged by them all the way up Hotham constantly having to stop and sometimes walk the bike for a while. My legs felt pretty damaged by the top plus I lost too much time, and was forced to withdraw at Dinner Plain.

I’m proud that I got to the top of Hotham given my condition but ultimately was disappointed not to make it to the back of Falls. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, tension and sheer beauty around the whole event. It is truly a special part of Australia and having the opportunity to ride a bike around it was special.

Despite what people had told me, the YouTube videos and your coaching, I failed to appreciate the magnitude of the effort required. I think the ride has to be experienced to truly appreciate how brutal it is. I am now more determined than ever to come back and complete the ride next year.

They key things I came away with are: –

1. I started your training plan far too late and was not able to get myself up to the required fitness/strength/endurance level in time.
2. I need to find much longer climbs to practise on and practise steeper hills to build stamina and strength.
3. I did not stick to my hydration plan at Three Peaks and drunk half of my planned intake (wouldn’t have helped the cramps). This was certainly not intentional.
4. Need to be faster up the hills so I don’t put so much pressure on the cut-off time.
5. I seemed to be in E2 & E3 heart rate zones too much.
6. Lose 5 to 7kgs !!

I did learn a lot from your training plan but in reality I just did not have enough time to get conditioned enough for this race. I am keen to continue working with you for Three Peaks next year and also for L’etape in December. I am confident I now have the window I need to prepare.

Cheers & Thanks,

Tony Jurlina