Trans Madeira: Getting fit and ready with Fay Jordan

When it comes to racing a multi-stage event, you have to be ready to survive the day. The next day, I’m sure you’ll feel exhausted but you’re back to work with enough time to recover for the next riding day. Now, when it comes to racing a multi-stage and multi-day event, you have to survive the entire week. Yes, five days of racing in Madeira island will beat you up really good and in order you to enjoy the race and the riding itself training is essential. That’s why Trans Madeira is partnering up with Fay Jordan – – as she will be able to prepare your body and mind for the days to come in Trans Madeira. With a vast experience of racing and also of riding the technical trails of Madeira, she knows how to get you ready for the adventure ahead! She’s a Master Personal Trainer and adventure addict on a mission to change the way people think about health and fitness.


Tell us about your experience of racing multi-stage multi-day events?

I started racing the Enduro World Series in 2014 and I have raced in places such as Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy . In addition to the Enduro World Series I competed in the Trans Provence twice in 2013 and 2014 and through experience I have found out what works and what doesn’t, as well as the importance of physically preparing to meet the demand of the event. Well structured physical and mental preparation for any event is important and I have tested myself across many disciplines in addition to mountain biking such as Ironman and swimming the English Channel. My experience from completing all these races and challenges is that you get out what you put in. If you work hard and have a plan, sticking to it and preparing for the event as best as possible, you not only know you have done everything when you get to the start line, but you enjoy the experience so much more as your body is prepared for everything that is thrown at it!


What kind of workout plan you have in mind for Trans Madeira?
Training for a multi-day event is extremely important and can be the difference between enjoying the race and surviving. Trans-Madeira is a big mountain race which means big climbs and amazing descents! With five days of racing, all athletes need to be prepared to ride day after day and produce their best. They will need to pedal 200km and race 25 special stages on varied terrain, to complete the race and get to the end of each day for a beer and a swim. There will be hike-a-bike, technical descents and some long pedalling sections which means all the athletes will be pushing the limits. A full-body physical fitness training plan geared towards the Trans Madeira will look at Strength and Conditioning, Mobility and Flexibility, Aerobic Endurance, Anaerobic Intervals and Sprint intervals.The training plan will be periodised so you get to the start line in Madeira feeling the best you have ever felt. Nutrition guidelines and mental preparation will also play a key role to take an holistic approach to preparing for this event.


The Training Plan will consist of three phases and each phase will be split with a recovery week to ensure adaptation takes place. The phases will build and each aspect of the training will develop so the body has time to adapt to the stress of training. It will include sessions specifically designed to suit the challenges racing the Trans-Madeira will throw up. There will be sessions to develop grip strength so you can hold on all the way to the end of those steep, technical and long descents. There will be aerobic sessions designed to get you used multiple days in the saddle. There will be strength sessions to help you develop explosive power and strength endurance so you can kick at the end of the stage and finish strong as well as hike your bike when needed!


What about riding in Madeira? 
Madeira is one of the best places I have ever ridden my bike. The variation in terrain is like nowhere i have ever ridden. you can go from High Alpine to Jungle and then onto a sandy beach finish with snapper fish and ‘Poncha’ all in an afternoons work. When you go to a riding location you often know what to expect in the way of geography, however Madeira has it all. Also, the attention to detail when it comes to trail building and maintenance is mind blowing. No stone is left unturned, literally.


Final thoughts?
Physical preparation for any race or event truly is the key. For many this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity which also comes with a substantial investment. Whilst the bike may be ready, shock serviced, or that new helmet bought especially, we should also think about paying a similar amount of attention to our engine, the one thing that often gets overlooked. We wouldn’t buy a car and not service the oil right? The body is just the same and if we do that ‘service’ in the months leading up to the event, it will truly pay dividends when it comes to dropping into that first stage.


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Photo credit: Dean Smith