Saturday, 21 February 2015

Altitude Training Options: Australia

Australia is the flattest continent and is not particularly well known for its mountains  However, there a few ski resorts at or slightly above 1,600m in the more mountainous parts of Victoria and New South Wales. The southern hemisphere summer, and early track season makes it an attractive training destination for Europeans. Falls Creek is the best known of Australia's altitude training destinations, and many top European runners, including Irish legend Sonia O'Sullivan, have trained there over the years.

Despite not having a track, Falls Creek is well equipped for high performance training.  There are a variety of trails, with flat trails running alongside aqueducts, and more challenging routes crossing the surrounding hills and valleys.  The views are always spectacular, and the resort peaceful, if somewhat isolated.

There is a small gym in the town, lots of self catering accommodation, and a few friendly eating establishments.

Falls Creek is a popular refreshment stop among cyclists making their way around the 230 km Bogong Alpine Way or recovering form the uphill ride from Mount Beauty.

Falls Creek is also a great spot for mountain biking and a number of purpose-built mountain bike courses have recently been opened in the resort.

Mount Buller (Victoria; 1,600m), Charlotte Pass (New South Wales; 1,837m) and Mount Hotham (Victoria; 1,861m) are some of the other options available.

Falls Creek is just one of 15 venues detailed in Notes from Higher Grounds: An Altitude Training Guide for Endurance Athletes. The book, which includes photos, maps, trail details, travel information and lots of useful advice is available via Amazon.

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