The event takes place at the Bellville Velodrome from December 11 to 16 this year, during a month when professional cyclists are usually enjoying their off-season.
In previous years the track champs have usually taken place in April, when a typical rider would be reaching his prime for the season.
“The timing is different; it will be something to get used to. It will be interesting to see what the other guys come with form-wise,” Van Heerden told In the Bunch today.
“I don’t know what it’ll be like doing it in December after the form one has been carrying throughout the year.
“This will be completely different preparation heading into next season as well, because I’d have to focus completely on track.
“We’ll have to see what happens after this,” he said, adding that he felt his current form was “not too bad”.
Van Heerden, who recently joined the Vandergroup Continental team for 2019, said he expected “some hard racing”.
“I know the other guys will also be coming off some good fast form.”
He would be focusing on the points and pursuit races, Van Heerden said.
“The points event is very hard from the start, which I feel suits me quite well. There’s no playing games; you have to race from the beginning.
“You have to keep a cool head and figure who is where and what the place standings are. I see myself as someone who can think in difficult moments.”
With the pursuit being a race against time, the 25-year-old said there were no external factors involved but that it was important to just “go as hard as you can”.
Van Heerden has raced alongside Nolan Hoffman and David Maree for several years now.
This season they were teammates in the BCX set-up and all three are set to join Vandergroup next year.
The Kempton Park local considers them his biggest threats, regardless of the chemistry between them.
“Because we spend so much time together racing we know each other’s weaknesses.” They would all take advantage of that knowledge, Van Heerden said.
“On the other hand, we’re also friends so there is mutual respect [between us]. Yet they still pose a tough challenge.”
“Stefan will be targeting the pursuit and will give us a good run for our money. Youngster Josh van Wyk will also be a hard one to contend with.
“I’m sure that will carry through to the tack champs,” he added.