Race Training Clinic 7

Sorry for the delay in posting feedback from Session 6 and what is planned for Session 7.  Apart from the cars leaving the college at the beginning of interval 1, I thought session 6 went well, I know my legs ached on Thursday!  Anyway, best effort of the night this week I’m going to say went to Bernie, who looked great spinning up that climb for a big guy. Good work Bernie, prize coming for you this week.

So week 7.  The plan is breakaway practice.  We’re going back to laps of the bowl this week.  This will be structured though with pairs of riders taking it turns to go up the road, making a 2minute flat out type efforts with 2mins of recovery at 80-100% of threshold rather than the more common 40-50% you would expect from a traditional HIIT session.  This will mimic more accurately the type of effort you might need to put in to get out front of a peloton.  Full details will be given at the session.

For assignments this week, check out these.

Race strategy and tactics:






Interval Training Cheats

A major part of being able to do well at bike racing comes from your ability to suffer and ride at the top end of the performance spectrum.  To do this, all coaches will tell you intervals, intervals, intervals.  Short intervals, long intervals, climbing intervals, pyramids etc etc the list of interval combinations is endless and if done well they are sure to raise your performance.  The problem is (virtually) everyone hates doing intervals.

I’m no different, just because I preach intervals to raise performance doesn’t mean I like doing them either.  Sure, I’ve got on the indoor trainer and suffered as much as the next rider but I constantly struggle to force myself to climb on that trainer when I’ve already ridden to and from work that day.

So here’s what I recommend you do to try and get some of the benefits of interval training without actually doing a structured trainer workout:

  • Sprint away from the lights, stop signs and evrything else that causes you to slow down.  Why pull away slowly when you can gun it and get some interval benefit?  There are certainly plenty enough reasons to stop around where we live in Pasadena so you’ll soon notice the benefits if you adopt this approach.  This won’t win you any friends on the group ride though so better to do this when you are riding by yourself.
  • Sprint up small hills.  Make sure your ride takes in a few shorter hills and ride as hard as you can up them.
  • Ride as hard as you can on those nagging little rises.  You know the ones I mean, the 1-3% grades that go on for half a mile or so.  Put it in the big ring, sit back in the saddle, get on the drops and blast it.
  • Race to city limit signs.  You can even combine this into a group ride, just shout “sprint for the sign!” and go.

While not as good as a structured interval workout, if done well these little cheats can have you raising your game.  Just remember to stay safe and don’t embark on any form of high intensity exercise without clearing it with your doctor first.

A great quote from Marco Pinotti

Here’s a great quote I just read from Marco Pinotti about training and racing.  I couldn’t agree more – quality rather than quantity.

Racing and training teaches you discipline.

My secret to success was just to keep training and be dedicated to hard work.  I wasn’t one of the biggest or best talents of my generation but I was able to obtain what I did thanks to my work.  Working better than others, not more, but better.

The higher the level, the more you have to put into your training.  A rider might say that he didn’t really train but if he arrives first or thereabouts. Then he put in all the hard work.  There’s no easy way to get there.

With cycling, you have to be awake and on top of your game.  In football, you are on an 11 man team.  If you have an off-day on a bike, no one is going to help you get the result or even to get to the top of the climb.  The first race is the training it takes to arrive to the start line; it’s probably the most important race and where the difference in the results is made.