After the long winter spending hours in the saddle, incorporating bike specific strength work and building up my threshold I have now completed the next phase of training – the pre-season block.
Typically the pre season training cycle will be quite short, usually one or two 3-4week builds followed by an adaptation week. During this time I have been incorporating some much higher intensity work at V02 max.
If you study a road race power file in detail, it’s on off all the time. You are either riding flat out or not pedaling most of the time. You may have some longer efforts such as bridging to a break or making a solo attack, but mostly it’s on off, on off. To make the race-winning break you’ve got to be able to repeat an extremely high work rate over and over again.
To address this level of intensity I’ve been working on my V02 max power, that’s working above your lactate threshold. Efforts can only last for around 3-8 minutes max. This type of effort in training and racing is very strenuous on the body and you can only complete so much of it within a session or week. I’ve also been working on some longer tempo efforts that will provide a good base for the threshold work that I’ll start to work on during the season. Training is all about keeping the hard earned fitness you’ve got as well, so I’ve had to repeat a few long rides each week of around 4-5 hours.
This week I have reduced my hours but have still kept a few intense sessions to keep the body fit, but to also freshen up. I went back to one session I’ve been using in the winter that has bought me on allot. It consists of 1hr30 on the turbo trainer with 20mins at sweet spot followed by 4x 5 min efforts at threshold. I will then have a few shorter rides before the races next week.
With the team I am going to begin with four 140km road races in a series called the Circuit des Plages Vendéennes. I will be racing on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Due to them being the first races of the year and four within a week I will go into them quite fresh and ready to make an impact on the races. Its really good for the mind to get a good start to the year, it does allot for your confidence and once you get the ball rolling, performances flow much easier.
I’m incredibly motivated this season and with a good winter behind me I’m looking forward to using my condition and improvements in the up and coming races.