Welcome to the 4th instalment of our six-month series of training articles supporting you in your training and preparation for the summer Gran Fondo and Sportive season in 2014.
If you missed the first instalment please see here and for the second article in February, please click here and for the month of March, click here
To get thinking about how to prepare yourself for travelling to your event, have a look here for some handy tips
This month we will focus on the Hell of the North, the Paris-Roubaix
Paris Roubaix Cyclo Sportive
The Paris-Roubaix. Words that conjour up images of that unique, classic French cycling event: the cobbles, the danger, the excitement! The Hell of the North!
The Paris-Roubaix Cyclo emulates the real thing, following the route of the majority of the professional event, including a lap of the famous Roubaix Velodrome.
You can follow the famous names of Stuart O’Grady, Fabian Cancelara and Johan Museeuw and find out what it really takes to complete the race.
This event is run every two years, so the next Paris Roubaix Cyclo will be in 2014, on the 8th of June. New for 2012 were two distance options: 210 km and 120km. These are available again this year.
The Legend: 210 km long ,closely related to the course of the professional race, with54 km of paving stones, from BOHAIN-En-vermandois (near Saint-Quentin and Cambrai) to the Roubaix Velodrome.
The Final: 120 km long as a shorter alternative, with 32 km of paving stones, starting in WALLERS-ARENBERG (near Valenciennes).
Both finish on the Velodrome track in ROUBAIX.
Every two years, thousands of cyclists from across the continent head over to France to take on this sportive, giving it a truly international feel. As the Official Tour Operator for the UK of the Paris Roubaix Cyclo sportive, we offer a great travel package to help you get the most out of the event. Paris-Roubaix cyclo-sportive
As the Paris-Roubaix will be televised, here is some more information about the event:click here
As if this was not enough, in July, the 2014 Tour de France will see stage 5 venture onto the cobbles. The riders will tackle nine sections of pave totalling 15.4km, including iconic names from Paris-Roubaix like the Carrefour de l’Arbre and the Trouee d’Arenberg where the riders will finish. On our trip you will get the opportunity to ride the cobbles on our guided ride.
Welcome to April; the clocks have gone forward, spring is in the air, the weather is improving, all of which are making it more pleasurable to be out on the bike. We have been training for 3 months now and at this point it’s not uncommon to have a dip in motivation as your Gran Fondo or Sportive event is still some way off. But we need to maintain a healthy level of fear of the forthcoming challenge so this month the training goes up another notch. Until now we’ve been laying a solid foundation to build upon, but now the sessions are becoming even more structured and focussed with alternate sessions changing each week. Mid-week you might be able to get out on the roads, but otherwise turbo sets are still on offer. In May you might be going on a training camp and having entered one or two build up sportive events, so it’s important this month to nail these key sessions to build on those foundations we’ve laid over the winter.
- Bike-focussed key sessions, alternating in detail each week
- Nutrition – nail your post recovery refuelling to deal with the workload
- Get a massage
Training is testing and testing is training, so with the Time Trial season underway you could look to try and enter a few events to test your pacing and threshold tolerance in a real-world scenario that we started working on in February. You can find events from 10 miles through to 100 miles, most areas will have a weekly 10 mile or 25 mile time trial which you can substitute for the midweek threshold session on the training program.
If you want to find local bike Time trials you can go to www.rttc.or.uk orwww.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk or www.britishcycling.org.uk
To ensure you are still thinking about the quality of the pedalling technique your test this month is a maximum cadence test and a Floating Leg drill (FL drill). The Floating Leg drill is; roughly 90% force on one leg – 10% on the free leg, done as 2 mins one leg – 1 min both legs recovery – 2 mins other leg = 5 mins.
During the recovery ride (scheduled for Monday on the program) at the start and end of the month test your maximum cadence achieved for the following durations:
- 5 seconds
- 30 seconds
- 1 minute
So let’s not make a Fool of ourselves in April – let’s be Smart instead.
Long ride 1 (5hrs, in sections)
- Warm up in SCR @ 95 – 100 rpm ( no free wheeling ) for 30mins, then LCR > 80% for 30mins (60 mins).
- Next section of the ride; start by 10 mins steady then 10 x 5 mins @ RP – with 30 seconds recovery between sets. Then take 5 mins steady recovery before repeating for a second time. (Total 2hrs 15 mins for this section)
- Next section of the ride; start with 15 mins steady then go for 12 mins @ RP – with 3 mins recovery. Repeat a 2nd time (60 mins)
- Any time left on the ride split into thirds (Easy, RP, faster than RP) with equal time in each third
- Cool down. Last 5 – 10 mins of ride in SCR with a cadence of 95 – 100 rpm – no free wheeling .
Long ride 2 (4hrs)
- Warm up in the SCR for 15mins, then do a floating leg drill for 5 mins followed by HITS for 10 mins ( 10 x 30” fast – 30” easy recovery ). Then 30mins steady (70%).
- Next 75 mins OG ( over gear ) by 1 for 20 mins then 5 mins recovery – 20 mins > by 2 gears – 5 mins recovery – final 20 mins by 3 gears.- 5 mins recovery All ~ 75 – 85 rpm
- Next 45 mins as high spinning @ 100 + rpm,
- Followed by 1 or 2 x 20 mins @ RP – with 10 mins recovery between sets
- End the ride with 5 – 10 mins @ 95 – 100 rpm – no free wheeling.
Warm Up. Start at 60 rpm and increase by 5 rpm every 1minute until you reach 120 rpm
Single leg drill with floating free leg – to increase strength & smooth pedalling.
Left leg for 5 mins in LCR @ 50rpm – 5 mins both legs recovery – then Right leg for 5 mins in LCR with other leg floating. Recovery 5 mins both legs .
M/S 4 “ block under front wheel. Or long hill ~ 3 miles if real hill available.
15 mins climb @ 50 rpm – ht rate ~ 75 bpm. Then 5 mins recovery spin. 4 x = 80 mins
Spin Down pyramid, start at 60 rpm and increase to 110 rpm then reduce back down to 60 rpm . (1 min on each rpm).
WU 10 mins easy spinning, then 5 mins as 30” max effort @ 70 – 80 rpm 30” recovery. Then 5 mins ez spin
M/S 6 x 5 mins seated @ 50 / 60 rpm – 2mins recovery spin
Spin Down 10mins
Build ride (Road or Turbo)
Warm Up, then 20k moderate –20k mod/hard – 20k hard – 20k v. hard = 80k then Spin Down
(Recovery week 10k ez – 10k mod – 10k mod/hard – 10k hard = 40k then S/D).
For those with a power metre use your FTP, for those without use the heart rates as indicated.
Warm Up, then 15 mins @ 110% of FTP ( ~ 90% ht rate ) – 15 mins @ 90% FTP ( ~ 80% ht rate.) Repeat 3 x = 90 mins. Then Spin Down.
With the increase in volume and intensity of your training you must pay close attention to your recovery strategies, particularly your post training nutrition. It is easy to think that because you are training hard that you can get away with eating what you like. I touched on this topic last month, but now we pay even closer attention to it. Just like your car, if you put poor quality fuel in you will get poor quality performance from it. Thinking about your post ride refuel strategy you can break it down into two key timings. Firstly that 30min window post ride where you need to replace carbohydrate stores, replace hydration, replace amino acids, replace electrolytes, and reduce metabolic acidity. This can be done through a recovery shake, either homemade (see recipes below) or a prepared powder version. Then you have a second window of 90min to 2hours post exercise where you need to take on more solid food with a similar goal as before.
This month, if you’ve not been doing so already, get a massage from a recommended physio or soft tissue therapist and ensure you are keeping up with the foam rolling yourself. I have laid the foundation of self-massage with foam rollers in the earlier articles, but with the increased load this month it is important to revisit this topic. Getting a massage now will help you identify areas which are getting too tight or any niggles which have not yet turned into a full blown injury. This can help you target your own conditioning program to address your particular needs, whether that is tight hip flexors, glutes or lower back for example. Hopefully you had a musculoskeletal screening back in January to put a plan together to reduce your risk of injury, but don’t loose sight of the supplementary work you need to do to keep injury free. Lost weeks from training due to injury now will impact heavily on your ability to complete your events in the summer.
The tools you should have available to look after yourself are as follows:
- Foam roller – eg. The Grid (basic self massage)
- Foam roller – eg. The Beast (deeper muscle tissue work)
- Peanut – 2 tennis balls taped together (soft tissue work / spinal mobility)
- Tennis ball (localised soft tissue work)
- Mobility band / old inner tube cut down the middle (tack and floss work)
Recipe(s) of the month
Recovery smoothie 1
- 2 cups frozen berries
- 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup almond milk (canned coconut if you want more calories/fat)
- 1-2 eggs (safest if from pastured chickens)
- Fill a blender with the frozen berries and quickly pulse with a little hot water to break them up
- Add shredded coconut, eggs, and almond milk
- Continue to blend until smooth, and divide into two glasses
Note: you may have to cut the recipe in half and blend two smoothies separately, depending on the size of your blender.
Recovery smoothie 2
Strawburst Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
This smoothie combines the anti-inflammatory ingredients of pineapple, ginger, turmeric, and Flora Oil (omega-3 fatty acids). It’s a great daily postworkout drink, soothing aching muscles and is loaded with healthy fats as well as carbohydrates and protein.
- 2 cups water
- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
- ½ cup frozen mango
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- ½ cup frozen shelled edamame
- ¼ cup dried coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons Flora Oil 3-6-9 Blend
- 1 tablespoon protein powder
- pinch of salt
- 1teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth.
|Phase 4 April
|Recovery rides- easy 30-60mins SCR (include x4-6 spin ups, gradually build to fastest sustainable cadence and hold for 1min- start and end of month do cadence test)
Alternate between Hills set and Strength set.
|Core/ gym / pilates / mobility
Build ride and FTP set.
|Rest / stretch and mobilise
| long 4-5hrs.
Alternate between Long ride 1 and 2.
Stretch and mobilise
Strength and Conditioning April
Foam roller / tennis ball 30secs each area
Feet, Calves, Peroneals, Quads, Glutes, TFL/ITB, Groin/Adductors
Pecs, Lats, Posterior shoulder
Resistance day 1:
|1b) Bench Press
|2a) Gym ball hamstring curls
|2b) Bent over rows
|3a) Bulgarian split squat (back leg on gym ball)
|3b) Mountain climbers on gym ball
Resistance day 2:
|1b) Pull ups
||3x as many as possible
|2a) Reverse lunges
|2b) Press ups
|3a) Side planks single leg hold
|3b) Front plank with hip extension
10min easy spin on the bike
For further information on physio, coaching or bike fitting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see the clinic websites www.athletematters.co.uk www.physiohaus.co.ukwww.hp-3.co.uk