This is the month things start to get drawn together and more specialised to your individual Etape. At the start of this month you want to be doing a detailed technical plan to focus your training to meet your individual demands over this final event specific training phase. Your training aims to consolidate what you achieved in April and continue through to the taper phase in June/July. Hopefully you have one or two sportives planned over the next 6 weeks to help you test out your event day nutrition / kit selections to enable you to get “ smart and sharp”, if not then check out some sportives here. There is still time to get your entry into the Etape du Tour. Click here to find out more here >>>
1) Perform the technical planning process
2) Retest your CP20 to reset training zones
3) Check your travel plans and pre-departure admin.
Ensure you have an outcome goal in mind, whether it is to finish your first sportive or to set a specific time. This will help you focus this final event specific component of your training plan. Below is a technical planning tool you can use to help guide you, for each section plan how you will address each component. For many of you cycling will be a new sport and the training over the past few months has allowed you to settle into regular training and you’ll have found your strengths and weaknesses. For others you maybe challenging yourself to improve on previous results, having a specific target (or revised target, upwards or downwards) in mind will ensure this last training block is designed to meet your needs.
1) Event demands – what are the unique demands of the sportive you have entered? Heat, weather, hills, distance, road surface, etc. – are you prepared?
2) Health – what are your own health issues which may need managing? Eg. Old injury maintenance, ensuing robustness, flexibility, stability, illness avoidance.
3) Physical development – ‘race weight’, VO2 max, endurance, recovery strategies, efficiency of riding
4) Nutrition– fuel source, timing and amount. Pre, during and post training.
5) Mental approach – visualisation, confidence, identify controllable factors, how to hurt, managing expectations.
6) Event day prep – warm up optimisation, kit (spares), fuel strategy
7) Knowledge of course – route planning, accommodation, bike shops, food shops, aid stations, etc
8) Event technical requirements – equipment required, bike handling (eg. Decents, group riding), pedalling technique, pacing strategy
For each section, grade yourself from Red (needs urgent attention), Amber (needs work), Green (on track) to Gold (perfect). This will help you focus on the areas which need most attention to help you achieve your goals by ensuring that the rides over the next month address any areas you graded as Red or Amber.
Retest threshold CP20
Back in February we did the first CP20 test. From that data you’ve hopefully based your training efforts / zones on that data. We now need to revisit that testing protocol to see how much you have improved, this will ensure you are working at the correct intensities during this final training block. You can repeat this once more 3 weeks out from your event to set your zones for the event.
Check travel plans and pre-departure admin
Check your travel package; how you and your bike are going to get there, timings, locations of accommodation, transfers, etc. Sports Tours International reps will look after you at every stage of your journey, but you can reduce your stress levels by making sure you know what you are supposed to be doing and when.
Order your fresh tubes and tyres, and nutrition products if you’re using your own so that you’ve got them in advance rather than risk your supplier running out of stock.
Coming out of the end of winter, your bike will need some TLC. Book a professional fit in advance from your local bike shop if you are not competent yourself. It is also worth booking your bike in now for its service 1-2 weeks before you fly out, rather than a mad rush at the end when you find your local bike shop is booked up.
By the end of May you should be in optimal shape to peak for your key event in June or July.
Phase 4 May
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)
Strength or Speed
Core/ gym / pilates / mobility
Hour of Power (and retest of CP20)
Rest / stretch and mobilise
Stretch and mobilise
3hrs – 4hrs as
WU SCR then HITS 10 mins ( 30sec fast – 30sec easy recovery )
For the 3hr ride intervals are 5 x 20 mins @ 80 – 85% FTP with 10 mins recovery
For the 4hr ride intervals are 5 x 30 mins @ 80 – 85% FTP with 10 mins recovery
End ride with 5 – 10 mins @ 95 – 100 rpm – no free wheeling.
Hour of Power (if no power meter use 85% ht rate)
WU 10 mins then
4 x 10 mins @ 90% @ FTP – 5 mins recovery @ 80% FTP
S/D 5 mins . Total 75 mins
Week 3 re test new FTP as CP20 test
Week 4 only 4x 5 mins each FTP – 2.5 mins rec between = 30 mins + WU & S/D
WU 10 – 15 mins
3 mins mod @ 95 rpm – 90” very easy recovery @ 55 – 60 rpm
3 mins mod hard @ 90rpm – 90” easy recovery @ 60- 70 rpm
3 mins hard / v hard @ 85 rpm – 90” easy/ mod recovery @ 70 – 80 rpm
3 mins v. hard @ 75 rpm – 90” easy / mod recovery @ 80 – 90 rpm
3 mins v.hard @ 70 rpm – 90” mod @ 90 rpm
3 mins v.v.hard @ 65 rpm – 90” mod recovery @ 95 rpm
3 mins hard @ 85 rpm – 90” easy recovery light gear @ 100 rpm
S/D 5 – 10 mins ~ 80 rpm Total ~ 46 – 56 mins
WU 10 – 15 mins
2 x 4 mins Hard – 4 mins easy @ 90 + rpm –
2 x 4 mins Hard – 4 mins easy @ 95 + rpm
2 x 4 mins very Hard – 4 mins easy @ 100 + rpm
S/D 5 – 10 mins Total ~ 70mins
Foam roller / tennis ball 30secs each area
Feet, Calves, Peroneals, Quads, Glutes, TFL/ITB, Groin/Adductors
Pecs, Lats, Posterior shoulder
^^^ Resistance day 1:
Exercise Tempo Reps Rest
1a) Deadlift 201
3x 8 3min
1b) unstable press up (TRX, one hand on a ball) 201 3x 8 2min
2a) Jumping split squat Dynamic 3×6 90sec
2b) Pull ups 201 3x as many as possible 90 sec
3a) Jumping ¼ squat Dynamic 3×6 60 sec
3b) Front plank with hip extension Static 3x 40sec 20 sec
^^^ Resistance day 2:
Exercise Tempo Reps Rest
1a) Backsquat 201 3×3 3min
1b) Bent over row 211 3x 6 2min
2a) Power clean from hang Dynamic 5x 3 60sec
2b) TRX or ball roll outs 301 3-4×10 60sec
3a) Gym ball hamstring curls 201 3x 15 30sec
3b) Side plank with hip abduction Static hold 3x 30-60sec 60sec
10min easy spin on the bike
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