Endurance Racing. How best to train.

Physiotherapist, cycling specialist and regular endurance event competitor Stephen Garvey from Six Physio gives us his diehard tips in training and diet in preparation for an event.

Training for an Endurance Race.

Endurance cycling is not just a habit.  It’s a lifestyle choice and it takes a lot of commitment and determination to get out on your bike whether it be sun, rain, wind or snow.  I’ve been out in it all over the winter period.  My training regime is strict but with some flexibility.  I try to get out on the bike at least 4 sessions per week.

On Monday, I start the week with hill climbing intervals, 1min on and 1min off to the top and repeat 5-8 times. Tuesday is normally a steady paced ride which is approximately 55km usually steady pace averaging 30kmph around Richmond Park. Wednesday is normally a rest day due to work commitments. This is followed by sprint intervals of 500m and repeat 5-8 times on Thursday and a spin session at RideRepublic on a Friday morning. The week is finished up with a longer ride with a group on a Saturday covering approximately 100-130km in the Surrey Hills.

Diet is a massive part of any cyclist’s training regime. Team Sky Performance Coach said last year in the Tour de France that many cyclists wouldn’t finish the Tour if it wasn’t for their dietary input. Very simply if your body is the steam engine, you need the right fuel to light the fire to get the pedals moving over a 5hr event. There are some foods that are part of my stable diet such as electrolytes before and during a ride, protein shakes for recovery and a clean diet leading up to races. One supplement that has revolutionised my training is beetroot nitrate, research has now shown that not only does it reduce your resting blood pressure but it also reduces the oxygen consumption during sub-maximal exercise. This means that you can extend your time to exhaustion during a high intensity ride by up to 16%.

I have had a blip in my training this week, while training down in Bristol over the May bank holiday weekend, I somehow managed to shear my rear derailleur hanger off going up a 12% gradient. Not ideal preparation as I have the Pearson Sportive 160km from London-Brighton-London in 3 weeks time. I’ve ordered all the parts and hopefully get my bike up and running to get all the prep in before the race. I participate in a sportive every 3 weeks and finish the season with the RideLondon100 where im hoping to beat my time of 4hrs28mins. Im not looking to break any records in the Pearson Ride but rather use it as race distance training to get my body conditioned to Sportive distance.

If you require any training advice, musculoskeletal screening, bike fit or rehab programs. Please contact me at SixPhysio.

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