ASK THE COACH
WHAT’S THE BEST ALL-ROUND TRAINING PROGRAMME TO INCREASE SPEED AND STAMINA FOR LONGER RIDES AND FTP? I’M NOT PLANNING TO RACE AT ALL, I ONLY WANT TO IMPROVE FOR RIDES UP TO 5 TO 6 HOURS.
Training is like building a house. We start with the foundations, not the roof. So, it’s important that we have endurance miles in your plan. Those weekend rides with the club or on your own are good to get that done. Say 3 to 4 hours on a Saturday/Sunday – easy miles summer smiles as they say. It’s a good rule.
To develop you as an all-round cyclist then you need some strength work, sprint efforts, tempo and if you want to develop your FTP then sweet spot work also. Your sweet spot zone is 84% to 97% of your FTP value. The great thing about training in this zone is that you get all the benefits of developing threshold without the fatigue.
Also ensure that you factor in recovery weeks say after each 3rd build week. The development of you as a cyclist comes in the recovery process not with you doing endless hard sessions so allow some downtime for your body to embrace the work you have put in. That’s not you sitting on your backside doing nothing but ensure that any work you do this week is super easy and has you sitting around Z2 for your sessions. Ignore recovery weeks at your peril. No recovery generally means overtraining, more prone to injury and with no recovery you will, unfortunately, not really get very far and your training will stagnate…
My cycling journey has brought me to be fortunate enough to live, work and train in Italy, at Italy’s largest lake, Garda. However my 40+ years of riding bikes started when I taught myself to ride at a young age. Having a bike gave me freedom and that freedom soon culminated in me wondering how I compared to others. TT’s and Road Races soon followed then of course Club Events and in later life Sportives and Granfondos, some of Italy’s toughest as well as a few MTB events too.
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