Main Programme

Rather than dictating how long you should be spending during each ride or the weights during each session; below is a framework to help structure training. This is intentional as this information is unique to the individual. It depends on your current level of fitness, your aims for the event and how dedicated you are to it. If it would be useful, please feel free to email the contact address below.

Over the course of 4-5 months, your level of input should increase dramatically. The weight sessions and flexibility work should remain relatively constant throughout. But your cycling / cardio should increase dramatically, aiming to peak at 2 weeks before the race, giving ample time for recovery and tapering.

Strength Training

The role of the strength training during this phase is primarily to reinforce your time on the bike. Strength training in the initial phases of training is a great way to increase training volume. However as you increase the amount of cycling, your body needs adequate time to recover.

It is still recommended that you continue with a strength programme to prevent the injuries and increase the your metabolic rate and increase recovery rate.

As with the Starting Fitness programme the programmes below should take around an hour each, including a warm up. Try to use a weight below what you were peaking with in the Starting Fitness programme but again, try to increase this weight. You should be able to increase roughly 2.5kg per week for the first few weeks, but don’t worry if this plateaus quickly.

Again, you should alternate sets A-B-A then B-A-B to allow for even development and adequate rest.

SET A

SET B

Flexibility

As you spend long hours in the saddle, you will need to put more emphasis on your flexibility to prevent the muscle shrinking and locking in place. Cycling is known to tighten your hamstrings so to remain efficient over prolonged periods of time, and to prevent injury, be sure to put some time on the foam roller after a long ride.

Hours spend hunched over in an aggressive riding position will put a lot of stress in your traps and upper back, as well as your lower back. Relieving stress in your lower back can relieve a lot of stress over your whole body.

Focus on contact points too – your wrists will be locked in position for hours on end, so make sure you stretch your wrists and forearms.

Cardio

This is a no brainer. If you want to be getting ready for an ultra-endurance cycling race, the most important aspect is the time you spend on the bike. The more time you spend during you training the easier the race will be. Keep mixing it up and make sure you don’t get bored. Progressively increase the time you spend during each training session. If your fast sessions start at an hour long, bore them out to three over the course of 10 weeks. If your endurance rides start at 4 hours, bore them out to >10 hours.

I like to work up to a minimum of 50-70% for my longest ride, around 2 weeks before the race itself. If I am aiming for a 20 hour ride on race day, I will aim to put in at least a 10-14 hour ride as my longest endurance ride. Races are always easier than training as you have the benefit of the pits and support from riders around you, also this training run is while your body still not fully recovered from the rest of the week. If you can put in a 14 hour day, you can find the rest on the big day!

Your base miles should continue to increase every week too. The role of the base miles is just to get out and go for a ride. Don’t worry about making it as fast as your speed sessions or as gruelling as your endurance rides, just focus on getting out regardless of the weather.

Not specifically related to your cardio training, but be sure to get out for a fun-ride when ever you can. Ride with friends or take your time with everything bar the most gnarly, fun sections – just enjoy it!

Timetable

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Strength Set A Set B
Flexibility 20- minute light 20-minute light Yoga Yoga
Cardio  Base/Endurance  Fun  Sprint Endurance