Training Tip – 1

Training Tip:  Pace Yourself.

The best definition I’ve heard of the term “Average” states that if you have one hand in a bucket of boiling water and the other hand in a bucket of ice then on average you’re comfortable. While not quite as extreme as the previous example, sometimes the “average speed” of a group cycle can be just as confusing. Depending on the terrain and wind direction/speed your group’s target average of 25kph may vary from long climbs of 10-14kph to descents and wind-assisted flat sprints of 40-50kph. It’s therefore very important that you can cope with these extremes by including both climbing and sprint/interval work in your weekly training. Remember that it’s much easier physically and psychologically to cycle in a group so it will benefit you enormously to have the strength to be able to respond to the changes in speed and keep up with the bunch. And there’s no need to panic because after the occasional bursts of speed the pace will tend to settle down to one that’s much closer to that famous “average”. This gives you plenty of time to recover for the next climb or increase in speed.

Because of the increased intensity of climbing and interval work you won’t need to be on the bike as long and these sessions are very time-efficient. For hill training pick a route with some challenging climbs and do 30-60km. Aim to climb the hills using low gears and a steady cadence (pedal rate). Alternate this with out-of-the saddle work to increase the speed. For intervals pick a relatively flat circuit and alternate 30-45 seconds of top speed sprinting with 3-4 minutes of recovery/ light pedalling. 45-60 minutes of this type of training will see your fitness levels go through the roof.