Taking part in any endurance event requires a certain level of commitment; the disappointment if it all falls apart on race day can be extreme, so how do you make sure that you arrive on race day ready and able to maximise your performance?Read More
So how do you know if your training plan is effective? The simple solution is to test it; you can do this by entering interim races, or by certain other markers of fitness. Good plans will include some regular testing every 4-6 weeks (although they might not call it a test to avoid stressing you out).Read More
So how long should your longest run be? First of all, you don’t need to run the full distance of your target run in one training session; you will have weeks where you run near (or in some cases above) the distance and it is the accumulated mileage that will prepare you for your event. Regardless of the distance I wouldn’t usually suggest any single run lasting more than 8 hours in any given training plan.Read More
So what is base training? It’s a cycle of training of at lest 8 weeks which focuses mainly on endurance training, in short this means almost exclusively easy running at a conversational pace with little or no speed. The focus is on extending the longer endurance runs and creating training volume with other easier runs to improve running efficiency.Read More
It is sometimes difficult to know what cycling workouts to do and why, particularly with all the information available nowadays. This article considers how you can determine the demands of your goal event and set workouts to help you train for those demands.Read More
The Strava website states that Strava is “Designed by athletes, for athletes, Strava's mobile app and website connect millions of runners and cyclists through the sports they love”. However, is it any use to help you build your cycling fitness? So, is Strava good for beginners cycling training? In my opinion as a professional cycling coach, yes it is an excellent tool that combines elements of social interaction, manageable competition and challenges, and features that allow you to track and direct your progress according to your needs.Read More
Like any endurance event, mountain bike stage races are fundamentally about managing your energy. Training for the event is simple in many respects but the added dimensions of off-road riding make it important to develop fitness for harder efforts that are dictated by the terrain as well as your competitors.Read More
It can be demoralising when you are unable to do your workout to the targets that you have set and it can be less effective if your targets are too easy. It isn’t unusual for people to have different thresholds for workouts on the indoor trainer compared to those outdoors.Read More
I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people on various social media groups are asking questions about their training zones and how they can be fit in each zone. It occurred to me that there is a lot of information out there about training zones but it still leaves people feeling confused, perhaps because there are lots of different systems which use different calculations, metrics and language.
So what are my training zones? Here is a summary of the training zones for running:-Read More
Riding up hills at the right pace can make a huge difference to how well you perform in endurance cycling events, so I thought I would write down some details of how to get the pacing right.
So, how should you ride hills in endurance cycling events? You should ride up hills a little bit harder than you ride on the flat and use downhill for recovery. Because of the way wind resistance works, riding harder up hills is more efficient.Read More
Here are some of the benefits of short runs:
A way to turn the legs and activate the muscles and mitochondria which can promote recovery
A way to get in some easy extra endurance miles
A way to do some good quality High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
A way to warm up before some strength and conditioning
A way to focus on form by putting into practise running drills
A way to come back after over-training or injury
A way to increase the frequency of running.
We recently had a workshop on goal setting for our training group and I thought it might be useful to write an article to explain the details of how goal setting can support a successful finish in a bike packing event or any other sporting event.
So, how can goal setting help you succeed in a bike packing race? There are three types of goals used in sport: Outcome Goals, your dreams; Performance Goals, measurable things; and Process Goals, things you do. These goals integrate into a plan for both training and your event that if followed effectively should lead bring success.Read More
A question that people often want to improve is how to get faster at cycling up hills. This is often because they can’t keep up on hills during rides with friends, in training groups or in events or races. There are two main reasons why you might not be as fast as you would like to be when riding up hills but the reason you can’t keep up or have to slow down on hills is probably not due to how fast you are on hills but how much energy you have used before getting to the hill. Improving your overall cycling fitness and managing your energy effectively alongside improving your fitness for cycling up hills is likely to give you the biggest improvements in your climbing speed.Read More
Many of us question how much training we need to do to meet our goals. It is an interesting question, as is how much training is too much? I thought I would take some time to write down my thoughts and experience on the subject in the hope that it will help you towards your goals. You should first focus how much training you can sustain now and then build up from there. The optimum amount of training at any time is a bit more than you are comfortable with but not enough to be overwhelming physically or mentally.Read More
A good rule of thumb is to allow 1 day for every ten miles run (17km), or if it was a particularly mountainous adventure with lots of climb, 1 day for every 6 miles run (10km). However, there are a number of factors involved in recovery which can mean that it not only varies from person to person, but from race to race. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your rest after your ultra run:-Read More
So how much sleep do endurance athletes need? A general rule of thumb is between 7 and 9 hours per night for adults, but studies suggest athletes may in fact need closer to 9 or 10 hours per night for optimum performance.Read More
So how do you get faster at trail running? Well, the best way at getting good trail running is to do more trail running. However, there comes a point where you don’t have any more free time to run and your body can stop responding to the same stimulus; it then becomes a bit more complex than just doing more of the same thing.Read More
So how much do you need to drink when running an ultra-marathon? If you are running for longer than 90 minutes you should aim to drink 300 to 800ml of fluid per hour depending on your size and your sweat rate. Ideally this will include some electrolytes to aid fluid absorption.Read More
Rest and recovery is an essential part of getting fitter and faster for any sport. There are many ways to incorporate recovery into your training and in this article, I share some of the ways I have found to be most effective during my years of experience as a cycling coach.
So, how do you use rest and recovery weeks in your cycling training?Read More
Illness aside, if you feel tired but are generally healthy the best thing to do is to go out and have a go BUT if your heart rate is not responding or is going erratically high, or you are significantly off pace despite your best efforts, call it a day, run easy or rest, the session will be there another day. If this isn’t something that you feel you can achieve, the good news is there are other ways to track your levels of tiredness which will help you decide whether or not today is the day to train:Read More