The highest percentage of training
time will be taken up with this aspect of fitness (never less
than 50%). This will be relatively easy rides, a minimum of 1
hour, but can be rides of 2 to 5 hours.
The rides are undertaken at a heart
rate of 70 to 75% of maximum heart rate (MHR). A longer ride
should be undertaken at least once in each four-week period. The
aim is to promote two main adaptations in the bodies systems:
improve the bodies ability to metabolise fat as a source of
energy – especially valuable for longer events.
improve the bodies circulatory characteristics (removing waste
products and bringing new blood and hence oxygen and fuel
to the bodies’ cells).
stamina training high pedal cadences of at least 90rpm
(and 100rpm on the turbo trainer) are used to promote a fluent
and efficient pedalling style.
consists of rides of between 1 and 2 hours (or turbo sessions
up to 40 minutes), at a heart
rate of 75 to 80% (longer rides) or 80 to 85% (shorter rides)
of MHR. The aim is to:
Improve the bodies’ ability to use oxygen (i.e. to
increase VO2 maximum).
Increase the number and size of blood capillaries.
To improve the development of aerobic enzymes – to
assist carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
This is relatively arduous training, carried out
at racing pace – your optimum
racing heart rate (OHR), commonly known as your threshold
(the level just below that at which you would go into oxygen debt).
Sessions at this level may normally only be sustained
for up to 40 minutes.
The aim is to gradually increase your racing threshold.
Your OHR may be estimated
at 92% of your MHR but it is
preferable that you test yourself regularly to both assess your
OHR and to determine what progress is being made.
This type of training is designed to improve the
bodies’ ability to work at levels of intensity where oxygen cannot
be delivered to muscle cells fast enough. The cells will use fuel
stored within them, rather than oxygen delivered in the blood
stream. This causes lactic acid to build up and begins to break
down (fatigue) muscle fibres.
The training consists of intense intervals where
the body is challenged to carry and deliver oxygen to muscle cells
for intense periods as lactic acid builds up. The intervals will
build up to a heart rate above OHR (threshold) – i.e. 92
to 95% of MHR.
This type of training is also carried out in intervals
but the aim is to increase aerobic endurance whilst improving
power, - consisting of::
Training for power also consists of intense intervals,
but these are carried out in heavy gears against resistance (for
example up hills) at a heart rate of 85
to 90% of MHR.
Strength is a very important aspect of building power.
The training programmes include strength sessions. In the early
part of the training year these may consist of weight or resistance
training sessions (possibly in the gym). As the year progresses
the sessions will gradually be transferred to on-the-bike workouts
(to become specific).
Speed - Speed Sprints.
This type of training is designed to teach muscle
fibres to move faster and to utilise anaerobic energy sources.
The aim is a very fast, smooth, and relaxed coordinated movement.
During speed sprints, style and form should be maintained at all
The sprints are performed for 10 to 30 seconds. This
is a period of time that is insufficient to raise heart rate to
maximum, but the rate will continue to rise for a period after
the sprint is completed. Speed sprints require a period of recovery
between sprints sufficient for the heart rate to return to at
least 70% of MHR.
The training programmes do not cover stretching for
flexibility. This is, however, a very important part of maintaining
form and fitness and should not be omitted. Stretching exercises
should be carried out every day, without fail.