20 week training plan

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: Scotland, UK

by LePouletTrapu

I'm planning to do the Bealach Mor event in the north of Scotland later this year and want to try training in a more systematic manner. I've done the event a few times before so I know the route well but I'm keen to see what I can actually achieve if I do some proper training.

I'm only an average level road cyclist (38 years old) and live outside Glasgow so I'm used to hilly terrain. I don't race but I seem to be able to hold my own reasonably well when I meet up with guys from the local clubs so I think I've got a reasonable base level to build on. I'm a big guy (around the 105Kg mark) but I should be around 98Kg by the time of the race, the bike is a Parlee Z5sl and it is pretty much optimised for weight so the only gains I am going to make are in my weight and my fitness level.

I commute each day to work, 9 miles in (pretty much flat or downhill), and then between 9 - 22 miles home (flat or uphill, the more uphill the shorter the route). I've been commuting all winter on a fixie and I definitely feel like I have more strength/power now that I'm on the road bike. I've found some recommended training plans for 6 days of training and then one rest day but they don't appear that they would fit around my commuting very well. I can do a long ride at the weekend and I know from past experience that I need to be doing 100 mile plus rides to be able to tackle the Bealach Mor event (which is only 90 miles but considerably harder terrain) but I don't really know how I can adapt the commute into more effective training.

If anyone has any suggestions on how I can train using/around my commuting it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA

by eric

I find that I can do ok on longer climbing events (i.e.. 7+ hours) without doing rides that long in training. I do a 5 hour ride most weeks. I'm not sure that extending that a couple hours would add enough fitness to be worth the stress.

With at least one 2000' climb on the route you'll want to do some climbing training. I find that sweet spot training is an effective way to improve performance for long climbs without adding too much stress. I have a 2400' climb local to me which can get me a solid 45min at SST pace.

During the week I do a couple hard days with group rides that go up significant climbs, so I get 25-30 min of threshold plus some hard attacks and some short intervals if it's the right phase of my season. You could probably work something like that into a long comute a couple times a week.

The amount of rest you need depends on your physiology and how long and hard your rides are. I'm in my mid 50s and find I need at least one day off per week, but I am averaging 12.5 hours a week (which means a lot of 16+ hour weeks to make up for when I'm sick, busy, off season, etc). I could ride more days if I rode less.

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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:20 pm

by Jamiemcp

I’ve only done the shorter route from the May event, but I have cycled up there a lot (did the Celtman a few years ago). If it was me I would try and get in a few 100 milers. On your commute try some over gearing work if you feel your knees are up to it.

The climb it’s self isn’t actually to bad, it’s fairly shallow and steady, though the hairpins at the top are a bit steeper. What wears you down is the relentless up and down, particularly around the Applecross peninsular, that and the wind! If you can get used to riding in a group.

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