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More than enough – How we conquered the Arenberg Trench


April 24, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Paris Roubaix 1 day race is one of the spring classics in the cycle calendar and among those races it is one of the 5 “monument” events. Winning in the Roubaix velodrome can be the highlight of some riders careers.

Having watched the event on Eurosport many times, me and some of my cycling buddies decided to enter the amateur “sportive” event this year and experience the route for ourselves. It takes place the day before the pro race and has 3 distance options but of course we chose the longest of 166km. Although shorter than the Pro event it includes all 50km of “pave” including the famous Arenberg Trench, and the Carrefour de L’Arbre both classified as “5 star” sections. Let me tell you right now that you cannot understand what the riders experience until you have ridden those cobbles yourself. [Read more...]

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Will it be enough to conquer the Arenberg Trench?


April 8, 2014

The “feared” Arenberg Trench!!

Last time I described one of the toughest bike workouts that I do called the AT “push/pull”. This week I’m going to introduce you to a standard set that you are probably familiar with. The simple set of 3 minute intervals.

Don’t be fooled. These are harder than they look. There are also a few variations that you can use to give a different stimulus

My ride at the weekend (Paris – Roubaix sportive) will require many efforts, pushing a BIG gear, to cross the cobbled sections (28 in total).  Lanzarote Ironman will also require some sustained efforts, maybe at threshold if the wind is strong enough.

These sessions have been excellent for helping to build that power

[Read more...]

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Break through “the wall” with this session


March 24, 2014

hitting the wallIts not long until the start of the season and in the next few weeks I’m going to share some of my favourite cycling workouts to hit the “sweet spot” .

Remember that the goal is to be somewhere between the first and second turn points – roughly 80-92% of functional threshold.

These sessions are the ones that push me closest to the edge so make sure you are feeling fresh before you get started otherwise you may not finish!! [Read more...]

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How to calculate your racing weight


February 24, 2014

scalesLast week we discussed the benefits of being light for optimal cycling performance. This week I’d like to discuss how you can roughly calculate your ideal race weight.

First lets cover body fat because this is the key element that we are trying to reduce. All restricted calorie “diets” will help you to lose weight but its nearly always fat and muscle that is lost and for an athlete this is not helpful. Just being lighter is no good because if you lose strength as well then you are no better off.
The trick then, is to lose fat and maintain muscle so that power-to-weight improves.

Recommended minimum body fat levels for men are 5-12% and 8-15% for women (1). Whether you can get down to that level will depend very much on your body type and your previous history. Even if you can reach these levels then staying there is another matter. Thats why we call it race weight. Its a target to be achieved for your race, rather than a level to be maintained throughout the year. [Read more...]

 
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