Conventional wisdom says that the harder you’re training the faster you’ll get, but it’s very easy to overcook your exertion and end up exhausted or injured. To keep increasing your speed but still leaving you fresh enough to enjoy it we’re now switching the plan into a two week ‘on’, one week ‘off’ rota in the 6 week run up to Red Bull.The weekly plan
That doesn’t mean we’re going easy on you though! For a start we’re kicking off with that old leg popping favourite the “Only half a minute but a whole lot of hell”
For those with short memories here’s the basics again:
Warm up gradually for ten minutes as usual and then find a hill (or as close to a hill as you can get). Set your stopwatch and then sprint up it as hard as you possibly can for 30 seconds. Check how far that gets you.
Turn round immediately and roll back down the hill to where you started turn round again and sprint back up again like your life depends on it.
If you normally train once midweek, do three sprints up the hill, then rest for ten minutes before doing another three.
If you train twice midweek do four sprints up the hill, then rest for eight minutes before doing another four.
If you train / ride hard more than twice midweek do five sprints up the hill, then rest for five minutes before doing another five.
Now ride home gently, weeping quietly to yourself if necessary, but as soon as you can stomach it get a banana, energy drink / bar down your neck and follow it up with your main meal asap.Rest of the week
If you’re the kind of stout individual who’s putting in two sessions a week, then the second (should hopefully not be too taxing on your legs. Again here’s the basics of “Top ten”.
Warm up gradually for ten minutes as usual and then find a hill (or as close to a hill as you can get). Set your stopwatch and then sprint up it as hard as you possibly can for 10 seconds. Check how far that gets you.
Turn round and meander back down the hill to where you started from. You’ve got 2 minutes 50 seconds between sprints so you can wander about through in slow circles till it’s time to go again. As soon as the clock hits 3 minutes since the start of the last sprint, hammer in another 10 second sprint. turn round again and sprint back up again like your life depends on it.
If you train twice midweek do nine sprints up the hill.
If you train / ride hard more than twice midweek do a dozen sprints up the hill.
Now just ride home gently, resisting the temptation to sprint after pizza mopeds and whip out the old banana, energy drink / bar once again instead. If you’ve done it right, spinning slowly home should be trouble free, but standing on the pedals or running up stairs will reveal slightly empty, wobbly legs.
Now for those of you signed up for 24 hour races we’ve got a special treat in store this weekend. Rather than your usual longer weekender, we’re splitting it in two by riding an hour off road loop in the morning then another one in the afternoon – ideally about four to five hours apart.
In case you hadn’t guessed this is to simulate the kind of lap rotation you’ll be doing on a 24hr event, so pace yourself accordingly. Ride hard, but not flat out on the first ‘lap’ and then ready yourself to ride through the ache at the start of the second ‘lap’. Have a small meal (not full Sunday lunch!) halfway between the two sessions and do some basic back and leg stretches too.
Hopefully the whole multiple lap thing will then come as less of a shock.Coach Potato’s fit chip tips My little race bike
In the search for a little more speed or a little less pain and suffering it’s very tempting to keep tweaking or upgrading your race bike.
It’s vitally important that you don’t start mucking around with your bike just before race day. This is especially important before endurance events where reliability is crucial. You must know you can rely on your bike (or at least know how you can fix it).
Changing significant components like brakes and suspension forks can dramatically affect handling. Trust us when we say this is the last thing you want to still be learning about the hard way in the middle of a night lap.
For that reason if you’re thinking of making any changes to your race rig, then do it no later than this weekend or you’re heading for any trouble. The same applies to any kit you might be thinking of buying, particularly shoes, shorts, helmet and gloves
Oh, and if anyone is stupid enough to be thinking of unwrapping a new saddle specially for the event, then frankly you deserve all the arse end agony you’ll get ;-).
The second week of our new short sharp shock regime. Probably something sharp and shocking then!