Here are three areas of your fitness to master as part of your build towards your L’Étape Australia event.

Training load

Training is the stimulus, but it’s in the recovery that the adaptation happens. This is one of the most important things to understand in developing your training plan. To improve your fitness, you need to stress your body. You do this by training hard, but the actual adaptation, which is when you improve your fitness, is developed when you recover. The balance between training load and recovery is very important, and it’s something that you should monitor very closely when you are working through your training build.

When correctly ramping up your training load, you will find that you will start to fatigue. This is natural. Your body is an amazing device and will start to place inhibitors to reduce your performance when under load for several weeks. This is a good sign. It’s telling you that you are stressing your body at enough of a level to cause an adaption. The important thing to remember is that you’ll need to increase your recovery when this happens. If you continue to stress your body without giving it time to recover, you will just spiral down, and your performance will drop off considerably.

Check out this article for further information on training load.

Building aerobic fitness and improving your pedalling efficiency.

One of the most effective ways to get the most out of your cycle training for endurance events, is to keep your cadence high. What I’m talking about here is maintaining your cadence around 90-100 rpm on the flat roads.

By doing so, you’ll help build your cardiovascular fitness and reduce the amount of fatigue you’ll get during your ride. Now, the physiological reason for a high cadence is very simple. As you increase your cadence, you rely more on your cardiovascular fitness and your endurance muscle fibres (that are designed to work all day) to drive the bike. As you lower your cadence below 80 rpm, you rely more on your muscular strength using your strength muscle fibres. While these strength fibres deliver more short-term power than your endurance muscle fibres, they also fatigue more quickly.

Check out this article for more information on base training.

 

Build strength

While high cadences build aerobic fitness, lower cadences build strength. You’ll need strength riding up the climbs during the L’Étape Australia. To help you build strength you can spend a little time riding in a gear or two harder than you would normally ride in to lower your cadence. It’s almost like doing weight training at the gym, but instead you are doing it out on the bike. Strength gives you the power base to start developing your speed.

When doing this type of training, it is important always to focus on your pedalling style. Keep it smooth and strong. Try also to keep your cadence above 40 rpm.

Check out this article for more information about building strength.

A word of warning. Bigger gears will stress your knees and other joints so if you experience any pain when doing bigger gear efforts please stop immediately. If the pain persists, then see a sports physiotherapist.

 

Cycling-Inform help you climb better and have you riding faster in less than four weeks so you can be your best at your next bunch ride, recreational event or race.

You can register to the 12-week training plan provided by Cycling-Inform and tailored to the distance you decided to ride when registering to L’Étape Australia for $119, or $149 at L’Étape official website.