The 3 day event with Stephen in the Alps is a great challenge for any cyclist even those of a high standard. When you look at the event, you are covering 350km with over 10,700 meters of climbing, so not something to be taken lightly. However, with some planning and a little commitment it is a very achievable goal for most regular club leisure/sportif cyclists.
When you look at the components of fitness needed for the event you could break it down to the following:
Endurance: Basically miles in the legs and the ability to ride long steady hours in the saddle!
Strength and strength endurance: The strength to ride up hills for long periods and turn the gear over on a long day.
Threshold: This is the ability to ride at a high level for example the effort you will be making for extended periods of time on long climbs, it’s the effort that is hard but sustainable where the body is just about able to clear itself of lactate before you blow up!
Skill: The ability to ride in a group, corner, descend, eat and drink on bike, looking behind safely in a group and be safe to yourself and everyone else on the bike! What I would suggest, if you want to improve your skills it to join a local cycling club. Do a little research on this and make sure it is a well established club with different groups for different abilities. By riding in a club you not only learn a lot but you will improve your bike skills no end.
There are a number of other components of fitness such as speed and top end speed such as V02 max, however as the 3 day event is not a race and will be steady riding each day this area will not be a priority to the riders on this event.
Over the next few weeks we will be building all the way to the event and concentrating on working the main components of fitness as mentioned above at different periods. At different periods during the few weeks we will either concentrate on endurance or on intensity. When the Endurance is high the intensity is low, and when the Intensity is high the endurance is low.
More detailed training tips are provided to all participants of l’Etape 87
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