Having wallowed in the wonderful feelings my epic experience in the Ride London-Surrey 100 has given me I am now plotting my plans and goals for next year. So, what do I want to do:
I’d quite like to go sub 5 hours at Ride London. Based on my time of 5 hours 30 minutes I know I can eat into this time by 1) not stopping for drinks/water or at least keeping it to the bare minimum – this will cut 4/5 minutes off my time 2) not slowing down because of cramp in my quads 3) not slowing down because of poor nutrition both before and during the ride. If the combined effects of these amount to 10 minutes I then need to increase my time by another 20 minutes to go under 5 hours. So, how am I going to do this?
- Raising my Lactate Threshold (LT) so I am not unnecessarily burning my muscle glycogen and blood sugar especially when I am climbing or putting in a big effort.
- Reducing my weight – I think I can get down to 71kg. I am currently 75.7kg which I couldn’t quite believe. A few weeks ago I was 74kg so no idea what is happening with my weight. Anyway, it needs to come down and it will. The weight needs to come off to help with climbing.
- Improving my power for climbing and general riding along the flats and rolling hills.
- Improving my endurance so my muscles are used to riding longer distances.
- Having the best equipment and carrying the minimum of weight
OK, so what do I need to do by way of training to achieve the above
- Weight training – build leg muscle strength. This needs to be done over a 3-month period for muscle gain. After it is finished I need to maintain weights just to keep the gains
- LT training. This can be done on a bike or an indoor trainer. I think a turbo trainer or rollers will be the best option as these can be used when the weather is bad and the days get shorter. They are also great for short high intensity sessions which building LT is all about.
- Hill climbing – just get out and do loads of road cycling up hills. Mix it with hill repeats
- Long distance (audax) cycling – get used to being in the saddle for a long time. Pick out some long rides and do them quite regularly, that is, at least once a month and possible more. There are lots of options. i can get on the train and go somewhere and then ride back to Exeter. Or I could ride somewhere, stay in a hostel, ride again the following day and then return to Exeter by train. Lots of options here, the important thing is to get on the bike and cycle longer distances regularly.
- Food – experiment with gels and other foods and see what works best in optimising my energy on rides
- It’s back to calorie counting and ridding myself of excess fat
- Core training – working my abs and lower back
- Mid-week training with Wheelers – Tuesday & Thursday
In terms of milestones, I think I should do the following leading up to Ride London:
- Some specific long weekend rides in February/March – aim to do 225/250 miles in a weekend
- Early season sportives – April
- Dartmoor Classic in June – lots of tough climbing, good conditioner for Ride London
- Force ride – aim to go under 5 hours – relatively flat course
- Time trials – start in May, good for building strength and speed
So, it looks like I have set my goal for the year ahead which is to complete Ride London-Surrey 100 in less than 5 hours. Broadly, my training falls into the following chunks:
- August – transition
- September, October – audax, hill climbing, weight loss, core work
- November, December, January – weight training and LT work
- February, March – audax, speed work and climbing
- April, May – Sportives, TT’s, Audax
- June, July – Audax, Sportives, TT’s, weight loss
- August – Ride London
I’ll read the Cyclists Training Bible and work out my training plan for the year ahead and then put the specific details in a future post.