Specific Goals 27/6/14

There are certain areas of my health and fitness that need specific attention as follows:

  1. Improve strength of glutes. 60% of pedalling power emanates from this muscle group
  2. Improve strength of back muscles – many years of sat at a desk have weakened these muscles. Strengthening them will improve my power when cycling but also improve my posture
  3. Strengthen core muscles, especially lower abdomen which is connected to power output when cycling
  4. Strengthen hamstrings – as with above these have been weakened by many years of sitting down
  5. Build strength of shoulders, arms, chest and arms. Not specifically related to cycling but needed to improve overall body shape
  6. Increase overall muscle mass from 63 to 65kg
  7. Reduce total body fat to 5% (3-4kg), target weight 69kg
  8. Do 2 training activity sessions in one day – eg., one cycling session in the morning and weights session in the evening

As far as cycling strengths and weaknesses:

  1. Improve power weight ratio to 4.25 (Gold Standard) or average power output 20 minutes of 310 watts
  2. Improve climbing – achieve top 20 strava position on 5 local climbs
  3. Increase power output – this needs to be established
  4. Increase HR Lactic Threshold to 170 bpm
  5. 10 mile TT’s, first target 25 minutes, second target 22 1/2 minutes
  6. Improve sprint speed – need to establish measure
  7. Endurance – 100 miles @ 18mph riding alone
  8. Endurance – 3 consecutive days x 100 miles

Review of Targets 23/6/14

My targets for June were to ride 600 miles including two 100-milers and get my weight down to 71kg and to do two gym sessions per week. My weight is currently 71.5kg, I have ridden two 100-milers, I have been going to the gym twice a week and I have so far ridden 480 miles with one week left so I am on course to achieve my June targets which is great news.

My target for July is to get my weight down to 70kg and ride 500 miles. I’ll be away for the first couple of weeks of July so it may be better to revise this target down to 300 miles. Looking ahead to Ride London I am now treating it as a training ride as opposed to a challenge. It is 100 miles with just 4,000 feet of climbing. I’m not going for any special times as I am riding with a team of 3 other riders and I am sure they will want to soak up the atmosphere so this year I am going to do the same. Would be good to go for 600 miles in August which works out at about 150 miles per week.

I need to restructure my training:

  1. Maintain longer training rides every weekend but increase the elevation
  2. Build strength and muscle mass – each session to focus on a separate major muscle group alongside a minor muscle group and to use barbells, possibly three times per week (legs & arms, chest & shoulders, back & abs)
  3. Use a power meter for my cycle training and set power targets

Overall, there are three key objectives to my training:

  1. Better physique
  2. Building strength
  3. Improving endurance
  • Better Physique – my aim is to lose excess body fat, build muscle mass on my arms, shoulders, back and legs and have a more upright posture
  • Build strength in my legs by increasing muscle mass. Can be accurately quantified for my legs using a power meter and can be done for other parts of the body by recording maximum weight lifts
  • Improve endurance so that I can cycle for longer and faster

In order to achieve the above I need to split my training:

  1. Lactate threshold training – increase LT from HR 163 to 168
  2. Long endurance rides
  3. Speed & technique
  4. Hill climbing
  5. Weight resistance

My average total training time per week over the past few years is as follows:

  • 2011 – 1 hour per week
  • 2012 – 3 hours per week
  • 2013 – 5 3/4 hours per week
  • 2014 – 8 3/4 hours per week over the past three months

I am recovering more quickly and therefore better able to take on more training. Therefore, based on my planned training laid out above I will need to dedicate the following amount of time to each training area:

  • Long endurance rides: 5-6 hours
  • Weight resistance; three sessions of approx 45 minutes = 2 1/2 hours
  • Lactate threshold training: 1-2 hours per week
  • Other specific training: 1-2 hours per week
  • Total projected training hours per week = 9 1/2 to 12 1/2 hours per week

As consistency is the key with any training programme I prefer to spread the activities across the week limiting rests to one day per week, therefore, the weekly schedule would work out something like this:

  • Monday: rest day
  • Tuesday: weights resistance back & abs
  • Wednesday: bike lactate threshold
  • Thursday: weights legs & arms
  • Friday: bike climbing
  • Saturday: weights chest & shoulders
  • Sunday: long endurance ride

Recovery would be scheduled every third week and this would maintain the weights programme but reduce the intensity of bike work to the recovery zone.


I have recently become aware of a potential issue with my hamstrings mainly on account of the following:

  1. Relative to my quadriceps they are weak – this has most likely arisen following years of sitting down either in a car or in front of a computer
  2. My posture is poor – weak hamstrings have a direct influence on how the upper body is held
  3. I have found I can only lift small weights when doing hamstring exercises
  4. My left hamstring always feels on the edge of being a little strained – I always have to be extra careful when stretching my left hamstring. I can feel it is a lot tighter than my right hamstring

There is a really good article at www.reformpilatespdx.com on hamstrings and there connection to the lower back and posture. Tight hamstrings equal weak abdominal’s and poor posture. Therefore, strengthening hamstrings is critical to improving core strength and body posture.

My hamstrings are definitely a lot better than they were a few months ago and this is due to daily stretches. At one point my hands couldn’t reach my toes when my legs were outstretched. Now I can reach each foot with both hands, although this is easier on the right hamstring. I can also feel my lower back stretch when I do my hamstring stretches. I am convinced that these stretches together with a stronger core are leading to a lot less back ache when out riding. I did a 4 1/2 hour ride yesterday and I had no back pain – this is what I call progress!

In terms of moving forward I need to focus on strengthening my hamstrings and my core. I can include strength resistance exercises during my gym workouts. It would also make sense to develop a programme that can be done at home as well as the gym. It would also help to introduce some new stretches for my hamstrings and lower back.