Body’s Adaptations To Training Stress – My Own Theories

Since 11th September I have been aware of significant positive changes in my cycling performance, namely:

  • The ability to climb without the onset of muscle fatigue
  • A lowering of my heart rate by around 20bpm for the same power output
  • An increase in my ability to cycle at elevated HR for a longer period, well into the 170bpm range
  • A reduction in hunger fluctuations, especially at night time
  • An increased capacity to handle higher training loads – ability to train 6 or 7 times per week and train twice a day where necessary

I have also been aware of positive changes in my physiology, namely:

  • Steady reduction in body fat, down from around 12% a year ago to around 8% today
  • A steady increase in body water from around 62.5% a year ago to 67.5% today
  • A steady decrease in overall body weight from 74kg a year ago to 70kg today

Currently, my main limiter to cycling performance improvement is muscle failure or more specifically the capacity of my fast-twitch muscles to handle bigger workloads.

It is useful to explore what is behind the improvements which I can summarise as follows:

  1. Planning, monitoring and reviewing training
  2. A mixture of the right kind of training sessions combined with appropriately timed rest & recovery
  3. Structured nutrition and hydration to dovetail training programme

Of the three key reasons, it is in the arena of training and R&R where I am least clear about the contribution of each of the different training components to actual physiological improvements so I am going to assess and speculate about which of them has led to the biggest gains. From the assessment I will hope to draw out some conclusions to help better inform and determine future training.

A Review of Training Approach 

The main contributors in my training can be identified as follows:

  • Gradual steady increase in training load – average TSS score of 30 (210/week) one year ago, rising steadily from around 40 (280/week) in March/April to around 70 (490/week) today. Practically, this correlates with an average of 3 activities per week one year ago to 6/7 activities per week today. One year ago, it would simply not have been possible for my body to handle the current workload of 6/7 activities per week. Training load was gradually increased through the year at an increase rate of no more than 5 TSS points per week and 15 TSS points per month
  • Training consistency – there have been no sharp increases in training and more importantly no sharp reductions either, apart from a 2-week holiday in July when only one short activity was completed. An important lesson learnt was that training gains are lost at three times the rate at which they are gained. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to apply training consistently and continue to build on previous gains and not have extended breaks. It is better to train lightly and regularly than to train heavily with big gaps in between.
  • Distinct training phases or periods – training sessions have been organised into two or three week periods followed by one week ‘recovery’ weeks. There have been three key training phases: phase 1 (March-August) – long endurance rides, phase 2 (August-September) – HIIT & power, phase 3 (October-Present) – strength & fast-twitch muscle. Each phase has clearly contributed to performance gains, however, I would argue that the biggest returns have come from the HIIT phase. The question is whether or not it is possible to embark on a HIIT phase of training without first having established a solid endurance base.
  • Appropriately timed rest & recovery and  – one week recovery weeks followed two or three-week training sessions. These recovery weeks maintained frequency of activities but at reduced volume and intensity. Essentially, the activities have allowed the body to ‘tick over’ from a training perspective whilst the lower intensity has allowed the body to recover and adapt to the training stresses applied in the previous weeks. Over recent months, I have become more aware and responsive to signs of physical and mental fatigue. I recognise the value of R&R to allow the body to make positive adaptations to training stresses. On each occasion I have recommenced training following R&R I have felt much stronger. I have used Heart Rate Variability (HRV) to monitor my body’s response during both training and recovery periods.
  • The introduction and use of recovery rides – I have been using recovery rides between active training sessions and also during R&R. Recovery rides provide slow-twitch muscles with a low-level workout whilst fast-twitch muscle fibres get a complete rest, provided of course it is performed correctly, that is, at power or HR less than 50% of FTP or FTHR. Therefore, recovery rides are great for maintaining training of slow-twitch muscles whilst giving fast-twitch muscles a break. During the last R&R period I also used recovery rides to gauge my body’s recovery. On successive recovery rides I would slightly increase intensity or volume or both and measure my response to the increases. If the response was positive then I would increase it again, if negative then I would maintain the same level. HRV was very useful during this period as it allowed a ‘window’ into my body’s parasympathetic system to gauge how it was responding to rest and recovery. This methodical and objective approach minimises the risk inherent in using subjective cues to determine when to get back to full training.
  • Increased duration and distance of aerobic training – the main change in my aerobic training has been the increase in duration and distances. Every week I was completing a 75/80 mile endurance ride, typically with a group of other riders. This was done from April right through to the beginning of August. With the start of the HIT training, the long endurance rides were maintained but at a lower frequency, once every two weeks. With repetition the longer endurance rides became a lot easier so much so that the 50-mile club rides felt short in duration and distance in comparison.
  • Increase in weight resistance training – I have been including two gym sessions per week on average since the beginning of March. To date I have completed 55 hours in the gym which works out at approximately 7 hours or 7 gym sessions per month. I’ve been doing these sessions to help build strength in my arms, chest, back and core and to work my fast-twitch muscle fibres. They are not specifically done to improve my performance on the bike, they are more related to reducing body fat and improving my appearance but I do feel they are making some positive contribution to my cycling, but I am not entirely sure what. I do know that building strength in my core and back does contribute to improvements on the bike.
  • The use of a power meter to design, monitor, and determine the length of training sessions – I started using a power meter 18/7 and it helped immensely in designing an executing HIT sessions, especially in improving VO2 Max and Anaerobic Capacity. My cycling performance went up a couple of levels during my HIT phase and it was instigated by the use of a power meter. The power meter can be used to accurately determine how many watts to use for a given exercise and more importantly to signal when enough exercise or intervals have been done. The avoidance of overtraining is critical to ensure training consistency and gradual gains. An illness will typically rob one
  • The introduction and use of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – I have used HIT for VO2 Max and Anaerobic Capacity training sessions. This was prompted by use of a power meter which allowed me to accurately design and adhere to a VO2 Max training session. The power meter also allowed me to know precisely when to stop the session which is invaluable as a means of avoiding overtraining. The gains from the HIT sessions were immediate – improved climbing ability, improved strength, improved aerobic ability and improved anaerobic capability. The results were astounding. If the long endurance training represented the base foundation of a pyramid the HIT sessions truly represented the pinnacle. The sessions involved intervals of between 3, 5 or 10 minutes followed by 5 minutes rest and a warmup and cooldown of 20 minutes. The sessions were usually completed within 90 minutes so very efficient training in terms of benefits realised versus time invested. Normally, I did one session per week and I always followed it with a rest day. Research has revealed (Burgomaster et al. 2005, Gibala et al. 2006, Gibala 2007) big gains from HIIT training. In the Gibala et al. study (2006), one group did 2.5 hours of HIT training (630kj) and another group did 10.5 hours of endurance training (6,500kj). Surprisingly, all training measures improved with both groups to an equal extent. In fact, the power output of the HIT group increased to a higher level than the endurance group. Subsequent studies reinforce the value of HIT and HIIT training. The question I ask myself, is what is happening physiologically to elicit the performance gains? My own view is a combination of: stronger heart, increased concentration of mitochondria in slow-twitch muscles to clear lactate generated by fast-twitch muscles, increased engagement of fast-twitch muscles when climbing through lower cadence, increased stroke volume of heart, increased plasma volume, increased blood capillarization in muscles, increased ability for muscle cells to convert glycogen into energy, hypertrophy of muscle fibres, interconversion of fast-twitch muscle fibres. But, which has a greater impact than another?
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High Heart Rate & Low Fatigue – 21st October 2014

On last Sunday’s club run my HR rose to 180 and for over 2 minutes it averaged 178 and 1 minute 179. During this period of elevated HR I had no trouble breathing and there was an absence of muscle fatigue in my legs. I had been in a chain gang all the way from the Whimple turn-off on the Rockbeare straight and we were climbing the last leg just before the new science park. I knew the effort was demanding but I felt in control and not about to keel over. I was riding alongside two other riders, one of whom was Alistair Lobban who I know is a strong rider (cat 3), and I felt I just had an edge over him which is a bit of a turn up for the books as Alistair usually outmuscles me.

At the time I couldn’t quite believe that my HR had risen so much and yet I hadn’t blown up. Clearly, my body was coping at a level that previously it would not have coped with. This got my head spinning with the potential training opportunities and performance gains. If previously I had blown up in the high 160’s HR then what could I now achieve if I could keep cycling within myself in the high 170’s? Exciting times indeed and what was behind the apparent performance improvement?

As for the physiological performance improvement how could this be explained?

  1. I had rested for nearly three weeks – this included 2 or 3 recovery rides per week and very little gym work.
  2. My rest & recovery followed a block of training which had been uninterrupted since mid-July.
  3. My recent training block had focused on improving VO2 Max, strength and muscle endurance where I increased my VO2 Max power (CP5 342w, CP20 274w) and my climbing had notably improved.
  4. Working on VO2 Max had clearly improved my Anaerobic Capacity. Although AC hadn’t been the main focus, it is inevitable that it would have been worked when training at VO2 Max because there is overlap between the body’s different energy systems, especially at the upper end between VO2 Max and AC.
  5. My weight had reduced down to 70kg just a few days prior to this ride so I was carrying a lot less weight than I was just 2 months ago (approx 74kg).
  6. I had eaten quite well just 2 days before this ride so my glycogen stores would have been well stocked. I was also well hydrated.

After my last training block I felt very fatigued both mentally and physically. I was acutely aware of the need to rest properly and not to rush back into training. I was also conscious of the need to keep my legs spinning and so I made sure I went out and did some recovery rides at power below 150w and typically 90 mins duration. I also closely monitored my HRV which steadily decreased during my R&R. I think my HRV would have declined more quickly without the recovery rides. I can’t say that the HRV readings provided an accurate measure on when to return to training but they were useful in monitoring how my body was responding to the R&R. With regards to returning to training I became more sensitive to how my body was responding. With each successive recovery ride I pushed a little harder to see how I felt but one thing I certainly didn’t do was rush back to start my next period of training. I’m glad that I took this approach as the evidence from my last club ride was that my body appears to have fully recovered from my previous training block and more importantly my body has changed physiologically such that I can now train at a higher HR. This, as I said above, is extremely exciting as it opens the door to new training possibilities, namely:

  • Anaerobic Capacity training such as hill repeats
  • Time-trial training – long intervals at near maximum effort
  • Sprint training
  • Strength training

I am beginning to set my sights higher with regards to what I can achieve from my training. It is becoming clear that getting the balance right between training & rest and setting the right intensity for training sessions is returning very positive results. So, what is realistic in terms of what I can now achieve?

  • Goal 1 – complete a 10 mile TT in less than 24 minutes – average speed 25mph
  • Goal 2 – climb Stoke Hill course in less than 5m 30secs
  • Goal 3 – complete a 24 mile TT in less than 60 minutes – average speed 24mph
  • Goal 4 – complete 100 mile TT in less than 300 minutes – average speed 20mph

In order to achieve these goals I will need to improve my power output profile as follows:

  • CP1 = 600w (468w) = 28%
  • CP5 = 400w (342w) = 17%
  • CP20 = 325w (274w) = 19%
  • CP60 = 305w (256w) = 19%

My speed/power based on recent training sessions is as follows:

  • 265w 20.3mph = 13.05w per mph
  • 241w 19.2mph = 12.55w per mph
  • 224w 17.6mph = 12.73w per mph

Therefore, to achieve an average speed of 25mph I would need to turn out approx. 320w. Therefore, breaking down goal 1 of riding a 10m TT at an average speed of 25mph:

  • Step 1 by 9/11/14 – 25m @ 275w & 10m @ 280w
  • Step 2 by 30/11/14 –  20m @ 280w & 10m @ 290w
  • Step 3 by 21/12/14 -20m @ 290w & 10m @ 300w
  • Step 4 by 11/1/15 – 15m @ 300w & 10m @ 310w
  • Step 5 by 1/2/15 – 15m @ 305w & 10m @ 315w
  • Step 6 by 22/2/15 – 15m @ 310w & 10m @ 320w
  • Step 7 by 15/3/15 – 15m @ 315w & 10m @ 325w
  • Step 8 by 5/4/15 – 15m @ 320w & 10m @ 330w
  • Step 9 by 26/4/15 – 15m @ 325w & 10m @ 335w

If we assume each of these steps is achieved within a 2-week training block followed by a 1-week R&R then I will achieve my target of 320w and average speed of 25mph by April 26th 2015. As the TT season starts in May this will give me just enough training time to achieve my target assuming no layoffs or injuries. I think I should make CP20 @ 320w and average speed of 25mph as my main training focus. This will feed very nicely into all my other training goals.

 

The gains needed are extremely high

Review Training September 2014 & Plans For October

With just the recovery week left of my 4-week training in September it is useful to review progress against objectives. The main objectives are outlined below alongside what was actually achieved:

  • Increase CP20 to 280W – increased to 274w (98%)
  • Increase CP5 to 330w – increased to 333w
  • Reduce weight to 72kg – last reading 72.5kg
  • Average 700 Tss for weeks 1-3 – actual 676 (97%)

Overall, it is been a highly successful training period. It has been quite tough especially switching to 3 weeks training and one weeks recovery. I certainly felt the accumulated fatigue in week 3. I didn’t manage all the sessions, especially the last 2 gym sessions although this was down to social engagements. I also missed a Saturday session in week 2 because I had a sore calf picked up during a session that week. The biggest improvements came from the VO2 Max hill repeats. These have proved hugely beneficial and have led to a significant improvement in my climbing. I would also argue that they have led to a reduction in my HR for the same power output. I have noticed that my HR is much lower now even though I am putting out more power.

In most of my sessions I have reduced my cadence. When hill climbing it varies between 60-75 rpm and when on the flat it is around 80 rpm. I have reduced my cadence in order to build strength and muscular endurance. Spinning a high gear does not fire up all the muscle fibres, especially the fast-twitch types. Engaging the fast-twitch muscles is leading to an increase in power output.

During this training period I switched from 6 meals a day to 3 or 4 meals per day to allow my body to burn fat between meals. This switch has gone well and I am hoping that by the end of next week that my weight will be at or close to my target weight of 72kg. I continue to closely monitor my meals using myfitnesspal.com. This allows me to record and evaluate my meal and food choices.

My HRV readings have risen to new all-time highs. My readings are now in the high 60’s were before they were in the high 50’s to low 60’s so there has been a very pronounced and positive impact on my HRV. Again, I would argue that the VO2 Max workouts are behind this.

Looking ahead to the next training period I need to consider the following:

  1. Introducing a new strength programme as the current one has been running now without too much change for three months
  2. Introduce anaerobic training sessions
  3. Add a recovery ride midweek following a hard session
  4. Maintaining the VO2 Max sessions – not possible as doing anaerobic capacity hill repeats
  5. Using long intervals to improve muscular endurance
  6. Maintaining long endurance rides
  7. Completing two sessions in one day – a recovery ride in the morning and strength training in the afternoon
  8. Targets: increase CP1 to 600w, CP5 to 350w, CP20 to 280w on the flat, 290w when climbing, Tss 736/week
  9. Reduce to 2 training weeks so a 3-week cycle. 2nd 3-week cycle to focus on CP60 rather than CP20
  10. Begin breathing exercises in final recovery week of September and continue through October

VO2 Max, What is it Good For?

I’ve been doing some VO2 Max Hill Repeats over the past couple of weeks and I have noticed an improvement in my cycling, especially my climbing. Last week I went to watch the Tour of Britain up on Haytor. On the way back there was a big group of competent cyclists heading back to Exeter along the Teign Valley and Longdown. When we got to the start of the Longdown climb I was up the front with a Uni Exeter rider (Jack Holman) who is quite high up on quite a few of Strava’s KOM’s. Anyway, I paced myself up the climb keeping to about 320w. As we approached the 3/4 mark there were just two riders ahead of me, Jack Holman and a chinese looking bloke from the ‘Bad Lodgers’ club. I could see that they were slowing down and I was gaining on them. Just before the last corner near the top I went passed them both. I then got out of the saddle and sprinted a little bit before sitting down and completing the climb first!! Wey hey, monumental, well that is how I felt. My average power for the climb was 337w and this resulted in my best ever CP50 moving me into Cat 3 territory. Well chuffed.

Anyway, it struck me that the VO2 Max hill repeats I’d done a couple of days back had already returned an improvement in performance. The hill repeats I’d done were 3 x 5min @ 320w although I didn’t manage to complete the last of the three intervals and the average power for my final interval had only been 295w. I’d actually felt disappointed after that session because I believed that I could have given more if my glycogen stores were at 100% which I believed they weren’t because I’d been on a calorie reduction diet for about a week and had therefore depleted my glycogen stores. So, this got me thinking more about VO2 Max and I did a little research and this is what I have revealed so far:

  • VO2 Max is trainable but is also partly genetic
  • VO2 MAX is all about our capacity to deliver oxygen to the muscles
  • At VO2 Max we breathe heavily because of the heavy demand for oxygen being made by the body’s muscles
  • Muscles can process at least double the amount of oxygen they receive at VO2 Max. Therefore, it follows that if more oxygen can be delivered then the muscles can work harder and performance will subsequently improve
  • Improved breathing can increase the amount of oxygen being taken into the body. I already have a breathing tool which I can start to use to improve my capacity to take in more oxygen

The main physiological adaptations connected to VO2 Max are:

  1. Increased stroke volume/maximal cardiac output
  2. Increased muscle mitochondrial enzymes
  3. Increased lactate threshold
  4. Increased plasma volume
  5. Increased muscle glycogen storage
  6. Interconversion of fast-twitch muscle fibres (type IIx to type IIa)
  7. Hypertrophy of slow-twitch muscle fibres
  8. Increased muscle capillarisation
  9. Increased anaerobic capacity (lactate tolerance)

There appear to be a lot of benefits accruing from training VO2 Max and my own personal evidence is that it has a had a positive impact, primarily

  1. Delaying the onset of muscle fatigue and allowing me to push out more power for longer periods
  2. I am generating more power at a lower HR which means my speed at recovery, endurance and tempo is increasing but my HR is going down

So, how can I build on what I have learnt to optimise my training?

Need to do more research on the 9 physiological adaptations noted above. Which of these has a greater influence on performance and how can they be developed to increase performance gains?

I would make the following observations from my own training sessions:

  • It is taking longer for my muscles to fatigue – this could be due to increased numbers of mitochondria which are responsible for clearing lactate. The increase in mitochondria is probably related to the long period of endurance riding from January through to August, especially the once-a-week 70 or 80 mile rides. Mitochondria are developed in the slow-twich (ST) muscle fibres so it is plausible that the long base period was responsible for the increase in mitochondria and an increase in mitochondria improves the muscles ability to clear lactate.
  • My muscles are receiving more oxygen than previously so given my lower HR this is probably because my heart is pumping out a higher volume of blood per beat, ie., increased stroke volume
  • Anything blood related needs to take account of hydration – the more hydrated I am the more optimised the blood will be to carry oxygen to the muscles. If the blood becomes more viscous then the heart has to work harder to pump it around the body. My body water % has risen from about 64% a few months ago to around its current level of 67%. Water % may also have risen because muscle mass has increased but it is difficult to extrapolate any definitive conclusions regarding muscle mass as the data taken from the Body Mass Machine is up and down. Also, does body hydration increase with a decrease in body fat? This requires further investigation.
  • The higher water % may also suggest that glycogen storage has improved. The normal storage is 500g glycogen which carries with it 1.5kg of water. Therefore, as glycogen storage increases water % also increases. Each gramme of glycogen needs 3 grammes of water.
  • I am now not suffering from hunger pangs during the night which may suggest my body is less dependent on a constant supply of carbohydrate. How this specifically relates to VO2 Max I am not entirely sure but it may have some bearing following additional research so it is worth noting.

Power Training Plan July-14 to January-15

The outline plan for the next 6 months is as follows:

  • Total hours training: total 300 hours or 12 hours per week
  • Power-based training; increase CP6 and CP60 by 10%
  • Meso-cycles of 6 weeks and training cycles of 3 weeks (2 weeks training, 1 week recovery)

Main cycles

  1. July 18th – August 10th: preparation, general gym work, endurance riding, climbing
  2. August 11th – September 21st: strength building gym
  3. September 22nd – October 26th: raising LT and building strength on bike
  4. October 27th – December 7th: strength building gym
  5. December 8th – January 18th: raising LT and building strength on bike

Training

  • Total 5-6 activities per week
  • Always have one rest day
  • 3 gym sessions per week totalling 3 hours
  • 1 session – building leg strength: squats, plyometrics, internal turbo
  • 1 session – building leg strength: weights-only with focus on stretches between sets
  • 1 session – general gym work & stretching
  • 9 hours cycling per week
  • 1 long ride between 80-100 miles every week (4 1/2 hours)
  • 3 shorter bike sessions averaging 1 1/2 hours or 2 bike sessions (1 x 3 hours, 1 x 11/2 hours)

Nutrition & weight

  • Reduce body fat to 3.5-4kg
  • Organise nutrition partitioning around activities – carbs before and during training, protein afterwards
  • High quality nutrition – make meals in advance. Reduce dependence on non-paleo carbohydrates

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.