For 10 weeks, I will train and race like a professional cyclist. From lab-testing and power tests to sleep and diet, I will chart my progress throughout the 10-week period to see how such a training load will affect my physical performance.
I will be racing against the best men in the UK in circuit-races. I’ll be competing alongside Olympic gold medallists, national champions and all the major UK professional teams in races such as the 2018 HSBC UK National Circuit Championships and the HSBC UK | National Circuit Series!
The aim of this 10-week period is to improve my power curve and fitness whilst maintaining a high training-load.
Increasing my training load whilst racing will require some careful planning, to avoid short-term fatigue before races whilst maximising the training potential on days in-between.
To put the intensity into perspective, my average time spent training/week in 2018 prior to this 10-week block was 10hrs/week. My “easier” 12hr week will be 20% more intense than average, and the 18hr week will be 80% more intense than average.
To improve recovery and minimise the risk of injury and fatigue, I aimed to get as much sleep as possible. An ideal night of sleep, for me, would be 10 hours. I would also need to fuel myself sufficiently during my races and training rides.
- Carry out V02 Max, Sub-Max and Blood Lactate Tests at the beginning and end of the 10-week period – I would be tested at the Tri McBride clinic in Broughton, UK. Lab-testing before and after the intense “building block” will further analyse improvements made.
- Alternate between approximately 12hrs/week and 18hrs/week training – contrast training like this should induce significant doses of stress during the harder week, and allow for sufficient recovery during the easier week. Time spent training includes: riding time and time spent in the gym.
- Create a sleep diary and a food diary – The aim was to get as much sleep as possible (including going to bed “relatively early”), and to make sure I was eating correctly, to maintain and build lean muscle whilst reducing body fat. I planned on increasing my protein intake to enhance the growth and repair of muscle, and eating a lot of vegetables 🙂
- Carry out power tests – The power tests will vary in length – hopefully I’ll set some new power records!
My actual training rides, races and total training time may vary a little from the weekly plan below, depending on fatigue levels, weather, fortune and misfortune, etc.
My 12-hour week will look something like this:
- 3x easy 2hr rides at Zone 1 – Zone 2
- 1x Zwift race/ride
- 1x gym session (weighted squats, weighted calf raises, core exercises and stretches)
- 1x 1hr roller session
- 1x IRL race (e.g. road or track) – I will probably race at least once a week, most weeks
- 2x core + stretch sessions.
My 18-hour week will look something like this:
- 2x easy 2.5hr rides at Zone 1 – Zone 2
- 2x 2hr interval session – the intervals will vary in length from sprint training to breakaway efforts
- 1x easy/medium 4-5hr rides
- 1x Zwift race (2hr) + 1hr roller session
- 1x IRL race (e.g. road or track)
- 3x core + stretch sessions
I’ll be reporting back in a few weeks – stay tuned!