Only four weeks to go An Post Tour of Sligo, this is make or break time for your training, if you have been following phase one of the training plan you are well on your way to completing your challenge be that the Tour of Lough Gill or the 60k Ox Mountain Challenge.
Phase two will consist of three weeks of a progressive build up and one week taper, the key elements to work on in phase two are pedalling style building fitness.
First we will look at pedalling style, ideally we are looking for a 360degree pedal stroke which means pushing down as well as pulling up on every pedal stroke. It is easier to perfect the correct pedalling technique using cycling shoes and pedals other wise you will have to revert to runners and pedals with toe clips and straps. Your specific training session needs to entail three to five minutes cycling up a slight incline working on a 360degree pedal stroke which develops the muscles in the back of your legs which are the calves, hamstrings and gluts, aim to prefect this technique on each training session.
Now that the evenings have got longer you have ample time to get more time on the bike, I would recommend a minimum of three road spins a week, the time spent on the bike will depend on your challenge distance, one of these spins needs to two thirds of the challenge distance. E.g Event distance 60k train up to 40k, event 160k train up to 100k. As your training loads increases remember to use the tips from last weeks article on diet and hydration for optimum recovery.
It is also worth looking at your posture and ways to develop good lower back and Ab muscle strength, having good core strength will make your challenge more comfortable, I would recommend 2 sessions of core strength and stretching per week, this will complement your fitness greatly.
In the next issue we will look at Bike set up
The Hazelwood Family Spin 10 km
Description: The Hazelwood Family Spin, at 10 km, is a gentle event for those new to cycling and is particularly suitable for family participation...
The Lough Gill Circuit - 60 km
Description: The Lough Gill Circuit, at 60 km, is a relatively flat route that is suitable for those who have a good level of fitness and will be enjoyed by leisure cyclists as well as more experienced touring cyclists..
The Ox Mountain Challenge- 160km
Description: The Ox Mountain Challenge is a tough and challenging cycle and not for the fainthearted. Almost 160 km (100 miles) in distance, it includes a number of challenging climbs and is suitable for people who want to stretch themselves and also the very experienced cyclists....
Contact your local cycling clubs as they have coaches who cater for all abilities.
Eire Og Cycling Club contact Dara 0852890134 and Innisfree Wheelers Cycling Club
contact John 0861005219