6. Embrace the base
6. Embrace the base
Base training should be enjoyable. It’s the most social type of training as it gives you the ability to go out with friends, chat and enjoy the view. There will be plenty of sessions later on the season spent staring at the wall and sweating on the turbo so embrace your time spent base training.
While the ‘easy’ intensity at which base training is undertaking can feel frustrating, it’s important to remember that the base phase represents the beginning of a longer process towards great form – and everybody loves having great form.
Base training, as with any sort of training, is about gradually pushing the limits of what your body is capable of. Aim to increase the weekly duration by ten to 15 per cent for two to three weeks and then take an easy week. Return to training at the duration of the last week before your easy week.
If you are short on time and increasing the weekly hours on the bike isn’t an option, then start at the bottom end of the base intensity and gradually increase the intensity towards the upper end of the spectrum.
Remember the reasons that you are training your base and stick with it. Don’t get sucked into training too hard and miss out this important step. For most riders, I would recommend a base period of 12-16 weeks throughout the winter. This period should be long enough to see the sort of gains that come with having a solid base and if you’re training correctly you should see a steady increase in the average speed/power at which you ride, but for the same intensity. You should also notice that you feel more and more comfortable on the bike and are getting home less and less tired.
Towards the end of the base training phase you should be aiming to complete rides of a similar duration to the events you are targeting later on in the season. Once you can achieve this comfortably it is time to move on with your training and start to include some event-specific efforts to begin building your top-end form.