July looms closer...
July looms closer...
Another month has passed for riders training for the 2015 Etape du Tour and that key July date is looming closer and closer.
The clocks have changed and for many people that – and hopefully the onset of some decent weather – brings with it the chance to ramp up your training for your key summer goals, whether that’s the Etape or another major sportive.
While increasing your overall training load (a combination of upping your training volume from just ‘getting the miles in’ and, just as importantly, the intensity at which you train) is an important step to increasing your overall fitness.
However, it’s important to progress gradually at this time of year. It can be tempting to have a big jump in mileage as soon as the extra daylight and weather allows, and as this is also the time when midweek training chaingangs and club time trials start, your training intensity will often also rise, making it easy to overtrain with a sudden increase in training load.
If you have a solid winter’s preparation behind you then do take advantage of the increased training time and start to build in a little more intensity but remember, your goal event is still a long way off and you will do better in the long term with gradual progression.
As with all training periods, the most important thing to consider is consistency of your training. It’s much better to build slowly, increasing your training volume gradually over the weeks, than getting too over enthusiastic at the first sign of daylight on your commute home. So, I would recommend using the additional daylight hours to start to add a little volume to your midweek training. Perhaps incorporate the midweek tempo or sweetspot efforts we mentioned in the last article (which are still key in terms of specificity for the Etape) into a commute to and from work.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at how you can increase the intensity and volume of your rides now we’re heading into spring and consider one of the key skills you will need for the Etape, as well as how to make the most of a training camp if you’re heading abroad to log some miles in the sun.