There are now only 13 days to go until you find yourself lining up for the Etape du Tour. Hopefully you are feeling super confident about how your training has gone and you are now looking forward to the event happy in the knowledge you have done everything right. If however, you are in the probable majority who are reading this thinking ‘I’m not confident about my training and I’m actually pretty damn nervous’, then this article is for you.
I have laid out a generic training plan below for you to follow until the 11th of July. Remember – this is a very general plan and will not apply to everyone. It is simply an indication of the sessions you should be considering.
Wed 29th: 75min long interval session – 3 x 10min efforts at 85-90% Max heart rate (MHR)?
Thurs 30th: 90min cadence session – 5min @ 60rpm then 5min @ 95 rpm+. Repeat @ 75 – 85% MHR
Friday 1st: Day off or active recovery ride: Focus of day is rest, good nutrition and decent night’s sleep.
Sat 2nd: Long endurance ride of 5 – 7hrs @ 65 – 75% MHR. Keep gears and pace easy – it’s not a fast ride.
Sun 3rd: 1 hr active recovery ride. Cadence @ 90rpm+ and MHR of 60 – 70%.
Mon 4th: Day off or active recovery ride 60min. Cadence at 90rpm+ and MHR of 60 – 70%.
Tue 5th: 75min indoor session: 15 min warm up followed by 50min @ 84 – 92% MHR. Cool down 10 min.
Wed 6th: 2 – 3hr road ride. Keep this ride moderately paced – open HR today – just ride on feel.
Thurs 7th: Rest Day. Focus of day is good nutrition, fluids and rest. Start loading up on carbs and sleep.
Fri 8th: Rest Day or active recovery ride of 60mins @ 65 – 75% MHR. Good nutrition from here till Etape
Sat 9th: 90min road ride – 65 – 80% MHR. Add in 1 x 2 min@ 82 – 89%MHR and 5 x 8 sec sprints. Rest.
Sun 10th: 60min road ride- 65 – 75% MHR. Add in 2 x 20 sec efforts and 4 x 8 sec sprints. Lot’s of rest.
Mon 11th: Etape du Tour!
Points to remember
If the endurance part of your training is worrying you, then consider changing some of the sessions prior to Wednesday 6th July to focus on endurance and steady distance riding.
I firmly believe that you want to keep on the boil until the Etape. I have heard of riders being told to take Saturday and Sunday off the bikes and rest up. I would disagree with this and would advise that you ride lightly on both these days.
If you feel genuinely tired during these days leading up to the Etape then rest. The most important thing is that you arrive on the start line rested. If you are shattered, taking the day off before the Etape will probably not be enough. Do not under estimate how important it is to rest.
If you are travelling to the Etape on the Sunday, you must get out for a short ride in the pm to stretch the legs – this also doubles as a bike test to make sure you have put your bike back together ok after the flight.
Next week: A few days to go! Bring it on!!