Getting into shape for events like the Whyte Night night-time enduros at BikeRadar Live doesn’t have to be a world of agonising pain. In fact, if you’re already out riding a couple of times a week you’re halfway there.
Follow the second part of our training schedule (click here for the first part) and you’ll be blasting round Donington Park and still capable of enjoying everything else that’s going on the next day!
Weeks six and seven
On the bike: Do two rides of between three and six hours' duration at 60-70 percent of your HRM. This will help maintain that solid base ﬁtness attained in weeks one to five.
Then it’s time to get to the interval session. Interval training is carried out over a shorter period of time but at a greater intensity. This helps develop your anaerobic capacity which is where the body is relying more on its energy reserves.
In an anaerobic state, there’s insufﬁcient oxygen getting to the muscles as you’re using it quicker than you can breathe it in and the heart can pump around the body. The object of the interval training is to help develop a better anaerobic threshold (making you more accustomed to anaerobic work).
With all types of riding, whether it’s a two-hour cross-country loop or a 12-hour marathon ride, there will always be times where you have to sprint for a climb or make a ﬁnal burst for the ﬁnish line and hence force the body to work in an anaerobic state.
By working on this speciﬁc aspect, your body will become more attuned to this state and create better coping mechanisms to deal with these situations as and when they inevitably arise.
Do one interval ride incorporating two 20-minute sessions at 80-85 percent of your HRM with 10 minutes' rest between repetitions. This can be done out on the road or on your favourite bit of singletrack.
It may not be the most comfortable experience of your life and always make the most of the 10-minute rest stops between the reps to catch your breath and hydrate. If you feel 20 minutes is too much, simply opt for a shorter duration as you need to feel comfortable with whatever you are doing.
Include two recovery days of either complete rest or with a casual ride. Again, spread the rest days out and try to make the most of them by getting plenty of sleep and eating and drinking well. The rest periods are critical when training and during this time, as well as soothing any aches and pains, muscle strengthens and repairs.
Core workout: Three sessions of 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups and 60 burpees (see diagrams at bottom of page). Keep these going throughout your training and you’ll reap the beneﬁts when it comes to race day.
On the bike: Start the week with one long steady ride of four to six hours' duration at 60-70 percent of your HRM. Follow this epic ride with a rest day to aid your recovery. If you can ride for six hours then you’re on track for completing a 12-hour race.
Mid-week you should do another interval session as seen in weeks six and seven, followed by another rest day.
To help work on strength, incorporate one hill session into the program. Find a gradual climb that you feel happy with and carry out drills of 5 x 3-5mins uphill giving it your all, with four or five minutes' rest in between reps. This will be truly punishing, so only do what you feel comfortable with.
By the time you get to the weekend, you should be looking to head out for another ride of between 2-4 hours duration at around 60-70% HRM. This will help maintain the base ﬁtness.
Core workout: Three sessions of 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups and 60 burpees. Try to spread these across the week.
Make sure that there are at least two recovery days incorporated somewhere in this week.
On the bike: Do one or two steady rides of between two and four hours' duration at 60-70 percent of your HRM, plus one or two hill sessions as in week eight.
This week you should think about gearing down in preparation for the big race. It is vital not to overload your body and become fatigued. Spread the rides either side of the hill session with recovery days somewhere in there too.
Core workout: Three sessions of 30 push-ups, 30 sit-ups and 40 burpees.
As the race is now looming, wind the core workouts back a little to ensure you are doing enough but not too much.
Monday: One hill session – ﬁnd a gradual climb that you feel happy with and can carry out drills of 5 x 3-5mins uphill giving it your all with four to five minutes' rest in between reps. This will be truly punishing so only do what you feel comfortable with.
Tuesday: One two-hour ride at around 60 percent HRM. Nice and steady to just help maintain all that hard work you’ve already done.
Wednesday: One ride lasting 30 minutes to one hour at 50-60 percent HRM. This will help keep you supple and relaxed before the big event.
Thursday: Complete rest day. Sleep and eat but that’s about it. Plenty of carbohydrates and water will give you a great energy boost.
Friday: If you have the opportunity, pre-ride the race course. If not, take a 30-minute very casual spin to keep your body ready for race day.
Saturday: Race day. Try to relax throughout the day and make sure you give yourself at least 30-60mins to complete a warm-up prior to the start of the race to prevent any injuries.
Use these exercises to strengthen your trunk and arms for increased muscular endurance.
Lie face down on the ground. Support your body on the balls of your feet and position your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your arms straight but not locked. With a straight back, bend your elbows to lower yourself to the ground. Just before your chest touches the ground, straighten your elbows to push yourself back up to the start position.
There are numerous ways to perform these. The one shown here is a good starting point. Lie on the ﬂoor. Have your knees bent and feet on the ground. Place your hands over your knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles gently by drawing in your belly button to your spine. Keeping your heels on the ground and your toes ﬂat to the ground, slowly and gently lift your head ﬁrst, followed by your shoulder blades. Pull up from the ﬂoor about half way and hold the position for a second. Slowly return to the starting position.
Stand holding your hands at your sides. Bend down until your hands touch the ﬂoor, then kick your feet behind you into a push-up position. Do a push-up, then bring your feet back underneath you and jump up. Land softly and move into your next repetition.