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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

TRAINING - How to work the work

Google, cycling mags, cycling sites, professionals’ programs, coaches, etc, there are 1000’s of info and advice on training programs; “how to get fast in 5 weeks”, Climb like Froome, descend like Greg, etc, etc, but is it really the best advice for the masses of non-professional riders?

To get fast in 5 weeks, you need a few other training sessions to get you to those sessions and to climb like Froome if you haven’t followed his program for the last 10 years, is a tall order. To descend like Greg might leave you without a few front teeth.

The biggest thing to add to the above, is that these guys have, TIME!!! Most of us mere mortals have jobs, children, families, etc, etc. Professional riders have full days to perfect their training.

One of the side effects of just following this, is that you can burn out or get an injury. You might improve a lot in the beginning, because to start from zero and then burn the rubber every morning with a training bunch, will obviously create results, but only until that beginners’ “luck”, has run out. Then you will reach a plateau and the harder you push, the weaker you will get, or an injury will creep up or your immune system will start to suffer.

There is no ONE, “correct” training program, there are thousands and all coaches have different ways and get results with different people according to their physical and mental strength.

But there is ONE truth, and that is: the good ones, will all follow the basics to build up to the point where they start working with the champions and then only, do they do the “get fast in 5 weeks” program.

There are different training phases and training blocks. The basics will always be, endurance first and that goes with certain number of weeks, zones to train in, time of the year you do it in, etc. You cannot do base endurance for 2 weeks and expect to last a season.

Then there is the toning phase, the speed phase, the interval phase, the race simulation phase, the tapering, the peaking and the resting. A successful recipe needs all the ingredients. The recipe to an active lifestyle also requires enough sleep, correct nutrition, mental and physical health, some sacrifices and HARD WORK.

Support systems must be in good order, even if it is just to keep your mental state happy, because that keeps the physical body strong.

It won’t help to get to the race and eat wrong and it won’t help to start the race and think that warm-up is not important. If you follow the pro’s training habits, then you should really look into their warm-up methods.

Use science as your base and logic as your lead.

I don’t say this because I know it all, I say this from 35 years of experience in competitive sport, a coaching diploma and an education in nutrition. I always try to give advise from results, as the proof lies in the pudding or actually the result….

Happy and healthy and grateful!

If you haven’t heard of Hannele Steyn in mountain biking circles I suggest you brush up on one of South Africa’s finest talents. Her sporting C.V. is an impressive one and she has achieved so much throughout her years of professional and competitive racing. Hannele is still making her mark in the mountain biking world. She is currently one of the ABSA Cape Epic “Last Lions”. These amazing athletes have completed every Cape Epic since its inception 14 years ago, and Hannelie is the only female in this prestigious group of four. Beyond her athletic achievements Hannelie is also a thriving business woman. She has created a health food brand; Passion4Wholeness and is actively involved in teaching athletes about the benefits of correct eating and nutrition.

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