8 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE AT ANY ONE OUTSIDE EVENTS
Congratulations on signing up for one or more races or rides within the Outside Events Cycling Series! It’s going to be a great cycling season in our host states of Colorado and New Mexico. We want to make sure you show up to the event primed and ready to perform your best, so we’ve put together a few tips that will help you prepare.
#1 Commit to Consistent Training
Training 4 times a week (ie. twice during the workweek and twice on weekends) is good. Five training days a week is great. Six may actually be too much for some athletes, and 7 is generally not a good idea. Consistency is often more important for time-crunched athletes than the actual workout you’re doing, so make a schedule you can stick to.
#2 Get More Sleep
One of the best things you can do for your performance is to focus on recovery by getting more sleep. Aim for at least 8 hours, or commit to adding one hour of sleep to your current routine. If you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, take it seriously and talk to your physician. Emerging research suggests that turning off backlit screens (phones and tablets) about two hours before bedtime may be beneficial, too. Read a book instead!
#3 Fall In Love With This Workout
3×10min SteadyState Intervals (3×20min for advanced riders), with recovery between intervals 5 and 10 minutes, respectively. It’s not sexy or complicated, but sustained time-at-intensity increases sustainable power at lactate threshold. This is the performance marker that leads to higher climbing speed, less taxing rides, and overall better performance. Intensity: 90-95% of CTS Field Test power, 92-94% of CTS Field Test Heart Rate, or an 8 on a 1-10 exertion scale.
#4 Drink More During Your Workouts
Most of us ride the same set of routes, and drink the same amounts on those routes. This year try consuming an additional bottle on your 2-4 hour loops. Look at your power meter data and record your perceived exertion. You’ll feel better and your power will drop off less in the final hour of your ride.
#5 Dial In Your Nutrition
On the bike you only need to replenish 20-30% of the calories you expend each hour. So, if you’re riding at 600 kilojoules per hour (roughly equal to 600 calories), you only need 120-200 calories per hour. And for sessions under 75 minutes, you don’t need during-workout calories, just fluids and maybe electrolytes.
#6 Separate Calories From Your Fluids
Fluid intake varies with temperature, humidity, and ultimately, sweat rate. Caloric intake varies by intensity. Having fluid and electrolytes in your bottles and calories in your pockets allows you to adjust your energy and fluid intakes independently.
#7 Practice Eating and Drinking On the Move
Generally speaking, the longer the event the easier it will be to find opportunities to access the food and fluids you’re carrying. But it’s also important to develop the skills and confidence to reach for food, ride one handed, open packaging, and stow trash on the move, in close quarters, and in somewhat technical terrain.
#8 Keep Your Speed Constant On Gravel Sections
While it may seem counterintuitive, keeping your speed up and constant on bumpy gravel sections can help smooth out the ride a bit and allow you to have more control. Do your best to remain seated and avoid standing to maintain good traction on the dirt.
A pioneering company in the endurance coaching industry, CTS has improved the performance of more than 17,000 athletes over the past 19 years. Founded by renowned coach and author Chris Carmichael and home to more than 40 full-time, professional coaches, CTS provides personal coaching, training camps, and Endurance Bucket List experiences to athletes of all ability levels. For more information, visit www.trainright.com.