Malliot Blanc Column by Toby Miles - Training insights
PUBLISHED: 19:10 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:10 31 May 2018
Read Toby Miles' Malliot Blanc Column as the 18-year-old aspiring professional cyclist gives an insight into the training regime of a bike racer.
I ride my bike to race it. While I enjoy some of my training, I train to perform in competition, so when I don’t fancy riding or it’s cold outside, I think of the elation a good result provides, and then it’s much easier to suit up and suffer.
In the racing season, I do around 11-hours riding per week. In winter, it’s more hours - about 15 - but less intensity, as I focus on building a strong base of fitness. However, with the season in full swing I have two easier days, four training days and usually one race per-week.
Those four training sessions are dedicated to working on weaknesses and sustaining fitness: recently I’ve been working on the type of effort which pulls me clear of a bunch after attacking, about two to four minutes.
I’ve got the strength to distance myself from a bunch but in the early season races I found I couldn’t continue to pull clear after the initial acceleration.
So after a warm up which gradually increases in intensity over a 10-minute period, I’ve been session including 10 repeats of two to four minutes at an intensity I’ll be almost unable to hold by the end of the effort, with short rests in-between.
By the end of those sessions, I’m totally empty and only able to lightly turn the pedals, with the thousand yard stare is in full effect. And I’ve been seeing progress - as the intervals have become more manageable and I can do them at a higher power.
Though I’ll have to wait until my next races to truly see if the hard work has really paid off.
The best training sessions are the ones that give the most satisfaction when you finish, when your legs shake a little and can’t do anymore.
One of the most feared sessions is the famous 30/30s. Every cyclist has done them and if you come away from them feeling fresh you’ve done it wrong. 30-seconds as hard as you can, 30-seconds rest for more than 10-minutes. Sometimes I do they’re done as 20/40s or 40/20s, but all of them hurt.
The pain is temporary though and all the suffering is totally forgotten after a good result, something I’ll be chasing again at the weekend.