With lockdown already limiting our Struggle sportive training, now the epic snow dumped outside our front door has us well and truly confined to the indoors.
Here at Struggle HQ we’re sticking two fingers up to the white stuff and maxing out our indoor training. Here’s our top tips for training for a Struggle sportive on a snow day.
1. Take a Test
It may not be a four-hour ride but we promise you an FTP test (Functional Threshold Power) will leave you lying on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon.
Now is an ideal time to carry out an FTP test; benchmarking your fitness at the start of the year. Your FTP is your sustainable power for one hour. It’s a great way to understand your current fitness level.
Not only can you monitor your training progress; your FTP can help set your training zones and ensure you are riding smart and training at the correct intensities.
Rather than riding as hard as you can for 1 hour, an FTP test only last 20 minutes. We make it sound easy. It isn’t! Calculate your FTP by taking your best average 20-minute power and multiplying it by 95%. Top tip: pace yourself and don’t go too hard to early.
If you don’t fancy a 20 minute test, why not try a Zwift Ramp Test.
2. Tour on Zwift
The new Tour de Zwift offers the opportunity to explore the UCI circuits only the pros ride in real life. What’s great about the Tour de Zwift is there are multiple rides each day at different times of the day, so you can fit around work and family commitments. There’s also different rides for different ability levels.
We admit, it’s no competition for the great outdoors but Tour de Zwift can make indoor rides much more interesting when real roads are out of bounds.
3. Do Drills
Winter offers the perfect opportunity to improve your skills and technique. Cadence drills are one of our winter faves.
Riding with a faster cadence in a smaller gear can save your legs on long days like a Struggle sportive. If you carry out this cadence drill session once a week, by Struggle Dales sportive you’ll be spinning as efficiently as Chris Froome.
4. What to Watch?
Need some steady-state hours in the saddle? You'll be less reluctant to climb on the turbo if you've prepared a movie or podcast you’re excited about listening to or watching. An inspirational cycling-themed movie can be the difference between mindless spinning and motivated riding.
What We're Watching on the Turbo: Code Yellow is a new documentary on Jumbo-Visma during the 2020 Tour de France, while you can also watch their Vuelta Victory. There’s also great documentaries to watch on the Astana and EF Education First YouTube channels.
5. Start Your Training Plan Today
Thankfully we have Downing Cycling to set our Turbo sessions. Their 12-Week Coached Training Plans can be set up ready for you to start ASAP. Enquire today and your coach could have your first block of training to you by as early as tomorrow.
Time: 2 hours on the turbo equals three hours on the road. Remember you’re constantly pedalling on the turbo and never free wheeling.
Move: Try to get in and out of the saddle to take the pressure off your sit bones. Don't forget to wear chamois cream for longer sessions.
Stretch: Stretch off your hip flexors after your session with a kneeling lunge stretch.
Fuel: Fuelling before, during and after a turbo session is just as important as road riding. Ensure you have snacks or a gel within easy reach.
Drink: Hydrating is even more important as you’ll be sweating much more while training indoors. Add an electrolyte tablet to your bottle to replace the minerals lost through sweating hard.
Sign up to a Struggle sportive today to set your goals and keep you motivated throughout winter and during lockdown. Check out our Struggle sportives >>