Wiggle CX Century – Preparing the Body
Being able to complete the event has got to be the first thing that you should consider and work towards. Whatever your target event is, can you actually do it? If not, how are you going to prepare yourself to be able to do it?
If it is an endurance event then you need to build up slowly and gradually, to give your body to time to adapt to the stresses and workloads involved.
This is an area where working with a coach can be of great benefit as they can help balance your training, making sure you get the most out of it, like when to overload, when to hit some intervals, what intensities to ride at and most importantly, when to rest!
Although it is ideal to ride and get used to riding the target distance, being able to ride 80-90 % of it will often be enough for you to get round on the day. Riding with others, the adrenaline and the thought of this being your target will all be enough to spur you on that little bit more.
Adding in shorter, harder sessions where you ride a lot more at tempo or aiming to hit the sweetspot (where you are riding under threshold but out of your comfort zone) are very beneficial and will help boost your power, aerobic threshold and leg strength. These should be done in small bursts to begin with and can then be lengthened and progressed as you improve/become fitter.
OK, so the CX Century isn’t a race, but that doesn’t mean to say that it is going to be a walk in the park either. It covers an enormous amount of climbing, so you are going to have to get used to fighting gravity to able to get around.
A good way of doing this, is to find similar climbs and gradients that you will face on the day. This specific training will really help your body adjust and adapt to the efforts that will be involved. The key point now, is to do them at a high intensity – again planning is key here and this kind of session needs to be worked into your schedule carefully.
A good routine is to have a long warm up, then to hit the climb at a pace that you think you can sustain all the way to the top. Recover, roll back to the start or on to the next climb and go again. Be careful not to go off too fast, if anything start slightly conservatively and wind it up as you get nearer the top.
These small bursts of anaerobic work will help muscle strength, train your body to cope with lactate build up and also strengthen the respiratory system. As you progress, look to add in extra reps, steeper climbs or shorten the recovery between efforts.
Again, although this kind of event isn’t a race, we are looking to make it as do-able as possible, so if you are used to riding hard, on your limit, the times when you do need to push yourself during the event your body should be able to handle the stress, with a faster recovery. All of which will mean you can ride faster, harder and more efficiently.
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