Train Right: Advice, Tips and Plans by Carmichael Training Systems
Congratulations on signing up for Ride The Rockies! It’s going to be a great week of riding in the spectacular Rocky Mountains and we want to help you prepare. Riders of all levels come together to experience RTR, and the training plan here is meant to be a basic and effective program that can be used by a relative beginner up to an intermediate cyclist.
Consistency is the most important component of preparing to ride over 450 miles during RTR. The program starts out with three rides per week and progresses to 5 rides per week. You may need to shift days around or even skip some of the specific efforts prescribed. That’s fine, but all the while aim to achieve the frequency (3-5 rides per week) and the total weekly hours. That consistency and frequency are more important than any of the specific workouts in the program.
If you are able to follow the program more closely and complete the workouts as prescribed, you’ll notice that this is a progressive program. It begins with steady-pace rides, followed by a block of Tempo work (moderate aerobic intervals), then SteadyState intervals (max sustainable efforts near lactate threshold), and then a focus on climbing with ClimbingRepeats (similar to SteadyState intensity, but on hills). All of the workout descriptions and training intensities can be downloaded here – Train Right Workout Guide. If you have to skip a workout here or there, don’t worry about it and don’t reschedule it. Just move forward and get back on track. And if you have to shorten workouts or individual intervals, that’s a better option than skipping them altogether.
Above all, remember to listen to your body. This training schedule will be conservative for some and may be aggressive for others. A good way to make this program easier while still retaining its effectiveness would be to skip the interval efforts prescribed on Thursdays. Just turn these into steady-paced rides and only complete one interval workout for the week on Tuesdays. You can also shift the whole training schedule by a day to match your personal schedule, but try to retain the rest days following interval workouts.
A few other tips for your RTR training:
- Time in the saddle and back-to-back days on the bike are important for conditioning your body (rear end, shoulders, hands, etc.) to what you’ll experience at RTR.
- Early on in your training have your cycling position checked by a professional bike fitter. A proper fit will enhance comfort and performance, and reduce soreness and the potential for overuse injuries as you increase your weekly mileage.
- Experiment and figure out what works best for your nutritional/hydration strategy during training. Try different foods and drinks on training rides so you know what works and what causes stomach issues before RTR.
- Sleep. You’re likely to be riding more in the next few months than you’ve been riding in the past few months. Recovery and adaptation happens when you’re sleeping, so go to bed earlier and focus on getting more restful sleep.
- Don’t obsess over weight loss. You’ll probably lose some weight naturally through an increase in mileage. But restricting your caloric intake while increasing your exercise workload can harm your recovery and hinder your training progress more than losing a few pounds will help you go uphill. Focus on fitness first and let your weight follow.
- Don’t train through a cold. If you get a cold, focus on getting well rather than trying to train through it. You might lose a week of riding, but that’s better than losing 2-3 weeks due to a cold that won’t go away.
- When in doubt, rest. If you’re too tired to have a quality ride or workout, you’re better off resting. Fewer great rides will do you more good than a lot of mediocre ones.
Looking for more comprehensive support during your RTR preparation? We have you covered. Call us at 866-355-0645 or email AthleteServices@trainright.com to find out more about personal coaching options specifically for RTR. Work with a professional coach, get a hand-built training plan, analysis of your training data, frequent communication and schedule adjustments, and all the guidance you need to be completely ready and confident going into Ride the Rockies!
Ride The Rockies On Your Bike Trainer (Or At The Gym) With FitTrip
FitTrip, in partnership with Ride The Rockies, now offers the full RTR tour as an interactive training video for your iPhone or iPad. “Most of us train indoors as part of our routine. It is an effective way to maximize our time, but it is BORING! FitTrip was designed to turn the bike trainer or Spinning Bike into an interactive experience of bucket-list worthy rides, runs, or hikes.” says FitTrip founder Shane Schieffer.
The app plays videos of the entire 2012 Ride the Rockies Bicycle Tour – one leg at a time. But it gets better: where FitTrip really shines is when the app is used with a heart rate monitor. In this mode the route comes alive as it interacts with your fitness, your effort, and the steepness of the road. “You earn your way up Independence Pass, or Trail Ridge Road and you feel the grade; you really have to work hard to make your way up those climbs.”
FitTrip membership is offered for a small monthly fee, or RTR lovers can buy the 2012 series to keep. Find out more at FitTripApp.com.