Training towards the big day – Insight from our expert partners at Pillar.

9 May 2022

Here we share a timely insight from PILLAR, our online training partners, whose experts offer guidance on the riding you’d ideally want to be doing right now, gearing up for mid-summer.

As we are now only 6 weeks away from this year’s Chase The Sun, it’s a great time to be maximizing your build phase, and starting to think about your transition to event specific training. The build phase of your training should be focused on improving the specific physiological demands of the Chase The Sun event. By ensuring a high quality build phase, you’ll enable specific physiological adaptations to occur which will provide the foundation for success on event day. However, with just over 4 weeks until event day, now is the perfect time to start to transition to the event specific phase of training.

What type of fitness should you be building now?

An optimal build phase should target the key demands of your event and goals; 

For all Chase The Sun events, with event distances ranging between 170-209 miles and the challenge of crossing the finishing line before sunset, developing the ability to sustain high percentages of your aerobic threshold for increasingly long durations is essential to meet the specific event demands.

To optimise your training block we, recommend developing the ability to sustain power during the build phase:

  • To achieve this training adaptation, we recommend that you carry on with endurance work in Zone 2 and Zone 3, whilst adding key sessions focussed on increasing your threshold with work done in Zone 4 and Zone 5.
  • We would also recommend adding sessions that target increasing your maximal aerobic power in the form of VO2max intervals.

What type of fitness should you be building next?

An optimal event specific phase should target a training stimulus that replicates the event demands.

For all Chase The Sun events we recommend adding a few longer rides to your training plan in this phase of your training. You should also include longer intervals during these long rides at your targeted pacing for mid-summer day.

This phase is also a great time to start developing the ability to meet the other requirements and demands of your event such as pacing, nutrition, and psychology. Practising and developing your nutritional, pacing and psychological strategies during training will help you develop these essential skills which are essential for achieving peak performance on the event day.

Key pitfalls to avoid in your training right now;

As we transition to the event specific phase, a lot of cyclists get overly excited about their event day closely approaching. It’s important not to get carried away, as this increases the risk of overtraining and injury as you enter the last phase of training.

We recommend that:

  • You complete 2-3 high-intensity sessions per week followed by a recovery day or an easy endurance ride.
  • Also as a result of increasing the intensity during this phase of training, it’s important to reduce the training duration.
  • The quality of the key sessions is the main driver for the training stimulus during this phase of training, therefore, reducing the volume to allow training quality within key sessions is essential. Completing a build specific block is essential for developing event demands capabilities.

Most importantly!

If you feel like you are a bit behind on your training or only just started, DON’T PANIC.

You still have some time to tailor your efforts towards maximising your success on mid-summer. If this is the case we would recommend including a small base block before starting to add intensity and focus to your training with the tips above.

     Our official training partner PILLAR, is helping riders to Chase the Sun in 2022 – offering discounted App use and personalised guidance and advice.
PILLAR brings world class expertise from many top coaches and translates it into coaching that is accessible for cyclists at all levels, from beginner to advanced. Whatever your level, be at your best, on your terms, with Pillar: personalised and flexible, with powerful analysis on how you are performing.

Chase the Sun riders can get access to PILLAR’s free personalised coaching by downloading the app on the App Store and Google Play.

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