Training for the Other Kind of Tour
How to train for multiday events.
you?ll see you can maintain the same power on both days. If you?re training with heart rate, however, you may notice your heart rate is suppressed on the second day. You?ll have to go by feel a bit, instead of by numbers, and many riders end up averaging five to seven heart beats lower on the second day.
After three weeks of two-day blocks, and a regeneration week, move up to three-day blocks. At this point, you?ll want to keep the recovery period between blocks to two days. One challenge to block training is that it often throws a kink in a cyclist?s normal weekly routine. You may normally take Monday as a rest day, but now a three-day block might include Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, leaving Tuesday as your rest day. If you?re schedule has limited flexibility, try to arrange three-day blocks when you can and continue with two-day blocks when you can?t.
The relay aspect of the Tour of Hope added even more challenges for the athletes and coaches. We had to prepare the cyclists to ride for four to five hours, rest for about 14 hours, then get back on the bike. This is where we had to get creative, and we took some cues from the ultra-endurance and adventure race athletes that may be useful for you as well.
Double Days: You can think of double-days as training in the morning and evening, or in the evening and again in the morning. In both cases, your workouts are separated by about 10-14 hours. Schedule interval workouts for both sessions, placing a harder workout in the first session and an easier one in the second. With the Tour of Hope riders, we added another wrinkle by waking them up a two or three o?clock in the morning for workouts. We did it in part to get the workout in, but also to get them accustomed to riding at all hours of the day and night.
All-Day Nutrition: Multi-day events require a lot of fuel, and you have to get used to eating constantly. Many riders realized their stomachs didn?t agree with a steady stream of energy bars and gels, and that incorporating more whole foods kept them energized and out of the bathroom. Variety is key, but make sure you experiment widely well in advance of your event. You have to know what works for you and what doesn?t, because finding out on day two of four can make for some miserable days in the saddle.
You also need to throw out the notion of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. As your training becomes more specific to your event, so must your eating habits. Start planning meals around your training instead of the time of day. There?s nothing necessarily wrong with pancakes in the evening and pasta in the morning.
24-Hour Hydration: There is no time to replenish lost fluids in a multi-day event, so you have to be extremely diligent with hydration at all times. It takes time to develop the