Team IG-Sigma Sport rider Joe Perrett may be one of the younger members of the team, but this doesn’t mean his results are any less impressive.
After winning the final Premier Calendar event, the Ryedale GP, Perrett rode the Tour de l’Avenir, with the Great Britain under-23 squad and was then selected to race the Worlds in the under-23 road race championships.
We caught up with Perrett in his recovery week, after l’Avenir, just before he headed off to race a pro kermesse in Belgium the following Monday.
Had a day completely off as I had to drive to collect my bikes from the van after Tour de l’Avenir. So I couldn’t ride as I didn’t have my bikes till later anyway.
As I was still tired from l’Avenir I only did half an hour very slowly, just to a cafe and back.
Was still feeling quite tired, so I took another day off!
It’s easy for full-time bike riders to overdo it, so having a good rest after a hard stage race is vital to ensure their bodies are fully recovered. The Tour de l’Avenir is a tough under-23 stage race, with past winners having gone on to win the Tour de France.
Perrett took two full days off the bike with an easy cafe ride sandwiched in between. The easy ride will help to spin any remaining soreness out of his legs, while the days off would allow his body and mind to recover from a hard week’s racing.
This was my first day training properly again. I did a two-hour ride with some efforts halfway through along a stretch of road I know. I do four 200 metres sprint efforts, with just 200 metres recovery in between each. By the time you’ve done the last sprint effort you don’t even know what’s going on!
Perrett’s first proper day back on his bike isn’t a super-long ride. He cycles just two hours to ease him back into training, mixing a few sprint efforts in to really open the legs up again. Perrett uses a specific stretch of road, as opposed to timing, for his efforts.
This means he can fully concentrate on getting the maximum out of each effort and not worry about checking a computer or watch. Sprints of 200 metres, with a similar distance recovery, help develop riders’ ‘jump’, but also due to the short recovery, aid endurance and recovery.
Joe Perret [left] taking the congratulations at the National 25
After that I didn’t feel too bad, so I went out and just did a four-hour steady ride, in zone two with my heart rate. It was an undulating route, but by the end I had 1,600m of climbing, so it was quite wearing.
I had an easy day again. Just rode about one and half hours, averaging around 15mph, with a long stop at the cafe.
A steady, but long ride helps maintain Perrett’s endurance. Doing tiring rides like this is especially important with hard races such as the World Championships on the horizon. Perrett does a lot of his training on feel and he waits to see if he’s recovered sufficiently after his first proper day back on the bike.
If he was still fatigued from Lavonia, two solid days of training could do his form more harm than good, so it’s fortunate that Perrett’s training regime is flexible. He follows this with an easy day again, just spinning his legs over to reduce fatigue that would have built up over the last few days.
I did three hours in one go with some hill sprints during it. There’s some short, but steep hills for one or two kilometres, that I use that are quite good for waking you up. I did about three of those altogether; each one lasted a couple minutes and I had a good 10 minutes of recovery in between each one.
It isn’t scientific and isn’t timed exactly; it’s a little local loop near me. I do lots of training on feel and use roads I know.
Two days before Perrett’s kermesse he had a tougher session to really get some harder and longer efforts into his legs. These extended efforts are more like what would occur in a race to get into a break and really help open the legs up ready for racing.
Efforts that last a few minutes use the anaerobic system and help to simulate the intensity of instigating or jumping across to a break, before settling down to maintain the gap just created.This is important for Perrett as he’s not a sprinter and is most likely to win road races from a break.
Because of the intensity and length of these efforts, Perrett ensures he gets a good 10 minutes recovery between each one and only does three in total, as these intensity efforts are very energy sapping. Again, Perrett uses roads he knows as opposed to timing each effort precisely and does the efforts on feel, showing he’s confident in being able to push himself.
I was travelling over to Belgium in the morning as I had a pro kermesse on the Monday. I did a one-hour spin to get the travel out of my legs, with a minute riding at roughly around time trial pace and a 200-metre sprint to really wake my legs up.
This article was first published in the November 21 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!