Q&A: build your training slowly

Hi, I have been cycling for a few years now and have done about five 100km sportives. Next year, I plan to ride my first 100-mile ride. This ride is happening in May.

Usually I ride between eight and nine hours a week. How many hours or miles of training would you advise me to do over the winter? Also, are there any other sports or workouts that are good for cycling, as I am interested in trying something alongside cycling?

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

One-hundred miles isn’t as daunting as it may sound, although it will obviously depend on the type of terrain. Your current training volume is great, so there’s no real need to increase your hours.

As spring approaches, I would suggest increasing the intensity of the rides while lowering the volume. Also, if the ride is going to be hilly, include some hilly rides in your training, to work at the effort required.

Many amateur riders who cycle solely for training often develop muscle imbalances, which can cause pain and lack of flexibility in muscles and joints. These riders don’t have the luxury of regular sports massage and physiotherapy, unlike professionals.

During the off-season, address muscle weaknesses and flexibility issues with gym training and stretching exercises. You may already have cycling-related aches and pains, which in many cases can be helped significantly by a specific off-bike exercise. You can either get a sports professional to help you with this, or check out some of the online training articles at www.cyclingweekly.com.

Rob Mortlock is a BC coach

This article was first published in the November 28 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!