Supported by the Rayner Foundation in 2020 Joe Laverick is riding with French development team Chambery Cyclisme Formation - AG2R in 2020. Here he takes us through his training and why a big ride with your mates in the sunshine is still the best day out on a bike.
Name: Joe Laverick
Team: Chambery Cyclisme Formation – AG2R U23
Based in: Chambery, France
Started riding in: Mid 2014
Aims for 2020: Be consistent in French Elite Races, be competitive in the UCI races I’m doing and to learn French!
How many miles have you ridden in January and February?
What’s the longest ride you’ve done so far in 2020?
190km, we did it in 5.5hrs with 2,700m of climbing. It was the ride to open our first training camp and was a pretty big day out. To save time and costs we drove part way to the hotel we use for the camp, parked up in a random road, kitted up and rode the next 190km to the hotel.
What’s the longest ride you’ve ever done?
220km, just over 7hrs. It was my last ride before my off-season last year. A group of us from the Nuns Corner Chaingang fancied a big day out. We went to Newark and back from Grimsby, stopping at the Coffee Chain in Newark which is a real good cycling cafe.
On average how many miles do you do in a typical week and in a typical month?
250-350 a week depending on my schedule, around 1,100 miles a month.
How much focus do you put on long rides compared to structured training?
It’s important to have both. I probably focus more on longer rides in the winter months, which seems a little counterproductive because that’s when we have bad weather in the UK but that’s just how it is. When January comes around there’s a much higher focus on structured training but there’s still lots of longer, 5hr+ rides in the calendar all the way up to race season.
Do you work with a coach?
We have an in-house coach at CCF but before I joined I worked with Cyclism (Alex Dowsett’s coaching company) for three years. I honestly believe hiring a coach is the best investment you can make in the cycling world. Investing in yourself is worth more than some shiny new wheels.
Do you do more or less miles in a training phase, compared to when you’re in the middle of the race season?
I’ll do more miles between November and January than anywhere else in the year. This is simply because during race season we rarely do massive weeks on the miles front because emphasis is placed on holding form and resting between races. However, if I have a 5-day stage race in May then obviously it’ll be a big week!
Picture courtesy of Chambery Cyclisme Formation – AG2R
Do you use a turbo at all, if so, how much and what kind of training do you do on it?
I use a turbo when the weathers rubbish. I’m a big fan of Zwift and use it a lot when I’m back in the UK but unfortunately I don’t have the set-up here in France. The sessions I’ll do on the turbo are a lot more specific, usually under 90-mins. However, I’ve being known to bash out some 3hr+ days on the trainer.
How do you record your miles?
I use my Garmin 1030, I get a lot of stick from fellow riders because it’s a huge screen but I love it. I use Strava (everyone loves a KOM) and then Trainingpeaks is reserved for my day to day training and data analysis.
Do you enjoy long rides, or are they a chore?
It depends. If it’s a solo 5hrs in the mountains where I live with a tonne of intervals then I can’t say I love them. However, if it’s a sunny Lincolnshire day and I’m going out with a group of mates I love them. Nothing beats a long day in the sun, a good cafe stop and the obligatory smash-up for the town sign.
How do you get through any long or tough sessions?
We do all our longer rides as a team out here in France which is good. However, when I’m solo I’ll use headphones (bone conduction guys, don’t worry I can still hear traffic, they’re genius). I’m a sucker for a geeky podcast on an endurance ride but if I have intervals it’s got to be music.
What’s your favourite long ride?
I love riding in Tenerife. If you go Granadilla-Vilaflor-Teide Crater-then descend back down to the sea it is incredible. But since moving away I’ve realised how lucky we are in Lincolnshire. I honestly think we’ve got some of the best roads in the country, it’s just a maze of farm/country roads. It’s constantly rolling and trust me, it’s not all flat. Lincolnshire’s a hidden gem for cycling and give me 5hrs on home roads any day of the week.
Do you search out new routes or stick to ones you know?
This winter at home we went further a field (literally sometimes). It was nice to explore some roads which we don’t usually use, and you can get away with getting a bit lost on long endurance rides. Since moving to France pretty much every route is a new route and I’m loving exploring the area. Unfortunately when I’ve got intervals I normally stick to a known route. There’s nothing worse than having a long descent halfway through an interval so it’s important to match the road to what effort you have and you can only do that if you know the route.