At 40 years of age Canada’s Svein Tuft isn’t only the old­est rider in the pro pelo­ton to­day, he’s also an in­spi­ra­tion to cy­clists at all lev­els

Cycling Plus (Malaysia) - - TRAINING CAMP -

Orica-scott pro rider Svein Tuft not only em­bod­ies al­most age­less en­ergy, ex­pe­ri­ence and en­durance, he’s also a shin­ing ex­am­ple of how tak­ing the right ap­proach to train­ing and phys­i­ol­ogy can defy the age­ing process.

En­sur­ing he has the ‘en­gine’ re­quired to hold his own on the pro­fes­sional cir­cuit isn’t solely down to re­ly­ing on good genes though they play a big part in the health of Svein’s veins. He’s also renowned as be­ing one of the hard­est work­ing rid­ers. In the past he’s rid­den from his home in Bri­tish Colom­bia to a train­ing camp in Cal­i­for­nia just to get some miles into his legs. The re­wards of his work ethic were ex­em­pli­fied when he claimed his 10th Cana­dian Na­tional Time Trial Cham­pi­onship in 2017. Svein also in­sists that yoga has played a mas­sive part in his longevity at the top of his game, but as coach Rob Wake­field ex­plains, there are other tricks that even older dogs can mas­ter to raise those all-im­por­tant stamina lev­els…


No mat­ter what the lat­est train­ing fad is, the key to build­ing en­durance is ex­tend­ing the du­ra­tion of your rides. Start by rid­ing for around two to three hours at a fairly low in­ten­sity and look to build this up to five to six hours over the first few months of your train­ing.


Once your en­durance fit­ness is in place you need to main­tain it with reg­u­lar long rides at least ev­ery two weeks. If your long race or event is more than six hours, you need to get some longer rides in no closer than four weeks be­fore your main event.


If you’re rid­ing a stage race or just look­ing to make big im­prove­ments to your en­durance

then rid­ing on con­sec­u­tive days is mas­sively ben­e­fi­cial. Much im­por­tance is given to rest and re­cov­ery, but in or­der to be­come fit­ter we need to build a lot of fa­tigue in the body. Get­ting the legs used to rid­ing when tired is an im­por­tant part of the process, es­pe­cially if the de­mands of your event ne­ces­si­tate back-to-back ef­forts. The body will adapt and be­come used to rid­ing day af­ter day, mak­ing you stronger and more re­silient.


The one el­e­ment of train­ing that most am­a­teurs


get wrong is not build­ing enough in­ten­sity into their train­ing. Low to medium in­ten­sity train­ing is great for build­ing en­durance, for in­creas­ing the size of the en­gine, but re­ally hard ef­forts will build some turbo charge and lift the ceil­ing of your per­for­mance. Try some max­i­mum short ef­forts with long, full re­cov­er­ies to re­ally lift your power to new lev­els.


Stamina is the abil­ity to keep a high level of ef­fort up for a long time. Many am­a­teur rid­ers fo­cus on in­creas­ing Func­tional Thresh­old Power [high­est av­er­age power that can be sus­tained for an hour] by do­ing 20-minute ef­forts harder without go­ing longer. Do your FTP test us­ing the 20-minute pro­to­col but in train­ing hold that for 30 min­utes, then 40, build­ing to 60-70 min­utes. That pro­vides a fan­tas­tic plat­form and builds depth to your en­durance and stamina mak­ing you bet­ter at a range of dis­ci­plines.

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