The longest section of the race is the chunk where PBs are made or lost. Think quality not quantity in your training, and make sure you know how to change a flat
Train like a pro THE FOUNDATIONS
At least one of your sessions a week should be a long-distance, low-intensity effort done at a comfortable, controlled pace. Work according to perceived endurance, not a heart rate monitor: your breathing rate should be relatively low, and you should feel like you’d be able to hold a conversation throughout the session. Your legs should start to feel less fresh, and then a bit tired –that’s the sweet spot where you know you’re putting in quality kilometres.
To improve your performance on flat courses, work on high gear intervals (or “big gear” as cyclists often call it). Do six sets of eight minutes in a big gear with twominute spinning recoveries. Use a threshold effort, where you build to a burning in the legs then back off a little.
“If you have access to an indoor trainer - otherwise known as a turbo trainer – these are great bits of kit to help improve cycling fitness,” says Rooke. “Try to make your training race specific by holding a pace for a given amount of time, rest, then repeat for a number of sets.” To improve your ability to hit hills and recover, do 12/3s, where you alternate 12 minutes at race-pace intensity with three minutes at a higher pace. Build up to a 45-minute set for an Olympic-distance tri.