The bike

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

Men's Fitness - - Features -

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.

SPEED UP

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.

AD­VANCED TAC­TICS

“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.

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