Should I be preparing now for a multi-day stage race in 8 months time?

Should I be preparing now for a multi-day stage race in 8 months time?

Today on RIDE with CoachParry, we answer a great question from one of members in the CoachParry Online Training Club who has a stage race in 8 months time (Cape Pioneer). She wanted to know what she should be doing now in order to be fully fit and ready for the start line in 8 months time. Devlin gives some info on what would be ideal for training now and how to stay motivated for the next 8 months, so that you're ready to smash your next PB in 8 months time!

If you're looking for some cycling coaching for your next race, be sure to check out the CoachParry Online Training Club, where you get access to all our cycling programs as well as all our coaches on a members only forum.

 

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Multi-day Stage Race Prep

Brad Brown: Welcome back onto the next edition of Ride with Coach Parry, I’m Brad Brown, we’ve got our cycling coach, Devlin Eyden with us once again and a great question that was asked in the forum on the Coach Parry online training platform about a stage race that’s happening eight months from now and somebody asking how do they go about approaching it. Dev, great to have you back on, thanks for joining us.

Devlin Eyden: Hi Brad, how’s it going?

BB: Awesome and this is a great question because eight months away is a long time and particularly if it’s a big stage race and there’s lots of prep to do, always better to have too much time than too little but difficult to approach in a sense like this for a couple of reasons.

First of all, how do you structure your training programme to get there but also how do you ensure that you don’t get burnt out in the process. Let’s start with the structuring of the training in the build-up, eight months away, it’s a long time but you’ve got to start laying that foundation now?

DE: Very true. I actually had a similar question for a client that’s also training, doing Cape Pioneer I think it is, in October and she was really worried about what should she be doing now already. The answer is quite simple.

Everything that you do now has an effect and is building up towards the big goal that far down the line, however, as we start talking structure of training, we also need to keep in mind that that is a long time to be focusing on one particular thing and trying to build it.

My suggestion would be to maybe look for one or two goal races a little bit earlier and start to set bench marks earlier that we can focus on now. A typical structured training programme will also have various build phases in that between now and eight months down the line. You’ll also probably have some time off the bike.

You’ll also go back into one or two base phases again, depending on what level you’re at and how long each of those base phases will actually be.

 

Being Cautious

 

We need to be a little bit cautious about trying to focus everything right now already on training for that event because it is a long time and your head can get a little bit caught up in things. Big events tend to consume our lives as well a little bit.

I think just take a deep breath, step back a little bit, trust the process that is in place. If you are following a programme, understand that everything that you are doing now is leading towards that event. It has that in mind, but in the meantime, we’re also trying to build on a couple of things to make sure that we’re not burning you out before that event.

Building slowly is always going to be better than trying to cram later in time. Like you say, we do have a lot of time, we can get a lot in, but we can also get a couple of build phases in where each phase we’re improving on the last phase and getting a proper foundation laid.

BB: Dev, I love how you broke that up. I think it’s so important and here at Coach Parry we work with a lot of cyclists who are training for multi day stage races, but we also work with lots of triathletes who are perhaps training for an Ironman or an ultra runner who is training for a Two Oceans or Comrades, as an example.

You talk about the fatigue of just focusing on that one thing for a long period of time and we see it in all of those disciplines.

If that’s all you’re thinking about for eight or ten or 12 months, by the time you get a month away, two months away from race day, you are absolutely sick and tired of what you’re doing.

Sometimes, as you say, it’s better to focus on the smaller chunks and I always say to people, if you focus and get the little pieces done, the big ones will take care of themselves.

As much as you’re training for that big race, there are steps that are going to take you to reach that goal and all you need to do is focus on those little steps and you’ll arrive much fresher mentally because at the end of the day, those big stage races, as much as they’re physical challenges, they’re just as much a mental challenge. If your head is not in it, you’re in for a long one.

 

Smaller Goals Along the Way

 

DE: That’s so true and like you say, achieve the smaller goals and the bigger ones will come. When we start talking the mental game of things, it just keeps building confidence as well. When you are focusing on just one thing and you start to get tired, you do get to a point, or there’s a high risk of you getting to a point of over-training as well. Now everyone starts to cramp because it might be the first time you’ve done a big stage race, whatever it might be.

We tend to over train a little bit and we tend to do things too hectically and then like you say, you come a month out of it and all you want is actually just to get on that race, the start line and just get the thing done. You then start to take the enjoyment of the preparation and the training as well as the event itself out of it.

You do need to break it up. You need to build confidence by making sure that you’re hitting smaller milestones along the way and by the time you get there, you are fresh, you’re ready to rock ‘n roll and hopefully have a good race.

BB: Absolutely, Dev, as always, great to catch up. Don’t forget, if you’d like to find out more about what we do here at coachparry.com, all you need to do is head over to this URL, it is coachparry.com/cycling and we’ve got an unbelievable training platform. There are heaps of training programmes that you can get access to right away.

You get access to Devlin and the rest of our coaches and there’s a whole lot more in there as well, all accessible through our web browser or through our very, very easy to use IOS and Android apps.

You can go and check out all those details right now, just head over to coachparry.com/cycling. Dev, until next time, it’s cheers.

DE: Good to see you Brad.

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