“This 10-week training plan is going to gradually build up your time in the saddle from 60 minutes a day to three hours,” explains leading strength and conditioning coach Jonny Jacobs. “The one long ride per week will ensure you get the necessary time on your bike, the shorter rides will improve your recovery, and the indoor spinning classes will offer some social interaction – and may even help to spark your competitive side.
“There’s also one bodyweight circuit-training session each week to help build up your muscular and cardiovascular endurance – plus it gives your bum a rest from the saddle!”
Glossary of terms
This means cycling at a pace where you are just about able to hold a conversation without gasping.
A number of different exercises, performed one after another, with little rest in-between.
Stand tall with feet apart, chest out and stomach in. Push your hips back as if sitting down, bending your knees as you lower yourself, keeping your chest lifted and your stomach in. Keep your weight on your heels to stop yourself losing balance and falling forward. For tips on how to get your squats just right, see our guide here.
Same starting position as a press-up. One leg at a time, bring your leg up under your chest, push back and repeat with the other leg. Try to keep your bum from rising too high.
Explosive running, as fast as you can. It can help if you imagine you’re being chased!
Start in the same position as a press-up. Keeping your feet together and hands on the floor, jump your feet forward so that your knees are against your chest. Then jump to your feet and up into the air, hands above your head. For an easier burpee, don’t jump when upright; to make it harder, add a press-up first. For advice on how to do a burpee properly, see Unbound’s dedicated page for beginners here.
Start in the same position as a press-up, arms extended. Keeping your feet together and hands on the floor, jump your feet forward so that your knees are against your chest. Then return to your starting position.
Repeatedly performing an activity at a high intensity, followed by the same activity at a lower intensity – sprinting then slow jogging, for example. For a beginner’s guide to cycling and spinning interval training, check out our Hints and Tips page here.
“Cycling is repetitive so it’s important to compartmentalise the event and not see it as a whole,” says top sports psychologist and space physiologist, Julia Attias. “Use self-talk tactics such as, ‘All I’m doing is just cycling three more miles.’ Chances are, you’ll then think, ‘Hey, that wasn’t that bad, I can do another three…’”
Stay focused on your goal
“The only goal that should matter to you, both before and during the event, is your own,” says Attias. “For example: you should view a competitor passing you as a possible extra motivation to speed up – don’t think of it as falling behind.”
Remember your motive
“Because this is a fairly long event, it’s imperative you keep reminding yourself why you entered in the first place,” says Attias. “This motivation is what will sustain your concentration through the weeks of training and into the big day itself.”