Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:49
Training for your Marmot Tours Road Cycling Holidays
If you have signed up for one of our road cycling holidays or challenges, then to maximise your enjoyment of the trip, and to minimize any risk of injury during the trip, it is essential that you prepare and do some training. This is particularly the case for our road cycling challenges, such as the Raids, or the Tour de France challenge, which tend to involve a lot of col climbing, as well as significant distances and consecutive days on the bike.
Many of you have contacted us to ask for advice on training, and we are well aware that the subject of training, how much to do, what type, and for how long, is one that is of interest.
You all have busy lives with numerous commitments and responsibilities, and your spare time is valuable. Therefore, what you want to do with your training, is to make sure that it is effective and that every minute counts towards preparing you for your trip!
This summer we have teamed up with Quentin Field-Boden of 'VeloTraining', based in Northumberland. Quentin is a level 3 cycling coach (Association of British Cycling Coaches) who uses a tried and tested system called Training Peaks, to deliver his training plans. He has a particular interest in power based training and endurance physiology and offers a high level of service, with the same level of attention to detail that we pride ourselves on at Marmot Tours. We believe that he can offer you the right level of expertise, motivation and support leading up to your trip.
Here we have summarised what he can offer you, though obviously for more detail, you will need to contact him directly, and have a look at the training plans available.
Quentin's own sporting history is inspiring: his participation in endurance sporting events includes running mountain marathons and riding long distance cycle events which have helped him to develop an understanding of endurance physiology and psychology over a long period of time. What has excited us at Marmot Tours is that his interest particularly lies in coaching cyclists for sportive and multi-day events! He has himself completed the Etape du Tour, the Raid Pyrenean, The Tour of Ireland, countless UK sportives and La Marmotte in a gold standard time. In 2010 he rode the entire TDF route 3 days before the peloton, having trained using his own methods. He is also joining one of our Marmot Tours Raid Alpine trips this summer. We therefore feel he has not only the professional knowledge, but also the personal experience that could benefit you. Don't be put off by his grand achievements however‚ Quentin is nothing if not approachable, friendly and above all human - see his profile for more info...
What type of training can Quentin offer?
Quentin works with both individuals and groups, though, in order to ensure the high level of service you would expect, he can only work with a limited number of clients on a 1-2-1 basis at any one time. He has an interest in realizing an individual cyclist's performance potential but is also interested in group dynamics and group coaching. For groups, Quentin can work with the whole group - each of you following the same 'off the peg' training plan designed specifically for the holiday / challenge that you are undertaking.
Is it suitable for me?
There are 3 levels of training plan available. Level 1 is the entry level, and is for those with a reasonable level of fitness (not starting from being completely inactive), who have NOT been consistently training for many years, but who would like to start a structured plan to help them complete and enjoy their holiday.
Level 2 and 3 plans are also available if you have been training regularly for more than a year and would like a more demanding plan - contact Quentin at VeloTraining directly to discuss this with him.
You don't need any special kit to start your plan - just the plan itself (bought through Quentin), a power meter or heart rate monitor, some motivation and access to a turbo trainer or gym for indoor workouts, as well as your bike! Quentin recommends having a recovery drink with protein immediately after a training session.
If you have any concerns about whether you are medically fit to start the plan, then be sure to discuss this with Quentin and / or your GP. It is your personal responsibility to ensure that you are medically fit to commence a demanding exercise programme and, as you will appreciate, Marmot Tours will accept no liability for any accident, injury, or illness associated with a training programme provided by Quentin or by any other cycling coach. All cycling coaches should have independent civil liability insurance covering their coaching activities. You should always be well hydrated and have been eating well in the run up to all your training sessions. Quentin can also give advice on nutritional issues, should you need it.
What kind of time commitment am I talking about?
Quentin's plans are about effectively using every minute of your training sessions and so minimising the number of hours training that are required. There are not huge numbers of long rides which will take you away from your other commitments. There are some rest days but no rest weeks. As well as doing your plan, it is optionally suggested that you swim and walk once a week as well, as an alternative form of exercise (which doesn't have to be a training session as such!)
In order to effectively train for your Marmot Tours holidays or challenges, you really need at least an 18 week program.
How does it work?
This is the technical bit where if, like us, you don't know the vocabulary involved in training, it takes a bit of getting used to. If you already train then this will all make sense straight off!
The training plan's aim is to build up your aerobic capacity and to raise your functional threshold power (FTP). The plans use a model which involves training at a higher intensity but for generally lower volumes. By prescribing workouts using percentages of FTP or percentages of Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR), the plans can be used by riders of differing abilities. Each plan includes instructions to allow you to determine your FTP or FTHR. Your training program is developed for a 16 week period and individual daily workouts will be delivered to you by email. The plans are dynamic and Quentin is able to make changes to a plan so that, should you be training as a group, the change is applied to each individual's plan
How much does it cost and what do I get for my money?
For the 'off the peg' training plans that Quentin can design for the Marmot Tours holidays/challenges, the charge is £35, when the plan is bought directly through him. If a group of riders/friends are going on the same holiday and wish to follow the same plan, then a reduced group rate can be arranged with Quentin. These arrangements would need to be discussed and agreed on a case by case basis as the charges involved depend on the number of riders following a particular plan, but the savings would be significant.
Having signed up for a free TrainingPeaks account, your account will be connected to Quentin's coaching account and your chosen plan is applied to your account. You can then see the full 18 week plan on your calendar, and also upload and log your workouts as you work towards your holiday start date. The last day of your plan will coincide with the first riding day of your holiday and your training will build to a peak prior to this date, and taper down so that you start the holiday 'rested' and ready to go!
Quentin is happy to help you to get set up and started with your plan and to deal with occasional queries as the plan progresses. For those interested in 1-2-1 training, then the additional benefits include plan modifications, ongoing training session review, and week by week fine tuning of the plan to suit personal needs and progress etc. Unfortunately, this level of service is not available to riders purchasing pre-configured plans.