Ad-Hoc : Training Reflections


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2004
Since finishing competitive racing 13 years ago, I’ve tried to stay in some sort of relative shape, by doing low level
This training would consist of getting out most weekends for 2 x3 hour spins on average, plus going on the evening club run
on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

From time to time, since giving up racing, I have taken part in touring events and specific events like the Etape.
Several years back, I set an objective of trying to cycling 12,000 miles in one calendar year, through both training and
doing touring events, just to see if I could achieve that target.

Over the years, I have noticed a couple of things which members here might find useful : this is wholly unscientific let me add !

I notice that when a training session surpasses 14,000 pedal strokes (using gear ration 42x17), that I derive more benefit
from that session than if I don’t reach that threshold.
On reaching that threshold, I find that my stamina levels remain relatively as high as they would if I didn’t reach that threshold.

In addition, if I manage to get out and surpass these thresholds consistently over a number of days, the rate of my weight loss
increases significantly.

In terms of commencing to do a block of training (say 1,2 and/or 3 month blocks), I find that in the early stages of the training block that it is better to set a target based upon time spent on the bike, as opposed to distance achieved on the bike.
By that I mean, I find it more beneficial to set a target of say 4 hours on the bike, as opposed to setting a target of trying to ride a specific distance of say 70 miles, for a training session.
Time spent on the bike in the early days of training, helps me to improve stamina but importantly, it helps me to adapt myself
mentally to having to ride a bike for a long time.
The physical side of actually being able to ride the bike for long period is one aspect…………but the ability to be able to maintain concentration for an extended period of time is also important.
I find that it is at the end of a race/event, that mental tiredness has a more detrimental effect on cycling performance rather than the other way around.
Therefore, for me, getting mind and body adapted to longer routes, starts with measuring training by hours spent on the bike

Other observations include : the only way to improve climbing (in my experience) is to climb as many climbs as possible.
This may sound simplistic but it is the only thing that works for me (and I was only ever “able to get over climbs” when I
Another observation is that time invested in training, does benefit performance.

When I achieved 12,000 target, the improvement in my cycling performance and my general health and well being was
very noticeable.
My resistance to getting colds, improved.
My weight dropped significantly.
My concentration levels improved.
And the general feeling of wellbeing (despite feeling tired at some points during the year – while also looking after my business) felt great.