Conditioning has been strong and I am now feeling the rewards!

May 05, 2022   ·  

Conditioning: Put in a nutshell, 'conditioning' is the way the body adapts to a training overload. For maximum benefit the overload needs to have a specificity related to the training aims, be progressive and include time for recovery and adaptation.


Endurance training for bike racing is a strange old thing! You never go very fast anywhere, you ride for hours on end doing what you feel is totally pointless. When Oli used to send me my monthly training program every month, I use to wonder what was the point of riding 4 hours in my zone 2/zone 3 max (see last month blog to understand). I believed that we were training the speed out of me, not that I had a lot to start with! But, he is the expert, I pay him for his services and you don’t go to the mechanic telling him how to fix your car, so, I wasn’t going to start telling Oli how to train me! 


Well, 18 months down the line and I can see what we was trying to achieve. We literally conditioned my body to take the abuse of me taking my body to an uncomfortable place, and being ok with it. Literally! In the last month I have been out on 3 big rides (one being a race) and a short format xc race and every time, I have got off my bike at the end pretty much asking “right, done that, what’s next?”


Endurance training takes longer than 5 minutes to train it turns out. So if you have some big goals or events planned in the future, start getting ready for it now! I believed I was endurance strong last year, well this year I am a whole new beast, and I can’t wait to see how strong my endurance will be next year. Oli reckons that there is a minimum of 2 years natural progression to happen before we need (if I start to plateau in my improvement) to fine tune the training. I am not saying that my training is boring, far from it. Oli manages to keep it fun and varied! We will focus on how we train to make me faster on a later date! 


So going back to the race and past month achievement. Started by taking my partner and family to wales for her birthday, and the first round of the marathon series sponsored by Hope. It was a well organised event after a 2 year hiatus for well publicised reason (Covid)! And the legs were strong. Biked about 38 miles and climbed just shy of 6000 in 3 hours 28 minutes placing me in 23rd from 97 in the open category and 29 from 117 finishers. Climbing was solid and dh was adequate (just about but I did managed to keep rubber side down). I was delighted with performance and I know that I will get stronger throughout the year, as I am not supposed to peak till May/June time. 


Followed this by getting out with 2 friends with the aim of covering 55 miles and 4500 of climbing in sub 4 hours. Managed that also. That is a massive kudos for me as just over a year ago it took me 4 hours 45 to complete same ride. This is how you judge your improvement and are aware of conditioning by realising that A: I am definitely quicker and B: once the ride is over, I actually feel great in myself (not broken and don’t feel like I never want to see a bike again). 


This coming month I had a short format xc early part of the month and end of the month sandwiching a 12 hour pairs race and a 3 day mini training block. Whilst hopefully qualifying as a gym instructor. 


I am genuinely excited to see what I can achieve this month. 


If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough!

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Katie Range
Katie Range

Marketing Manager


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