Preparation and Training
One of the things we’re regularly asked is how to train for a week in the French Alps. So we asked our own Level 3 Performance Coach, Chris for his tips.
“Whether you’re coming out for a week riding up the Big Cols, training for the Annecy International Triathlon or getting the best out of the Alps with a mix of great wine, local cheese & picturesque cafes on sunny days riding, if you train a little it’ll be a lot easier.
Whatever you’re training for, try to make it specific. Head out on rides with plenty of climbing, learn how to engage your core to maximise pedalling efficiency & reduce injury. This was best explained to me by one of our guest riders recently, who said:
“imagine somebody is about to punch you in the stomach… that’s how you need to hold yourself when you ride”.
So how steep are the Alps? Lots of climbs average 6% gradient, which is pretty similar to Surrey’s Box Hill. However, there are a few surprises and the pretty back roads do have some short but steep sections of anywhere up to 20%. Generally we try to avoid these but its worth being prepared for a mix of gradients and particularly steeper finishes to climbs.
If you’re looking to make improvements on your technique here’s a great tip from Daniel Coyle’s book The Little Book of Talent:
Set a daily SAP: Smallest Achieveable Perfection. “Pick a single chunk that you can perfect-not just improve, not just ‘work on’ but get 100% consistently correct.” For example the direction you look when cornering or the weight on your outside leg. “The point is to take the time to aim at a small, defined target and then put all your effort toward hitting it.” By perfecting the small things bit by bit you’ll build great technique that will last.
Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or would like to know more about tailored training plans for you.