We recently co-hosted a free webinar on training for the Etape, La Marmotte or Maratona dles Dolomites with Dig Deep Coaching.
If you didn’t attend our training for Alpine sportives webinar here are five top tips if you are in training for a sportive in the Alps like the Etape, La Marmotte, Granfondo Gottardo or Maratona dles Dolomites:
Training for Alpine Sportives
1. Being prepared costs nothing
- Know the course
- Tailor your climbing training to the course and the climb profiles
- Choose a cycling training camp with similar terrain
- Buy or rent a bike box and now how to pack a bike box
- Learn how to mend punctures (practice it!!!)
- Focus on descending skills too
- Train with the same nutrition brand as used at food stops
- Plan your pre ride meals (lunch dinner breakfast)
- Plan your timing for last 24 hours
- Have a taper plan set in your training plan and stick to it
2. Consistency above everything
Fitness comes from your body adapting to training stress and rebuilding itself stronger during recovery. The number one priority is consistency in training so little and often is better than weekend “junk training” that leaves you over tired during the week.
3. Win the mental game
Compare your form now against your form last year and act on the basis of knowledge rather than worrying where your fitness is at. If you have a regular climb that you use as a test and you use TrainingPeaks and a bike computer you can look back and select the same climbing segment and compare your VAM climbing values. Then if you are ahead or behind schedule you have a number to work from and a goal to beat.
4. Tempo Tempo Tempo
Let’s be realistic, we haven’t got time to be doing hours and hours of endurance riding in heart rate zone two. So if you are short of training time (who isn’t) then focus on Tempo rides (below or slightly above your FTP or Lactate Threshold).
Your lactate threshold or FTP is your biggest limiter for climbing in the Alps. Intrigued? Find out why FTP is important and how to improve FTP.
5. Low cadence training
More new school coaching advice from Dig Deep Coaching! Whilst we all know that 90rpm cadence is the best for sustained climbing efforts (Hang on I did not know that – help!) one way to simulate the force required for steep gradients (like you will encounter at the Maratona dles Dolomites) is by dropping your cadence to 60 or 70 rpm whilst climbing and using a bigger gear than normal. Try alternating 60 seconds at 60rpm, 70 second at 70rpm and recovery at 90rpm.
Don’t Buy Upgrades Ride Up Grades
Finally the secret to climbing better when you get to race day at the Etape, La Marmotte or Maratona dles Dolomites isn’t in buying a lighter bike or better compenents. It’s much more simple than that…
‘Ride hills, lots.’
Training Camps in the Swiss Alps and Italian Dolomites
If you are training for the Etape, La Marmotte or Maratona dles Dolomites then join like minded riders on a training camp in the Swiss Alps or Italian Dolomites to prepare for your best summer of cycling ever.
Sportive Training Plan
Are you in training for a sportive? Use our free 12 week Sportive Training Plan to get you in the best possible shape for your sportive challenge. Simply fill the form below and we’ll send you your free training plan: