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Etape du Tour Expert Tips: #2 – Last Minute Coaching Plan

Oh no! Panic! It’s 4 weeks until the event and you realise you may not have done the training you wanted!!

Do not panic. Here is a 4 week plan that will give you specific strength work building into the Etape day itself. This plan is no guarantee of success or no pain, but it will prepare your body for what is to come, and then add to that a little determination and you should see that finish line.

This plan is looking to build some leg strength (required for the hills) alongside some endurance (needed for the whole day) Using over gearing we will be making your local climbs a lot harder, the following day heading out for an average distance ride at easy pace will help your legs recover from the over gearing and build endurance.

You will need to make sure that you are getting your hydration and fuel all sorted in these coming weeks, make sure you are happy with what types of energy you tolerate while riding and take on the advice from our experts here – Etape du Tour Expert Tips: #1 – Hydration

Try and avoid early hard efforts on the bike, you need to try and ride with some reserve as in this Etape the end is the really tough part.

As we have mentioned in previous articles, try and sit in with a group for the rolling parts of the course as this will save some effort and also give you a little extra pace for free.

Make sure you are happy with the course, you know where aid stations are, and where climbs are etc. as these will help your mind deal with the whole day and give you little goals to focus on while riding.

Last tip, make sure you are eating and drinking before you get thirsty or hungry, prevention is so much better than cure. If we get hungry or thirsty we are putting our bodies under even more strain.

Now go get these 4 weeks under your belt and hit that start line knowing you have your admin sorted for this event. We will be updating the coaching plan every week from now until the big day with 7 to 10 hours of activity to get your ready. This is a mix of building leg strength & endurance with turbo sessions, exercises on your rides and core work.

Good luck from sportive coach Jon

Etape du Tour Coaching Plan

4 weeks to go. Duration: 7 hours 25 mins

Tuesday – Endurance Turbo Build 1. Duration: 1 hour
Warm-up
10mins smooth spin, gently building effort and varying cadence.
Main session
3 x 12mins, progressing effort every 4mins as follows: 70%–75%–80%. Do 3mins spin (high cadence) between each 12min interval.
Cool-down
5mins high-cadence spin.

Wednesday – Rest Day

Thursday – Hard Climb Turbo & Entry Level Core 1. Duration 1 hour 10 mins.

5 mins easy gear spin high cadence to warm up.
On turbo resistance setting in medium
5 mins on big ring front big ring rear
5 mins on big ring front drop one gear
5 mins on big ring front drop 2 gears
5 mins on big ring front drop 1 gear
5 mins on big ring front drop 2 gears
5 mins on big ring front drop 1 gear
5 mins on big ring front drop 1 gear
5 mins on big ring front drop 1 gear
5 mins on big ring front drop 1 gear (hardest gear unless on 11 speed)
10 mins easy spin to flush legs out

10 x sit ups,
10 x crunch sit ups,
10 x push ups,
20 seconds plank.
Repeat 3 times through.

Friday – Base/recovery ride. Duration 1 hour

Base/recovery ride
Session for day after hard workout or in base season.
Heart rate to be kept at 50 beats below make with low resistance so no muscular overload.

Saturday – Over Geared ride. Duration 1 hour 30 mins

This session is all about muscular effort not cardio. If the climbs increase cardio too much you need to be in a harder gear.

Ride flats at base effort 50 beats below max
Hills slow bike down to remove momentum
Put into hard gear and grind up using upper body as well as legs
If bike speeds up put into harder gear still
Recover on down hill and flats

Sunday – Low intensity Hill intervals & Entry level Core 2. Duration 2 hours 45 mins

Base effort Ride:
Any hills increase effort to 30 beats below max for 30 seconds then back to controlled base

Basic sit up/crunch 3 x 15
normal push up, 3 x 10
twisting sit up 3 x 10
two shoulder width push up 3 x 10.

3 weeks to go. Duration: 7 hours 45 mins

Monday – Climbing Session. Duration 50 minutes

Turbo session climbing:
5mins 90-100 cadence lower power and resistance.
30 mins in hardest setting you can maintain 50-60 rpm, as if long climb
5 mins nice and easy 90-100 rpm again.
Then – leg core exercices
Ok so leg 6 inch off the floor and hold, then raise to 90 20 times repeat 3 times, allow 30 sec rest between sets. then 6 inch off again, and scissor kick keep going for 40 secs repeat 3 times, allow 30 secs rest.
plank basic for 60secs repeat 3 times

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Threshold Booster. Duration 1 hour

This session is designed to raise lactate threshold and your ability to perform near it.
Warm-up
5mins spinning while increasing gearing/resistance, followed by 5mins of 10secs sprint and 50secs recovery.
Main set
3-6 x 5mins with 3min recoveries. Shift to the big chainring and work hard for 5mins (aiming for a heart rate 15-25 beats below your maximum or, if using power, FTP).
At the end of 5mins, drop to the small chainring, drop the resistance and spin easy for 3mins. Repeat this work/recovery cycle for three to six reps depending on ability.
Cool-down
10mins easy spinning.

Thursday – Turbo & Core. Duration 55 minutes

5 mins easy spin small front ring to warm up
1 min large front middle of cassette cadence 80rpm
4 mins easy spin on small front again.
Repeat 6 times
5 mins nice and easy to finish.
Then
3 x 20 twisting sit ups,
3 x 30secs alternate leg raises,
60 seconds x 3 pedalling on back legs in the air. 3 x 20 push ups.

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday – Overgeared Ride. Duration 2 hours

Session is all about muscular effort not cardio
If the climbs increase cardio too much you need to be in a harder gear.

Ride flats at base effort 50 beats below max
Hills slow bike down to remove momentum
Put into hard gear and grind up using upper body as well as legs
If bike speeds up put into harder gear still
Recover on down hill and flats

Sunday – Base Ride. Duration 3 hours

Making sure at no point do we go over base heart rate.
Ride is about getting out and working steady endurance

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