This is an area where we see a lot of confusion and mixed advice for riders.
Endurance training doesn’t need to be complicated. For most riders, it can be as simple as what I have laid out here in this post.
Obviously, for me and my programs and clients… we go a lot deeper than this, but using these principles as a starting point will be 1000x better than what I see and hear most riders doing.

Start With Energy Production

It’s important that we understand we need to improve ALL areas of our endurance. By this, I mean we need to be working in different intensity zones and duration zones in order to get the desired outcomes.

In a nutshell, there are 2 main ways that your body creates energy, Anarobic and Aerobic.

Anaerobic Energy Production is the use of carbohydrates as an energy source and is generally utilised for higher intensity and higher power output activity. Where Aerobic Energy Production uses Oxygen and Fats as energy sources and is what we mostly oporate on.

Here’s the important thing though…

As you can see from the two graphs below, there is no difining moment when you start using Anaerobic energy production and stop using Aerobic enegry production.


Energy Deemands Of Your Racing

The next thing, is we need to understand what our energy demands are for our racing. And that these are going to vary depending on a number of factors, including;

  • Technique on the bike
  • Bike set-up
  • Bike suspenion and handling
  • Track conditions
  • Levels of strength
  • Conditioning to the environment
  • Length of race
  • Other competitors (battles)
  • + more

Changes in any of the above can have a positive or negative effect on the energy demands from you in your riding/racing.


How To Train Endurance For Your Racing

An effective conditioning program for a racer should;

  1. Improve aerobic ATP (energy) production at higher levels of effort/intensity. (moving the white curve up)
  2. Minimise Anaerobic contributions during higher level of effort (shrinking the red portion)
  3. Allow for greater tollerence of Anaerobic conditions and byproducts (increased buffering capacity, lactate recycling etc)

These adaptations are made through a wide variety of conditioning modes.

  • LSD (Long Slow Distance) of >30 minutes
  • Long Intervals of 3-6 minutes
  • Medium Intervals of 1-3 minutes
  • Short Intervals of 10-60 seconds

Each of these having different levels of effort and intensity and thus training all areas of your endurance.


What Does This Mean?

It means that all these different modes of training must be present in your training program in order  for you to make any significant progress and improvement, with transfer to the actual bike.

Simply focussing in on just one area (ie, always using long cycles as your endurance training) is not going to give you the desired outcome.

Under proper assessment, we can make the call to work a little more in one area compared to another, bassed off what you need in that particular moment. But we still touch on all the other areas. Thus improving the entire system, and not just one aspect of it.


Questions? Drop a comment and I will help as best I can.