The training strategy for my 2,700km (1,700-miles) world record attempt in The 2018 Longest Ride Challenge is pretty simple and will be based on the weekly training plan outlined below. My main highlights from each training week are also listed at the bottom of this page.
1* I generally ride my ElliptiGO bike just once a week, in my routine training, because I consider a ‘minimalist’ approach to be the most time-efficient option for achieving my goals. So I incorporate aspects of both endurance & speed into my single weekly rides to ensure that I fully address all my fitness & conditioning requirements for riding very long distances.
Because I only ride once every week I quite look forward to my weekend bike sessions (and I almost always enjoy them)! But having just one weekly bike session also gives me a very narrow training window (just Saturdays or Sundays) within which to fit the sessions, requiring me to always be well organised! I also rotate through my different bikes on each successive weekend (generally alternating between the ElliptiGO 11R and the ElliptiGO Arc bikes, on successive weekends).
2* I also do weekly strength training sessions at the gym. I lift weights for strength and for strength-endurance development, using either full-body training (once weekly, at the gym) or using a split-routine (in which the lower body is trained on a separate day to the upper body).
I warm up for gym-based sessions with martial arts technical training on the punching bags as part of my gym warm-up. I then lift weights for about 45 minutes, without taking breaks, engaging every muscle group for an intense, full-body workout.
For my lower body strength and flexibility training I workout on the Power Plate vibration platform to benefit from whole body vibration (WBV) training, which accelerates my fitness gains (as well as boosting my recovery from hard sessions or long rides). WBV on the Power Plate enhances my flexibility development through a process called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.
3* As part of my gym warm-up I do a short (but intense) power-walking session with the treadmill set at the (15%) maximum incline. These warm-ups can be quite productive fitness sessions (that can sometimes see my heart rate go as high as it would during an interval session on the ElliptiGO). I only do these treadmill sessions at the gym, once every week, before lifting weights.
I find the treadmill to be a very complimentary exercise to my riding the long-stride ElliptiGO 11R bike (which will be the vehicle I will use for my 2,700km Longest Ride Challenge in 2018). For me, treadmill power-walking feels more complimentary to the ElliptiGO motion than even the indoor elliptical machine.
And I tend to have quite a long stride when I power-walk on an inclined treadmill, which is great for engaging the posterior-chain muscles (the calves, hamstrings and glutes). So power-walking on the treadmill (at the steepest incline) is currently my favourite cross-training workout option for my weekday training.
4* This year I’ve added regular kick-biking to my weekly fitness routine, using a small scooter, because that’s the quickest and most efficient way for me to get about between my train journeys to and from work. For most of the week (3-4 days a week, outside of the sessions outlined earlier) I aim to be aerobically active using the scooter or walking (activities which I call “active rest”). “Active rest” refers to lighter aerobic activity which still allows me to sustain the optimal blood volume for effective endurance training on my weekend rides (but isn’t a formal/significant workout).
5* In addition to my ‘active rest’ the foundation of my preparation will be built on scheduled complete rest days. So, on at least one day of every week, I always ensure that I do absolutely no exercise at all. It will be a complete recovery day. I will also stretch at least twice every week (as part of my flexibility training and as part of my post-ride recovery). In this regard, I have incorporated whole body vibration training (WBV) into my post-training stretching & recovery routine, using the Power Plate.
My training for The 2018 Longest Ride Challenge can be followed week-by-week through the blog summaries outlined on this Strava Athlete Page. And The 2018 Longest Ride Challenge Strava Training Group (summary displayed below) not only shows updates from my training rides but also displays the rides of the other riders who are pursuing their longest rides in 2018. I hope you will sign up and join us too!