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Should You Train Like A Professional Cyclist?

Should You Train Like A Professional Cyclist?


– So what is it that the pros actually do? (upbeat music) Well, to work that one out we need to look at a
full calendar of racing. Some pros will race 60 to 90 days a year. Riding one, two, or maybe
even all three Grand Tours. Other pros may race a little less, 40 to 70 days mainly built
up from single day classics or smaller four to 10 day stage races throughout the season. Many riders will compete over the flatter, less hilly terrain, whilst a large number of
them will be competing in the brutal hilly mountains. So, answering the question, what is it that the pros actually do? It isn’t really that straightforward. They do a wide range of everything. However, there is one thing in common, the duration. Most professional cycling events are from four to six hours in length, or 180 to 260 kilometers. A pro therefore needs to
train for good endurance over a wide variety of terrain. Some riders will be good at sprinting and will need to add in
extra attention for this in their training, whilst others will be good at climbing and will therefore need
to focus on this more. Some riders roles will
be to work for the team and they will rarely race
for the win themselves. Therefore, their training
needs to cater for the demands and needs that this entails. (gentle jazz) How much do the pros need to train? Well, that will be governed by the period they are in within the season. Whilst races don’t count as training, they do have a training
effect on the body. Therefore, during busy periods a pro may not need to include
much extra training at all with the focus, instead,
being on recovery. The flip side of this is, that of course, at some point they will really need to put in the hours on the bike. It isn’t at all rare to
see back to back weeks of 30 to 40 hours of on the bike training throughout build periods. Either between blocks of racing or throughout the winter period. Do you remember Chris Reams’
monster month on Strava? Where he clocked up around 140 hours and 4,400 kilometers? Now whilst that is a monster month, by anyone’s standards, it does highlight the sheer workload needed by a professional rider to endure a season of racing at
the absolute top level. (gentle jazz) So why do the pros even need to train? Surely they can afford
to sit back and relax? After all, they are super talented. Perhaps, I just mean
hardworking and dedicated. I’m not doubting the talent, but there’s no way anyone
got to the top level without putting in the
hard work at some point. Back to back training days help improve consistency of performance. They improve recovery times and resilience to fatigue. The intervals within these sessions will help to build the
strength and aerobic fitness needed to propel the bike
at such high intensity. Plus, repeated intervals
help develop resistance to muscle fatigue on the bike. (gentle jazz) So where do the pros train? Now, therein lies the
beauty of this sport. Within reason, and at
certain times of the year, a pro can train almost anywhere. Like, in the mountains. There will be times of the year when a pro will need to go to a
specific place to train. Maybe it will be an altitude camp or a recon of the Belgian classics. Maybe you need flatter
roads for sprint training or, if you’re a climber, you need to head to the mountains for some serious up hill, gravity defying intervals, but on the whole a pro can afford a little flexibility
when it comes to choosing where they want to be based for any ongoing training
they have scheduled. One thing you will find though is that a pro will almost always head for warmer, drier
weather whenever possible because who really wants
to get wet and cold when they don’t really need to. (gentle jazz) One things for sure is these pros sure do do a lot of cycling, but do they do anything else? That does depend. Some riders will swear by extra strength and conditioning sessions
in a gym or a sports school. This certainly appears to be popular when on the comeback from an injury or even when trying to prevent injuries and build muscle. Others, perhaps, choose some extra fitness by looking at swimming, running,
or cross country skiing. It is rare to find a pro that doesn’t have at least one other outlet
for their fitness fix, but it is almost certainly included into a well thought out,
structured schedule. (gentle jazz) (groaning in pain) The pros clearly train long, hard hours, but does that mean that we should? I don’t think it does. Unless you were planning to
ride a seven day sportive or something similar, it probably isn’t worth your time attempting to train like a pro. Instead, take the principles
that we’ve addressed here today and scale them down and apply
them to your own cycling. That way, you’ll have a well thought out, structured training program and you will benefit from it. Hopefully, this video
has given you a better understanding as to why the pros train in the way they do. For six sportive mistakes to avoid, click down here, but give us a thumbs up before you do.

68 comments on “Should You Train Like A Professional Cyclist?

  1. I think the title of this video is a little bit of misleading, maybe a more proper title is "what are the trainings that professional cyclist do".

  2. It'd be nice to train like a pro, but those of us who aren't pros have to work for a living, and we have family commitments. Most of my bike riding is my ride to and from work. If I push it too hard I am too worn out to do my job. I get 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours a day, on my bike ( on work days) but I have to save energy for the rest of the things going on in my life. I am also about 30 years older than the average pro rider.

  3. For ten weeks in '86, I was a bike messenger for Central Delivery in downtown DC and it was the only time in my life when I was paid to ride and it was great. Twelve hours a day on my Batavus–ride from Alexandria, work from about eight to six, and ride back to my apartment. And I was fit, still riding hard although I had bailed on crits two years earlier after a big crash left me thinking hmm, this is not worth it, I have a life to live. But my time as a messenger showed me that you get super strong when you ride long hours in the saddle. And riding in traffic all day and having the dispatcher constantly asking "Where you at, Two-Five?" was a big adventure and I was actually a bit disappointed when my 'real job' opened up in October and I had to hang up my two-way radio. And the dispatcher was a cool guy who even give me 'mults' or multiple runs and those were the ones that paid well, like when you go to AARP at 19th and K to pick up a stack of letters for elected officials and cha-ching get paid to walk from office to office down those stately corridors. And I still hear him wondering "Where you at, Two-Five?"

  4. The one thing pros and a lot of us have now are power meters to train with, but I can't afford that as a college student here in the US. I've been using a heart rate monitor to fudge around with hr zones and see how my training compares, but in a recent move-out/move-in disaster I've lost my wahoo tickr and am training purely off feel. It feels good to not track any numbers aside from my times, but definitely doesn't feel pro.

  5. Well, Gcn, i wanted to ask you something. I m 13 and i have a merida scultura 400. Not to show off and i know not at all a mind-blowing thing but stamina till now is that I can ride 125k non stop @26kph. I have been constant with your channel and i would have probably seen all of your videos. I was wondering that since i am 13, when should i start my FTP training?? Could i start it now??? I would be really pleased and thankful if you reply….

  6. Who can answer this, The groupe that set up the prows schedules do not have to preform the schedules, So today lads I want you to preform the the impossible. I will see you when you get back.

  7. Have any of the presenters wrecked during filming? Also, can you do a laugh reel or outtakes vid? Would be funny! Thanks!

  8. Interesting. I was thinking 'geez, that background music sure sounds like Todd Rundgren', and now the video's over, and what should the 'tube recommend but an extended interview with the man himself. On topic, Chris is really growing as a presenter, well done!

  9. Yesterday I kept a 15mph average over 22 miles with 15 extra pounds on my back easily. I commute and live in a not tall mountain but steep hilly terrain. When I ride without my backpack and take it easier on my legs and knees I fly. I love it.. always training which to me means normal every day existence lol my bicycle is my only vehicle

  10. Hey GCN! I’m a beginner looking to buy my first road bike after watching your videos for over two years! Any suggestions for a beginner roadie? Also, I’d love to see a video on how we can switch between Shimano and Sram systems as I can’t seem to find any video of similar content on the channel. Cheers guys!

  11. Well done John! Really enjoying your segments!
    Personally it's only taken me close to 62 years to give myself permission not to train like a pro! Lol
    Now if I don't have a century or fondo (here in Florida you can find at least one per month year-round!) lined up I'll dial back my training to include mostly zone 2 work plus cross training and yoga. I've found dialing back has led to better event performance as well as fewer injuries!

  12. I ride in cold weather(in winter with a proper bike(fatbike), clothing and shoes), it's completely different experience and enjoyable. But not in wet weather.
    I live in Southern-Norway, so you have an idea what kinda cold I mean.

  13. I did 10 days in a row of hard training a couple months back. Ended up hurting myself. I wouldn't recommend it unless you really know what you're doing

  14. Hmm. I love GCN but this one could have been presented by Captain Obvious. Yes pro riders' training is usually well thought out and based on sound sports science and no, virtually none of us can or should attempt it. But we can still train in a rational way.

  15. A GCN video I would love to see is on the best lead out riders and domestiques. Possibly a subjective topic, but the riders who have assisted the most successful cyclists who have never won a title for themselves. Can we celebrate the unknown heros?

  16. I ride for one reason only. Because I love to ride I don't race I don't feel like a second class citizen because someone passes me . My bike is heavy neither me or my bike are quick. My bike is not carbon fiber I don't wear the latest gear I simply ride because I love to ride cruising along beside a river with the birds singing the scent of trees coming into flower in spring that is was riding is all about simply the enjoyment of life. Who needs drugs who needs to look fast standing still just be thankful you live in a country that you can go out  enjoy nature and most importantly return safely home from a ride. That is what riding a bike is to me.

  17. The biggest difference is they are training for something specific, I suspect we all train a bit harder and more intelligently when we have a specific ride in mind whether that be a sportive, or just to keep up a higher average

  18. I don't ride to train I ride because I enjoy riding. If it became my job I might not like it as much. Don't forget the coffee breaks.

  19. Appreciate the effort and the difficulty of producing new content, but this video was largely unfocused. Not sure what the viewer is supposed to take home from this.

  20. It's a well known fact that cycling blocks the production of testosterone in men. As they get more and more into the "sport" they begin producing estrogen and start wearing skin tight spandex. 99.2% of cyclists interviewed admit to having or fantasize about homosexual sex. Cycling is a recruitment tool that the gay community has been using dating back to the late 1700"s. The Tour De France actually began as a hook up event for gay men.

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