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Part 2 covers topics such as how much training you can do to be at a good level, managing training load and weight management.

If people have limited time, what session should they ensure they do each week?

Luke Rowe: “You do need that certain level of base, I think 10 hours a week is achievable, depending on your scenario, kids, family, work. 10 hours is five, 2-hour rides so if on the weekend you can do 2 or 3 and 2 or 3 hours in the week, whether it be turbo, before or after work. 8 to 10 hours is achievable and if you are on the turbo, why not utilise that hour and put in some intensity, it varies as human beings are different and at different levels.  Some level of intensity is key.”

Editor’s analysis:  10 hours of training is achievable but does require a level of discipline and dedication.  Utilising TrainingPeaks and having a structured training plan has enabled me to consistently hit 10 hours of training a week.  This is because I have been able to move sessions to fit daily life.   

How do pros manage the training load? For example, approaches to nutrition / rest.

Luke Rowe: “Eat, sleep, rest, repeat.”

Editor’s analysis:  Rest or rather lack of, is a key problem for amateurs, particularly.  It is rare that after an intense session I get the necessary rest and recovery which means that the quality of the next session often suffers.  Similarly, eating the correct food is vital and this is where consulting with a Nutritionist can be helpful.  

Weight plays a significant factor in cycling, what measures do professionals employ to manage this during the season. And when weight is put on in the off-season, how is it lost safely.

Luke Rowe: “We are in a power to weight sport, so you can have as much power as you want but if you are overweight it will be detrimental, but it’s a fine balance.  I know riders who have lost too much weight and struggled and I’ve known riders who have struggled to lose weight.  Being at a big race and being a couple of kilos over makes a massive difference.   I think it’s natural to put on weight in the offseason, certainly for me, but I think the new generation of rider is quite on the straight and narrow in the offseason, which is quite alien to me, I like to let loose.  I have a bit more of a human side, so it’s natural to put on a few kilos and I think in a way it’s healthy and the way you shed it is like any diet, you can’t crash course, it’s a grind and it’s a long procedure, you put on 4 or 5 kilos it’s going to take you 3 months to lose it, the first few are relatively easy but the last one is a “bugger”, it’s a slow, calculated approach.”

Editor’s analysis: Weight is without doubt a challenging topic and furthermore, very sensitive.  An unhealthy obsession can lead to developing eating disorders.  I think the key is education and this is one area where a qualified Nutritionist can help you reach your goals, in a safe and controlled manner.  It’s not just about losing weight but maintaining the weight you require at the same time as being able to enjoy the foods you want to.    

Check back for Part 3 later……