Weekend Reading: Build for Success with this Summer Endurance Block

This week I called a quick status meeting for upcoming events, and when it was through all I could think was, “Man, we’re about to have a ton of fun!” The camp season is in full swing in Colorado, and we just added a few new camps for Fall 2013 as well.

For me, the biggest event of the summer will be the USA Pro Challenge Race Experience. I love the mountains and enjoy the awesome treatment that Team CTS receives from the race organization, and I want to be strong for that event. To make sure I’m prepared, I’ll be coaching at a Tour de France Camp with one of my athletes and some of his friends. That will provide me with a great training block in July, with plenty of climbing.

For athletes who want to join Team CTS for the USA Pro Challenge Race Experience, or anyone looking to boost climbing speed and power this summer, I’d recommend the Hors Categorie Climbing Camp in Colorado, July 9-14. I know that’s not far off, but if you can swing it you’ll get to ride to both of Colorado’s paved 14,000 summits (Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak), along with plenty of long miles and big rides through the Rockies!

From a training perspective, the common denominator here is a long endurance training block in July, and that can be beneficial for many cyclists and triathletes. During a long competition season, athletes ramp up their fitness from aerobic training to building speed and power at lactate threshold, and then adding in high-intensity work at VO2 max. But that’s where a lot of athletes get stuck, because they try to target high-speed, max-intensity work for too long, and their aerobic engines start to erode out from underneath them. Backing off the intensity in July and focusing on a big endurance training block for 10-14 days can provide your aerobic system with the attention it needs to continue supporting your higher-intensity workouts and events.

Building your own Mid-Summer Endurance Training Block

Think of this as a DIY training camp that focuses on long rides. Ideally, take a few days off from work or arrange to go in late a few days so you can create long weekends for 3 to 4 back-to-back big days (3-5 hours) in the saddle. The image below is an example of how you can turn two long weekends into an 11-day Endurance Block. Note the pre- and post-block recovery periods; these are important for enabling you to perform well during the block and get back to normal structured training quickly.

Who should consider an Endurance Block? Athletes who have an important event or race series in August-September, or riders who plan on transitioning into cyclocross season. This block helps address and support your underlying aerobic fitness so you can continue building your high-end race fitness.


Click Image for Larger Version

And in case you’re searching for some events to do later in the summer, we do have a few spots open in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race Experience, and we have two new camps we’ve just put on the calendar:

  • Hincapie Gran Fondo Recon Camp: Sept 26-29 in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. On top of reconning the Gran Fondo course and discovering the awesome riding in the mountains of South Carolina, you’ll be one of the first guests to stay at Hotel Domestique, the new athlete-oriented hotel created by George and Rich Hincapie!
  • Triathlon Performance and Aero Camp: November 13-17 in Phoenix, Arizona. If you have friends/family racing in Tempe on November 17, this is your chance to train and improve your performance, cheer on your favorite racer, and then be on-site to register for the 2014 race on November 18. This camp is also your opportunity to fine-tune your aero position at FASTER Speed Labs’ wind tunnel!

As I said, we have a lot going on this summer, and then even more as we head into the Fall! I hope to see some of you out there on the road or trail!

Have a Great Weekend!
Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach
Carmichael Training Systems

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