Posted in: Paddy Doran
By Paddy Doran
Mar 28, 2012 - 6:58:00 AM

This article is written for senior and junior riders of all categories who
want to be at their best physically for the Easter stage races. These are great
events and very exciting and challenging so its important that you train as well
as possible for them.

Riders who have the An Post  Ras or some other race in the future as a
main goal might not follow a programme like this for the Easter races.  They
 might be more likely to train as normal up the the stage races at Easter.

Sean Lacey overall winner of
the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan 2011 - Photo by Kieran Clancy

Current fitness levels:  If you have trained well
during the last months and ridden some races over the last weeks your fitness
levels should be quite good now.

So how can you ensure that you are in the best shape possible for Easter? To
hit peak performance at Easter you need to address the following

Lifestyle:   Stay healthy, get good sleep and
rest, relax and have good nutrition.

Training:    Use the correct amount and
intensity of training and suitable training sessions.

Reduce the amount of training:  Between now and the
race start, reduce training substantially. This could be up as much as 50% less
than you usually do. This will ensure that you are free from training fatigue
for the race.

Maintain Intensity:  Maintain the intensive sessions or
efforts that you usually do in sessions but don't do as many of them and have
good recovery between the efforts.
Continue to train on the same amount of days, just reduce the amount you do at
each session.

Final two days before the race: Follow your usual training
habits that usually work best for you for the final two days before the event.

TT Bike:  Very often these events are won in the time
trial. If you have not been using your TT bike regularly Its not very wise to
get on to a low profile bike with a different set up than your road bike.
Between now and Easter very second day ride the TT bike for a short period of
time. You might use it for some of your shorter recovery sessions or have it set
up on a turbo and just gradually cycle in the TT position for slightly longer as
you adapt to the position.. An hour max would be the most that you would need at
any one session but even thirty minutes may be sufficient to adapt to the

2011 An Post Gorey 3 Day - 158
Riders heading into Hacketstown on Stage
1 - Photo by Peter Purfield

Juniors, high cadence: As juniors will be on restricted
gears and will be racing with riders who have bigger gears there may be a need
to achieve very high cadences for periods of times during the races For example,
when there are tailwinds and downhill sections. So juniors especially should
carry out some short periods of high cadence cycling during some of your

By following this type of training structure improvements of up to 4 % is a

Enjoy the racing