Racing for Motivo RT, Calum Anderton is only 16 and already showing his potential against the clock.
Coached by Tim Ramsden, of blackcatcyclecoaching.com, Anderton won the 2013 GHS National 10-mile Championship, an annual competition for school-aged riders, with a time of 22-29.
Earlier this season, Anderton attacked on the final stage of the North-West International Youth Tour to win the stage and clinch second overall in the race.
CW caught up with him after his GHS win and found out how he tapered in the final week leading up to the championships.
I rode 7km to a local climb where I did two hill efforts with a five-minute rest between them, the first in zone three and the second in zone five/six, going as hard as I could towards the top. The hill averages 17 per cent over 0.8km, so is pretty tough!
I rode home and switched to my lo-pro, then cycled the 15 minutes over to Fowlmead Country Park. Here, I completed five five-minute time trial efforts, just above 10-mile TT pace, with six minutes’ recovery in-between each.
Quite an intense day for Anderton before he begins tapering down ready for his target event. He does a few different efforts of varying intensity, all of which work different energy systems, but will together improve time trial performance. Shorter, harder, efforts ‘pull up’ a rider’s threshold, while extended efforts at a slightly lower intensity help to ‘push up’ a rider’s threshold.
These help to improve time trialling as it increases the rider’s ability to sustain a faster pace. For time trial specific efforts he uses his lo-pro and also goes to a local, closed circuit facility, which enables him to concentrate without the worry of cars.
As part of my preparation for Saturday, I began to taper my training to a lower volume. I did a zone two ride for 40 minutes, instead of the usual two or three hours.
Today I did a recovery ride, just one hour on a flat circuit using my lo-pro. I kept the gears low so it was an easy spin to recover from the previous two days, and prepare for tomorrow’s harder efforts.
Anderton begins to lower the intensity and volume of his training to ensure he is fully recovered and fresh for his event. Gentle spins keep the legs ticking over, so riders don’t get stale from not doing any riding. Using low gears is vital so as not to put too much pressure on the legs and ensure riders aren’t tempted to push on when they should be taking it easy.
I did a road race group training session at Fowlmead Country Park. This was a fast-paced group session usually lasting over an hour, but I reduced this to 45 minutes. I made sure I put in five sustained efforts, at zone five or six, off the front of the main group.
I repeated Monday’s recovery ride on my lo-pro, with the same effort level and gearing again on a flat circuit.
A harder session mixed in with easy rides helps to keep the ‘zip’ in the legs. Anderton’s Tuesday session is at a fairly fast pace, and adding in sustained, high intensity efforts opens up the legs and keeps him fresh.
As part of his taper he reduces the length he is riding for, while still maintaining the intensity. The following day Anderton does another recovery ride, again using his lo-pro, which enables him to ensure he is fully comfortable with his position on the bike.
I treated today as a dress rehearsal for Saturday’s race, replicating everything I would do and using the same kit I planned to use on Saturday. The event was a two-up club 10, which I rode as a solo rider. I won the event with a time of 21:35 and made sure that following the race I had a cool-down on the turbo, then cycled the five kilometres home.
A practice before the big event is a must, to ensure your condition is good and everything is working smoothly with the bike. Anderton did everything as he would for his target event, wearing the same kit, using the same wheels and completing the same warm up.
Doing all this and getting a decent result is a great confidence boost, and ensures a rider is mentally ready to race. Riding an event of similar intensity and length a few days before the race helps open up the legs and prepare them for the race effort. Anderton cooled down and rode home to ensure his legs were spun out, and the waste products that would have accumulated after the race had gone.
I travelled up to Leicester for the event on the Saturday and, due to traffic, spent most of the day shut in the back of the car. Upon arrival at my hotel I completed a full set of stretches.
Anderton surprisingly doesn’t get on the rollers or go for a spin upon arrival at his hotel. Instead, he relieves any stiffness by doing some stretches. Stretching is a great way to alleviate soreness and any heavy feeling in the legs, especially when you’re unable to get on the bike.
This article was first published in the December 19 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!