An Post Chain Reaction directeur sportif Kurt Bogaerts highlights four of the top training tips that the Irish team utilise.

Threshold training

It is important that before carrying out threshold training you complete fitness testing to discover your exact threshold levels. Without these you won’t be able to get the most out of the session as the numbers could be completely out of what is required.

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As everyone is different it is more than likely that this type of training is best completed on your own, or with someone who is of a very similar fitness level to yourself.

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Threshold efforts should be completed over 20 minutes intervals and repeated three times, either on a steady climb or on the flat piece of road.

Cadence work

Training at different cadences can be crucial when in a race situation. High cadence work can really come to the fore when sprinting, whereas low cadence training can help improve performance on short steep power climbs.

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This can be replicated during training by riding a big power effort for a couple of minutes at 50 rpm and then shifting onto a smaller gear and building the speed up again but at a cadence of 110 rpm.

Breakaway drills

Motivation plays a big part in whether a rider wants to and actually can get into a breakaway. But executing training sessions that replicate these efforts can help prepare the body for the race situation if it comes to fruition.

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This can be achieved by riding one minute high intensity efforts at 90 per cent of your maximal power, before allowing for ten minutes recovery before repeating the efforts a further three times in total.

Race situation

Training on your own can mean that once it comes to race day, riding in a bunch can feel unnatural and mean you aren’t able to perform at your best. This can be highlighted in particular on descents, where people can lose the time they have made on fellow riders before they’ve reached the bottom of a climb.

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Following a good descender down a climb can help riders pick the right lines, whilst also gaining the experience of riding at high speeds close to fellow cyclists.