I got an e-mail from Brian. He wrote to say… “My biggest concern is popping out the back of my group of 13 when the road goes upwards. This will be my 4th Around the bay in a row 250km, 210km, 210km and 210km this year. Each year I have finished but I have always done it solo. I have always been poor when the road goes upwards. I can’t hold my place in any group I happen to be in and lose quite a bit of distance in a short space of time.

On the flat I am reasonably strong and keep a good cadence (I have no cadence computer it is just a feel). As soon as the road goes up I change down continuously and seem to lose all cadence. I am riding A Giant Defy 3 with three rings on the front and 8 on the back so I should have enough gears.

I don’t want to sprint up the hills, I just want to hold my place in the group so they don’t have to wait for me up the road.

I ride about 80km a week and have just starting riding near work in Vermont South so I can do more hills.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

I wanted to thank Brian for his question because it raises another really important point about training for an event like this.

Here was my response back to Brian…

“I understand your concern about getting dropped.

You’ll need to build up your fitness a little more than you have done on previous years. I would recommend that you start early with your training and focus on developing a good aerobic base and some off the bike strength.

Our training plan starts on the 29th of this month and the 12 week program I have supplied and it will give you some good guidance as to the sort of volume and intensity you should be targeting. To ensure that you don’t get dropped I recommend that you follow it.

If you need more assistance and more detail I’ve released a 12 week training pack that includes super-efficient and time saving interval training , core strength training and very detailed 12 week programs to ensure that you have the best Bupa Around the Bay yet.

I know that time is important to you so we have built this Training Pack around ensuring you maximize your time on the bike and get the best fitness returns on your training in the shortest time.  

We released it last week and its available here”

The main reason that people get dropped from bunches is to do with their preparation.

Usually not enough and too late to make any improvement in their form.

Developing fitness is not something that you can cram in during the last weeks leading up to the event. Those weeks should be focused on your taper.

Starting sooner and building your fitness overtime means that you give your body the time it needs to adapt and build stronger.

It’s like compound interest in a bank account. Consistent savings over a longer time yields the best results.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope it helps you with your training in the lead up to the Bupa Around the Bay. I hope that you have been enjoying the cycling tips and the free training plan. And again many thanks for your feedback. The response has been fantastic.

In up and coming articles I’ll be covering off more tips on nutrition and hydration, what to eat when and eating to create metabolic efficiency and final equipment preparation, rider safety and etiquette and the final taper.

All the best with your training.