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I've entered a 100 Mile Cycling Sportive (that takes place in July 4 months to train) I intend to ride it on a singlespeed (non fixed gear) road bike. (with a gear ratio of 43-16)

This will be the second century ride I've done, but the first real distance I've done on singlespeed. I love the challenge and the simplicity of singlespeed riding so please no answers advising using a geared road bike.

I currently train a progressive overload hypertrophy/strength 5 day split, and also go for a 30+ mile cycle on each Sunday.

A rough outline of my routine is below please note, not all excercises/warmups/warmdowns/stretches are listed.

  • Mon - Back (e.g. Pullups, Rows, Deadlifts)
  • Tue - Chest (e.g. Bench, incline bench, weighted dips)
  • Wed - Legs (e.g. Squats, Leg Press, farmers walk, lunges)
  • Thurs - Arms (e.g. Curls, pushdowns, skullcrushers)
  • Fri - Shoulders/Core/Auxiliary (military presses, planks, forearms & calves)
  • Sat - Rest
  • Sun - Cycle (30+ mile singlespeed ride with a few taxing climbs)

Currently I feel my cns can take quite a good beating and currently day to day I'm not fatigued and generally recover well.

My nutrition is generally good - Lots of protein lots of nutrient rich vegetables and lots of low gi carbs, and I also get plenty of sleep each night.

I also supplement the following:

  • 5g creatine monohydrate in water per day
  • 2x Omega3 fish oil gel caps and 1x multi vit per day
  • A pre and post workout protein shake
  • and I have an espresso (no sugar) as a pre workout

I also fuel properly while cycling long distances (one water bottle & one gel per hour on average depending on intensity/outside wind/temperature)

My question is this. How can I effectively incorporate cycling training into my current routine to enable me to comfortably complete the 100 mile sportive?

For instance: Should I increase frequency of cycling and reduce time in gym? should I increase time in gym but focus on including cardio? Should I keep gym the same but add additional cycling training? Should I alter my low rep high load strength focused training to hi rep low weight endurance based approach? Should I rest more/less? Will my work in the gym improve or hinder lactate threshold? Should my long ride be spaced further away from squat day to increase recovery time? etc etc.

Also any tips on climbing steep gradients on singlespeed are welcomed :)

Thanks for your time.

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I don't have any cycling background but I did mix endurance training (running) and strength training at some point. The thing is you can't be good at everything. So I would suggest the following:

I Reduce to a minimum what you don't need for you current goal

Dedicating one day just for chest, another one for arms and another one for shoulders is definitely overkill for this prep. I would suggest putting all this in one day a week. Focus on the main movements to maintain strength/size depending on what is most important to you.

II More cycling

As you're preparing for a cycling event, you need to up your cycling frequency, both to get better at cycling and improving your endurance. I would suggest you this read by Ben Greenfield. He suggests (among a lot of other things) that for endurance training, athletes should do 80% endurance work and 20% HIIT. For a 5-days a week cycling plan, that would mean 4 endurance sessions and one HIIT a week. Endurance sessions should be longer or shorter depending on the training that day.

III Keep the Squat and Deadlit

I personally would never recommend someone to stop squatting or deadlifting in preparation for this kind of endurance event. Having powerful hamstrings will definitely help you produce more force. However it seems like having only one hard day of training a week for each would be very tiring and less productive than splitting than into 2 workouts and do less each time, allowing for more efficiency when cycling after. Studies tend to show that higher frequencies work better than once a week. I would suggest you this article if you are interested in knowing which rep range to use and why.

IV The split

Here is what I would do. Any modification is welcome:

Day 1: - Squat Max effort (wider stance for more hamstrings and glutes) - Medium cycling session (whatever you find medium is for you)

Day 2: - Long cycling session

Day 3: - Chest, arms, shoudlers, back. Focus on the main variations. Bench Press, Incline, OHP, Push press, Pullups, Rows... Just 4 sets of Bench Press, Push press, Pullups and superset curls with triceps extensions for example

Day 4: HIIT session

Day 5: Squat and Stiff Legged Deadlifts for volume (3*5 + 3*15 for example) Short cycling session

Day 6: Long cycling session

Day 7: Rest

That way you can get plenty of rest, maintain strength and size where it doesn't matter now, get a bit stronger where it's important and improve you endurance a whole lot.

Also I would suggest aiming very low at the beginning of the prep when it comes to the length of the cycling sessions and weights on squats and deadlifts. Start easy and do more and more over the weeks to make sure your body is adapting to the higher frequency.

I hope this helped you somehow. Best of luck for your event !

  • Thanks for taking the time to answer with such detail. You raise some interesting points, creating a combined upper body day to free up more time to focus on cycle training is a good idea and the inclusion of HIIT was something I hadn't considered, and increasing vO2 max would definitely help! - but I'm not marking it as answer just yet in case anybody with more cycling specific knowledge would like to weigh in. – Hitchmo Mar 17 '17 at 10:01

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