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The Build / Speed Training Mesocycle For Endurance Cycling

Updated on February 9, 2013
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Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

It's time for cyclists to start specific speed preparation once their base training has been completed

Once a cyclist has developed a strong training base of endurance it is time to move on to the development of the more specific race related abilities of speed endurance, muscular endurance and power which can be the difference in race scenarios.

The speed training/ build mesocycle builds upon your periodization of training and provides structure and purpose for a cyclist's training throughout their year with the view to performance development in the long term.

Periodization of Training

1. Base Training Mesocycle

2. Speed Training Mesocycle (Sometimes also known as the Build Mesocycle)

3. Peak and Taper Mesocycle

Speed training for road race performance

use periodization of training to develop your road racing performance
use periodization of training to develop your road racing performance | Source

Speed Endurance training is introduced within the build/ speed mesocycle

What is Speed Endurance? Put simply it is often know as Anaerobic Endurance and is characterised by workouts that hurt. It involves training the body to continue working hard despite the onset of fatigue and screaming out to stop and can be a limiting factor for almost every athlete.

Your build / speed period of training should last around 6-10 weeks

Ideally you can break this down into two cycles Speed/Build 1 and Speed/ Build 2.

Build/ Speed phase 1 for Cycling

In phase 1 of your speed training it's a consideration to begin to reduce the amount of pure endurance work a cyclist is performing when compared to their Base Training Mesocycle.

During phase 1 of Build training a cyclist needs to bring into their training routine workouts for Speed Endurance and Muscular Endurance.

Based on previous experiences now is a key time to start addressing race rleated weaknesses an athlet has. If their climbing ability is a limitation now is the time to start paying attention to that ability including diet and exercise prescription.

Leg Speed related training can now be blended towards specific power training workouts.

Speed training helps when racing comes

The Speed Training Mesocycle prepares the body for the rigours of bike racing
The Speed Training Mesocycle prepares the body for the rigours of bike racing | Source

Build/ Speed Phase 2 for cyclists

Phase 2 builds on the workouts that have been integrated as part of build/ speed phase 1 and shifts the intensity up a little higher. Intervals for muscular endurance and speed endurance should become longer with decreased recovery time or increased intensity to attempt to recreate race related situations.

It is important that the cyclist listens to his/ her body and incorporates recovery time and workouts into their training schedule. The speed training mesocycle when done wrongly can push the athlete into a state of overtraining.

If the speed phase of training is scheduled to last for 8 weeks it is important that the cyclist structures this period into two blocks of 4 weeks of which the 4Th week should be an easy recovery week.

Next is time to Peak for race performance

As part of the Peak Mesocycle a road cyclist will aim to consolidate their training.

Good luck with your training


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