Congratulations on reaching the Champs Élysées and finishing our Tour de France training plan. Three solid weeks of training have undoubtedly improved your fitness.
The final week of the Tour was characterized by long sweet-spot and threshold intervals in the form of long mountain climbs and a time trial. These intervals should have been manageable, but possibly a bit harder with an added week of fatigue from weeks one and two. Four continuous days in the mountains with many hors categorie, Cat. 1, and Cat. 2 climbs revealed who had the legs for a three-week grand tour, and left others in the grupetto, just trying to make the finish line.
Power Data from Rui Costa during his breakaway in stage 16 shows he averaged 246 watts, burned 3400 kilojoules and averaged 43 kph for the five-hour stage. During his race-winning attack on the Col de Manse, he averaged 381w (5.6 watts/kg) for 20 minutes over the 10-kilometer climb. In order to establish his gap over his breakaway partners, Costa had to ride the first 3km of his attack at 400w (6w/kg) for 3km. How was your power output after almost three weeks of workouts?
What separates pros from us is their ability to continuously ride at an unbelievable level even after 80-plus hours of racing in the third week. However, even the pros take some time off and you should definitely as well. After this race, some of the riders will take a short break before heading to the post-Tour criteriums or trying to fully recover for end-of-season goals. These regeneration weeks are a critical aspect of training that is often overlooked.
Regeneration week tips
1. Take two days completely off (Monday and Tuesday);
2. Instead of riding on one of those days, schedule a massage;
3. Try to sleep an extra hour each night this week, and sleep in on the weekend;
4. Continue to eat healthy, but also have a celebratory drink or food of your choice; and
5. Add in 5x30sec intervals with one minute off mid-week to maintain fitness.
Thank you for completing the FasCat Coaching 2013 Tour de France Training Plan. We hope you had a chance to experience the kinds of efforts it required to complete the Tour de France stages and saw your fitness increase!
For more information about this training program and to inquire about coaching, camps, bike fits, exercise physiology testing, and power meter sales, please visit www.FasCatCoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.