Ribble Pro Cycling's top tips for endurance training
With many of us taking up new ways of staying active each New Year we have teamed up with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling's coach, Jack Rees to give you his top tips for starting a new sport and how blood testing with Medichecks has helped with his teams endurance fitness.
With health and fitness being at the forefront of our minds at this time of year, it is no surprise that people across the country are set to try a new hobby or take up a new way of getting fit this January. From joining a gym, getting out to see the world on your bike, or signing up to a triathlon the list of sports activities you can get involved in is endless.
In recent years, participation in endurance events has increased dramatically, with men and women loving their Lycra more than ever before and training for running, cycling, swimming, triathlon and obstacle race events.
Last year alone, seen more than 200,000 people attempt at least one triathlon, according to the British Triathlon Federation. The combination of swimming, cycling and running in one go has never been more popular in the UK.
And with the increase of popularity, events have sprung up around the country to meet the demand – British Triathlon figures show that there was an average of 30 events per week to choose from last year meaning you won’t struggle to find an event which fits your fitness level.
If you are new to the world of endurance events or you are on the fence about signing up to your first event we have teamed up with our partner, Ribble Weldtite – a pro cycling team, to help you along your new fitness journey. We interviewed Jack Rees from Ribble Weldtite, earlier this month to bring you his top tips for starting an endurance sport and how blood testing with Medichecks has helped with his team's endurance fitness.
What is endurance training?
First, let's look at the meaning of "endurance training".
Endurance means a general ability to do any kind of physical activity that increases your heart rate above 50% of your maximum and to do it for an extended period. For example, it requires lots of endurance to run an ultra-marathon or a triathlon.
Now let’s see what Jack has to say, you’ll be signing up for your first endurance event in no time!
1. What are your top tips for taking on an endurance sport in 2020?
- Start small and build up, maybe target a shorter event or duration to start with initially and build up as your fitness develops.
- The most important thing when training for any endurance event is to be consistent with your training. 4 x 1h sessions each week is far better than a single 4h workout. If your time limited it’s a great option to train with intensity and block workout days together, so you get the maximum stimulus.
2. What are your top tips for staying motivated when starting with a new endurance sport?
- Mix things up, try different routes and training partners.
- Try to set a realistic outline for the week ahead so you have a purpose and objective for each day.
- If you’re training around work and other commitments, make things as easy as possible for yourself; get all your kit ready the night before, have your bike set up on the trainer etc. Even the little things will make it easier to complete the session(s).
- Make sure you leave yourself enough time in your training schedule to recover to get the most out of your training sessions.
With any fitness training – endurance or not, it is just as important to understand what is going on inside of our bodies as it follows a strict training and nutrition programme, if not more. So, we asked Jack Rees how blood testing with Medichecks had helped his team’s performance and here is what he has to say:
3. What benefits have your team found from blood testing?
Medichecks blood testing has allowed our athletes to have a better understanding of their bodies and how their training and nutrition can affect their biomarkers. Knowing everything is on track gives the team peace of mind during heaving training cycles. And even when they are slightly deficient in any key biomarkers, the tests have allowed them to address those that are out and minimise any impact on their performance.
4. How has monitoring bloodwork helped the team with their race performance?
The regular bloodwork has allowed the athletes to keep track of the key biomarkers which can affect energy and motivation, particularly during the run-up to major events. For example, the full blood count provided in the Endurance Fitness Blood Test allows the team to keep an eye on their white blood cells, ensuring that when training is at its most demanding they don’t push it too far.
5. How has blood testing with Medichecks helped your riders with their training/ or prevented overtraining and injury?
We completed our first tests in the pre-season period. This was important and provided all of the riders with a benchmark of their biomarkers. Then as the season progressed, and the demand on their bodies increased, we were able to use a follow-up test to cross-check against the markers they recorded initially. This meant the team could quickly react to any significant changes with periods of rest, additional supplements or making changes to their nutrition to keep them performing at their best and most consistent for the entire season.
Several members of the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team have recently taken tests with Medichecks and here is what Dan Bigham and Damien Clayton had to say about their reasons for testing with Medichecks.
"For me, the most important part of our partnership with Medichecks is the data they provide from the pre and post altitude camps. Its common knowledge that altitude affects everyone differently, and while perceived effort and training data is a good source of information to monitor how each athlete is performing, Medichecks take that to the next level by providing a complete blood profile for each athlete."
"Taking the Endurance Fitness Blood Test with Medichecks, was very reassuring as I have recently gone vegan and wanted to ensure my key bio-markers for performance were still in range after changing my diet. The test provided a full break down, from red blood cells to hormones levels. It took two days for the results to come back, it has been a great service overall."
Ready to sign up to your first endurance event yet?
If so, ensuring you are physically fit before starting a new sport is very important and can be done with a simple blood test. Check out our Sports Performance Guide to find out how checking your inner health can help you perform at your best.