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Westportif gives you a choice of distances, fully signed routes, well-stocked feed stations and mechanical support, but there are a number of factors you need to consider when making your choice as to which distance you take on the 80k, 120k or the 160K.

Three things to consider are:

  1. Course length – It’s very easy to get carried away and bite off more than you can chew for your first sportive, so it might be wise to warm up with something more realistic before you try and tackle a 120k or 160 km brute. Always aim to ride 2/3 of the distance of your chosen event in training beforehand.
  2. Course difficulty – not all events of a similar distance are of a similar difficulty. A good indicator of an event’s difficulty is the amount of climbing (feet or metres) listed.
  3. Course preparation time – consider how long you’re going to have to train and prepare for the event.

What you’re able to take on in January will be very different to what you can do in June, with six months riding in your legs.

To help you on your way we have developed a training plan for 80K route for beginners. Its a 10 week plan that will bring you right up to the event.

It is not required that you do this plan but it does provide a rough guide to get your legs ready for the Westportif 80K route. If you are a beginner with little or no cycling done this year already, why not give it a try.

The plan consists of the following building blocks to get you ready:

  • Week 1: Build
  • Week 2: Build
  • Week 3: Build
  • Week 4:  Recovery
  • Week 5: Build
  • Week 6: Build
  • Week 7:  Recovery
  • Week 8: Build
  • Week 9: Build
  • Week 10:  Recovery/Westportif Event

Here is week 1 of the plan:

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Rest15min base, 10 min tempo, 10 min base, 10 min tempo, 15 min base40 min ride at base, 10 min coreRestRest1 hr ride at base, 10 min core1 hr ride, warm up 10 min, then moderate slow climb before cool down

What do the various Training Levels mean?

Base
This effort is around 5 out 10. It should feel fairly easy and be manageable for a long duration of exercise. You should be able to hold a conversation.

Tempo
This effort is around 7 out of 10. It should feel fairly hard but manageable for medium length efforts, it will be used often in the plan.

Threshold
This effort is around 8-9 out of 10, used in short to medium length intervals and will form an important part of the plan.

Max
10-10 maximum efforts only held in short bursts to build your high end speed.

Spinning
Don’t spin in the big ring on the front of your bike. Always stick to the bottom ring if you have two or the middle ring if you have three rings. This will increase your cadence (leg speed), using cardio not muscular effort.

Core

  1. 3 x 5 to 10 push ups (If you are starting off try 5 reps.)
  2. 3 x 5 to 10 sit ups  (If you are starting off try 5 reps.)
  3. 3 x 10 to 20 seconds plank  (If you are starting off try 10 seconds.)

Building up your core strength is important in helping you become a better cyclist. Don’t neglect it.

We will be back with more training advice over the coming weeks so check out www.westportif.ie.

Happy training
Team Westportif