NEWSLETTER – March 2024


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NEWSLETTER No 24 – March 2024

Hi – we hope this month’s offering finds you enjoying the lighter evenings and looking forward to riding more 😊

sunny cyclists


News from the front –

Chris, Lynn and the team are starting to relish the occasional better weather and increased daylight to get out and about more, riding on and off road, entering local events, running and even an afternoon at a climbing wall.

cartmel fell tarn

                Spot Chris if you can ??


Events news –

Places for the first event of our 2024 season – THE RAM on 14 April 24 are filling fast. 

"the ram" 80 mile yorkshire dales sportive

This 80 miler is becoming an annual classic that explores some epic areas of The Yorkshire Dales, including the cobbled streets of Dent village, the climb up and over The Coal Road and the descent of Barbondale.

Also – chatting with fellow riders recently reminded us how very lucky we are to be associated with the brilliant 3-1-5 Health Club.  The fact that we can base all 4 of our events there, and that our riders can pay £5 (special guest poolside day pass – normally £15! ) at reception post ride to relax in the pool, jacuzzi, steam rooms or sauna, as well as enjoying a piping hot shower – still seems unbelievable.

3-1-5 jacuzzi

We don’t know of any other sportives that offer anything similar to this, but are super proud that we do – so bring a towel and swimming stuff next time you do one of our events.

Coaches corner –

Training For Events – by Ben Barlow 

If you remember from last month’s coaching corner, we had a look at goal setting for the year ahead.

The next step (and arguably the most important) is writing our training plan so we can achieve the goals we’ve set out to do. The overall key to a successful training plan is to spend our time wisely, stay focused and prepare for the specific event.

The first thing I like to start when making any plan is the “pyramid of priorities”. 

training plan pyramid

  • Consistency

This is going to be the foundation of any good plan. There’s no point in heading out and smashing round a 100 mile loop every weekend. You will just knacker yourself for the following week.

  • Volume

For endurance sport, it’s important to build up the hours to make the adaptations we need to improve our cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. Generally, this would be called “zone 2 training”. We can quite happily ride along chatting with our mates for 2 or more hours.

  • Intensity

We are happy with the volume and consistency. We now focus on the intensity of our training sessions and planning harder rides. I would never recommend doing more than two or three hard sessions per week. It is easy to overtrain, especially if you’re doing a decent number of hours on the bike.

When you think about your own goals and planned events, break down the demands and requirements. As an example, if you know that your event has a long climb that will take you more than 10 minutes, your High Intensity Interval Training sessions should focus on threshold (~100% FTP) and tempo (~80% FTP) training.

The Ram route elevation

If you know your event has lots of short punchy climbs, you’d possibly want to focus on VO2 Max efforts (~110-120% FTP). It is a good idea to combine each type of interval in your plan so you can become a well-rounded rider.

When creating a training program, our personal lives can often be the difference between success and failure. Spending time with family, work, etc. is going to cause external stress onto your plan. It is important that you don’t overcommit too much time or intensity when writing your program. A good sleep schedule and balanced diet will make the world of difference for recovery, as well as listening to your body.

If you’re needing some guidance or just a starting point to help create your training plan, I have created a simple plan for you to follow : 

Feel free to contact me for more advice.

Ben Barlow

Apogee Performance

[email protected]

Team rides –

Tim and Steve kicked off their season by completing the annual Coal Road Challenge reliability ride, which is organised by Lune Cycling Club, and is a similar route to our own The Ram Sportive.

coal road challenge

Chris and Lynn are busy exploring the local lanes and have a cunning plan for a mega Coast to Coast riding adventure from home, which will include The Bay Way, C2C and The Way of the Roses.

Have a great month’s riding.

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