How SportActive's Enduro Booster Powers Success
There can be no denying that the secret to cycling success is endurance. It provides the foundation on which to perfect cycling skills and to concentrate on developing strength and power.
2023 was a landmark year for Michael DePalma as he ascended to the pinnacle of cycling by becoming the Texas State Road Race Champion.
While attending SportActive Cycling's Enduro Booster, one of our head coaches, Martin interviewed him.
Michael said, "It's a beautiful clear day and we're doing some good intervals and putting in some good miles." Michael's group completed around 140 km+ that day. Over the course of five days, the group completed 700 km+.
He added, "The team is really working well. We've put in some great gym time and we can feel that, and now we're pressing on the pedals it feels good." As well as competing in the Texas Road Race Championships, Michael also took on the Mallorca 312.
"I'm gonna do the Mallorca 312. This will be the third year I do it, and I'm really looking forward to it, the full distance." The Mallorca 312's full distance is 312 km. It is Europe's longest amateur sportive.
Michael added that in the off-season he did gravel and cross to "keep his bases covered."
Discover SportActive’s Early Season Enduro Booster. This innovative programme underpinned his training as it optimised his body's ability to efficiently burn fat as fuel.
You can see Michael's interview here:
Strength & Power: Beyond Endurance
While endurance is crucial, Michael's success story is also about strength and power. Contrary to common belief, cycling strength isn't just about the legs; it's a full-body endeavour. When Peter Sagan won the Paris-Roubaix in 2018, his training sessions revealed that he incorporated two dedicated gym sessions a week to work on his upper body. SportActive’s training emphasises a strong core, essential for effective road cycling. See our article, "Improve your Core Strength for Better Cycling" to improve your core.
Other useful exercises and techniques include:
- Welcome to the Road Cycling World of High Intensity Interval Training – High intensity interval training or (HIIT) among other things boosts your mitochondria function and VO2 max. It also burns fat. This brings tangible benefits to cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal adaptations.
- 2 Cycle Training Techniques to Adopt When Short on Time – Refer specifically to strength endurance training which entails riding for around five minutes in a high gear. The benefits are that by doing this exercise regularly, you’ll be developing the strength and subsequently the power in your legs. Some cyclists say this is the cycling equivalent of weightlifting.
Bike Fuelling: The Art of Nutrition
What you consume while on two wheels is crucial to cycling success and maintaining your own health. Dehydration is potentially a killer and new research shows that lung damage can ensue if you’re not consuming enough water on a regular basis.
See Health Digest's post, "What Happens To Your Lungs When You Don't Drink Enough Water."
To get a picture of what to eat and drink on the bike see our article, "The Right Food for the Right Ride – Determine Your Cycling Nutrition". Getting this right can only be done through practice and this post will give you actionable insights into understanding what you need to consume on a ride and when. Be patient as this will take experimentation for you to get this down. The results, however, will be worth it.
Training Zones and FTP: Precision Training
Professional cyclists swear by training zones and Functional Threshold Power (FTP) for optimising performance. Michael notes. Determining your FTP is crucial, as outlined in our "Home Trainer Program - Week 1 - Power Meter Based" guide. Using tools like power meters or heart rate monitors helps in accurately setting training zones. This is not just a great training aid but will help you when taking part in big events or competitions.
Crafting Your Training Programme
A well-structured training plan is vital. This will help shape your training and work on all aspects of your cycling.
With this in mind:
- Have a goal – Setting a goal helps you to structure your training to hit it. For example, you may want to ride Marmotte Granfondo Alps or the Mallorca 312. If you’re in serious competition like Michael, this could be to achieve a certain distance or hit a certain time.
- Plan your training rides – Work out the best times to train. This is best accomplished by making a weekly plan where you factor in your life commitments. This will show you when you can spend time on the saddle.
- Make notes – It is a good idea to keep a training diary and update it on how the ride went. Incorporate a food plan into this diary so you can determine what is best for you to consume while on two wheels.
- Incorporate HIIT and Strength Training – It is important that your plan makes time for strength training whether be via high gear riding or gym time. It is also important to put in HIIT sessions as well.
- Factor in Recovery – Recovery is very important to any structured training plan. You can learn more about recovery by reading, "8 Pro Recovery Tips to Enhance your Cycling Career."
Cycling Techniques: The Path to Mastery
Finally, try and improve your form when training. The following articles will help you:
- Master your Gears to Ride Further and Faster
- Cycle Sprinting Tips to Finish Like a Pro
- The Pro Techniques for Riding Faster on the Flat
- 10 Tips to Climb Stronger and Faster
- Pedal Like a Pro and Ride Like the Wind
As you refine your techniques, you'll notice a significant improvement in applying your endurance, strength, and power training to your cycling.
For a comprehensive plan, watch SportActive’s video featuring professional coach Martin, outlining an effective structure for endurance training.
Your Path Forward
Michael is just one of several cyclists who have achieved great things in road cycling after riding with SportActive in Mallorca. It all starts with endurance. Once in place, everything else follows.
Mirror Michael's achievement next year!
SportActive’s Guided & Coached Enduro Booster is your gateway to improvement and achievement. In just one week, you'll see a considerable increase in your base miles. Embark on your own cycling journey to success with SportActive. Unlock your potential and join a community of champions. Your road to glory begins here.