The build period is an important phase in periodized training for cyclists, as it is designed to increase their power and speed. This period typically lasts several weeks and is focused on developing the cyclist's high-intensity capabilities, preparing them for the demands of racing.
During the build period, cyclists can expect to incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into their routine. This type of training involves short bursts of high-intensity effort followed by periods of rest or active recovery. A common example of a HIIT session for a cyclist is a set of 8-10 intervals of 30 seconds at maximum effort, followed by 30 seconds of easy pedaling.
Another example of a training session during the build period is a set of hill repeats. This type of workout involves cycling up a steep hill at maximum effort, and then riding back down at an easy pace. This type of training helps to build leg strength and power, while also improving the cyclist's ability to handle the demands of hilly races.
In addition to these specific training sessions, cyclists should also continue to focus on strength training during the build period. This can include exercises such as squats and lunges to build leg strength and core exercises to improve stability and power transfer.
The benefits of the build period are numerous. By incorporating high-intensity intervals and strength training, the cyclist's body adapts to the demands of racing, resulting in an increase in power and speed. Furthermore, by focusing on specific skills such as hill climbing, the cyclist becomes a more well-rounded and capable racer. Additionally, by continuing to build on the foundation of fitness established during the base period, the cyclist is able to improve endurance, allowing them to maintain high-intensity efforts for longer periods of time.
In conclusion, the build period is a crucial phase in periodized training for cyclists, as it is designed to increase power and speed and prepare them for the demands of racing. By incorporating high-intensity intervals, strength training, and race-specific skills training, cyclists can improve their performance, becoming stronger, faster and more capable racers.