The Like Bike Workout: Everyone is busy and working hard, which is why this workout is designed to enhance your fitness without taking too much time,” explains Carrara who, following his retirement in 2012, has coached and passed on tips, tricks and information learned during his professional career, among other things.
“First, I recommend you do an Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test, which is performed an a Wattbike. It takes 20 minutes and helps you measure your fitness levels by providing your average power and heart rate. You can then use this information to set your FTP workout zones and measure your progress more effectively.
“Remember, exercising is only half of the battle; you need to eat a balanced diet alongside too to achieve the best results. If you want to achieve results on your bike you don’t want to be building big muscle. You need to be a lean machine!”
So, here’s a seven-day breakdown that, if followed for two to three months, will have you leading your peloton in no time.
“Rest day! Put your feet up. You’ll need it for what lays ahead…”
“Happy tempo day! Tuesday is all about endurance”
Perform 3 sets of 10/12 minutes…
…At 88% of your maximum FTP level, with a short rest in between
“This can be done on a Wattbike, bike machine or on your bike. The idea is that you increase the number of minutes at this level each week, so 3 sets of 12 minutes, then 15, 20 and so on. Ultimately, you’re looking to reach a level where you can cycle for one hour at around 80% of your maximum level. Cadence, seat position and technique are all very important here. If you’re not in the right position, you won’t be able to generate the right power from the top of your feet.”
“Welcome to your power session, this should always be your second session of the week”
Perform five sets of four minutes…
…at 98-100% of your maximum level, with four minutes rest in betweens
“Again, you only need an hour, sometimes less, but cadence is again very
important, and by that we’re talking about your number of pedals per
minute. You’re not looking to do more than 45-50 pedals in 60 seconds if
done properly (at the right intensity).”
“Time to introduce some VO2 max training.”
Perform a three-minute spell at maximum intensity.
Followed by two minutes a 28% intensity. Do this give times. No Break.
“This is tough, but we’re trying to increase your threshold. It’s interval training,
and it can be varied. So, some weeks you might vary the secondary intensity.
The idea is that you should be able to increase your intensity in each of your
second sets as you improve. Or, you might feel you can increase the length of
your first set at maximum intensity and reduce the secondary set, which means
you’ll be working for longer. Either way, this session is really important.”
“Good news. Day off!”
“Time to hit the roads…”
Perform one long ride at a distance of your choosing at your preferred intensity.
“The weekend is family time, but you should be looking to get in a long ride
on the roads. So, it’s four sessions over the course of a week, which should
be achievable. Within two or three months, you’ll feel the benefits.”
About the Rider
Matteo Carrara enjoyed a 12-year professional career at the highest level, which included a victory at the expense of Fränk Schleck and Lance Armstrong at the Tour de Luxembourg in 2010. Carrara enjoyed numerous top ten GC finishes in a host of WorldTour races, including the Tour de Suisse, Volta a Catalunya and Critérium du Dauphiné. “My life is a little bit more relaxed these days,” he says. “I had 20 years as a professional and competed in the most important races in the world. I was lucky to win a few of them as well.” Carrara now runs several businesses in the world of cycling, including what he describes as “the most exclusive cycling collective in the city [London]”
About the Bike
The Like Bike Exhibition is a B2B/B2C event in its second year, which brings together all aspects of lifestyle and cycling under a very glamorous roof. Set in Monaco’s finest exhibition venue, The Grimaldi Forum, nestled a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean, Like Bike combines a premium location with high-calibre brands to match. “It is unique,” explains Carrara. “For example, there were a lot of strange and wonderful bikes on show from a whole range of brands, including the most expensive bikes in the world. There is something for everyone. “It’s held in Monaco, which is a stunning location, and most of the people who arrived came by boat! It was a very popular event; and that part of France is a great place to train. I took part in the Night Race last year, an event that involved doing laps of a 1.4km-course 1.4km and which took you around the beautiful port of Monaco. Recommended! I’ll be there next month.” Like Bike takes place June 3-5. Visit: www.likebikemc.com for more information