A worthwhile target for March is to improve endurance. This will be particularly important this year. The first climb, Marie Blanque will be fun! After 60 miles, Soulor will require more endurance. The real challenge will be Tourmalet – the highest road pass in the Pyrenees, taking us up to over 2000 metres! So developing endurance will be particularly important. Correct pacing will also be important, though this will come later.


Now often should you train a week? Two or three times would be ideal, but for most of us work, family life and other commitments will make this difficult. As the equinox approaches, there will be some daylight in the evenings – when the clocks go back evening training will start to be come a real possibility. In the mean time – the turbo trainer or exercise bike in the gym may be an option. Training in the 120 to 200 watts range would be appropriate for most of us.

Maybe you will want to do a long ride at the weekend, and a short, more intense ride one evening a week.


Club rides, sportives and Audaxes are a good option, as they offer a good opportunity to practice group riding techniques, such as the advantages of draughting, and avoiding colliding with other riders!


The length of your rides will depend on your training so far! If you have been doing 30 mile rides, try a 50 miler – if you have been doing 50 milers, try a 70 miler. If you are beginning to adjust your pacing, you will want to find a pace you are able to sustain for several hours.


In view of the amount of climbing this year, it will be as well to practice steady hill climbing, if possible on long hills or mountains. Hill repeats are a good option, or planning a nice hilly route. If the temperatures are near zero it is as well to keep your climbing speed down, to avoid chilling your core body temperature by taking too much freezing air in too rapidly. In any case, a steady climbing speed will be more useful in the Etape, simply because of the length of the climbs.


Towards end of March you may want to increase the intensity of your rides to increase your power output.


If you are able to take a break a warm, mountainous area – you are well ahead! Take a look at the Events section on this web site for some possibilities!


Anyway – enjoy your training – and don’t forget the caf้ stops along the way!