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Training & Technique

How To Maintain A Cycling Habit Into Winter (Or How I’m Going To Try…) thumbnail

In the past, when I’ve managed to build something resembling a cycling habit over the summer, I’ve tended to lose impetus around October. The rides dry up as the weather wets up (and colds up). Excuses are made and other ‘priorities’ take over. Sometimes the rot sets in in September. Of course I don’t always […] Read More


The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists thumbnail

Okay, here’s the jam. In this post we’re going to talk about training. A lot. Why? Well, I’d posit that most you are here to improve your cycling performance in some fashion (here, as in on this website, rather than here on this earth). If you’re just starting out, that might be achieved through upping your […] Read More

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How Do Pro Cyclists Train?

How Do Pro Cyclists Train? thumbnail

Ooh, it’s very technical. I’m not sure you’d understand. I’m certain that I don’t. But lack of knowledge, competence and intelligence has not tended to stop me writing about a subject here on Sportive Cyclist. So I’m going to give it a crack. As an esteemed (not to mention gloriously-handsome) Sportive Cyclist reader, I’m sure […] Read More


The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed mention on this ‘ere blog of an upcoming family holiday (training camp) in Mallorca. That holiday has come and gone. Thankfully I am pleased to report that quite a bit of road cycling took place. Since I’ve road bike holidayed in Mallorca twice now, I feel (semi-)qualified to […] Read More


How To Improve Your Pedalling Technique

How To Improve Your Pedalling Technique thumbnail

In this post we will explore pedalling (‘pedaling’ if you are American) technique for road cyclists. This is an important area. The meeting of foot and pedal is the primary interface between human and bicycle (well, primary moving interface – you wouldn’t get padded cycling shorts if there wasn’t a pretty significant ‘interface’ in that area […] Read More

Training with Power vs. Heart Rate – Which is Best? thumbnail

Are you ready to bring your training to the next level? Of course you are. And to do that, you’ll want to know the difference between training by heart rate versus by power meter (you will!). Well look no further, I’m here to explain both, and help you decide which one (or both, or neither!) […] Read More

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First Impressions Of TrainerRoad: Upgrading The Paincave

First Impressions Of TrainerRoad: Upgrading The Paincave thumbnail

I have this sense that there is a secret to training that, if I crack it, will result in my becoming a stronger/faster/more stylish cyclist. If not instantly, then at least overnight. It is this inner inkling that prompts my fascination with power meters (“If only I had a power meter then a programme of […] Read More

How To Cycle Every Day (Or 10 Things I Learned Cycle Training For 35 Days In A Row) thumbnail

So i did it. Let the mini trumpets toot. I successfully achieved my objective of riding every single day for 35 days, from 28th December (last year!) until 31st January 2016. (Why 35 days? Cos I wanted 16.67% more challenge over last time). Rather than focus on the stats (which are… epic!), I thought I’d […] Read More

35 Day Cycling Challenge

So I’m just over half way into my 35 days of cycling challenge and … * Espalier Alert! * … I’m still on track (for greatness). Here’s an update! (PLUS, I reveal the new book cover for the re-release of ‘Sportiveur’. Exciting times.) Once Upon A Time, In A Garage Far Far Away Quick catch […] Read More

How to build a cycling habit

Which is an aspirational title for a blog post, if ever there was one. And I should probably be clear. This post will not contain the solution to all your time vs cycling vs motivation challenges (well, it might but I can’t guarantee it…). Essentially, as I’ve done before, I’m committing publicly on this blog […] Read More


How To Create A Structured Cycling Training Programme

How To Create A Structured Cycling Training Programme thumbnail

In this post, we’re going to get into the meat of producing your personalised cycling training programme. I’m going to set out a step-by-step methodology for building a structured training programme, with the aim of peaking your fitness for one or two target cycling events. By the end of the lesson (for want of a […] Read More


How To Make More Time For Cycling

Way back in the mists of time, I conducted a survey of Sportive Cyclist email subscribers, asking them for their biggest frustration with cycling.  There were complaints about the state of British roads (and those of Azerbaijan) and the standard of cycling when riding as a group, but the main frustration was the lack of […] Read More


Fast After 50 by Joe Friel: A Book Review…

Fast after 50 book review cover

I have hit the big time. I have been sent a book to review. By a publisher. For free. (For now, let’s ignore the fact that I contacted said publisher myself, fragrantly exploiting the Sportive Cyclist readership, in order to procure this freebie.) The book in question is ‘Fast After 50: How To Race Strong […] Read More


What Is Strava Fitness And Freshness?

What Is Strava Fitness And Freshness? thumbnail

Your ability to ride a bike quickly (or for a long time) on any given day is governed by two factors: fitness and fatigue*. (* Okay, there are more factors, but let’s keep things simple). Your fitness dictates how attuned your body is to fulfilling the demands that you want to place upon it. Your […] Read More


How To Climb Better (On A Road Bike…)

How To Climb Better On A Road Bike

I’m prepared to bet that improving your ability to ride up hills is one of your top 3 priorities on the bike in 2015. Or perhaps you express it slightly differently: your main concern (dare I say it, fear?) about your next sportive is getting up the hills (or doing so quickly). C’est normal. We […] Read More


Hello and welcome to the Newsnight Review. I’m Kirsty Wark. I jest. But I am wearing women’s clothes. I jest again. (Or do I…?) This is a slightly new feature on Sportive Cyclist. I’m going to review a book. You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s a book about cycling. What’s This About A Book […] Read More

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30 Day Challenge Day 30

Good news! It’s over. And it’s good news for both me and you. For me, I’m pleased to say I completed my self-imposed penance challenge, to cycle on every day in June [whispers behind hand, “for at least 20 minutes”]. For you, I’m pleased to say you won’t have to hear me going on about […] Read More

Strava calendar Day 23

The World Cup group stages are into their vinegar strokes. Wimbledon has started (thankfully with the men’s defending champion not making an historical first round exit). Anticipation for the impending Grand Depart is reaching fever pitch (i.e. a few Yorkshire eyebrows are being raised ‘neath flat cap and the odd tsk is being uttered). I therefore […] Read More


30 Days of Cycling Challenge: Progress Report (Week 2)

30 Day Challenge Day 13

Hello all. I’m sure you’re chomping at the handlebars to hear how my 30 Days of Cycling Challenge is going. Relaxez-vous. The moment of update is upon us. Let’s begin. A Disappointing Lack Of Drama What I’m about to write guarantees that something will happen that derails the whole challenge. Boff! [French shrug of the shoulders] The […] Read More


30 Days of Cycling Challenge: Progress Report (Week 1)

30 Day Cycling Challenge Day 6

Well last week’s post certainly prompted some debate. In the post, I ‘confessed’ to not having ridden my bike for 81 days (i.e. the best part of three months). My self-prescribed medicine was to commit to riding for at least 20 minutes on each of the days in June*. (*There are 30 days in June.) […] Read More


It’s Time To Confess (My Dirty Secret…)

My cycling secret

I have a confession to make. A pretty fundamental confession for someone that runs a cycling blog. This post probably ranks as classic commercial suicide (or it would be if this blog could be described as being remotely ‘commercial’). Right Grimpeur. Stop the wittering. Get it off your chest and then tell us what you’re […] Read More

Time Starved Cyclist – How To Train When You’ve Got No Time

Finding the time to train (or simply the time to get out on your bike) is perhaps the number 1 problem experienced by readers of Sportive Cyclist. (Well, the number 1 cycling problem at least). I wish I could wave a magic wand and solve your problem. In fact, if I had a magic wand, […] Read More


How To Train When The Weather Is … Shizzle

How to train when the weather is bad

It’s 29th December 2012. I’m out on the bike. Presumably this is some sort of early New Year resolution (plus I’d just received a pair of clip on mudguards for Christmas – I needed to show some gratitude). It’s just before lunchtime but it may as well be evening. The only thing greyer than the […] Read More

Training for your first sportive

To finish a long sportive, and finish it well, you only need to train three times a week. The same applies for a shorter sportive over a hillier course. What, you thought you’d have to do more? Well I’m pleased to be the bearer of good news. If you can fit in an extra session […] Read More

Ride your first sportive

In the UK we are being torn apart by storms of biblical proportions. In the US, the Midwest is dealing with a ‘polar vortex’ (definition: a lot of snow). It seems appropriate, therefore, that my attention turns to bike riding. Bike riding of a sportive nature. Specifically, my thoughts have turned to how I am […] Read More

First Long Sportive Cover

I am pleased to announce that I’ve finally pulled my finger out and produced a little je ne sais quoi for my ever-suffering reader base. Actually, I do know what it is. It’s my free (yes, FREE!) guide to riding your first imperial century. It’s called: “4 Steps To Your First Long Distance Sportive: Conquer Your Fears, […] Read More


How To Choose Your Next Sportive (And Actually Complete It)

How To Choose Your Next Sportive (And Actually Complete It) thumbnail

In this post I give some tips on how to select your next sportive event. If you’ve never ridden a sportive, but you’d like to, this guide should help you select the right one to start with – one that you’ll finish, enjoy, and which can lead on to bigger and better (longer and higher) […] Read More


Cycling In Majorca and a ‘Miraculous’ Recovery

Cycling in Majorca

  You might have noticed a distinct lack of new posts from the Grimpeur over the past 10 days. The reason? Like Bradley Wiggins, I’ve been on a mid-season training camp in Majorca. Or as my wife calls it, our family summer holiday. The holiday was an extended family affair. As well as Les Petits […] Read More


Do You Need a Cycling Coach?

I am in no doubt that employing a cycling coach would lead to an exponential improvement in my performance on the bike. Yet, whilst I frequently consider hypothetical scenarios for spending thousands of pounds to ‘build out’ my portfolio of bikes, I have tended to dismiss coaching as being too expensive or in some way not for […] Read More


Where To Find Cycling Training Plan Information

There is only so much progress you can make in your quest for cycle fitness simply by riding further and for longer. At a certain point, your training will need to become more structured and specific, if you want to maximise your performance at whatever cycling challenge you have set yourself (and by ‘your’, I of […] Read More


Readers of my blog will know that I talk a good game. I’ve talked about the cycling event that I’m doing. I’ve analysed the route. I’ve talked a bit about how I’ve broken the challenge down into its constituent parts. But where, you might ask, is the evidence that I’ve actually DONE anything? Motivation this, […] Read More


A GUARANTEED way to make sure you commit to the bike in 2013

It’s March and the weather is improving (supposedly). You’re considering getting the bike out of the garage/shed/cupboard. (What, you mean you haven’t spent the winter amassing base miles and doing interval sessions on the turbo trainer?) Now that you’ve got the bike all ready to go, do you want a surefire way to avoid the […] Read More


RideLondon: the journey starts here

I am now officially signed up to RideLondon. As I said in this post, I have a place to ride with Macmillan, the cancer support charity, on the proviso that I raise a lot of money for them. The event (which is now called the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100) takes place on Sunday 4th August.  This […] Read More


2013 so far: failure, excuses and recriminations

This blog is meant to be about cycling. And happiness. Me cycling. Me being happy whilst cycling. The problem is, there hasn’t been much cycling to speak of. The year started well, and here I’m going to be generous to myself by including December 29th and 30th as honorary members of 2013. Those two days, […] Read More