EVENTS

Hotchillee “Road to Paris” no-nonsense 20-week training plan starts now!

As spring starts to spring, it’s time to emerge from your winter slumber and start properly preparing for The London Paris by Tour de France.

This no-nonsense easy to follow training plan will take you from novice cyclist all the way to Paris.

All you need to follow it is a road worthy bike and basic cycling kit. 

At this point you should be able to cycle at a steady pace for approximately an hour. If you’re reasonably active, even if not currently cycling, this should be well within your capabilities.

The LONDON-PARIS by Tour de France

You’ll be doing three rides a week and you should complement this with a couple of sessions of off the bike conditioning such as yoga or Pilates. This will benefit your riding and help safeguard you against injury. Hotchillee Premium Members can join our live cycling specific sessions on Tuesday mornings at 0800 on Zoom. 

Try to allow non-cycling days between each ride.

Keep an eye on the Hotchillee website for monthly training rides, virtual sessions and regular expert tips and advice!

Join the fun!

Part 1: Weeks 1-8

This first 8 weeks of the plan build you up to a “metric century” 100km ride. 

This is important as you have to submit evidence of a 100km ride to Hotchillee before the end of May and this ensures that you’re ticking this box with time to spare. 

Week 1: Monday 7 March

Ride 1: 60 minutes

If you’re riding outside, try to pick a flat route on quiet or traffic free roads. Just get used to being back on a bike. Use your gears and regularly take the “talk-test” – you should be able to maintain a full conversation. As well as motivating each other this is a great reason for signing up with a friend.

Ride 2: 60 minutes

Repeat Ride 1

Ride 3: 60 minutes

This will develop into your longer weekend ride which we’ll be building up over the weeks. 

The time specified is “actual riding time” not total elapsed time so it doesn’t include any stops.

Don’t forget the “talk-test” and get into the habit of having a sip of liquid every 10 minutes – don’t wait to feel thirsty. Drinking from a bottle while riding is a key skill so ensure you practice this. 

There’s no reason if you have access to a turbo trainer that your midweek rides can’t be on this or you could even join some spin classes. However, you do want to try and get out and ride for real at least once a week to build your cycling skills and confidence as well as fitness.

If you are Surrey based and already confident of your ability to ride for 2.5 hours, then why not join the Hotchillee Monthly Ride on Sunday 13 March, details on Rides & Activities. These rides are also a great opportunity to learn how to ride in a group, which is an essential skill for The London Paris by Tour de France. Check out these tips for riding in a group https://www.hotchillee.com/hotchilleehandbook-group-riding-tips/ . If you’re not at this level yet, don’t worry, there will be another in a month’s time. 

Week 2: Monday 14 March

We’ll keep building up this week and you can stick to “full conversation pace” if you want. However, if you’re feeling good, you can lift the intensity a bit for some of the time on a couple of the rides. 

If you’re on Zwift, how about giving the Hotchillee Gain Train on Thursdays at 1830 a go as one of your midweek rides now? 

You can also check out the Hotchillee workouts if you have a smart trainer. These are compatible with both Zwift and RGT. At this stage in the plan Banana Pepper is an ideal session and a great compliment to Gain Train https://www.hotchillee.com/download-the-hotchillee-zwift-workouts/ 

Ride 1: 60 minutes

Try including a few 5-10 minute blocks in this ride where you lift the intensity a bit. Use the “talk-test” again and aim for being able to talk but only in short sentences. You might want to use a hill for this. 

Ride 2: 60 minutes

Same as the first ride this week so, if you want, up the intensity a bit but don’t worry if you don’t feel like it. 

Or get onboard the Hotchillee Gain Train

Ride 3: 90 minutes

Stepping up to 90 minutes, you need to start thinking about fueling. Just like drinking, don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Right from the start of the ride, have a small snack, every 30 minutes. You’re not eating for that moment but for 20-30km down the road.

Check out this great article by top cycling nutritionist Nigel Mitchell https://www.hotchillee.com/hotchillee-handbook-top-ten-cycling-nutrition-tips/ 

As with drinking on the bike, you also need to develop the skill of snacking without stopping. If you’re not confident getting snacks out of your jersey pocket, consider using a bar or top-tube bag/box for easy on the move snack access. 

Week 3: Monday 21 March

Up to two hours this week for your long ride and, if you didn’t do it last week, add some higher intensity efforts to your midweek rides. 

Ride 1: 60 minutes

(See Week 2)

Ride 2: 60 minutes

(See Week 2)

Ride 3: 120 minutes

Don’t forget everything you’ve learned so far about pacing, eating, and drinking and you’ll be fine. Maybe plan your route to include a mid-ride café stop as this is a key part of cycling!

Week 4: Monday 28 March

Brilliant work on having managed a 2-hour ride! This week is easier and gives your body a chance to recover and really adapt to the training you’ve done – yes, you’ll get fitter by doing less! Don’t be tempted to try and squeeze another long ride in.

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Keep the pace easy and just spin your legs.

Ride 2: 60 minutes

You can throw in some higher intensity efforts into this ride or join the Gain Train.

Ride 3: 60 minutes

Keep it steady.

Week 5: Monday April

Ride 1: 60 minutes

Try to include 2 x15-20 minutes where you lift the intensity to that “only short sentences” level.

If using a smart trainer with Zwift/RGT, Thai Birds Eye is the perfect Hotchillee session to be doing now.

Ride 2: 60 minutes

Don’t forget, if you’re on Zwift, get onboard the Hotchillee Gain Train or repeat Ride 1.

Ride 3: 150 minutes

Remember those key principles of pacing, hydration, and fueling. 

You want to be riding the majority of the ride at an intensity where you can easily chat. It should only be on climbs where things may get a bit spicier.

Sip on your bottle every 10 minutes right from the start of the ride and aim to be drinking 500-750ml per hour. This means you’ll need to factor in a bottle refilling stop.

Eat little and often, again from the start of the ride, taking on something every 20-30 minutes. 

Week 6: Monday 11 April

Ride 1: 60 minutes

(see Week 5)

Ride 2: 60 minutes

(see Week 5)

Ride 3: 180 minutes 

Remember pacing, hydration, and fueling!

Week 7: Monday 18 April

Ride 1: 60 minutes

(see Week 5)

Ride 2: 60 minutes

(see Week 5)

Ride 3: 210 minutes 

If you are Surrey based then make sure you sign up for the Hotchillee Monthly Ride on Sunday 24 April, details on Rides & Activities. Remember pacing, hydration, and fueling!

Week 8: Monday 25 April

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Just an easy spin at a low intensity to recover from a tough three weeks and to prepare for your metric century ride at the weekend. 

Ride 2: 30 minutes

Repeat Ride 1.

Ride 3: 100km

Remember pacing, hydration, and fueling – schedule those bottle filling stops.

Part 2: Weeks 9-12

This next four-week block takes you from 100km to 100 miles (160km). Although this may seem like a rapid progression, from a physiological perspective, as long as you’re pacing, hydrating and fueling well, it’s not a huge leap. In fact, with the training you’ve done, you could probably go out and ride 160km tomorrow with a bit of grit and determination – but don’t put this to the test!

You’ll stick to the same three rides a week structure through this block and the midweek rides will remain at around the hour mark.

You’ll start off this block with an easier recovery week to consolidate your gains. Remember it’s during recovery that your body adapts and becomes stronger so don’t be tempted to squeeze in another long ride.

Week 9: Monday 2 May

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Just an easy spin at a low intensity to recover from your big ride at the weekend.

Ride 2: 60 minutes

Try to include 3 x 10-minute blocks where you up the intensity to a level where you could only communicate in single word answers.

If using a smart trainer with Zwift/RGT, you can switch your Hotchillee workout to Scotch Bonnet to achieve this.

Or join the mighty Hotchillee Gain Train.

Ride 3: 120 minutes

Keep it flat, keep it steady and just have an enjoyable spin. 

Week 10: Monday 9 May

Ride 1: 60 minutes

Try to include 3 x 10-minute blocks where you up the intensity to a level where you could only communicate in single word answers.

If using a smart trainer with Zwift/RGT, you can switch your Hotchillee workout to Scotch Bonnet to achieve this.

Ride 2: 60 minutes

Repeat Ride 1 or, if it’s an option, join the Hotchillee Gain Train

Ride 3: 240 minutes or Back-Up 100km ride

Remember pacing, hydration, and fueling!

Week 11: Monday 16 May

Ride 1: 60 minutes

(See Week 10)

Ride 2: 60 minutes

(See Week 10)

Ride 3: 300 minutes 

Remember pacing, hydration, and fueling!

There’s also the Hotchillee 100km ride this weekend (Sunday 22 May), which is a great chance to notch up another metric ton, tick that box if you didn’t quite manage it in Week 8 and to work a bit more on those essential group riding skills. 

Week 12: Monday 23 May

Ride 1: 60 minutes

(See Week 10)

Ride 2: 30 minutes

Easy leg loosener ahead of Imperial ton at the weekend. 

Ride 3: 100 miles/160km

You’ve got this! 

Don’t forget you must have submitted evidence of a recent 100km (minimum ) ride to Hotchillee before the end of May, which will be used to seed you into your speed group for the event.

Part 3: Weeks 13-17

Great work so far and Paris is now in sight!

You’ll start off this block with an easier recovery week to consolidate your gains. Remember it’s during recovery that your body adapts and becomes stronger so don’t be tempted to squeeze in another long ride. 

You’ll then do your toughest three weeks of training where you’ll be doing two double ride weekends to prepare you for riding back-to-back days. Again, those fundamentals of pacing, hydration and fueling are the keys to multi-day success but you also need to focus a bit more on post-ride recovery. By the time you’re at this point in the plan, we’ll have posted blogs on post-ride recovery tips and multi-day success.

Week 13: Monday 30 May

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Just an easy spin at a low intensity to recover from your big ride at the weekend.

Ride 2: 30 minutes

Repeat Ride 1

Ride 3: 120 minutes

Keep it flat, keep it steady and just have an enjoyable spin.

Week 14: Monday 6 June

Ride 1: 60 minutes

Include 2 x 20 minutes where you lift the intensity to that single word answer level.

If using a smart trainer with Zwift/RGT, switch up to Scotch Bonnet ++

Ride 2: 60 minutes

Repeat Ride 1 or, if it’s an option, join the Hotchillee Gain Train

Ride 3: 240 minutes 

Remember pacing, hydration, fueling and recovery as you’re riding again tomorrow!

Ride 4: 180 minutes 

Don’t worry if your legs feel a bit stale to start with, they will ease!

Week 15: Monday 13 June

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Easy recovery spin

Ride 2: 60 minutes

(see Week 14)

Ride 3: 240 minutes 

Remember pacing, hydration, fueling and recovery as you’re riding again tomorrow!

Ride 4: 240 minutes 

Dig in, you’re almost there!

Week 16: Monday 20 June

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Easy recovery spin

Ride 2: 30 minutes

(Repeat Ride 1)

Ride 3: 100 miles/160km 

Your final big ride before London to Paris by Tour de France, enjoy it! It’s another chance to log an Imperial Ton just in case it didn’t quite pan out in Week 12.

If you are Surrey based, then why not join the Hotchillee Monthly Ride on Sunday 26 June (approx. 3.5 hour ride). 

Week 17: Monday 27th June

A really easy recovery week to bank those gains. Take advantage of the extra time you have to double check all of your kit and logistics. 

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Easy recovery spin

Ride 2: 30 minutes

(see Week 15)

Ride 3: 60 minutes 

Keep it flat and steady. Double check all is good with your bike and get it in for a service if necessary…

Part 4: Weeks 18-20

Just under three weeks out and the hard work is done, the kilometres are in your legs and now it’s about tapering down so you’re fresh and ready for the London to Paris by Tour de France roll-out.

Do not be tempted to cram in any extra rides – especially long ones. You won’t gain any more fitness and you’ll just add fatigue to your legs. Trust in the training you’ve done. 

Week 18: Monday 4 July

Ride 1: 60 minutes

(See Week 14)

Ride 2: 60 mins

(See Week 14)

Ride 3: 90 mins

Keep things flat and steady but, in the final hour, perform 5 x 10-seconds seated sprints using a low gear to really spin your legs fast. 

Week 19: Monday 11 July

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Easy spin 

Ride 2: 30 mins

(Repeat Ride 1)

Ride 3: 60 mins

Perform 5 x 10 seconds seated sprints using a low gear to really spin your legs fast.

Week 20 (Event Week!)

Ride 1: 30 minutes

Easy spin

Ride 2 (Wednesday 20 July): 30 minutes

Just a leg loosener ahead of tomorrow’s Stage 1 – this is especially important if you’ve had a big day of travelling.

Ride 3: The London Paris by Tour de France, Stage 1

Enjoy

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