With INSCYD into the pyrenees.
While the Tour de France is heading towards the Pyrenees, stages alternate between high mountains and sprint finishes. This diversity requires a training which targets the exact physiological parameters to perform at the highest level of those stages.
As it is often the case, for this, professional coaches look to riders' VLamax (the maximum glycolytic energy rate) as the number one metric that tells them where the riders are, from a physiological point of view.
“We tried to lower the VLamax because then the rider becomes more efficient in the long run,” says Patxi Vila, personal coach of the World Champion Peter Sagan and others. “For a GC guy or climber it would be a handicap to have it higher before the Tour. For those riders we normally target 0.3/0.35.”
But glycolytic capacity and therefore lactate build-up is also connected to two other factors that will make a difference in the final weeks of the Tour: energy consumption and fuel needs.
“You need to relate the VLamax to the amount of carbs you are able to burn and the amount of energy you are able to produce," explains Vila. "So depending on what you want to achieve, nutrition is a good help to lower or increase the VLamax, because it’s related to the amount of fuel you have in the tank. But we use both, nutrition and training: to become more efficient, normally the endurance rides are the best (high volume), but combined with good nutrition. If you want to increase it – for example in a sprinter like Peter - you go for the shorter rides, skip the endurance a bit, lower the amount of kilometers, but play more with intensities.”
Vila has been testing Majka and other riders in their special preparation for the Tour and used INSCYD's to track their development. In the last six weeks before the Tour he has been keeping an eye on them with INSCYD every 10 days.
“The good thing [about INSCYD] is that I can have them tested at their home,” adds Vila.
With INSCYD you have an insight of what happens inside the muscles – that is where it most matters.”