Take part now – the Alpecin Cycling Challenge

To ride cyclosportives is just as impossible these days as travelling with the bike or training with friends in a group. But we, the road bike enthusiasts, are united in the love of our sport. Therefore, let’s continue to live our passion in the best possible way and set ourselves new goals. With Alpecin Cycling Challenge “next level you”, Alpecin Cycling offers you the chance to take your performance to a new level. Train for three months and improve – with specially designed professional training plans for different time allowances and performance levels. You will receive training plans, lots of tips for successful training and – if necessary – a motivation boost from us. The highlight: The entire training for Alpecin Cycling Challenge can take place indoors on a bike trainer. You can start with the warm-up right away, then things will get serious on April 15, 2020, when we will all do the first performance test together to determine your fitness…

With Alpecin Cycling Challenge “next level you”, we will remotely train you for three months to make you fitter, faster and improve your performance on the bike. Together with the amateur athletes of Team Alpecin 2020 and the wider Alpecin Cycling Community, you will complete several performance tests, receive training plans and lots of tips on cycling training from sports scientist and professional coach Björn Geesmann. We will start on April 15, 2020 with a big performance test, which we will stream live. With this test, that you will ride on a turbo, we want to determine your current performance level.

Based on the result of the test, your performance level and training zones can be determined. Afterwards you will enter the “next level you” training. Our coach Björn Geesmann, sports scientist and coach of two-time Ironman Hawaii winner Patrick Lange, will design training plans for different fitness levels. The training units can all be done indoors. You will be supported and motivated with blog articles and FAQs on many training topics until the grand finale on July 15.

Goal

The goal is to become fitter and improve your performance within three months by training with us – or put in physiological terms: to improve performance at the individual anaerobic threshold i.e. the Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Optimizing this “threshold power” is comparable to engine tuning in a car – it gets more power. Transferred to athletes this means that they can ride faster for a longer periods of time. This is the exact ability that is important for over 90 percent of amateur cyclists.

Procedure

The Challenge officially starts with an initial test on April 15, 2020 to determine the current performance level with a so-called FTP test that will be carried out live in a “virtual” room together with former World Champion Maurizio Fondriest, multiple Tour de France finisher Jörg Ludewig, some riders of Alpecin-Fenix professional cycling team around Mathieu van der Poel and the members of Team Alpecin 2020. To prepare properly for this test, we provide a two-week training plan – LINK. This performance test serves to determine the fitness level – individual anaerobic threshold or FTP – as well as the different training zones. The next step, athletes will get a three-month training plan which can be ridden completely indoor i.e. on a turbo. The training plans are divided into three categories: Gran Fondo, Performance and Race. The current training plans will be published on www.alpecincycling.com and are available for download on TrainingPeaks. The grand finale of the Challenge will take place on July 15, 2020 – with another live performance test. The results will show the achieved performance improvement.

Training

The training starts directly after the first performance test. The training plans are divided into three categories: Gran Fondo, Performance and Race. They differ mainly in the weekly training scope. Those who register with TrainingPeaks can download the training plans directly onto their head unit or virtual training platform. Alpecin Cycling newsletter subscribers will get a discount code.

Performance tests

At the start and end of Alpecin Cycling Challenge a test is ridden to determine the respective current performance level. This form check, also known as FTP test or CP20 test, is completed in form of a 20-minute time trial with prior warm-up. This test allows for determination of the continuous performance capacity over a longer period of time as well as of the performance at the individual anaerobic threshold. In addition, this test can also serve to determine the training zones. The advantage of running this test on a Turbo is its repeatability, as external influences such as wind or red traffic lights are completely eliminated. Thus, this test can be repeated as a form check and for re-determining the training zones if required.

Participation

Anyone who is fit and healthy can take part. The set-up for indoor training can be a bike plus bike trainer with direct drive (Smart Trainer) or a bike with power meter plus classic bike trainer.

Let's Go

4 - 6 Hours of Training per Week

Gran Fondo

You want to use your time in a clever and efficient way to improve your performance and endurance –  despite the current limitations. Your goal is to go on really long rides with your friends in summer – if this is possible again by then – do some playful short sprints with them and participate in some organised touring rides as well in as some amateur events and cycling marathons.

8 - 10 Hours of Training per Week

Performance

You love bike marathons and Gran Fondo rides – epic ascents and descents are your true passion. The prospect to participate in these events already motivated you for winter training. To make sure you don’t lose your passion for cycling or your already acquired form and to improve it further, you train between eight and ten hours per week with our varied plans. You’ll be as ready as you can be to climb some mountains!

More than 12 Hours of Training per Week

Race

You are ambitious! You can’t wait to put your race number back on your jersey. In the past few months you have been training hard for your set goals: to beat your personal best in amateur races and bike marathons. Your time budget for training per week is 12 hours.

Get more information about training

FTP Test – Big Form Check for Road Cyclists
FTP Test – Big Form Check for Road Cyclists
Training 08.04.2020
Ride hard on the bike trainer for 20 minutes to determine your current performance level. If you really want to make progress in training objectively visible, you can use an FTP test to determine your own performance level and your... weiterlesen
How to determine your training zones
How to determine your training zones
Training 02.04.2020
If you do not know your training zones exactly, the following table helps you derive them from performance data, heart rate values or perceived exertion. Then just enter the correct value at TrainingPeaks. AnT = individual anaerobic threshold Training zones... weiterlesen
Interview: Björn Geesmann on indoor training
Interview: Björn Geesmann on indoor training
Training 09.04.2020
Training indoors on a smart trainer or a regular bike trainer has many benefits compared to training on the road. Professional coach and sports scientist Björn Geesmann explains why “riding stationary” is an extremely efficient form of training.

You have questions about training or the Challenge - send us a message

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