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James Craven: Ultra Endurance Cyclist

James Craven an Ultra Endurance Cyclist has ridden in the top 10 of a few races including the Transcontinental Race, Transpyrenees Race and Atlas Mountain Race, has written the latest blog for BCA about some of his fantastic experiences.

I stumbled on Jonathans BCA training plans through the trainingpeaks online store after Covid-19 forced me to rethink my training.

I had a few self supported ultra endurance bike races lined up for the 2020 season but these had all been delayed and I was losing motivation to train. The UK went into lockdown not long after I got back from my first off-road race, the 1200km Atlas Mountain Race, which had taken its toll on my body. Riding around 230 km a day on rocky terrain was tough! I trained over winter with no off season this year as the race was so early in the year. Furthermore, with the need for us all to be sensible when going outdoors to reduce the spread of covid-19, I ended up taking some much needed time away from cycling.

But after a couple months of taking it easy and signs of some racing possibly being re-started later in the season, it was time to get back on the bike and build up some fitness. I wanted to regain my fitness fast, and wanted to train using power on an indoor trainer to use my time effectively.

For all my previous races I had trained using a combination of a TrainerRoad plan on the indoor trainer (e.g. their Gran Fondo plan), combined with riding long rides outdoors. Many of my friends had recently joined Zwift and I was enjoying racing and riding on the Zwift platform so had cancelled my subscription to TrainerRoad, but I was finding the Zwift training plans terrible. They seemed to have no structure, targeting many zones within the same workout, and no periodisation or change in intensity (e.g. no blocks of heavy load then a bit of rest). Plus it was not easy to customise the plan if needed, and tailor it to take account of my outdoor riding which I do without a power meter.

With some searching online I found you can link TrainingPeaks to Zwift. The workout planned for the day in Trainingpeaks would automatically come up in the workout menu on Zwift. I had a quick look through plans on TrainerRoad and found the BCA plans to be what I was looking for at an affordable price.

So far I am very impressed, Jonathans plans give loads of information on all the workouts and overviews of the outcomes of the plan. It’s really a holistic plan that doesn't just include cycling training, but also advice on stretching, nutrition, and some strength and mobility sessions planned in as well. These are all things I have previously tried to work into my training but without any professional coaching advice, or consideration to how it complements my plan. I like the workouts, they seem to be a good mix of tempo, V02 max and other sessions, similar to what I have found works for me before.

As I was impressed with the plan so far I was keen to work with Jonathan to help me create a slightly more specific plan with some more personalised advice.

A big thank you to James for writing this blog, a fantastic ultra-endurance cyclist, who we wish the best of luck for your training.

Check out the BCA cycling plans in the link below if this inspired you!



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