My week in training – James Gullen

New signing, James Gullen lifts the lid on his typical training week as the team prepare for the Herald Sun Tour.endurance-ride

New signing, James Gullen “ready” for Herald Sun Tour after acclimatising to the Australian heat on team training camp. The twenty-seven-year-old from Yorkshire has been based in Bendigo with eleven riders from the squad he faces one of the toughest editions of the Herald SunTour later this week.

Day 1 – Acclimatise and hydrate

Length: 3 hours
The ride: 4x 5 minute maximal efforts at Vo2Max
James says: “We headed out on a group ride heading towards Mt. Alexander. It is a gradual drag and individually rode up four time with a nine minute recovery in between.”

What’s the benefit: By working at very high percentages of peak aerobic uptake (VO2max), tremendous improvements in both aerobic and anaerobic power can be achieved, all in very little time.

Post ride: Secret Training protein recovery drink as soon as possible on return recover outside in the heat for approx 20mins to assist with heat acclimatisation.


Day 2 – Teamwork drills

“We start at 8am each day to acclimatise for the 10am starts at Sun Tour.”

Length: 4 hours
The ride: Sprint efforts and leadout drills on a 10km circuit. Warm up and ride a lap to familiarise where the finish line is then each rider sits in a train and practises a lead out.

James says: “Great for morale because we each practise our sprint, its about learning to work with each other to get the readout bang on.
Ed Clancy and Brenton went hard in a battle to the line.”

What’s the benefit: Practise makes perfect. When millimetres equal winning and losing knowing when to begin the sprint is critcal.


Day 3 – Time trial practise

“Friendly competition makes hard efforts in the saddle alittle easier.”

Length: 4 hours
The ride: Ride to different climbs and perform all out time trial efforts to the summit

James says: “Friendly competition makes hard efforts in the saddle alittle easier. The efforts mimic the race type efforts we’ll tackle do on some of the climbs in the Sun Tour. We all start together and its a battle to the line. Tarrengower is a six minute climb, Maldon is just over a minute. Then we cruised back to Tarrengower to do it all over again. It is one of the toughest days on the bike.

What’s the benefit: The benefits of training at intensities this high are plentiful and wide-ranging and include improved lactate processing capabilities, higher acidic tolerance, greater levels of muscle fiber recruitment and increased fiber size. Efforts on climbs help riders pace their efforts too.

Day 4 – Endurance work

Length: 5 hours
The ride: 4 x 15 minute tempo pace work ride through and off for five hours.

James says: “The long days can be monotonous so its great to be riding as a group rather than on your own. We start at 8am each day to acclimatise for the 10am starts at Sun Tour.”

What’s the benefit: Tempo and steady riding prepares the body for long race stages, improves fat metabolism & glycogen conservation, and improves ability to bounce back from higher-intensity efforts.

Day 5 – Cafe ride

Length: 2 hours
The ride: steady two hours
What’s the benefit: Let the body repair, recover and build. This is when the adaptions of training happen during the rest days.


“The cafe ride, a reward after a hard week of training. We get in two hours of active recovery riding and chill out with a coffee and some tanning time.”

Follow James Gullen on Instagram: @jgullen

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