The pro athletes started over with their workouts with bikes too. Contemporarily they are training in gym and someone, as our Davide Martinelli, is also doing cyclocross. Work is differentiated between floor exercises and weights.

Let’s follow the experts to understand how to manage this part of the season which is very important. You must avoid overload or excessive rest.

“I go to gym three times a week, usually in the morning where I perform floor exercises and squat. Later I go out with the bike to transform the workload”. These are the activities which Davide Martinelli and his top level colleagues follow.

“A lot of people is asking me if we use weights. During the floor exercises we use them so that the body reaches the best fit. I prefer the free weights instead of the machines because they have different working angles from the ones actually finding on a bike while pedaling, like the leg extension. You shouldn’t load too much the barbells because you have to take care of the movements in order to strengthen the core (i.e. the muscles between shoulders and pelvis which link the upper and the lower body) and to improve the equilibrium. During this phase you can’t avoid to increase your muscle mass and the body increases its strength. This new mass anyway is going to get lost in January”.

Do you still have some freedom during this period? Is it easy to gain weight?

“Luckily I don’t gain weight easily. Usually during November you  enjoy every whim. You could also eat something heavy like fried food. This is more mental than physical, you need to relax. Personally I am 2 kgs away from the right weight, 3 kgs away from the one I had during Giro but you can keep this values just for short periods (for Davide we are speaking about 70 kgs) because this can cause hormonal problems.

From now on the workloads will increase.

“During winter you have to improve the generic physical fitness. You start with fast runs to reach the two hours, on Sunday I will reach the four hours for the first time. I already know it will be hard. Later the workload will increase for the retreat of December 11th where we will just work on quantity. This is a kind of training very stressful from a psychological point of view because of the number of hours you have to stay on the bike.

Luckily before the retreat you have 3-4 days of complete rest because during the training camp we will be all together, pedaling with more fit athletes too. This is a moment of comparison with high level champions. You go to training camp like it is a race. I love to go there ready as otherwise it would be very painful.”

Once in training camp how is your fitness?

After two days you understand if you are fit or not. One day it may happen that you have bad sensations because of anxiety and other things, but when you perform the first long distance you realize how you are. After two hours at a good speed you can resist, but you can’t do it on longer distances.

With Quick Step, where the level is very high, you see people pedaling so easy. You also have to consider this details, some champions are that much strong you can’t compare with them”.

This winter ciclocross has been added to alternative activities.

“Last week I did the cross of Brugherio. I started from the last row because I don’t have points in the International ranking. I had a good start, overcoming some opponent. Surely this was just a funny diversion, but it gave me some rhythm. Personally I needed to find my pace for an hour race. At a certain point I lost the tubular and I lost the rhythm. They lap me and I had to retire”.

We could ask what do you gain from this kind of races. “I feel a physical improvement. Having an over-revving is helping it. I think I will have another one in Lurago d’Erba on Christmas eve”.