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Spring is here, which means longer daylight hours, more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and—depending on your cycling goals—race season or bike trip season getting closer and closer. 

Here, our inGamba pros Eros Poli and Giorgio Valvassori share their spring training secrets for boosting on-bike fitness after a long winter.

They Practice Consistency

Eros says that riding at least three times a week is ideal if you’re hoping to gain fitness and improve your cycling. Ideally, one of these rides is longer—especially if you’re working towards an event like a bike tour or gravel race—but a couple of shorter rides throughout the week will help you build a consistent cycling practice, and those short hour-long rides go a long way towards building fitness.

…But They Don’t Overdo It

Sunny skies mean the temptation to pack huge hours on the bike, often cramming several hours of riding in on Saturday and Sunday after sitting at a desk all week. But while getting out on longer rides is great, be careful not to overdo it and end up feeling burned out after week one of riding outside again. Eros says he often sees masters cyclists trying to train exactly like the pros, but what they miss is that training like the pros can be miserable work.

Don’t Try to Copy Tadej Pogacar’s Weekly Mileage

On that note, stop stressing with someone you know or a top pro racer is putting in more miles than you. “You don’t want to be like a pro athlete,” Eros laughs. “Training like them is no fun. There are no coffee stops when you’re a pro. It’s not a fun job. It’s great to be challenged and to push yourself on the bike but I promise, you don’t want to train like the pros.”

They Sneak in Tiny Exercise Moments

“For more than thirty years, I have ensured I do something daily,” says Giorgio. I don’t skip a day, even if it’s just a minute of exercise. I do something every morning, even for 20 minutes on the bike or a few pushups. Do something every day, and you’ll see results.”

Yes, You Can Still Ride Indoors

At inGamba, we love a Zwift ride for quick workouts when you have a tightly scheduled day. (That’s why we have a whole inGamba crew who rides together virtually—and is open to all!) So, even though the weather makes it easier to ride outside, if you’re busy with work and family life, don’t forget about the benefits of riding indoors. You can still do a great workout in under 45 minutes if you hop on Zwift and get moving! (As Eros says on Zwift, “One hour is more than enough because it’s very specific training!”)

Make Time for a Weekly Long Ride

If you have a big race or a bike tour coming up, Eros adds that it’s important to make time for a long ride most weeks. “Ideally, if you have the chance, try to do at least a 35 to 40-mile ride,” he says. “But don’t worry if you aren’t doing it fast or if there’s no big climb on your route. It’s just about moving your legs. Even if you can only do one big ride on a weekend, it improves you.”

Recovery is Important

As Eros looks back on his pro career, he recalls his time resting and recovering after training. If you’re working full-time and have a family/social life, you likely don’t have much extra time to put your legs up post-ride, take naps, get massages, or any other recovery modalities. But make time for proper sleep, eating a good meal post-ride, and treating your body well off the bike if you want to succeed in your spring training!

Good News for Those Who Don’t Prep Pre-Bike Trip

If your inGamba bike tour is getting closer and closer and you’re worried that you haven’t had enough time to train, don’t worry. In fact, Eros is a little bit jealous of you. “If you’re with us on a tour, we’ll never leave you behind,” he says. “If you’re going slow, I’ll be in the back there riding with you. You will have more time on the roads, more time to enjoy the views. In a lot of ways, you get more out of the days on the bike when you’re going a bit slower!”


Would you like to find out more about what our different destinations can offer? You can book a call with our team now and get some personal advice on the best inGamba adventure for you.

Miguel Andrade

A writer and photographer obsessed with creating a modern image of Portugal, Miguel’s reporting for the New York Times, Esquire, and more have helped make Lisbon a food destination and a post-lockdown dream for many. He just collaborated on a cookbook called Portugal: The Cookbook (Phaidon), a Portuguese cuisine encyclopedia with more than 550 recipes.