Want to master going faster? Prior to this month’s Tour de France, Renshaw spoke to MH and shared some training secrets
Sprint superstar Mark Cavendish raising his arms in triumph at the end of a Tour de France or Giro d’Italia stage is a familiar sight in world cycling. Yet each victory is inevitably preceded by Cavendish staying glued to the rear wheel of HTC-Highroad teammate Mark Renshaw (above) through the high-speed madness of the race’s last half-kilometre. This explosive turn of speed has earned the Australian the moniker “The world’s best lead out man”. Here, he explains how a simple cycling drill can help you perform above your threshold and power past the opposition.
“Whatever your sport, you want to be able to produce a burst of speed near the end,” says Renshaw. “To do that, you need to teach your body how to deal with the build up of lactic acid that stops you from performing. The best way to do that is to introduce some intensity to your workout.”Add the end of your weekend ride, instead of heading for a comfortable seat and a coffee, Renshaw says adding just 90 seconds more can dramatically improve your conditioning. “Do a 15-second sprint at maximum intensity, followed by a 15-second recovery, three times. That’s going to get your heart rate right up and teach your body how to buffer the lactic acid that builds up. It will hurt like hell the first few times but eventually your body will adapt and you’ll be able to perform at higher levels for longer.”