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Pro tips: How to recover like a champ
Alberto Bettiol tells you why you need to rest to get faster
Alberto Bettiol is ready to start training again.
The 2019 Tour of Flanders champion has his sights on next spring’s classics. To arrive on the start line of a 250-km monument like De Ronde in form to win takes months of hard work. Alberto’s chances will be defined by the training he does this winter—and the time he takes to rest and get stronger from his efforts.
Since his last race, Alberto has taken a month off the bike. He travelled to the Maldives and took trips to Dubai, Nice, and Venice. After a season marked by illness and five, frustrating, podium places, he needed a vacation.
“It is important to reset the mind and the body at the same time,” Alberto says. “If you recover mentally, you will be more ready to suffer on the bike. It is important to have holidays and rest in the right balance, right through the year. I had a great time these last few weeks and now I am ready to start training again.”
"It is important to reset the mind and the body."
Alberto will return slowly to cycling. He wants to build his strength and endurance in steady steps, leading to a peak in April, without getting too tired or taking the chance of hurting himself. For the next few weeks, he will do only slow rides. He’ll spend a lot of time in the gym, working on his whole-body strength. If it’s raining, he’ll go for long walks or swim.
“Right now, my body is not yet ready to go hard,” Alberto says. “It needs a few weeks to relearn how to ride a bike and how to suffer on a bike. This is the 25th year that I have ridden a bike, but if you stop for one month, you completely reset your body. I start really slow to get back into the rhythm of the bike and also do some gym training for strength and conditioning. I prefer to do longer rides and build my endurance, before I focus on quality, as I approach the 2023 season.”
Alberto's plan is to reach peak form in April. Rest is as important to that plan as training. As the racing season nears, Alberto wants to include harder and harder sessions. Join him for his first real intervals at our December training camp in Girona. To get the most out of those workouts, Alberto needs to make sure he has absorbed the training he has already done and recovered enough to start each hard ride fresh.
“I train for two, or three days maximum, and then I do one day off or an easy ride,” Alberto says. “So every two or three days, I have a rest day, right through the year.”
This allows Alberto to arrive at the races that matter most to him ready to push his body to its limit. Alberto will finish a grand tour or classics campaign exhausted. Before he returns to training, he will take a week off, and then begin building towards his next goal.
Alberto’s schedule is complemented by his day-to-day focus on recovery. Alberto is able to reach great peaks, because he makes sure to get the most out of all the work he does on the bike. He monitors his condition with WHOOP, listens to his body, and adjusts his workload accordingly.
“When my body needs recovery, I will call my trainer, and we will talk together to change my plan,” Alberto says.
"With Incrediwear, I feel lightness in my legs and they help me to quickly absorb the work I have done and get over my fatigue."
To make sure he can do the work, Alberto does his best to recover from each session. He eats well to replace the energy he has spent with high-quality fuel. He also swears by Incrediwear.
The semiconducting threads woven into Incrediwear release negative ions when stimulated by body heat, which activate cellular vibrations that increase blood flow and blood circulation and speed up the body’s natural healing process.
“The first thing I noticed was the feeling of lightness in my legs,” Alberto says. “Normally, when your legs are tired, your legs feel heavy and stiff. With Incrediwear, I feel lightness in my legs and they help me to quickly absorb the work I have done and get over my fatigue.”
As Alberto increases his workload over the next few weeks, rest will become all the more important. Day to day, week over week, and month into month, he will push himself and then recover, so he can push himself harder and harder. This year’s Ronde van Vlaanderen is on April 2. Alberto’s plan is to arrive on the start line in Brugge stronger than ever. He’ll track his progress with his power2max power meter and his performances in key races. Strade Bianche and Milano Sanremo will be crucial tests. Then, it will come down to race craft. The 2019 De Ronde champ has got that.
“Once you are there, another story starts,” Alberto laughs.