The Tour de France, one of the most grueling displays of athleticism and international competition, is well underway as the racers move through the eleventh stage of twenty-one. This mad race winds through the French countryside, up mountains, and across hilly stretches while teams compete for winning race times with only two rest days over 3,535 kilometers. How do these athletes get their bikes (and butts) in gear to be solid contenders in this mammoth race??

Two words: Train. Harder. 

While you may not be en route to The Tour de France yourself, that doesn't mean you can't put your own physical grit to the test by upping your training routine. A real contender doesn't achieve goals, they blow them out of the water. Follow these training tips to get the ball rolling, when you're ready to launch into full-on Tour de France mode, come in and start training. 

  1. Mind over body. When you set your mind to training at this level, you're really starting to play a game with how disciplined you can be. Simply, you're betting your ability to maintain a positive mind over an aching body. Don't give up on your goals, press through your training schedule. 
  2. Set "benchmark" tests and faux race days. One of the best ways to fuel your training fire is to set dates when you're going to test your "max" performance, we recommend doing this on the WattBike. Start your first day of training riding to your max, hitting your peak, having absolutely no juice left after a 20 minute ride and then set goals based on your all-out, full-on cycling effort. You'll work your training program around your max performance and your goals to blow your max out of the water. 
  3. Mind what you eat. If you're a believer in the 80/20 principle, then training is 80% how you fuel your body and 20% your exercise routine. Example menu items for a Tour de France champion: 

Breakfast: 

The Stats:
1,806 calories
53g protein
314g carbs
41g fat

On the Menu:
1 cup oatmeal with banana and cinnamon
3 pancakes with 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large muffin
2 cups pasta

Mid-day Race Refuel: 

The Stats:
1,658 calories
90g protein
229g carbs
51g fat

On the Menu:
PB&J (whole wheat bread, 2 tbsp jelly, 2 tbsp peanut butter)
3 Clif bars
Sandwich (whole wheat bread, 4 oz. chicken, 1 tomato, 3 servings cheddar cheese)

Recovery:

The Stats:
380 calories
15g protein
61g carbs
10g fat

On the Menu:
2 cups low-fat chocolate milk

Dinner:

The Stats:
2,358 calories
114g protein
378g carbs
34g fat

On the Menu:
Broccoli
8 oz. chicken
Curry sauce
3 cups white rice
5 meatballs
3 cups spaghetti
3 slices whole-wheat toast