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How to win a 24 -hour time trial test

How to win a 24 -hour time trial test

Enter Strava, dive among the clubs you are aimed at and take a look at the classification of the leaders of the last week. You are likely to find some that have made more than 700 kilometers, although the reality is that you can almost count on the fingers of one hand. 700 kilometers of bike in a week! Now he thinks for a moment that this leader of the distance of your Strava club has not made them in a week, but in one day. How can anyone do more than 700 kilometers by bicycle in one day? Zirtza Villa did it. Specifically, there were 740 kilometers that completed by bicycle during the 24 -hour Spain championship held at the Ricardo Tormo de Cheste (Valencia) circuit in 2017. It was first and, in addition, it established the Spanish record of the category. Ziortza is not only the best ultrafondist in our country, he has also won two European championships (24h and 12h CRI) and has been fourth in the last two 24 -hour world championships. "I have been close to the podium twice and I would like to be in it for this year," he says about his expectations for the 2021 season that now begins. At this point, you are probably wondering how a cyclist is preparing to compete in a proof of these characteristics. How is it possible to travel such a long distance of a single roll and in such a short time? How can an average speed be maintained above 30 kilometers per hour for 24 hours in a row? We also ask ourselves. ZIrtza is part of the Tuvalum Cycling Team project of sports sponsors .

Training: 20,000 kilometers a year

ZIORZA VILLA Behind the output gun to a ultra -fund cycling test there are thousands of kilometers of leg training. In the case of Ziortza, "I usually exceed 20,000 kilometers per year." Keeping such a demanding preparation means that cold or rain cannot be an excuse to skip training. "I live in the Basque Country and winter is hard because it rains a lot, so I usually travel to places with dry weather where I can do longer training. I like to train in different places because each site has something unique." How long is needed to plan such a career and adapt to the body to such intense wear? "The planning is complex, especially when what is sought is to perform well," says Zirtza. "They are usually 5 or 6 months of work for a single career. Then you also have to take care of the recovery and take it into account when planning a season."

The diet: more than 10,000 calories in 24 hours

ZIORZA VILLA Maintaining a pedaling rhythm above 30 kilometers per hour for 24 consecutive hours requires great caloric wear. Think of all the bars and gels that you consume on a long -throwing Sunday above 100 kilometers. Now multiply it by seven. "In a 24 -hour race consumption more than 10,000 calories, so making intake of that amount would be virtually unfeasible. To be a good ultra -defundo corridor it is important to have a metabolism according to discipline. It is important to make an adequate intake, but also that the body makes efficient use of those foods. " To adapt the body to that metabolic wear, it is necessary to have constant feeding guidelines, not only during the preparation phase and the race. "I diet the whole year. Nutrient intake has to go in relation to the physical activity that is performed, and when it comes to a substantive athlete with more reason."
"In the loading of hydrates prior to the competition I take care not to eat anything that I have not proven previously. I drink bottled water and avoid heavy meals."
How is the daily menu of an ultra -fund cyclist? "I invest a lot of time throughout the year to try what works for me best and I have found foods that feel better than others and that is what I use. I like to make a good breakfast, especially if I am going to train volume. And then I combined The diet with daily fruit and vegetables. All kinds of industrial pastries and very processed foods, although from time to time I like to give me a whim. " A key point of the diet is to avoid indigestions in the days before a race, during the hydrates loading phase. "The days before the races are more careful with everything. In the loading of hydrates prior to the competition I take care not to eat anything that I have not previously tried. I drink bottled water and I avoid heavy meals or that hinder digestion." This also includes isotonic drinks. "I combine bottles of mineral salts and clean water. I do not usually use supplementation because it works well for me, I prefer common foods."

The strategy: maintain motivation

ZIORZA VILLA All planning, training, diet and physical form are of no use if there is no mental strength proof of suffering. To be one of the best ultra -fund cyclists in the world you have to maintain a constant level of motivation and concentration throughout the season. "Mentally is a very demanding specialty. Although I have a great team, the loneliness of spending so many hours on the bicycle is very hard. I think the hardest thing to devote to this is to maintain motivation over the years. There are good and more difficult seasons but the truth is that there are few races a year, few opportunities to do well and much the work behind. " To this requirement we must add the fact that Ziortza has to combine his training and competitions as a cyclist with his work activity as a physiotherapist. "Although I dedicate my body and soul to the ultrafond cycling, the truth is that I cannot make a living with it, so at the beginning of each year I plan a planning based on objectives to square the trips, the concentrations and work at height. 2020 It was a really hard year in this regard, since the confinement by the pandemic and the cancellation of the Ultrafondo World Cup completely disrupted Ziortza's plans. "The Coronavirus caused us to adapt the preparation in spring after several months of work done. As for the competition, the most difficult thing was to deal with the uncertainty of working without knowing if it was going to be held, as happened with the world championship , which was finally canceled. "


  • 24H European Champion (2019)
  • Europe 12h Champion Course (2020)
  • 4 times champion of Spain 24h (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019)
  • Spain's record of counterreloj 24h: 740 kilometers (2017)
  • 4th place in the 24h counterreloj world championship (2018 and 2019)
  • Santiago road record
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