Wattbike are the official training partner to Haute Route, some of the toughest and most challenging cycling events in the world.
If you’re ready to challenge your limits, it goes without saying that completing a legendary Haute Route will grant you the pinnacle of cycling kudos.
Featuring some of the most iconic terrain you can cover on two wheels, it’s as close to professional stage racing as an amateur rider can hope to achieve.
Thanks to the introduction of new ‘compact’ events with a shorter format, they’re now even more accessible – though don’t be deceived; they promise to be just as tough. That’s why we’re here to help you train like a pro.
With the first ever Mavic Haute Route Rockies due to cross the start line in Boulder, Colorado, this summer, the Wattbike has been described by event directors as an instrumental training tool to get the most from this exciting new terrain.
''The preparation required for a multi-day stage event is entirely unique and to ride like a pro, you’ve got to invest in training like one," says Rich Baker, Wattbike Consumer Managing Director.
"It will ensure you can train precisely and within the correct power zones, specifically targeting the physical demands of a Haute Route event."
When the demands of riding are so different from a one-day sportive, how do you prepare for a multi-day stage event designed to push yourself to extremes day after day?
We asked Wattbike ambassador and former pro rider, Dean Downing - a multiple Haute Route finisher - for his some tips when starting out.
1. Accept you need to commit, but be smart with it. Riding a Haute Route comfortably does take some commitment if you’re not used to training regularly. However, fitting training around work and family commitments doesn’t need to be a barrier - especially with a Wattbike as you can pack in a lot of work in 30 minutes.
2. Be realistic. The key to training is being honest to yourself about how much you can train when you start out. If it’s just a few evenings a week, half an hour before work, or you have an inconsistent travel schedule, there is always a way to tailor your training around it. Don’t let that stop you. Just factor it in.
3. Consistency is key. It’s less about volume and more about consistency. Rather than panic training, or cramming in lots of junk miles on a Sunday afternoon, shorter, more focused sessions that are consistent across 4-6 periods will see you progress further than simply stacking in the hilly miles week-on-week.
4. Set regular benchmarks. You can’t measure progress without first calculating your current performance. I see so many people just going out and riding, hoping that will be enough. A test is a great benchmark to start from, and the Wattbike has in-built tests literally waiting to help you do this. It’ll enable you to become familiar with training zones, heart rate and power outputs - all great for seeing improvements.
5. Personalise your training. It’s great to have ride buddies to encourage you and push your limits, but do resist any temptation to worry about what your ride mates are doing or how well they’re going on the bike. A Haute Route is a very personal journey. Take time to calculate your personal training zones and stick by them. Measure, train, test again. It’s your personal progress that matters.
6. Do the hard work now. Training is a much a part of your Haute Route as the event itself. Everything you do now in training will pay dividends when the time is right. Don’t be afraid to do the hard graft now. Commit to every session. Your bike – and your legs - will thank you later.
Planning on tackling Haute Route yourself? Download our dedicated Haute Route training plan.