By USAC Level 2 and TrainingPeaks Level 1 certified ALP Coach Alison Powers For most of us, we don’t have 15-25hrs each week to train and ride our bike. Between family, work, and life chores, it’s hard to find time each day to ride. We have to make the most of what time to train we have. We want to achieve cycling success and gain fitness but how do we do that with just 3-4 days per week on the bike? The short answer is- quality over quantity of riding.
With 8-12hrs of training time a week (or as little as 5) that most of us have, we have to make every single workout count. Every single pedal stroke must count, or else you are wasting your time. This means recovery rides are out. Your recovery days are your days off the bike. When you do ride, aim for higher intensity. If you only have 60min to ride 2xweek, then make those sessions really count by including intervals. Warm-up for 15-20 min, then do 25min of high intensity intervals (Lactate Threshold, VO2 Max, and Anaerobic Capacity). Cool down for 10-15min and you have just completed a high quality workout in 60min.
The weekends, or your days off work, are great days to get in longer endurance rides. Aim for 2-4hrs with as much zones 2-4 as you can fit in. To much sure your ride is as quality as possible, avoid coasting and soft pedaling as those two things do nothing for your fintess. You’d be amazed by how taxing and tiring it is to go ride for 2 hour at zones 2-3 without coasting or soft pedaling. Want to make it even harder? Aim for a 95+ cadence- the entire time. This is a very quality 2 hour ride that will beat out any 3 hour ride with time spent coasting, surging, and soft pedaling.
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Your weekly training hours are precious. Make the most of them and make every bike ride and every workout count.
Here is an example of a week of training with minimal time.
Monday- Off- rest day
Tuesday- 60min ride with 5x5min HARD (Upper LT/Low VO2) 2.5min rest between intervals.
Wednesday- Off- rest day- perhaps some yoga, or easy cross train
Thursday- 75 min ride with Under/Overs- 2x15min at Low LT zone with 30 sec HARD every 4.5min. Rest 8min between intervals
Friday- Off- rest day
Saturday- 3hr Endurance ride Steady zones 2-3- 90+ rpm.
Sunday- Cross Train or endurance ride
To take the guess work out of training with minimal time, ALP Cycles Coaching has created a 13 week training plan, on TrainingPeaks, with three bike workouts a week. By the end of the training plan, you can expect to have become a better, faster, and more complete cyclist.
ALP Cycles Coaching specializes in skills clinics. Our coaches work with individuals and teams to better their bike handling skills, team tactics, and overall confidence on a bike. Check out http://alpcyclescoaching.com/cc.php for more information.