In the dog days of August, it’s common to lack motivation for training. You’re pretty fit, you’ve ridden several goal events, and you’re just not excited about continuing to work out. Riding, yes. Training, ugh!
Well, if you can muster enough enthusiasm for just 8 special workouts, you can enjoy an increase in speed and power. We’re talking 2 training rides a week for a potential 3% performance increase, depending on your fitness when you start.
These are tough little sessions, of course. You need ’em tough if you’re already in good shape and don’t want your fitness to backtrack. But by doing this training twice a week, you can goof off at least 3 other days by resting or spinning easily.
After a good warm up, pick one of these workouts:
Motoring. Ride for 15 minutes on flat or rolling terrain at about 85% of your max heart rate (or 8.5 on a perceived exertion scale of 10). Keep your effort level constant, which means it will feel “hard” by the time you reach the last minute. Then roll around for at least 10 minutes at an easy pace to cool down.
Killer Hills. Ride 2 uphill intervals of 5 minutes each at about 90% of max heart rate, or 9 on your exertion scale. (No hill? Then bore into a headwind.) The effort should feel “very hard” during the last minute. Spin easily for 3 minutes between the intervals and for at least 10 minutes after the last one.
Sprinter’s Delight. Sprint all out for 30 seconds. Spin easily for 4 minutes. Then repeat for a total of 3 sprints. Pretend that [insert favorite sprinter’s name here] is trying to come around, and you’re fighting him off. Then cool down with more easy spinning.
If you can muster 8 of these workouts between now and mid-September, you’ll be feeling strong and fast when cooler air rejuvenates you for later fall events.