Question: Ever since a bad bout with overtraining, I alternate hard and easy days. I also commute to work, 30 miles per day. Does my commute count as an easy day?
Also, would it be okay to do a variety of training (endurance, sprints, power) each week, or should I separate my training into “blocks” and work on only one skill at a time? — Bill P.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Commuting 30 miles is almost certainly too much riding for your rest day.
Because you have a history of overtraining, I urge you to err on the side of caution. On rest days, either don’t ride at all or just spin gently for no more than an hour. There’s too much temptation to go fast in a commute, especially if you’re behind schedule.
As for your second question, there has been a long debate about it in sports science circles. At issue is whether it’s better to mix different kinds of training or do only one kind for several weeks and then switch to a different kind. Both approaches have their fervent supporters.
I generally prefer doing different workouts every couple of days, with rest/easy days separating them. Cycling demands strength, speed, endurance and power, so I think itmakes sense to work on all these skills at fairly frequent intervals.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred's full bio.