How to Plan & Gauge Your Most Beneficial Training Efforts
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Adding intensity to workouts is the fastest way to improve. Whatever your goal in cycling, intense training will benefit your body in various ways. This article explains how the right amount of intensity (and recovery) produces a significant improvement in speed, power, strength and even endurance. It includes daily workouts, weekly schedules, and a yearly plan.
Coach Hughes notes a recent study showing that a training model with mostly easy endurance riding plus some intensity yields greater improvement than a training model combining easy and moderate riding without the intensity. Twelve well-conditioned male cyclists trained for six weeks riding 80% of the time at low intensity (4 hours to 6-1/4 hours per week) and 20% of the time at high intensity (1 hour to 1-1/2 hours per week). After a detraining period of four weeks, they did another six-week training block riding 57% of the time at low intensity (3 hours, 10 minutes to 5-1/2 hours) and 43% of the time at moderate intensity (2 hours, 20 minutes to 4 hours) — with no high-intensity riding
The riders were tested after each six-week training block. Both training models produced improvement. However, the first model, which included mostly low intensity riding, mixed with 20% high-intensity riding, produced significantly greater increases in peak power and lactate threshold.
It’s clear, says Coach Hughes, that even a relatively small amount of intensity – in this case, 20% of the total training time – yields significantly greater improvement than training with no intensity. This article shows you how.
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