Focused Spring Programs Based On Your Cycling Objectives
By Coach John Hughes
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Optimal fitness is the result of training at different intensities, not just riding a lot. Further, the best training rides for you depend on your goals and current fitness—not all rides are appropriate for every roadie. Coach John Hughes describes five different types of training rides and recommends several combinations for different riders with various objectives.
Endurance rides at a conversational pace build your endurance.
Brisker tempo rides to build your cruising speed.
Rides with Sweet Spot sections to increase your power.
Rides with Lactate Threshold bursts to train you to hammer.
Active recovery rides help you to recover from the other types of training so that you can do more and improve faster.
“The right intensity is a function of how hard your body is working, and not how fast you are riding. Riding at different intensities produces different physiological changes, and the correct effort varies depending on the type of workout,” he says. He explains how to gauge if you are riding at the right intensity by using perceived exertion, the way most RBR readers gauge intensity, as well as with a heart rate monitor and a power meter.
Like all of his eArticles, Coach Hughes’ is built on the latest scientific research to provide clear, easy-to-understand material. The 26-page Spring Training: 10 Weeks to Summer Fitness gives you all of the information that you need for a productive spring season structured into easy-to-follow 10-week programs. Each plan is geared to riders who have been doing different amounts of exercise in the winter. And each includes rides at the appropriate intensities for the rider’s fitness and goals.
Spring knee is a common injury that results from riding too much too soon. Coach Hughes’ training plans and sample weeks balance training and recovery to avoid injury so that you reach summer in your best fitness. He provides recommendations on how to improve your recovery.
As a bonus, Coach Hughes provides a guide for your annual bike and on-the-road gear check-up so that you’re totally ready to roll in the summer.