Question: I started doing leg work in the gym twice a week to complement twice-weekly interval sessions, but now my legs are dead when I get on the bike. I want to keep riding this winter. Should I ride and lift on the same day, or lift on days I’m off the bike? — Patrick D.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Good question — but there doesn’t seem to be expert consensus on an answer.
One approach is to lift twice a week on the same days you ride hard on the road or trainer. The idea is to shock the muscles two days a week, leaving five days for rest and easy recovery riding.
The other approach is to lift two days and ride hard two other days, spreading out the workload.
You’ll have to try it both ways to learn what works best for you.
That said, why are you doing intervals in winter? Now’s the time to build a strength base in the weight room and maintain endurance with steady riding or aerobic crosstraining. There’ll be plenty of time for intervals in the spring.
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.