The 10% workout
Or, how to structure an unstructured ride.
Are you heading out for a ride, but just can’t stand the thought of intervals? You want to “just ride”, but deep down inside you know that you need some type of structured workout. “Fartlek” rides accomplish just that…go hard on the hills, steady on the flats, but here’s where you get the MOST BANG for your buck…aim for less than 10% or less total time in Zone 1. On paper, this sounds easy; in reality, it’s not. It’s common for riders on group rides to spend up to 30% of their time in Zone 1! Sitting in the pack to conserve is a great strategy for race day. But to maximize your training, minimize the amount of time in Zone 1 (which induces very little in the way of fitness gains). So keep those legs pedaling in Zone 2 or higher, and you’ll greatly increase your aerobic capacity whilst teaching yourself to stay on the gas, even though it’s not full throttle.