Do you have a weekend ride planned, but part of you wants to get a workout in as well, besides just riding with friends?
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.
Many group rides end up giving riders a massive amount of time in zone 1, simply because there are times when you aren’t pulling and you’re towards the back of the pack. Being on a group ride is just that, a time to ride WITH others, so don’t be the guy trying to dictate intervals to do, unless that was previously stated. So, how do you get the most out of this group ride or solo weekend ride? Focus on making it an amazing aerobic workout. Try to stay towards the front, where you won’t get as much draft. If you’re strong enough and people allow you to stay there, stay on the front and pedal your bike! AVOID ZONE 1!
Enhance Your Mid-Week Endurance Cycling Ride
Many athletes look at their Zone 2 (endurance) ride on the calendar and don’t give it much credit. They think it just means that it’s an easy cruise and they can do whatever they want on it. “It’s not an interval.” If you look at it as one long interval, and give it the credit which it deserves, you will make massive aerobic gains on these “easy rides”. We’ll have a future post on what an actual endurance ride looks like (it might surprise you), but this post is a quick explanation on how to get the most out of your endurance cycling ride.
Avoid Zone 1
Fartlek rides accomplish the goal of a total system workout without structured intervals…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.
Are you ready to become a stronger and faster version of your current self? Contact me if that sounds like a transformation you want to see happen. I was overweight and feeling like a blob before I found cycling. Things have changed in my life and I am so grateful for that; I’d love to help you reach as many of your goals as possible, no matter how small or grandiose you think they are. No better time that today to GET STARTED!
Brendan Housler is one of three coaches for Collaborative Coaching, based in Tennessee. We coach athletes of all levels, so whether you are hitting your first gran fondo next year, just trying to finally drop your neighbor on the weekend ride, or winning a national championship, contact him today to learn more about how you can get faster! Check out his links below: