Last time out we looked at the impact heavy workloads and training schedules has on somebody who either commutes or has a packed daily schedule.
While we touched on the importance of factoring in rest and recovery, we also need to look at the different things that you could do in your sessions or commutes.
It is important to make sure that every day or session has a goal, be it including things like max or power efforts and sprints, sweet spot rides or longer threshold efforts or simply an easy day. Every session must have a target so you always know exactly what is in store.
Think about what you are training for. Are you training for a specific event, if so how long or intense is it? Is it a short 10 mile TT or a long 100 mile Sportive? Is hammering along at 20mph on a pan flat 30 minute commute, day in, day out, really going to help you win that hilly 90 mile road race?
Working on specifics would of course depend on what you are training for and what stage of your schedule you are progressing through, so we won’t go into set sessions just yet. For now though, there are plenty of different aspects of your basic riding that you could look to work or improve upon to add a bit of variety to the daily slog. Some of these things can even be done on an easy or active recovery session. You don’t need to quantify these as intervals or efforts, let the terrain or technique work to push you to your limits more naturally.
A lot of people think too scientifically about what they should be doing. Training articles and manuals always talk about hitting a certain level or zone for a specific amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, this is ideal for turbo training where you can control every aspect and there is nothing to distract you or interfere with your ride, but out on the road it is completely different so be more open minded with your approach (remember that the event or race you are training for will be a lot less structured, so it is good to mix things up and keep your body on its toes).
Think about where the hills on your route are and plan your efforts for them. Plus think ahead to where things like traffic lights, junctions or anything that could disrupt your ride are positioned on your route. Plan your efforts for in-between them. Is the gap between junctions 3 miles? Then you have a good 10 minute stretch to get an effort in. If you do get stopped or slowed along the way, don’t worry, get back up to speed when you can and carry on. Again, in a race or mass start event, you will have lulls in speed like someone in front braking or a descent where you HR will naturally drop, so let your body get used to starting and stopping when riding on the limit.
Testing your levels and limits on a fairly regular basis is important, so every now and again plan this as an intense session. A normal test on a turbo is a 20 minute threshold effort, which of course is pretty tough to replicate on a rush hour commute, so come up with your own alternatives to test yourself with. This could be a set segment, which doesn’t have to be a specific length, just something you can log your own progress with.