The only four cycling workouts you really need – Bike Magazine Australia

Photograph by Blend Images/John Lund/Marc Romanelli

The cornerstone of cycling improvement is raising your lactate threshold so you can produce more power at a comfortable heart rate. Probably the most effective way to increase your power at threshold is to perform long, steady intervals where you hover right at or just below threshold.

These intervals are especially effective for flatlanders who want to improve their hill climbing ability without travelling to an actual hill. Just ask Mount Washington women’s record (1:07:32) setter Victoria DiSavino of New York. “I work long hours so I don’t have the opportunity to travel to the hills to train,” she says. “I just go out and do three 20-minute efforts at threshold, which is pretty much the equivalent of the power you use to go up Mount Washington.”

Threshold drills are relatively easy to do but require concentration because it can be easy to let your mind (and your effort) drift.

Do it: Perform once a week

After a good warm-up, ride 10 minutes at a steady effort, at an exertion level of 6 to 7 on a 1 to 10 scale, about 85 percent of max heart rate, and where you can speak just a few words at a time. Recover for five to 10 minutes (you’re aiming for adequate recovery, so you can maintain your target intensity for the next effort), and then repeat two more times. Once those feel easy, do two to three 20-minute steady-state efforts, recovering for 10 to 20 minutes between each.

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