Want to hang with your fast friends, or complete a century without collapsing with exhaustion? Check out these simple training routines.
Do the following workouts once or twice a week. Before each, warm up at an easy to moderate effort for 15 minutes. Spin easy for about five minutes to cool down.
IF YOU WANT TO WIN A TOWN SIGN SPRINT
YOU NEED: Snap
TRY: Jump sprints
Shift into a big gear, get out of the saddle, and ride hard, gradually increasing speed and cadence. Then sit down and ramp up your rpm, shifting as necessary, until you’re riding as fast as you can while remaining smooth. Maintain that top speed for 20 to 30 seconds. Do four to five sprints with five minutes of recovery in between. *
IF YOU WANT TO CRUSH A HILL CLIMB
YOU NEED: Sustainable power
Start at a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of 6 to 7 - on a scale of 1 (very light effort) to 10 (the hardest you can go). Sustain that effort for about 10 minutes. Then push harder (RPE 7 to 8); hold it there for about eight minutes. Finish by notching it up to an RPE of 8 to 9 for the final two minutes of the interval. Do two of these efforts for 20 minutes each, with 10 minutes recovery in between.
IF YOU WANT TO FINISH A CENTURY STRONG
YOU NEED: Endurance
TRY: Steady tempo intervals
Begin by cruising at about RPE 6, as if you’re riding with someone slightly faster than you are. Hold that effort for 10 minutes. Spin easy for five minutes. Repeat for a total of four 10-minute intervals. When that gets easy, perform three 15-minute intervals with seven minutes recovery in between. Work up to 2 x 20 minutes with 10 minutes recovery.
IF YOU WANT TO COMPLETE A MULTIDAY BIKEPACKING TRIP
YOU NEED: Muscular strength
TRY: Low-cadence climbing
Head to a moderate climb with a 5 to 6% grade that takes you about 10 to 15 minutes to climb. Shift into a larger than normal gear and push smooth, hard pedal strokes at about 50 to 70 rpm, keeping your cadence even. Continue for two to five minutes. Shift into a smaller gear and spin easy for five minutes. Repeat three times.
IF YOU WANT TO HANG WITH FASTER FRIENDS
YOU NEED: To surge and recover without popping
TRY: Attack intervals
Ride as hard as you can, maintaining good form, for two to three minutes (you will be flagging by the end). Recover at an easy pace for two minutes. Do three sets.