July 08, 2015
by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching
For most of us, we don’t have 15-25hrs each week to train and ride our bike. Between family, work, and life chores, it’s hard to find time each day to ride. We have to make the most of what time to train we have. We want to achieve cycling success and gain fitness but how do we do that with just 3-4 days per week on the bike? The short answer is- quality over quantity of riding.
With 8-12hrs of training time a week (or as little as 5) that most of us have, we have to make every single workout count. Every single pedal stroke must count, or else you are wasting your time. This means recovery rides are out. Your recovery days are your days off the bike. When you do ride, aim for higher intensity. If you only have 60min to ride 2xweek, then make those sessions really count by including intervals. Warm-up for 15-20 min, then do 25min of high intensity intervals (Lactate Threshold, VO2 Max, and Anaerobic Capacity). Cool down for 10-15min and you have just completed a high quality workout in 60min.
The weekends, or your days off work, are great days to get in longer endurance rides. Aim for 2-4hrs with as much zones 2-4 as you can fit in. To make sure your ride is as quality as possible, avoid coasting and soft pedaling as those two things do nothing for your fitness. You’d be amazed by how taxing and tiring it is to go ride for 2 hours at zones 2-3 without coasting or soft pedaling. Want to make it even harder? Aim for a 95+ cadence- the entire time. This is a very quality 2 hour ride that will beat out any 3 hour ride with time spent coasting, surging, and soft pedaling.
Your weekly training hours are precious. Make the most of them and make every bike ride and every workout count.
Here is an example of a week of training with minimal time.
Monday – Off – rest day
Tuesday – 60min ride with 5x5min HARD (Upper LT/Low VO2) 2.5min rest between intervals.
Wednesday – Off – rest day – perhaps some yoga, or easy cross train
Thursday – 75 min ride with Under/Overs- 2x15min at Low LT zone with 30 sec HARD every 4.5min. Rest 8min between intervals
Friday – Off – rest day
Saturday – 3hr Endurance ride Steady zones 2-3- 90+ rpm.
Sunday – Cross Train or endurance ride
To take the guess work out of training with minimal time, ALP Cycles Coaching has created a 13 week training plan, on TrainingPeaks, with three bike workouts a week. By the end of the training plan, you can expect to have become a better, faster, and more complete cyclist.
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ABOUT ALISON POWERS
Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).
About ALP Cycles Coaching
ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoaching.com
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"How many of you have overtrained?" asked Dr. San Millan to a room full of 25 coaches and athletes.
Every single person raised their hand.
Everyone, at some point in their athletic lives, will overtrain. In the summer time it's easy to throw in extra mileage even though you've done 15 hours of riding that week and it's only Friday - what's the harm? And while it's ok to pile on the extra miles every once in a while, making a habit of it means you'll eventually find out why rest days are super important. And that lesson could cost you a week, a month, a season or a full year.
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