The autumn and winter season (also known as the pre-season) is the period when you build the foundation for the upcoming racing season. For us who live above the equator, the weather presents a challenge, especially for bicycle training. Sure, many people pedal all year round. But for those of us who are a little more “human” and refuse to spend more time putting on clothes than cycling, the alternative becomes simple. Bike training at home.
Whether you choose to work out at the local gym’s exercise bike, or if you set up your own bike on a so-called trainer, indoor cycling generally makes your surroundings moan an “oh that’s boring”. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut, and the fact is that it is probably just to start being on your grind.
There are several ways to distract yourself. Everything from watching all the series and documentaries that you missed, or gathering a bunch of like-minded people and suffer together (called a triathlon club), and/or following a structured and motivational training program… hint-hint 🙂
Boosting your bike training at home
These two 4-week bike training plans are designed to increase your cycling-specific fitness and make you a stronger rider.
Motivational bike training
A good workout is within a context (your training plan) and is not a stochastic phenomenon. In addition, the content is structured in such a way that you both increase your capacity and feel motivated to do it. After all, at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun. If it is not, then you will soon have to re-prioritize in your everyday life.
The keyword is thus motivation.
Within the framework above, your bicycle training should contain at least two components,
- High cadence training.
- Training on your so-called Sweet Spot.
High cadence training
The basic idea of training with high cadence (+110 rpm) is to teach the body to quickly “push yourself and relax”. Most of us are most efficient cycling with a cadence between 90-100 rpm because it won’t wear you out. (read: it takes longer to get tired).
If you have never exercised at that cadence, you will initially experience that your heart rate is rushing and that you are breathing heavy.
We use high cadence in all our programs, and in several ways. Often to “spin out” the legs and the lactic acid that comes from a previous interval. Most commonly, however, the exercises with high cadence are included in the warm-up and as part of technique training.
Examples of warm-up exercise,
5 * [1 min spinups, max cadence (+120 rpm) with light gear + 1 min cycling light, cadence 90]
Training at your sweet spot
Your Sweet Spot is defined by training at an interval slightly below your functional threshold. About 88-93% of your FTP, to quantify it.
The name (Sweet Spot) comes from the fact that the training here is reasonable based on how much it can burn (oh, the sweet burn!), while also being able to maintain the intensity for a fairly long time. It also turns out that this type of training is the one that best contributes to increasing your functional threshold.
Usually, we put in training at Sweet spot as part of a longer workout.
Examples of Sweet spot,
10 minutes in your sweet spot right after an endurance building series.