|This defeated me|
Pez has been hitting the gym five times (at least) a week, Paul's bought a turbo trainer and heart-rate monitor and has been off on 3-hour "zone2" work outs. Bobby's been off on the hills on 90-mile rides.
Me? I've been riding to work a bit more often.
Over Easter I tried to get out more, notching a couple of 40-milers and a 20 mile recovery ride. But on Sunday I was defeated, twice, by hills in the South Downs.
That has to end now. So, I've found a training programme for April from the people organising our Etape trip.
Here it is:
Two types of weekend to build a tolerance to the mileage (A) and a tolerance to intensity (B).
‘Weekend A’ is one long ride (preferably on the Saturday), followed by an easy hour or rest day the following day. Crank it up a notch on what is your normal or comfortable pace. ie increase the intensity you ride hills, try and go 1 tooth further down the cogs, work hard on intensifying pace to maintain cadence, try and add some 20 min harder sets into the ride. ie 2×20 min sets going up the biggest hills of the ride of increased exercise effort.
‘Weekend B’: Two × 2-3 hour rides over the weekend with an increase in intensity. ie Saturday is three hours at a pace noticeably more difficult than your stock long ride pace. Not a long interval, it can include 2 × 20 min intervals if you like, but really just upping the intensity a perceivable notch. Go out again on Sunday and doing another two hour ride at that same intensity. Increasing the cadence on this weekend just to give those legs a little more ‘zap’!
If you are doing a Sportive, add that as your ‘Weekend A’.
90 minute to 2 hours (Tuesday), done at an easy pace because you will still be recovering from the weekend.
1 hour (Thursday) on the turbo. Try some 5-3-1’s. These are a 10 min warm up, 5 minutes hard, 3 minutes really hard and 1 minute flat out. 10 minutes easy recovery and repeat that 2-3 times. If on the road, do 2 sets of 7 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes at the same intensity zones.
Life gets in the way
We've got two sportives planned for April, so that's Weekend A sorted, and spinning round Regents Park a few times on my ride home should let me get the mid-week rides in.
The 'Weekend B' is more of a challenge, as it falls on days where I have weddings and a cricket tour I've said I'm going to. But I'll try and get as much as possible in. Or even a bit more than that if I can find a way.
Wish me luck!