By Chris Carmichael
If you have a decent base fitness, you can ramp up your training over the next few weeks with a few short, intense workouts each week to boost your fitness in time for the summer racing season.
Find a road lined with telephone poles spaced more or less equidistantly. At the first pole, start riding as fast as you can. Spin easy when you reach pole four; start the next interval at pole eight. Repeat until you’ve completed six hard efforts. Spin easy for five minutes, then start the next set. Beginners do two sets; intermediate riders, three; advanced riders, four.
This workout consists of three intervals that become progressively harder. It will not only help increase your sustainable power for long efforts, but also boost your power at threshold, which means you’ll be able to maintain a given speed—such as the pace of the pack—with less exertion. You’ll also learn to generate power by pedaling faster instead of stomping on the pedals. Beginners: Do three 10-minute intervals (ride five minutes easy in between). Intermediates: Do 12-minute intervals with six minutes recovery; advanced riders, 15 and 7:30.
|Power range*||Heart-rate range*||Perceived effort||Cadence range|
|*Intensities are based on your average power or heart rate from a time trial or an 8-to 15-minute climb—not your lab-measured LT values or max heart rate. No meter? Go by perceived effort (10=all-out).|