By Kelly Bastone
Our guide includes 10 get-started-again rides designed by Will Dillard, who has coached cyclists, triathletes and duathletes to compete in national and world championships. One key: don’t try to get it all back at once. For the first few weeks, avoid riding two days in a row. Plus tips on bike fit, nutrition and motivation.
The 10-Ride Plan
1. Ride 15 to 25km on level or rolling roads. Use a self-selected cadence – in other words, ride at a pace you can comfortably maintain throughout the ride, avoiding hard efforts.
2. Go about 50% of the distance or time of your last long ride that was less than 80km, with a self selected cadence. To gain leg speed, add three or four spin-ups (see below).
3. Increase distance or time by 10 to 15% of your previous rides using a self-selected cadence. Do four or five spin-ups during the ride.
4. Repeat previous ride but at 75 to 90 rpm. Do five spin-ups and two power drills (see below).
5. Increase distance or time by 10 to 15% of your previous ride, with an average cadence of 75 to 90 rpm. Complete five spin-ups and three power drills.
6. Your ride time or distance should be 70 to 80% of your last long ride before the lay-off, averaging 75 to 90 rpm. Do five spin-ups and four power drills.
7. Add a hill climb that’s at least 800m long with a 5 to 6% grade. Warm up over a few flat kilometres, climb using medium gearing, and recover by riding back down. Then repeat once.
8. Ride a route equal to 90% of your last long pre-lay-off ride. See if you can ride comfortably at 75 to 90 rpm, mixing in spin-ups and power drills. Climbers, add hills with a 7 to 8% grade.
9. Do the equivalent of your last long pre-lay-off ride at 80 to 100 rpm over rolling terrain. Add a few spin-ups and power drills. On one flat stretch, maintain 90 to 100 rpm until hills reappear.
10. Add 10 to 15% time or distance –and continue to do that on each subsequent ride, up to the length of your goal event. Continue to mix in some spin-ups and power drills.
Spin-Ups: On a flat stretch, increase your speed for 30 to 60 seconds, then return to normal pace and fully recover.
Power Drills: On a gentle uphill, shift into your hardest gear and maintain as high a cadence as possible for one minute.