Clif Bar UCI Jingle Cross Road Fondo and Gravel Grinder, Iowa City, Iowa, Sept 17th - REGISTER NOW!
Welcome to Gran Fondo USA >> Top 5 Workouts for the Time Crunched Cyclist

Top 5 Workouts for the Time Crunched Cyclist

Most people are trying to get 1,000 things done each day. If you’re a cyclist, one of those things is usually to try and ride your bike. Although, it’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Between work, family and other extra curricular activities, finding the time can be difficult. Even more difficult for many athletes is knowing what types of rides to do to maximize their available time. By knowing what specific areas to focus on you’re more likely to get the most out of your miles. Try integrating these workouts into your routine if you’re one of the many that don’t have enough time in your day.

Sweet Spot Workouts

The “sweet spot” is the zone just below your threshold that enables you to reap big gains without the added stress of higher intensity interval work. Whether you’re training with heart rate or power you can calculate your sweet spot by figuring 85%-95% of your established heart rate or power threshold. When you train in this range you push your body’s aerobic system, which in turn delivers fitness gains in the form of increased thresholds and stamina. In practice these intervals can be either integrated into longer endurance rides, or performed as a standalone workout. Depending on what you’re training for, and where your weaknesses are, sweet spot intervals can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. I like to match the length of the interval with the demands of the races my athletes are training for. For example, if it’s a time trial I may prescribe longer, more sustained intervals. However, if the racecourse is shorter and more intense, then the intervals won’t be as long, but will be more numerous.  One example of this type of workout would be 3x10 minutes @ 90% with 5 minute in Zone 2 between each interval.

Hill Work

Most rides, races, and events have some amount of climbing, and the best way to get better at climbing is to perform dedicated hill work. There’s two main ways to approach hill training. One way, much like sweet spot intervals, is to work climbing into your endurance rides. When you’re working hills into your long rides it’s best to single out a few specific climbs and treat them like intervals. Set zone requirements for each climb, and treat each one as a dedicated part of your workout. Hill repeats are also effective and can double as anaerobic intervals. They’re a great way to mix up your training, and can be a welcomed break from traditional sprints or trainer workouts. A good rule of thumb is to keep the sustained climbs lasting 10 minutes or more between 80%-90% of your threshold. Shorter climbs lasting less than 10 minutes can be done close to, or above your established threshold. If you have a race planned that includes a lot of climbing, or you’re in an area with mountainous terrain, integrate this type of dedicated hill training into your schedule 1-2 times per week.

Anaerobic Intervals

Think of these intervals as anything above %100. Technically anaerobic refers to the moment in which your muscles can no longer rid themselves of lactic acid. When this happens your muscles begin to fatigue at an unsustainable rate, and eventually you’re forced to stop. You can train your body to be more efficient at this process by spending a small amount of time performing top end intervals. Typically lasting less than 5 minutes these workouts should be integrated into your training 1-2 x per week once you’ve achieved a solid aerobic foundation and are preparing for a specific event. There’s any number of ways to structure these workouts, but the key is to perform intervals at an intensity that will increase your performance and prepare you for the specifics of any events you’re training for. A good goal is to try extending both the duration and intensity of the intervals as the season progresses.        

Strength Workouts

One of the most important things to remember as an endurance athlete is that the goal of strength exercises is to make you a better rider. The primary objective is to perform exercises that add to your ability as a cyclist, and not to add bulk or mass. Focus on dynamic movements that increase your range or motion, improve your form, and help decrease your risk of injury. One of the best approaches for athletes is to perform exercises that hit “primemovers”. These are your major muscles like hips, quads, back, chest and core. Think about how you ride your bike, and the muscles that aid in your ability to both turn over the pedals and keep your bike upright. If you’re crunched for time turning your strength workouts into high intensity sessions can be a great way to get in both strength and cardio in a short amount of time.

While there’s many ways to build a successful strength program, you can find some basic strength exersizes HERE

Endurance Rides

Often times the thinking is that if you don’t have a lot of time you can get more out of each workout by going faster. Not true. This is a dangerous approach and often times can lead to overtraining, injury, and burn out. In all reality if you want to get faster and fitter you need to spend upwards of 80% of your total training volume below 75% of your threshold. These endurance rides are vital for training your body’s metabolism to be more efficient, and providing the appropriate amount of time for recovery. While it may seem counter intuitive, allowing time for long aerobic efforts will make you faster and healthier long term. For most cyclists this takes the form of the classic “long ride”. Usually lasting 2-5 hours, the majority of this ride should be at a conversational pace. These sessions can be the hardest to squeeze in because they usually take up the most amount of time. Shoot for 1 long endurance ride each week, and add 1-2 more as time and race preparedness allows.

If you struggle with finding the time to train, you’re not alone. Most athletes have to work training into the rest of their life, and it can be a real challenge. However, if you know what workouts will produce the best results, with the time you have available, that will help you manage your time more wisely. Focus on workouts that will train your body’s systems to be as efficient and fit as possible, allowing you to tackle everything from your next town line sprint to the regional championship knowing you’re prepared and ready to go.  

Top 5 Workouts for the Time Crunched Cyclist

 

 
Tag: training
 
Nov 06 2016 - NEWS: Our Guide to Tackling the 2017 Gran Fondo Marmotte Alps
Apr 28 2016 - NEWS: Top 11 Reasons To Cycle Train Early In The Morning
Jan 01 2017 - NEWS: Top 15 Toughest Gravel Grinders out West
Jun 05 2016 - NEWS: Top 5 Workouts for the Time Crunched Cyclist
Feb 23 2017 - NEWS: Guide to Weight Loss during Base Training
Feb 19 2016 - NEWS: Getting Fit and Prepared for Fondo Season
Feb 06 2017 - NEWS: Lose Weight Cycling in the Off Season
Mar 27 2016 - NEWS: Tackling Big Miles on Dirt: Gravel Grinder Preparation
Jan 05 2017 - NEWS: Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Cyclists
Nov 06 2016 - NEWS: Gran Fondo Goals: Lose Weight in the Off Season
Jul 04 2016 - NEWS: Go-to Power Workouts for the Time Crunched Cyclist
Apr 23 2016 - NEWS: Strength, Power, and Speed: Becoming a Better Climber
Aug 29 2016 - NEWS: The Importance of Watts per Kilogram
Nov 14 2016 - NEWS: Gran Fondo Goals: Two weeks adapting to a “low-carb” diet
May 01 2016 - NEWS: The Importance Of Strength Training For Endurance Athletes
Apr 08 2016 - NEWS: How to Prepare for a Multi-Day Ride
May 18 2016 - NEWS: Aerobic Training – Why It’s Important During Race Season
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Top 10 Cycling Tips for the New Year
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Buyer's Guide to Smart Turbo Trainers for Zwift
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Indoor Smart Training and Zwift
Dec 08 2016 - NEWS: Strava: Which Country is the Quickest?
Oct 15 2016 - NEWS: 9 Top Tips on How to Prepare for a Double Century
Aug 22 2016 - NEWS: The Why, When, and How Of Taking A Mental Break
Aug 17 2016 - NEWS: Preparing For Your First Bike Race
May 31 2016 - NEWS: Proper Hydration: How To Prepare For Summer Activities
May 06 2016 - NEWS: The Importance Of Strength Training For Endurance Athletes
Apr 25 2016 - NEWS: Free 4-Week Gravel Grinder Training Plan!
Mar 31 2016 - NEWS: Beating the Bonk
Mar 08 2016 - NEWS: Mental Preparedness and Go-to Workouts For Indoor Riding
Jul 27 2014 - NEWS: Tips for Riding Your First Century
Jan 07 2014 - NEWS: Nutrition Tips to Survive Your First Century Ride
Jan 07 2014 - NEWS: Training for a your first Century Ride