If you all had all of the time in the world then maybe I would be pushing this, but for a lot of riders you get bored, feel no gains and it is a game of patience with base training. So here is what I am going to suggest to you… Over geared rides.
This is a technique I have used with many stage racing athletes who cannot replicate the hours, miles or climbing of their event in their training. It’s a simple but very effective way to build muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
Choose a hilly ride route from 1 to 3 hours, it can be more if you have long distance goals, on road or off-road. Flat sections should be at a recovery pace effort or base effort but now here’s the twist… At all the climbs, slow the bike down to almost stopped and put it into a hard gear you can just move, then, using your whole body ride the climb. This will involve pulling up on pedals, pulling on the handlebars and giving your body a complete muscular work out.
if you're unsure of your zones, visit last weeks post to set them
This session is easier on road so even if you don’t have a road bike get that MTB on the road mainly because if it’s wet then traction will be an issue off road.
The key to this session is your heart rate will stay down, maybe not at first, but if it is ramping right up then slow the bike down, find a harder gear and go again. After each climb keep the intensity down so you can recover for the next hill.
Trust me after an hour or so of these, doing some steady base miles will feel like a pleasure. The important thing is you are getting the fatigue of a longer ride in less time.
The turbo trainer is another way to make yourself work hard while gaining a good endurance base. As the turbo supports a lot of our effort through stabilization, it takes more effort from us to elevate our heart rate and so holding a base heart rate will not be easy. This will therefore give you that psychological reward of having done a tough ride.
Just as a last point, you cannot do these types of sessions day in day out! It will leave your muscles dead and over fatigued so to maximize these sessions make sure you do some easy pedaling, short sessions in between.
If you would like more info on how to structure these sessions into a program please drop us an email or if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below and we will answer them for you.