areUfit 2 Ride? - Part Three

by Robin Akers

If you want to improve your speed endurance then the best way to do so is by interval training. By speed endurance I am talking about the riders ability to ride at or near their lactate threshold. Training the body to adapt to the demands of riding in this area allows the rider to maintain this level of effort without the build up of lactic acid in the muscles restricting the effort. Put simply you can ride harder for longer.

There are many variations on this type of training but however you do it the main thing in to be committed and focused, because it can be demanding. If you are tired and not motivated the session will be as worthwhile as it should be. If you are correctly motivated though interval training can be one of the most rewarding sessions mentally and physically. In my experience the feeling after a good session leaves you on a high on the knowledge that you have completed a really good quality session.

The other aspect to bear in mind is that because the session is intensive the time taken to complete it is relatively short, around an hour including warm and cool down. So if you are short of time it's a good session to do. Here is an example:

  1. Warm up with steady riding for around 10minutes. Include a couple of harder efforts that last around 20 secs or so just to get the heart rate up.
  2. The main part of the session involves short bursts of high intensity riding followed by an equal amount of recovery time in sets of three. For example:
    • 1 min interval at around 82-89% of your Maximum Heart Rate (See last months tip)
    • 1 min easy riding to recover
    • 1 min interval at 82-89%
    • 1 min recovery
    • 1 min interval at 82-89%
    • Now ride recover for 5 minutes
  3. Repeat above sequence 2 more times.
  4. 10 minutes easy riding to cool down.

To make the session harder you can increase the length of the interval or reduce the recovery time. To make it easier increase the recovery time between intervals.

Remember stay motivated and be 100% committed.

Robin Akers is a qualified British Cycling Coach. If you have any questions about training or fitness generally, Robin can be contacted via www.areUfit.co.uk or by email robin.akers@virgin.net