7. TRY THIS ON YOUR NEXT RIDE
If you’re bored with structured intervals at the end of a long season — or you hate the thought of anything that remotely resembles “training” — add some zip to your rides with random, unstructured strong efforts interspersed with easy pedaling.
The trick is to choose a “trigger” — something that launches a harder effort for 30 seconds or as much as 3-4 minutes.
You certainly don’t need to do this on every ride. Once or twice a week will give you beneficial intensity. Runners have trained with random efforts forever using the concept of “speed play” (also know by the Swedish term, fartlek).
A trigger can be anything. It’s fun to change it from one workout to the next.
For example, on one ride sprint for 20 seconds every time you’re passed by a red vehicle. On another ride, let a bluebird be the signal for a 4-minute time trial. Next week get out of the saddle and pour on the coals for the length of each guardrail along a climb.
With a little imagination you can come up with a whole repertoire of such triggers. Choose them based on their frequency on your usual training routes. For instance:
—Pickup trucks with gun racks
—Farm tractors working a field
—Certain animals such as cats, squirrels, bulls
—Green beer bottles
—Silos, windmills, ponds
—Speed limit signs
Make it fun and jam this way a few times on select rides. You’ll get beneficial training without the regimentation of intervals.
Once you feel the improvement, you may want to explore all the techniques and advantages of hammering. They’re detailed in “INTENSITY: How to Plan and Gauge Your Most Beneficial Training Efforts,” an eArticle by Coach John Hughes available in the RBR eBookstore
Republished by permission of RoadBikeRider.