Training: Ride hard after work

Supercharge your riding with evening sessions

At last the evenings are getting longer and with the clocks going forward it’s a great opportunity for some quality training after work. Early spring is when you should get more specific with your sessions. You will be getting a little stale with long steady miles and the turbo trainer, so now is the time to speed up your riding.

Introducing some faster pace work into your training now will make the transition to racing later on a whole lot easier. The lighter and hopefully warmer evenings are perfect for short, snappy training sessions that will boost your fitness levels and won’t leave you too fatigued. Most of us don’t have much free time after work, maybe an hour at most, but that’s still plenty.

British Cycling's lead coach, Chris Furber, thinks an hour is a perfect window of time. “The human body is designed to walk and run, so is neurologically and physiologically set up for those movement patterns," he says. "You can condition your body to follow a cycling movement pattern just by getting out on your bike regularly. If you stop cycling for too many days your body will quickly return to its normal walking state.”

Bearing this in mind, here are three one-hour sessions to do in your working week between Monday and Friday:

MondayWednesdayFriday
The Hour Of PowerSpin To WinTorque The Torque
Aim: To build strength and powerAim: A low load session designed to create pedaling efficiencyAim: To develop speed endurance
Tip: Try to hold your pace for the duration of the efforts. If you fade too much, try starting a little slowerTip: Pedal in circles, and don’t bounce in the saddleTip: This session is hard because there are no rests. Persevere, because it’s very effective
Equipment: A cycle computer that measures cadence
Warm UpWarm UpWarm Up
15 minutes in a small gear, gradually bringing your heart rate up15 minutes in a small gear15 minutes in a small gear
Main SetMain SetMain Set
3x2 minutes hard and controlled, in a big gear + 90 seconds restsHigh/low cadence efforts15 minutes at 75-80% of your max heart rate. Should feel hard, but sustainable
4 minutes easy spinning2 x (2mins spinning your legs at 110rpm, 2mins at 80rpm)Change up a gear and ride 10 minutes at 80-85% of your max heart rate
3x1 minute hard and controlled, in a big gear + 60 seconds rests10 mins easy ridingChange up a gear and ride 5 minutes at 90% of max heart rate (this should be an all-out effort)
4 minutes easy spinning2 x (2mins spinning your legs at 110rpm, 2mins at 80rpm)
3x30secs at maximum effort + 30 seconds rests
Warm DownWarm DownWarm Down
15 minutes in a small gear, gradually bringing your heart rate down15 minutes in a small gear15 minutes in a small gear
Eamonn Deane
Author: Eamonn Deane
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