How to make the most of summer

With our sunlight hours at a peak, here’s how to make the most of the longer summer days…

With summer in full swing, there's nothing we love more than taking advantage of the daylight hours in order to get a decent day's cycling in. Here are a few tips to help you eke out the hours and build up your stamina in the process.

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Morning

The sun rises just after 5am so if you start work at 9am you can get three hours’ training in and still have time for a shower and breakfast. If you are aiming for your race weight try going out for a fasted ride (only with water), to train your body into burning fat. Try three hours at about 65-70 per cent of your max HR on gently undulating roads. This builds your cycling foundation without straining your under-fuelled body.

Evening

If you can get out of work by 5.30pm and extend your commute home you won’t lose the light until 9.20pm or so, meaning you can squeeze in nearly four hours. This is a good time to build up your stamina, endurance and climbing. 

Choose a long, hilly route and train for tough sportives by doing hill-reps on gradients of about 10 per cent. Start off fast, then slower and seated in the middle before a final sprint.

Lunch break

A short, sharp lunchtime ride will be when the sun is potentially at its hottest and may require some extra hydration considerations. Go for a 45-minute training ride aiming for an area with fairly flat terrain. 

Complete five 3-minute intervals at around 85 percent max HR with 5 minutes in between each at an easy recovery pace. Bring a couple of full bottles and sip between efforts.

Weekend

With more than 15 hours of sunlight daily through much of the summer you have enough rays to see you through the longest of audax rides. 

Check out www.aukweb.net for events in your area more than 200km long — or even 300km or longer — and get in some serious endurance rides. Or pack your panniers and go touring. The summer is also the perfect time to do an overnight cycling trip.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Cycling Plus

Cycling Plus Magazine
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine – the manual for the modern road cyclist. Try your first five issues for £5 when you subscribe today.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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