It’s fair to say, I love my cycling. Like being in the outdoors, it gives you that sense of freedom and it disconnects you from normal life. Sounds a bit deep I know, but cycling puts a big smile on my face!
Cycling is the perfect way to get around town, and normally when i arrive at friends houses, i’m normally out of breath and slightly sweaty! I just can’t help pushing myself! But over the last year things have changed, in terms of cycling for training…
Previously I used to focus on just one thing, speed. Every session I would go out there and hammer myself, which maybe great for increasing cardio-vascular fitness, but not good overall. I need to build up my endurance stamina for these big mountains, and so my training has changed significantly.
First things first, you need a decent cycle computer, and preferably one which you can hook a heart rate monitor too. Technology is a must in my eyes to really control your training and for me, to keep me disciplined!!
To build up my endurance, i’m doing a mixture of rides:
There’s no hard and fast rule on how long your intervals should be, but it so happens that the loop at Regents park is 3 miles long. I do 1.5 miles at max effort (about 3.5 mins) then 1.5 miles at 50%. This is killer! and i’ll continue to do these until I can’t do any more! A warm down is very definitely necessary!
Constant Heart Rate / speed
A big favourite of mine, I like to train at fixed heart / speeds. This allows me to work fat burning and cardiovascular zones and because I set an average speed or heart rate, its really easy for me to monitor increases (hopefully not decreases!) in fitness.
Living in London, makes it a bit tricky to blast off and do nice long rides, but once you get out of town, its great to exercise for such long periods of time. Its all too easy to just train for an hour or two, when actually on the mountain I’ll be putting in some long days, so training for long durations is a must.
Riding with others
I’m pretty lucky, in that Regents Park, London is a bit of a mecca for cyclists. Although not the most exciting ride, going around in loops its excellent for training, and most evenings there are some really serious people down there! Riding with people who are quicker than you is perfect for pushing yourself, and increasing your average speed.
This all sounds pretty serious! You don’t have to hammer yourself and it is allowed to go out for a potter! Cycling is a great way to get out and enjoy yourself!
Big thanks to Specialized who are helping me get super fit, and who are supporting the Everest Million Welsh Etape cycling event. Curious? click here