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Cycling Workouts

There's a guy on another shaving forum that has a great signature: "Keep doing what you always do and you'll always get what you already got." or something like that heh.

Don't ask me what to try though, I've been in an exercise rut for a long time as well. :(
Grab a copy of Serious Cycling by Dr. Edmund Burke. It's fantastic and is the basis of Chris Carmichael's training regimen for Lance. There are a couple key philosophies in the book including Periodization where you adjust the training throughout the year based on your racing schedule. Within each period, you will focus on specific kinds of rides (Foundation Miles, Endurance Miles, ...) and intervals (Muscle Tensions, Tempo, High Spins, ...). You will absolutely need a cycle computer that counts cadence and gets heart rate. Power training is great, but who the heck can afford it?

You can download all kinds of training intervals and whatnot, but you really need to have a full year program in mind so that you know what kinds of intervals to do when. Good luck.
Can you give me a specific idea of what to do for these? I've never done an interval bike workout? I don't know if I should use speed or heart rate or how long to hold it or how long to go a relaxed pace. Basically I know nothing.

It would take a while to explain all the details and options for doing intervals. HCS has good recommendation - search and read.

Basically, you do sprints and longer semi-sprints with rest intervals based on heart rate. Beforehand, you need to know, among other things, your resting and age-based max heart rates. Based on condition and time of year, you would take it to a predetermined % of your max, then let up and let your heart rate come down another predetermined %. During the training session, you increase these over multiple sprints until you reach your max. Done correctly, you will be spent after a session!

That's a too simple overview but you get the idea. Intervals are good conditioning so you can respond to action during races. Somebody good goes off the front? You can respond. Better yet, you can go and leave the pack behind! ) Do some reading and work some into training. Good luck!
If you have a trainer, another (simple) option is to just simulate hills by pushing the largest gear on the bike for a minute or two, trying to maintain your cadence. Another option, if your speedometer is hooked up to your rear wheel, is to do speed work on it. Take a speed that's uncomfortably fast and try to maintain it for a minute or two, then go back to your typical speed for a cool down period (5 minutes or so), and repeat. It's less structured than a formal training program and less effective, but it works well enough for me.
If you have a mountain bike, the trail in Hoosier National Forest past the Story Inn is a great workout. Takes about 45 minutes to get to from Indy, but worth the drive. Lots of rolling hills and technical trail. Haven't ridden there in several years, but used to be great.
If you want to work on anaerobic I like the 30/30 intervals. Go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then coast for 30 seconds, then go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then coast for 30 seconds. Repeat until you can't maintain the effort for the full 30 seconds.

For tempo riding try 20 minute/10 minute efforts, 20 minutes at TT pace (maximum sustainable effort over a 1 hr effort) followed by a 10 minute rest (easy spinning to clear out your legs. 2-4 sets of those and you'll get a pretty good workout.

I've used HR for monitoring but I'm not a fan. I find that my "maximums" are way too low and temperature has a huge effect on it from day to day. Power is a better indicator but it's very expensive to monitor. I'd suggest getting used to perceived exertion to monitor your outputs. In the middle of a race you'll know how your body feels but you may not be thinking about where you are numerically, it certainly won't tell you when you're about to blow up or if you could go harder. Knowing what different efforts feel like can really give you an edge in real-life situations
It's all going to depend at what point you're in in your training. If it's for racing, concentrate for that specific race. What are you trying to accomplish, "fast" is a general term? Power is a different story. Have a goal of what you want to accomplish in your training phase. You need to know if you're even at a point if you're just doing damage or not doing anything. The only sure real bet to get the most out of any workout is with a power meter or heart rate monitor. Someone can say do 30 minutes of such work out but how do you know when you're not doing enough or doing too much?

On another side note if you feel like you've reached a plateau, maybe introducing lighter rides will create muscle confusion. Your body needs a break, reason most endurance athletes do not compete year around and introduce recovery weeks. They take the winter off, put on a little weight and then when it's time to train it's like shedding your skin and start fresh.

Train smarter not harder.:001_smile
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