Start today with making this your best season yet!
March has started and spring is enticing us, with its bright days and softer temperatures after a long winter, to take out our bicycle.
Even if the first Gran Fondo’s are already scheduled, based on my experience, I can tell you that the season is very long. It is not yet the time to over-do. You can, however, start right now with getting serious so that you will obtain great results when the season for the best cycling kicks off.
It is still too early to venture out in the morning and the days are still too short to have the luxury of evening rides after work. Around 18:00 the light starts to fade and the temperature starts to go down with humidity levels still putting us at risk of falling ill.
Indoor bike trainers, therefore, provide an excellent alternative during the week. You will see that in just over an hour following my directions, you will be able to set up a high quality training program. This program will certainly get your legs ready for strong pedaling once your wheels hit the tarmac again. The weekends can be dedicated to longer outdoor rides in order to start getting comfortable with the distance.
Before starting the training program I propose with BIKEVO, it would be worthwhile to carry out a functional test to have some indications what your training zones will be. As a professional cyclist, I have always resorted to tests carried out by coaches or professionals, with measurement of lactate and an elaboration of these values.
I generally recommend to. Above all, rely on experts. This also corresponds with BIKEVO’s philosophy. If, however, you are not able to have such a test carried out, you can make use of some relatively reliable devices. It is possible to get good benchmarks with a heart rate monitor and a cycling computer, although they will not be as accurate.
One of the more reliable tests, and at the same time the easiest to carry out, is the 30-minute test. This test can provide a plausible parameter of your heart rate at anaerobic threshold, meaning your heart rate at which – simply put – your body starts producing lactate acid while still being able to reuse it to produce energy. A healthy individual should be able to maintain this threshold for about an hour, before performance starts to drop.
It is very easy to execute: get yourself ready on the indoor trainer, in an environment not too hot and when you are not too tired. Cycle at full speed for 30 minutes and start monitoring your heart rate 10 minutes into the test. Your anaerobic threshold will correspond to approximately your average heart rate during the last 20 minutes of the test.
Once you have this data, it will not be difficult to correctly determine your training zones. Remember to repeat this test at the end of the 12-week program proposed by me. The body will respond to the training with significant adaptions. The values from the beginning of the training cycle will most certainly be different to those obtained at the end.