Ride Slow, Get Fast
Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But these steady rides are supposed to feel easy, and require very little in the way of power or torque. If done correctly you will benefit from sizeable aerobic gains without having tapped into your physical and emotional stores – not to mention improving your ability to use fat as an energy source.
I find it easier to do these rides alone, as I often fall prey to group dynamics; all you need is that one guy to lay down a frenzy of watts, and an easy group ride becomes a race. This is where discipline comes into the equation.
Eighty per cent of your training should be spent in the endurance zone (Zones 1 and 2 – under 85 per cent of your threshold heart rate). A common problem is that fatigue can skew your heart rate, so it’s better to use a power meter to measure your relative effort, explains sports scientist and Science2Sport coach Jarred Salzwedel.
“Subjective measures such as rate of perceived exertion (how hard you feel you are going) have also been shown to be effective in measuring an effort. Listen to your body; it often gives you clues that you need to follow.”