Ride Slow, Get Fast

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Stories -

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.”

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