“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston
Last week at the Cycle Oregon 101 lecture a few riders expressed that they were slightly behind on their training. Luckily for them (and, perhaps, you) there’s still time. A large part of training for a multi-day event is the total training volume throughout the preceding months. It’s the accumulation that will enable you to successfully ride more than 6,000 feet of elevation on back-to-back days. Of course, if you’re behind, the time to catch up is right now. Wait too long and this won’t be the case (you can’t “cram” for Cycle Oregon in August).
Mileage Goals: 70-150 miles per week.
Ride Pace: Last month the majority of your riding should have been at a steady pace as you added distance. June, however, is the perfect time to add hill repeats and threshold training drills.
Training Drills: Hill repeats: 2 to 5 repeats, each of 5 minutes of hard climbing followed by 5 minutes at a recovery pace.
Threshold Training: 2 to 5 repeats, of 4 to 10 minutes working at your threshold followed by 5 to 10 minutes recovery pace. See below for details.
Cross Training: As your mileage increases, it’s important to start reducing your cross-training volume. Strength training sessions should be reduced by about 30 to 40 percent. Focus on exercise with multiple joints involved: deadlifts, hip thrusts, squats or any of the variations.
Five training tips for June:
1 – Stay in the saddle while climbing. Even though getting out of the saddle helps produce more power on the bike, use this month to develop leg strength.
2 – Use a heart rate (HR) monitor for threshold training. Perform a 6-minute time trial (all-out on a flat road) and record your average HR. Use the average HR as the prescribed intensity during your threshold training. Enjoy the burning legs!
3 – Use gearing to “create” hills if you don’t have appropriate terrain to prepare for the 6,740 feet of climbing on Day 3. Simply gear down to a harder gear on the flats. This will slow your cadence (50-70 rpm) and mimic the tension of hills. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
4 – Follow a training plan designed for a multi-day event. You’ll be more likely to get the correct amount of training and stay on course when life gets busy.
5 – Use weekday rides for higher-intensity training drills, and weekends for aerobic development.