Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Brighton, UK
Bikes: Rocky Mountain Solo, Specialised Sirrus Triple (quick road tourer), Santana Arriva Tandem
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
What are you trying to accomplish?
If your goal is improving your speed performance, get a coach.
Most folks, if left to their own devices, won't work hard enough on the hard days and work too hard on what should be the easy days. The result is that you ride kind of medium all of the time and don't get better very fast.
That was exactly my experience with running - between 1982 (my first marathon) and 1997 (my last full distance one) all my times were within 15 minutes of each other. Just stayed in my 6 out of 10 effort range.
Distance, however, increased significantly - ability to sustain easily the same comfort zone pace, while enjoying being outdoors and active.
That's where I am with cycling too, and similarly I have more an endurance (wrong word, that sounds like it's an ordeal, whereas what I experience is enjoying longer rides regularly) than a speed focus.
Some of my cycling friends swear by 5 minute 9/10 efforts followed by 10 minutes 5/10 recoveries. They say that's an economical speed building method if done 2 or 3 times a week. For me, though, it takes the fun out of it