Originally Posted by bluehorizons
So i've been ill for a while and am just starting to get back into training. Needless to say I've lost quite a bit of fitness, and have a short ride/race in about 4 weeks. what is the best chance i have for catching up fast on fitness -- longer, more steady rides or hard intervals? or is there something else that would work? would 2 workouts a day (running/swimming in am and riding in the pm) do anything? thx in advance.
lotsa stuff to consider. you need to drop weight? thatz a consideration. You an old Pharte (like me)? Thatz a consideration. How are the road and weather conditions where you are, right about now and the comin weeks? Thatz a consideration. how much time each day do you have to ride? thatz a consideration.
4 weeks, not a lotta time to do much, unless you're juicin
no miracles in 4 weeks
if it was me, I'd be takin advantage of 'tempo' training in medium and small gears - higher cadence works the muscles well and also the aerobic capacity. Higher cadence starts the process of making the muscles and pedal stroke more efficient besides the cardio workout.
I'd do 3 days of varied tempo training, mix in 1 day of hard and structured intervals, especially effective while done on long sustanied hill climbs later in a training period (but not now... in the beginning). One day of hammerfest group ride, to develop speed - if available; otherwise another day interpsered with less frequent intervals but longer, harder tempo. Expeect to be dropped at some point... but work it hard for your remainder of ride.
Workin backwards from a 'Hammerfest' group ride day, say its a Sunday - best if it was 35 - 40 miles.
Saturday - take a break or just VERY easy short mileage til the legs feel really loose without any serious blood pump.
Friday - Strong Tempo day, high cadence as possible in a medium gear, 30 miles is good, 24 is prolly a min.
Thursday is a VErY easy day at LOW gears as possible and easy pace, mid-high cadence (mid80s to 90) to loosen legs from Wednesday Interval workout. If you do Wednesday hard intervals then DONOT take Thrusday off. Legs need active recover, otherwise the legs will get 'wooden' and it will take many days to recover from that.
Wednesday - Hard, structured Intervals, 1st few in medium gears and max cadence, then add gear inches, but don't bog down the cadence, keep it high, lower the gears as you get later in the intervals. Maybe 10 reps, done over no more than 20 - 24 miles. Flatter terrain, no real hills in the 1st 4 weeks.
MUST do cool-down of 4-5 miles, no pedal pressure, just pure spin. Interval lengths of .5 mile are good.
Massage - if you can get one - great thing - after your Interval day, or the day after. Can't get someone to massage you? - learn self-massage, it really works!
Tuesday - Solid even 90s cadence tempo ride, steady on the flats, try to keep the tempo up on short rises and small/short/not steep hills. 30 miles is good. Don;t paste yourself, but don;t daydream either.
Monday - dependz on how the Sunday HAmmerfest went... Legs are toast and feel awful? Ride! VERY easy active recovery, short distance - 15, max 20 miles. Get a massage, or give your legs one yourself.
Legs feel pretty good after the Sunday Hammerfest? Then okay to take the day off if so desired...
Using this pattern will allow a 6 or 7 day ride schedule, WITHOUT going superNova.
Drop the intervals session in the week before your 'race'. Don;t put a heavy burn into the legs within 4 days of your event, until you're later in your season and fitness build.