Join Date: Jun 2004
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
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There are two approaches - a well planned, scientifically backed and measured, or just keep riding the route every day or reqular frequency and you will improve you endurance - don't push yourself so hard you can talk and don't take it so easy you that you don't start breathing harder. You can take 10sec estimates of your heart rate to at intense times, just to gage if its within a decent window.
Keep your cadence (pedaling speed) high so it relatively easy to push the pedals, focus on spinning them smoothly - this will put focus on building aerobic base
Unless you are planning to become a competitve racer or really want to optimize your performance improvements for max gain I'd just do this.
After doing that for a while you will notice without any measurements that you can ride with more ease.
You can time your route - sure traffic, etc. affect the time, but on average if you say put the values in a spreadsheet on a computer, your times will drop. Somedays it wil be higher because you hit every red light and the wind was in your face, somedays you will fly. But overall you still will notice a trend. Not only are you improving your endurance, but also your skill in handing that same route.
At some point you may want to get more scientific, but if this is say an everyday commute or scenic ride, have fun with it and not matter what you do you will improve your endurance.