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Old 05-16-08, 05:08 AM
Violin guitar mandolin
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Friendsville, TN, USA
Posts: 1,171

Bikes: Wilier Thor, Fuji Professional, LeMond Wayzata

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I'll have to disagree on speed. One of the most effective ways to get more endurance is to start putting in higher stress intervals on shorter rides. When I was seriously training, I used a loosely structured pattern of rides each week to get in shape. This worked very well, not that other systems wouldn't. The benefit was that I built endurance while not spending gobs and gobs of hours on the bike. 45 minute rides mostly

Day 1: 3 sprints, hard
Day 2: 2 or 3 5 minute intervals
Day 3: Rolling mellow road ride, easy (semi-rest)
Day 4: Hard short road ride (15 minute warmup, 20 minutes of hills, 10 minute cool down minimum)
Day 5: Longer medium road ride (90 minutes, some hills)
Day 6: Weekend long ride, 2 to 4 hours, hills and some sprints, whatever it takes to get really worn out.
Day 7: Rest thoroughly.

This type of work really increases duration. I was busy and hardly ever got to ride more than 90 minutes. But I could drop into a metric century any time after a rest or semi-rest day without noticing the additional miles. I could probably have done a regular century after any rest day without noticing anything. Just backing off on the power output gave me all the endurance I could want.

Previously I'd just ridden longer. I slowly slowly got more endurance, but still couldn't handle the shock and trauma of hard conditions on long rides.
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