I don’t need to go into too much detail but rewind to late 2020, 7 hours per week 320FTP, 65kg, 45 years of age. 2022, still decent legs.
Fast forward to 2023 and I’m hardly riding my bike, couple of times a week at most (despite this, still faired ok on a 90 mile gravel ride a few weeks back). Doing weight training 2-3x per week and now at 77-78kg.
So to my question….
I feel like for this year it’s a case of just trying to ride when I can and keep things ticking over. This led me to thinking just what the minimum requirements are to not have to feel like a total beginner when I feel like getting back to it properly.
I’m sure others have had periods of time where they had to step back from riding as often or as structured etc. What did you do?
My hunch would be at least some kind of ride every 3-4 days.
I’ve just returned to the bike after 8 months off so I’m doing the get back in shape experiment right now. While off the bike I did some kind of exercise every day: weighs, running, rowing and sometimes all of the above.
I’m 14 rides in and already feel like my legs are coming around. This has been the least painful ‘getting back into shape’ I’ve ever experienced.
Personally, I’ve been wondering about micro rides - like 15-20 minutes. What if someone is super time crunched but could jump on the trainer every morning and do a 5 minute warm-up and 10-15 minutes of tempo/SS. What would that do for them?
What if they could fit in two of these sessions per day? 30-40 minutes a day is a thousand times better than nothing but parceled out in two small chucks that could fit in most hectic lives.
In a 20 minute ride, one could do an infinite variety of intervals. 5 minute warm-up and then 30/30s, 20/40s, etc. Or 10x2minute threshold, above threshold. 1 minute over unders, etc., etc.
I’ve gone through some stretches with little time to train. One tip is to have a few “go to” workouts preset up and ready to load. For example, I have a 30 minute workout (see below) and a couple 45 minute ones with some sweet spot interviews (e.g. 2x8). Add in a few more you like. What you don’t want to be doing is staring at the whole TR catalogue trying to find one. (This assumes you’re not riding enough to make use of Train Now. That tool is great but at some point if you’re not really training regularly and feeding the algorithm it becomes just a random workout picker and its probably not going to pick as well as you can in that situation.)
There is some very solid science that several short 20 second max efforts can be extremely effective training. Its not going to get you a podium finish but for the basic health benefits of exercise this type of workout is as good if not better than longer steady state and its highly time efficient. My go to when time pressed is a 30 minute ride, 20 minutes zone 2 then 3 all out 20 second efforts with 3 minutes rest in between.
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