Summer Intensity Work

What’s a good strategy for maintaining summer fitness when my main goal is just lots of riding? Did my A race, nothing planned until CX season as far as A events. I have some crits planned and a Gran Fondo in the fall. But really I just like enjoying the summer heat and riding. But at the same time I want to maintain fitness. Just add in 1 or 2 days of intensity? Does it matter how I get that intensity? My thought was to just ride endurance and do like 1 hard workout per week, alternating VO2 and Threshold every other week. Is that enough to maintain my hard work over winter?


Endurance fades slowest, sprint fades fastest. Pretty sure that’s the thinking behind the maintenance plans as there’s a lot of high intensity. So I would do one of those or have two short workouts a week; one anaerobic and one vo2.

Myself I would just keep building through the year.

Nice username.

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It fits my normal summer riding.

I might. Need some time off from training after finishing my A event and training building up to it. Mostly just need a mental break from structure before focusing on CX.


It’s hard to say if it will maintain, but you won’t drop far, and it sounds like you need the mental break. I’d just be sure to get in some sprints or VO2 every other week to try not to drop your high end too far. If you’re looking for a way to keep track, tends to bump my eFTP up when I throw in a 30/30 day. As someone who is prone to burn out, I applaud you for recognizing that you need the break from structure to just enjoy riding your bike!


I always chuck it for a week or two after an A race, partly because I have to with Ironman but partly the mental break too.

I am prone to wander and get the blues, so having structure in the calendar can stop me dropping off the map entirely. If you have regular club rides, they can also keep you honest. Maybe throw in some hill repeats midweek between the fun rides. A spin on the trainer when you’re watching Netflix and the Grand Tours coming up.


I do this sometimes. Just one hard workout per week if I just want enjoy riding and doing good volume 15-20 hours. 2-3 long rides per week with just one hard workout makes you pretty fast too.

I’ve found workouts that kind of hit kind of everything work really well, suprathreshold intervals or over-unders with hard overs 120% or more. You get muscle endurance and you’re touching up on VO2 too.


Just go have fun. It’s take a lot less to maintain than improve. Include some higher intensity at least once a week and you’ll be golden.


Smash some hills whilst out riding. Even better if you’ve got some friends/victims to race.
Other than that, just chill. My best ever cx form came a week after a long bikepacking trip. Turns out multiple 12hr days makes you stupidly fast once you take all that luggage off.


High intensity, short (under 30-sec) repeats. Not intervals. Repeats. Pick some durations that align with Strava segments or hills or whatever. I do this at the end of easy rides.

Smash some longer 4-8 minute efforts on group rides.

Do some long climbs.

Have fun, but keep some heart pumping intensity mixed in.

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Just ride baby!

After a few weeks of riding for fun I get into one day of 30-30’s and one day of tempo or fartlek (i.e. 3 min on @ sweet spot, 3 min @ endurance). No dedicated days . If it is nice out or the guys can meet up that take priority. As mentioned picking some segments or group rides will keep the engine primed.

For what it is worth… mileage and riding my bike as much as possible takes priority in the summer. Got to enjoy all that hard work!

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I’d agree with what @Pbase and others have said here – you may not maintain 100% of the fitness you’ve built up, but you probably won’t lose very much fitness, either.

It sounds like the mental break would be well worth it, too. Getting in 1-2 days of intensity each week should help you maintain what you’ve got – as well as just getting out and enjoying summer riding! Hopefully, you’d get to enjoy some of that fitness you worked on, too. :wink:

Just remember to rest up every ~3 weeks, as you would in a normal training plan. Fatigue will still build up if you’re riding a lot, so make sure to stay on top of recovery.

By the end of the summer season, if you take 1-2 weeks off entirely to rest up before CX season, I think you’d probably be in pretty good shape to start up your next plan if that’s one of your goals for prepping for your next A race!