My winter training didn’t get off to the best start, running during my off the bike month created a problem with my knee, probably due to a weak core and pretty naff hip flexors! So I had to go back to basics working on my core strength and hip flexor mobility. An MRI showed that my knee is actually in pretty good condition which was great news and meant I could concentrate on doing light training.
Over the past two weeks I have been concentrating on increasing the miles using tempo rides. Having had a sore knee I have been working closely with my coach to steadily build my training back up.(Velo Coaching)
I have been doing 2-hour tempo rides (heart rate zone 3). Training this way (avg HR 155 BPM) achieves 2 things, it allows me to condition my aerobic system whilst gradually building my base aerobic capacity without having to ride for hours in HR zone 2. Riding in this heart rate zone also maintains my lactate threshold by working the upper limits of my aerobic capacity.
The other key session is hill repetitions, as I am gradually building back up to the level of training I would be expecting to do. I have found a hill which begins with a gradual climb and then a steeper lip. I do each rep trying to stay in the hardest gear possible, this works like on the bike weight training!
I find this very tiring and painful but enjoy feeling my muscles burn and my heart beat fast because I know I am doing everything I can to get my fitness back on track and build a solid foundation on which to increase my anaerobic capacity. After each rep I have a 3 minute recovery period.
On Friday I get my new bike from Specialized which is exciting. They have kindly agreed to support my 2016 season so during the year I will be racing and training on one of the most beautiful bikes I have ever seen! I can’t wait to see how going from riding a 27.5 to a 29er effects my training and racing results.