Cycling Workouts in just one hour
By Rick Touchstone
The controversy between the way coaches advise road racers to train on the bike in HIIT intervals and the way most people train on the bike.
When the weather does not cooperate, the indoor training is a lot more convenient, and potentially more effective, than riding outdoors.
I’ve learned to embrace indoor cycling as a way to keep me fit and lean, so I can have more fun. The time-crunched athlete looks to indoor cycling to maximize the impact and effectiveness they can get in 60 minutes.
Sometimes life gets in the way of your cycling workouts. Occasionally, you can find an hour here and there, maybe a lunch hour or before work. Is there value in a 1-hour cycling workout or are you just wasting your time? Can an hour-long workout give you enough benefits to be worth it?
Most articles on bike training for cyclists focus on higher-intensity workouts such as threshold rides, HIIT intervals and hill repetitions. The industry leaders and coaches know, as endurance athletes, cyclists should spend most of their time training at a steady aerobic pace. However, this training is not quite as interesting to write about or to get excited.
The average training cyclist does few or very few of these workouts. The variety of intensity is not really a variable at all in the training of the average cyclists. Every ride is done at the same effort level. The only factor that distinguishes one workout from the next is duration. Look at your training plan. Are you scheduled for an endurance day? Maybe you have some muscular endurance intervals on the schedule today. Whatever the case you should give the hour the attention needed to maintain your intensity and thus achieving your goals.
The coaches must not fool themselves. The average cyclist's willful avoidance of intensity training is not the result of lack of will, more likely it is a matter of stubbornness.
The kind of workout you can do in an hour depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're looking to get a load of endurance-based work, you're going to struggle. Endurance training generally requires long days in the saddle riding at lower intensity with scientific precision.
I would like to propose a compromise. Your bike training does not have to be all or nothing—your way or the coaches' way. With just a little mental effort you can easily incorporate some valuable high-intensity training into the same old routes you ride two or three times per week.
By making this small effort you will get a significant boost in cycling fitness. There's an adage that some training is better than nothing at all.
If you've only got an hour to burn among all kinds of other obligations, you can still knock out some effective training. In some cases, a 1-hour cycling workout can be more effective than hours in the saddle. You just must know what intervals do and how to execute them.