A mini-series of articles intended to get you going this spring.
Spring Training: Biking
See the first article
in this mini-series for intentions and goals for these articles.
One good reason for getting on your road or mountain bike – or both –
this spring, is that it’s one of the easiest and most inspirational ways
of getting in some good training hours and also enjoying the warmer weather.
I’m saying easy because biking doesn’t to the same degree require
a gradual build-up in workout length as running and rollerskiing in order to
prevent injuries and to benefit from each session. After only a few rides in
the neighborhood – and a sore butt for a few days, you can easily do bike distance
workouts of several hours. Yeah, your quads, gluteus and back will be a little
tired, but in a good way – the “napping hard following the workout”
kind of way – not like if you suddenly ran for 2.5 hours and can hardly walk
for a couple days following.
I’m also saying inspirational because of the enormous variety potential
biking offers. You are suddenly not dependent upon ski tracks, snow, groomers,
touring centers, or anything else – any hill can be used for intervals,
any loop for distance and with just a little bit of driving you can frequently
start from a different location- adding variety and excitement. Don’t
get stuck doing the same old loop every time – seek variety.
Lakes, rivers, mountains, beaches – it’s all there for you to enjoy!
Training plan for a “bike weekend” with friends or family where you
leave after work on Friday:
Friday afternoon – Short easy ride: 45 minutes – 1.5 hour (medium speed)
Saturday morning- Long ride: 2- 4 hours (easy/slow speed)
Saturday afternoon – Easy run or weight room session (focus on upper body)
Sunday morning – medium long ride 1.5 – 3 hours (easy speed)
A few things to remember: Make it enjoyable and be prepared.
1. Make sure that your bike is tuned up properly. New tires, break pads and
chain – it limits the chance for a bad experience.
2. Dress right and bring some extra clothing in a small back pack. I can’t
imagine anything worse than riding a bike for hours while freezing. For that
reason I often bring a backpack with extra clothes or a pack to put my clothes
in if it’s cold when we start. A good wind jacket, lycra top, a hat, tights
and ski gloves is a part of what I always pack for a bike trip unless it’s
a ride in the local area and I’m sure about the weather condition.
3. Bring 1-2 spare tubes and a tool set.
4. Take care of yourself; bring plenty of water and some food or sports bars.
5. Bring some money for long rides so you can stop to buy food and replacement
fluid if needed.
6. Don’t forget sun lotion with a solid sun block – nothing is worse
than getting off the bike after 4 hours in the sun and realizes that SPF 4 wasn’t
a good idea.
My last three rides.
On Sunday April 6th I rode the Colorado National Monument loop in Grand Junction,
Colorado. This loop takes about 2- 2.5 hour and has a one hour uphill section.
I went easy and it was no problem. I have to add that I biked at least once/
week in most weeks throughout the winter. We had a mild winter in Park City
and temperatures were often in the mid 40-ties in the afternoon. These rides
were usually 40-60 minutes long in very hilly terrain – hardly any flats.
This week I rode twice with John Aalberg. On the 12th we did a fun 1.45 hour
loop, hitting some of the good climbs on the roads surrounding down-town Park
City and the plush Deer Valley area. We topped off the day with one hour of
solid hard weight training at The BodyTech training studio immediately following
I have numerous weight room sessions under my belt but John had zero –
he couldn’t remember when he had done the last one.
Well, I pushed hard – 3-5 sets per exercise -10-20 reps, no recovery since we
choose two exercises and switched to two new ones when we both had done 3-5
sets on each of those machines/stations. I was very impressed that John did
everything that I did and with a smile – like no big deal.Well perhaps
not that day, but the next!
I called him the next morning and asked if he was ready for an opposite day:
weights first and then biking. Negative – he was now pretty sore and skipped
the weights but showed for an evening 1.5 hour ride. He even beat me when I
challenged him at the end of the ride and said: “Do you see the School
Sign down there”?
And when he said “yes” – I yelled “well that’s the finish
line” and took off. I was a bike length behind at the end.
Why the double workouts and why the sprint at this time of year?
It’s simple – we had the time to do it this weekend and enjoyed
it to the fullest. Next weekend – who knows?
if you are looking for a personal coach to help you with training planning and
John and myself have decades of racing, training and coaching experience. We
even studied sport and XC skiing in College (who else in the US can brag about
a College degree in XC Coaching)!
We’ll help you get fit, create and reach goals, ski faster and have more
fun. A great selection of rollerskis can be found on the same site.