The Best Outdoor Road Bike Workouts You’ll Ever Need
Road bikes are great things. They are fast, efficient, smooth, speedy, and offer a rush and sense of excitement that can only be experienced by pedaling as fast as you can and feeling the wind rush by your face. It’s no wonder that they are considered the ‘staple’ of all bikes in competitive cycling. You can check these recommended road bikes if you are planning to buy one.
But that kind of experience must be attained, and it must be done so through hard work and effort.
That’s just it, there’s no workaround or way to bypass this fact.
You will just simply have to work hard.
That is if you want to last any decent amount of time on the road, and also if you want to really get up there in terms of speed and not just idly coasting by.
But fortunately for you, I have just the prescription for you needs!
Easy and Simple 40K Threshold Increase Workout
So the purpose of this workout is to decrease the time (or increase the speed/pace I guess) of your 40K time-trial.
What is the 40K time-trial?
Well that’s easy. It’s just the time it takes for you to complete 40 kilometers on a bike, and that would be 24.85 miles in case you didn’t know. So let’s just round that up to 25 for the rest of this article for the sake of simplicity.
Now the reason why this workout is focused on this specific distance is actually quite easy to understand as well.
It’s because that distance has been the ‘gold standard’ of biking for quite some time now.
Anyway, now that you have a solid foundation of relevant knowledge let’s get to the training part itself.
- Start with a 10:00 minute warm-up. Get your heart rate to 150 beats per minute with a leeway of +/- 10 beats by the end of it. If there is no way to measure your heart rate then ‘judge’ it yourself by feeling how much of a ‘sweat’ you’ve broken out into. This is going to be pure intuition here.
- Perform 10:00 minutes of biking at your 40K threshold rate.
- End your ride with 10:00 minutes of a cool-down. Get your heart down to 120 beats per minute by the end of it with a leeway of +/- 10 beats. If there is no way to measure your heart rate then, again, use your intuition and feel if you’ve stopped sweating.
And there you have it for our first workout program here.
Simple enough right?
Of course it is!
But before we head to the next one, I must address some pressing concerns/questions you probably have right now.
Some of you have probably wondered to yourself…”why so little?”. And good question too!
The answer is that this is only meant for very new beginners.
Now that will likely bring up a follow-up question of “then what’s the point if I’m not ‘new’ or want to progress?”. Another good question.
And the answer to that would be that…you would simply increase the amount of time you spend at the 40K threshold time. But allow me to clarify this further.
When you increase the time you spend actually ‘working out’ you would typically follow some guidelines. Such as…
- Try to increase your time by a multiplier. For example, you may try doubling it from 10:00 minutes to 20:00 minutes, or even tripling it to 30:00 minutes. It’s completely up to you!
- But keep a ‘split’ (if you will) by never actually performing a 40K completely in one ‘set’. This is important, because many riders’ experience has taught that shaving time off of your 40K time-trial is best done by specifically not just simply riding a straight-up 40K all the time. It’s kind of like how HIIT sprints are recommended if you are a Marine and want to drop time on your 3-miler.
- However, you may break rule #2 up there on occasion when you are doing a ‘practice time-trial’ or have simply not engaged in a ‘long ride’ for quite some time. This, however, will be completely up to your judgment and personal feelings.
So there are the ground rules for this first workout.
Now let’s get a little more complicated.
The “40” Workout
The name sounds funny, and it kind of is. But it’s also very descriptive of the workout you are about to perform. You can get one of these fitness gears to prepare yourself for the greater strength.
And here’s why:
- Begin with a 10:00 minute warm-up. Again, get your heart rate up to 150 or so. Alternatively, if you can tell that you’ve “broken a sweat” that’s also acceptable..
- Now set your bike to medium or large gear, and sprint as hard and as fast as you can for 0:40 seconds. Then rest/cruise for 0:20 seconds. Now wash, rinse, and repeat 10x times. That counts as one ‘set’.
- Perform anywhere between 1 – 5 additional sets of the above, but make sure to FULLY rest 5:00 minutes between each set.
- Cool down for 10:00 minutes. You know the drill…heart rate down to 120 give or take 10 beats, or until you are no longer sweating.
You’ve completed what’s actually a pretty difficult biking HIIT regime. Be proud of yourself!
Fortunately, with this workout there is not much in terms of additional rules, guidelines, procedures, etc.
What you see is what you get, and what you get is right in front of you.
But some things to reiterate and really emphasize on here is that during the 0:40 seconds of ‘sprinting’ you are, indeed, supposed to be working as hard as you can. Do not back out or cower here. Be honest with yourself here if you do. It can only hurt you if you don’t, and it will only help you if you do!
And the only other thing worth mentioning for this program is that you should be doing more than one ‘set’…even if you are a beginner!
The idea here is that a single set just doesn’t challenge your body enough since you are not doing that thing where you give a real break between working hard.
OK now off you go!
And just remember to watch your path, but rest assured that, soon, you will be the one speeding by others!