We normally start off the cycling “year” or season full of hopes, but remember that haste isn’t a good companion when talking about bikes….
The basis of a good construction is a good foundation. It’s the same thing here. You have to have a great BASE as a proper foundation for your workout cycle. My recommendation for people starting out or who have been riding 1-2 years is to have 3-4 months of base training.
That means that during that time, you don’t go over 55-60% on the flats. Don’t bust a lung going uphill, no matter how short, or you’ll be working out in zones whose time hasn’t come yet.
A lot of times people say, “Today I went past 60%, and on the climb, I even went at 80-85 for 15 minutes, you know, I was racing a friend in the group. Did I blow it???”
Obviously, if this happens once a month, you won’t ruin all that hard work you’ve put in, but keep in mind that you’re shooting blanks, and that kind of effort makes no sense now. In my training method, I usually insert low-cadence series lasting 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes during this phase. It all depends on the cyclist and on how long they’ve been riding.
A cyclist with years of experience will need a shorter base period (2 months), and will be able to do strength or quality series before then.
That’s why I say that bread isn’t good for everyone. There are people who do better with oats or corn. This is the same thing.
It’s also very important to listen to your body at this time of year, by which I mean that perhaps on your long-distance day, you’re not at 100% physically. So take that day off. Your body knows best.
Some nutrition tips
Lastly, here are some food tips for your base training days
4-h base workout
Orange or kiwi
2-egg omelette with ham and toast (wheat, oat, rye) with oil
Coffee with oat bar.
Ride at 95-105 RPM on flats
Don’t go over your lipid aerobic threshold, aerobic baseline, not aerobic power
80-85 RPM max 75% (aerobic power).
Don’t do more than one climb.
Vegetables with quinoa or some rice and 300-350 gr of protein.
Take care!! Carpe diem!!