If you can’t get on the gym as much as you’d like to enjoy spring foliage bloom, then it’s a wonderful time to grab the road bike and hit the pavement. As you may have read in my blog ”Step Onto the Bike With Me,” cycling is a superb cross-trainer for your general fitness and boat skills. Cycling will develop similar leg power to carry over into that next test on the rower or help you save the knees for your next long run. Interval work on the bike, both efficient and effective, trains your mind to really push through the suffering of brutal hill climbs – or hammering past a friend on the flats. Nothing like short, but manageable bursts of pain to keep you at your best edge!

After pumping up the tires on your road or mountain bike, take a few “test rides” and then throw these workouts into the mix.

The Staple Ride

When you are a little short on time, work this 90 min. ride bound to ‘deliver the goods.’

Warm Up: 15 min. Easy riding focusing on relaxed upper body and a smooth pedal stroke – think scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe rather than mashing up and down. Find a cadence between 70-90 rpm (revolutions of the crank per min.). Use this time to get the body and mind prepped on the work ahead.

• 10 mins. with medium intensity: challenging but do-able
• 5 mins. at hard intensity: challenging/uncomfortable – this 5 mins. and not a sprint
• 5 mins. for an easy recovery.
Repeat above 2x.

Cool down by riding 15 min. back to home.

The ‘Pain Cave’

Just read this one and you will know why I call it as such.

Warm-Up 15 mins.
Then go 5 mins. building each 90 seconds from Easy to Hard intensity.

Then find a hill that allows you to ride to the top with minimal effort and in an easy gear within 2-3 mins.. This should become your workout hill for the day. Go 90 seconds Hard intensity up the same hill. Mark your finishing point in the set time. Ride easily to recover for 3 mins. and then attack the hill again for 90 seconds. Try to pass the finishing landmark from the previous attempt. Repeat this process for a total of 10 pushes. Welcome to the Pain Cave!

The Easy Endurance Work

Although it needs to be done, sometimes rowing or running 1-3 hours at a time to build some endurance can be grueling. However, if you can scout out a stress-free, scenic biking route you will make complementary endurance work a true joy.
Ride 90 mins to 3hrs. as follows: Warm_up: 15-30 mins. Easy, then continue going Easy on all flats (not hills). When you do hit an incline bring up the intensity to Medium and stay in the saddle (seat). Make the last 20 mins. of the ride at a steady Medium. Oh yeah, don’t forget to smartphone for a foliage photo or two!