If you’re riding Cycle Oregon or any other distance ride this summer, your training focus for April is all about establishing your riding routine.
If you don’t have extensive years of mileage under your belt, this is the time to start clocking some serious miles every week, around 30-60 miles.
The goal is to build an aerobic base by riding at a comfortable pace for the majority of the time. Use the talk test: If you can’t have a conversation you’re probably ride too hard for this training block. While it’s okay to have spurts of energy, building endurance is all about relaxing into a steady state, a manageable pace that’s sustainable for the long haul but not too easy. This is a working pace where your body is strengthening.
If you’re new to cycling, simply work on the basic mechanics of riding and being comfortable on the bike: shifting gears, removing you water bottle, observing traffic and hazards around you, using your jersey pockets and finding comfortable hand positions.
If you’re more experienced, this is the time to practice your pedal stroke technique. Ride 30 to 60 seconds using only one leg, then switch. Repeat this two to three times. Keep both feet on the pedals but let the leg you aren’t using go along for the ride.
If this is extremely difficult, you might find that you’re a masher, someone who pressed down hard on the pedals. This training drill will help you be mindful of your pedal stroke so you can start to lighten up on the pedals and take advantage of pulling your legs up.
How do you train?
Have you ridden Cycle Oregon or a similar multi-day ride? What do you do to ensure you’re ride ready? Share your tips in the comments below.