The First thing that I would like to say is before you start a conditioning program have a check up by your Family Physician and read books such as "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program" by Lance Armstrong and Chris Carmichael or Carmichael's "The Ultimate Ride" You will need to purchase a Heart Rate monitor they do not have to be expensive, you can buy one for as low as $30.
Charmichael talks about using Heart rates as a basis for training, finding out what your maximum heart rate is a must and their are many ways to come up with this number but to keep it simple you can start with taking 220 and subtracting your age from it. this will give you a ball park number to start with ie 220-54=166.
Then take a predetermined percentage of that number that coresponds with that zone and divide it by your max hr. ie 75% of 166 = 124.5 hr.
each work out zone has a percentage of your max hr and that is the zone that you need to be working in.
Aerobic zone = 75% - 77.5% of max heart rate. start by doing 30 min at that average hr and increase as the weeks go on. Do this for 8 weeks resting on the 5th week.
Endurance zone 70% - 80% of max hr. same as above but add one ride of 4 hrs and one shorter of 2.5 - 3hrs.
For strength do hill repeats: same hill up and down starting with 2 and up to 10 or more.
These are just guide lines and it may sound difficult and like it would take forever but it will be worth the effort in the long run. Note the best time to start is November but you can start at anytime.
I recommend a trainer who is schooled in this, such as my friend and coach David Stotler if you would like to talk with him about training let me know I will give you his information.He loves this stuff and is always willing to talk about it.
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