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Best Use of 4hr Ride

amcamc Posts: 315
Obviously a very subjective question. But for someone who doesn't get out for longer, 4/5 hour rides very often, i want to know best use of my time when i do get out.

I currently commute to work in London (13 miles round trip) and probably get out for an hour top end/intervals on top of that once a fortnight or so. I probably get out for a longer 4-5 hour ride every three weeks or so.

I want to improve endurance by doing some zone 2 training (ready for 100 mile summer sportives, which i try to get round as fast as i can rather than as a gentle toodle around) - ie get some longer miles in but i'd also like to get some harder miles in too.

Should i just do a 4 hour ride purely in zone 2? Or should i stick to zone 2 on much of the ride but then throw in some harder bits - maybe 2 x 20 mins intervals? Or just try and race up all the hills. Or 5 x 5 intervals?

As you can tell i'm a bit confused. Cheers.
amc

Posts

  • It depends on your fitness levels and the terrain you ride in. If you can sustain a 4/5 hour ride with bursts thrown in then that's fine. However. It seems that you need to work on base mileage considering the limited time you spend on the bike. This should really be at a steady pace unless you are putting a lot of miles in. As long as you feel like you have put a lot of effort in at the end of your ride then you have succeeded in your task.
  • amcamc Posts: 315
    Thanks Airborne.
    I think this is where i get confused - i'm pretty sure i can manage fast spells between steady riding as i've already done at 80mile ride at the begining of the year and managed the v hilly Hell of the Ashdown sportive 100km in under 4 hours.
    But am i putting the effiecency gained from zone 2 riding at risk but doing various bursts?
    amc
  • At the end of the day a long ride with intervals thrown in is much more beneficial than a long slow ride as i'm sure you are aware. If i only had a limited amount of time to train, such as yourself, i would either thrash myself on every or most hills i come up against or up the tempo at certain times throughout the ride. Maybe a mixture of both!
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Your zone two riding will be doing a fine job of maintaining your aerobic base.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • fastcatfastcat Posts: 23
    For solo 4 hour rides I find the need to mix it up a bit. For instance, on Sunday I did 3 1/2 hours and within that I attacked lots of small hills out of the saddle for some 30 second to 2 minute intervals (L6); did a series of 3-4 minute VO2 max intervals (L5); a couple of 10 minute sub-threshold efforts (L3/4), with the rest tempo / base (L3/2). Bit of easy stuff in between and freewheeling down some hills (L1).

    I like the variety and the challenge of including some different elements to break up such a ride. Fair to say that as I did the VO2 max intervals first, I was fairly tired after the first hour. But it was a fun ride!
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    L2 riding is over rated. If you want to get the most out of the session i.e. improve muscular strength, raise LT and improve capilliarisation then you need to get to L4 and higher. I strongly recommend a hilly 4 hours for max benefit whilst making the session achievable and enjoyable. Just consider it a long intervals session.
    --
    Obsessed is just a word elephants use to describe the dedicated. http://markliversedge.blogspot.com
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Go up and down a hill for 4 hours, once very aggressively, then twice at a standard pace. Let your legs recover on the descents. Repeat :D
  • KKspeederKKspeeder Posts: 111
    If your goal is to go as fast as possible for 4 hours train FTP ( max 60 minute wattage) and VO2 max no MORE than 10-12 hours total ride time per week. Seriously.

    You need to do some threshold 20s on your own and some super-hard 3-4 hour group rides once or twice a week taking all out VO2 max pulls. But focus on the groupies because thats your practive for races.

    The rider with the highest VO2 max and FTP will win a 100 mile road race even on half the training of a rider wilth less FTP and VO2 max.

    Rider A has a 300 watt FTP on 20 hours a week of JRA (just riding around.)

    Rider B has a 350 watt FTP on 8 hours of very hard smart training.

    Who will win? Rider B of course!

    Rider A will be digging deep at points during the race while rider B is still going easy. You only can "dig" so many times.

    You need to increase sustainable aerobic power output! Zone 4 training. IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ZONE!!!!!!
  • amcamc Posts: 315
    Thanks for the myriad of replies.
    In the end i did a 3 1/2 hrs ride most of it zone 2 as i have a cold with a nose that is snotier than an Eton schoolboy - but with 2 * 20mins hard effort at threshold and big ringing it up the hills for the last 45 mins.
    What with the cold, it ended up be a useful session.
    amc
  • alp777alp777 Posts: 211
    amc wrote:
    Thanks for the myriad of replies.
    In the end i did a 3 1/2 hrs ride most of it zone 2 as i have a cold with a nose that is snotier than an Eton schoolboy - but with 2 * 20mins hard effort at threshold and big ringing it up the hills for the last 45 mins.
    What with the cold, it ended up be a useful session.

    If your "big ringing" it up the hills......then they aint hills! :)
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    alp777 wrote:
    amc wrote:
    Thanks for the myriad of replies.
    In the end i did a 3 1/2 hrs ride most of it zone 2 as i have a cold with a nose that is snotier than an Eton schoolboy - but with 2 * 20mins hard effort at threshold and big ringing it up the hills for the last 45 mins.
    What with the cold, it ended up be a useful session.

    If your "big ringing" it up the hills......then they aint hills! :)

    Did he mean big ring at the front..?
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