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low intensity stuff - does it have to be on the bike?

neebneeb Posts: 4,448
I just can't be bothered doing really long rides at significantly less than 70% max HR, it's boring, takes too long and is nothing to do with what I enjoy about cycling. Yet I keep hearing that this is important for "base" fitness (except when I hear that it's not and is old fashioned, there seems to be perpetual disagreement on this).

So what I'm wondering is, IF this is really important, does it matter if it is done on the bike or not? If I'm going to do low intensity stuff I'd rather walk briskly, do inline skating or something else. Would that give the same benefits? Are there really any anyway?

Posts

  • thiscocksthiscocks Posts: 549
    Don't know about HR stuff but I would have thought it is as important to do easy rides as it is hard rides if you want to improve fitness. Just going mental everytime you are on the bike will knacker your body and probably make you tired of riding full stop (would for me anyway). Personally I quite enjoy riding at a slower pace sometimes- gives you a chance to actually enjoy the scenery instead of staring at a computer and computing numbers.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    neeb wrote:
    I just can't be bothered doing really long rides at significantly less than 70% max HR, it's boring, takes too long and is nothing to do with what I enjoy about cycling. Yet I keep hearing that this is important for "base" fitness (except when I hear that it's not and is old fashioned, there seems to be perpetual disagreement on this).

    So what I'm wondering is, IF this is really important, does it matter if it is done on the bike or not? If I'm going to do low intensity stuff I'd rather walk briskly, do inline skating or something else. Would that give the same benefits? Are there really any anyway?

    Cant imagine a brisk walk is going to do f*** all for on the bike performance.

    What are your goals, are you training to race, have been riding a long time and have already built up massive quads just like my own pair? Personally I dont do much base training. Just commuting and a 2 hr Sunday ride in the winter, and then the hard stuff in spring and summer for my racing goals. None of those 4 hr+ rides for me either.

    If you havent been riding long, have the thighs of a sparrow and are just hoping to bypass all the hard work by going for a walk then maybe thats not going to work.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    Cant imagine a brisk walk is going to do f*** all for on the bike performance.

    What are your goals, are you training to race, have been riding a long time and have already built up massive quads just like my own pair? Personally I dont do much base training. Just commuting and a 2 hr Sunday ride in the winter, and then the hard stuff in spring and summer for my racing goals. None of those 4 hr+ rides for me either.

    If you havent been riding long, have the thighs of a sparrow and are just hoping to bypass all the hard work by going for a walk then maybe thats not going to work.
    43 yo, Been cycling for years, serious road biking for about 3 years. Planning to enter my first "proper" road race (as opposed to sportive) later this month. Been meaning to do it for a while, but living in Finland means there's not so many options and not speaking the language very well makes it a bit more daunting. At the moment I do rides of 25, 40, 65 miles 3 or 4 times a week. The 25s are usually at a fair pace, maybe 80% HR average. The 40s a bit less intense, maybe about 70% HR average, but often on very rolling terrain, and I try to mix it up by pushing the HR up to 90% for brief periods on short hills (which tend to repeat..) and taking it easier on the flatter bits. I guess the longer rides are a bit steadier, although I have a tendency often to maintain my 40mile pace on 70 mile rides..

    Can average 19-20mph over most distances, keep up a 22-23mph pace on my own on flat roads with no wind, good on hills, not so good at sprinting (I can just about push it up to 30).

    As far as thighs go (since you asked), I'm a skinny climber type (5'9", 63kg) so while the quads are there and nicely defined thank-you-very-much, they're not massive :wink:
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    neeb wrote:
    Cant imagine a brisk walk is going to do f*** all for on the bike performance.

    What are your goals, are you training to race, have been riding a long time and have already built up massive quads just like my own pair? Personally I dont do much base training. Just commuting and a 2 hr Sunday ride in the winter, and then the hard stuff in spring and summer for my racing goals. None of those 4 hr+ rides for me either.

    If you havent been riding long, have the thighs of a sparrow and are just hoping to bypass all the hard work by going for a walk then maybe thats not going to work.
    43 yo, Been cycling for years, serious road biking for about 3 years. Planning to enter my first "proper" road race (as opposed to sportive) later this month. Been meaning to do it for a while, but living in Finland means there's not so many options and not speaking the language very well makes it a bit more daunting. At the moment I do rides of 25, 40, 65 miles 3 or 4 times a week. The 25s are usually at a fair pace, maybe 80% HR average. The 40s a bit less intense, maybe about 70% HR average, but often on very rolling terrain, and I try to mix it up by pushing the HR up to 90% for brief periods on short hills (which tend to repeat..) and taking it easier on the flatter bits. I guess the longer rides are a bit steadier, although I have a tendency often to maintain my 40mile pace on 70 mile rides..

    Can average 19-20mph over most distances, keep up a 22-23mph pace on my own on flat roads with no wind, good on hills, not so good at sprinting (I can just about push it up to 30).

    As far as thighs go (since you asked), I'm a skinny climber type (5'9", 63kg) so while the quads are there and nicely defined thank-you-very-much, they're not massive :wink:

    What sort of distances are the races you are looking at? Sounds you are training plenty, maybe throw in a few sprint interval sessions instead of a distance ride, good for all kinds of racing situations not just final sprint.

    From what you are doing, I wouldnt worry about base building rides, too late for this season anyway. Just keep yourself ticking over thru the winter - MTB, cross country skiing, chasing reindeers, packing Santa's sleigh - then get some 2-3hr max rides at a decent pace in early spring.
  • neeb wrote:
    I just can't be bothered doing really long rides at significantly less than 70% max HR, it's boring, takes too long and is nothing to do with what I enjoy about cycling. Yet I keep hearing that this is important for "base" fitness (except when I hear that it's not and is old fashioned, there seems to be perpetual disagreement on this).

    So what I'm wondering is, IF this is really important, does it matter if it is done on the bike or not? If I'm going to do low intensity stuff I'd rather walk briskly, do inline skating or something else. Would that give the same benefits? Are there really any anyway?
    Significantly less than 70% MHR is just recovery level riding.

    Why bother with such rides if they are neither enjoyable or all that much use for development of fitness?

    Base fitness is developed from rides that are harder than that. Far more fitness benefit for much less time.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    I too hate low intensity stuff, especially when I'm in Manchester, on the turbo it makes me get tired (fall asleep from boredom), and on the road I get p1553d off, cause of the traffic and traffic lights. Here in the country, it's pan flat, and I don't mind to do abit of low intensity, but I only do it warming up for a ride and warming down. I take between 1 and 2 days off after a session.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    As Alex has mentioned the only low intensity stuff I do are recovery rides, even my endurance rides are challenging. Might have to put the time in on endurance rides, but they are never slow, and always over 75% MHR.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    SheffSimon wrote:
    What sort of distances are the races you are looking at? Sounds you are training plenty, maybe throw in a few sprint interval sessions instead of a distance ride, good for all kinds of racing situations not just final sprint.

    From what you are doing, I wouldnt worry about base building rides, too late for this season anyway. Just keep yourself ticking over thru the winter - MTB, cross country skiing, chasing reindeers, packing Santa's sleigh - then get some 2-3hr max rides at a decent pace in early spring.
    I think the race later this month is about 30 or 40 miles, 2 or 3 laps of a flattish road circuit with a few sharpish corners. Not really my thing by the sounds of it, but got to start somewhere and the next one might be more hilly! Yup, the winter is a pain here - I have a tacx fortius (plugs into the computer, real-life video etc) and do regular fairly intense sessions during the winter, so the training is actually shorter and higher HR based than in the summer.
    Significantly less than 70% MHR is just recovery level riding.

    Why bother with such rides if they are neither enjoyable or all that much use for development of fitness?

    Base fitness is developed from rides that are harder than that. Far more fitness benefit for much less time.
    Great to get reassurance on that (thanks also freehub & SBezza), it sort of feels that way anyway. I get a real buzz from the shorter, faster rides and feel better on a day to day basis than when I'm doing lots of really long rides. As well as maybe doing some sprint intervals, would I benefit from some mock time-trialing, e.g. finding a 10km stretch of quiet road and covering it as fast as possible? Done that once or twice and it felt as if I was doing something very different from my normal "fast" rides which are much more intermittent in terms of effort.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    neeb wrote:
    SheffSimon wrote:
    What sort of distances are the races you are looking at? Sounds you are training plenty, maybe throw in a few sprint interval sessions instead of a distance ride, good for all kinds of racing situations not just final sprint.

    From what you are doing, I wouldnt worry about base building rides, too late for this season anyway. Just keep yourself ticking over thru the winter - MTB, cross country skiing, chasing reindeers, packing Santa's sleigh - then get some 2-3hr max rides at a decent pace in early spring.
    I think the race later this month is about 30 or 40 miles, 2 or 3 laps of a flattish road circuit with a few sharpish corners. Not really my thing by the sounds of it, but got to start somewhere and the next one might be more hilly! Yup, the winter is a pain here - I have a tacx fortius (plugs into the computer, real-life video etc) and do regular fairly intense sessions during the winter, so the training is actually shorter and higher HR based than in the summer.
    Significantly less than 70% MHR is just recovery level riding.

    Why bother with such rides if they are neither enjoyable or all that much use for development of fitness?

    Base fitness is developed from rides that are harder than that. Far more fitness benefit for much less time.
    Great to get reassurance on that (thanks also freehub & SBezza), it sort of feels that way anyway. I get a real buzz from the shorter, faster rides and feel better on a day to day basis than when I'm doing lots of really long rides. As well as maybe doing some sprint intervals, would I benefit from some mock time-trialing, e.g. finding a 10km stretch of quiet road and covering it as fast as possible? Done that once or twice and it felt as if I was doing something very different from my normal "fast" rides which are much more intermittent in terms of effort.

    Definitely a good idea IMHO. Just another type of interval and its all simulating race situations. 2 and 3 x 20min sessions are widely recommended, your 10k is pretty much the same, just a bit shorter so the effort will be higher.

    Its all good, train hard, recover properly, you will have no problems.
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