Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Power training "junk miles" balance.

pbassredpbassred Posts: 208
For me, a bike used to be a way to get somewhere, over the last 18 months, hybrid to get to work and over the last 9 months a CX bike as a faster hybrid. My first 60 mile event is coming up in and although I won't have any problems getting round I don't want to take all day!
The "toys" have arrived and I'm all Garmined /metered up and there is a turbo trainer in the corner. I can't get good in 4 weeks. I can only get a little better. The easiest "Gain" is to loose weight. So theory says; 20 - 30 minute fat burning sessions to raise the metabolism and build strength. However surly to do a 60 mile ride, I need to do some longer rides. Isn't that at odd with the first statement? when does distance become junk miles?

mid 50s
Weight 87Kg
height 1.75m
FTP 160ish
(yeah. It all sucks)

P.S. is it usual to not release the route 4 weeks out?


  • 20-30 min "fat burning" sessions are the junk and nothing builds strength on a bike but you can work to improve your power output which is what matters. There really isn't such a thing as a fat burning session.

    What burns fat is maintaining a (sensible) calorie deficit over the medium term. It's not a matter of how hard you ride so much as how many calories you metabolise versus eat. In general the easiest way to do that is to ride more and eat less but the deficit needs to be sensible, e.g. less than 500Cal/day on average.

    Aside from that there are certainly things you can do to improve fitness in 4 weeks. Primarily judicious use of hard aerobic efforts and a sustainable increase in your training loads over the next few weeks. IOW ride more and include some efforts in the mix which can be targeted efforts or the use of natural terrain variation (e.g. hills) to provide the stimulus.

    Miles are only "junk" if they don't serve a purpose. What that purpose is can vary, it might be specific targeted training, or it might be transport or it might be to have some fun or get some recovery time.
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 18,633
    4 weeks with some structure and consistency will get you some decent improvements.

    One lad I coach has improved his FTP by 28w in the first 4 weeks just by ditching 'junk' sessions and doing training specific to his target event. I have warned him however not to expect that each time!

    MyFitnessPal is a great app to help with the weight loss as long as you use it honestly.
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (
    ABCC Cycling Coach
Sign In or Register to comment.