Friday, December 14, 2007

Alex Stieda’s “Secrets of the Road”

LSD Base Miles are King (or Queen!)

2008 is just around the corner and I hope that you’ve all planned out your ‘08 cycling season with some achievable short and long term goals. Here are a few recommendations to help keep your Winter training season on track:

Train Smart:

Use a Heart Rate monitor and your training zones to monitor your riding intensity.

Riding at lower intensities in the Winter (below your Anaerobic Threshold - AT) for longer periods (1-4 hours) is the key to a high performance season. This is called Long, Slow Distance (or LSD) training.

During Quad # 1 resist the urge to put your HR into the red zone (over AT) for extended periods of time. Many spin and indoor cycling classes put you through the grinder every workout without thinking of an overall season plan.
Take an easier “Rest Week” once every month or work it into a busy/travel period in your schedule.

Periodize Your Season:

Divide the 12 month year in 4 Quadrants depending on when you want your best performance. As an example for a typical July/August peak:

Quad # 1: December, January, February – gradually increase LSD base miles at lower intensities (Base)

Quad # 2: March, April, May – increase intensity & training volume, training races, enforce rest weeks (Build)

Quad # 3: June, July, August – lower training volume, specific event training, taper for event(s) (Build, Peak & Race)

Quad # 4: September, October, November – last events, de-tune end of season with cross training (Transition & Preparation)
Divide each Quadrant Period in 4, week-long segments.

In general:
Try to gradually increase training volume/intensity over 3 weeks.

Take 1 week with active rest (low intensity/volume) - Rest Weeks are VERY important.

Depending on how you feel (i.e. 3 weeks of constant training is too hard), you may need to move to a 3 week total Period instead of 4 weeks.

Remember to listen to your body, hydrate with lots of water throughout the day, eat smart and get enough sleep. It all adds up to healthy living!

Have a great Winter season!

Alex Stieda

For more information on Alex click on the title link, or go to


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