November 17, 2010 cburnham

Something is Better Than Nothing

How many times do we use the excuse that we just don’t have enough time to fit in a ride?  Maybe you have 45 minutes available but by the time you change, get the bike out, fill up the water bottles, top of the tires, etc. you really only have time to ride for about 30minutes.  Hardly worth the effort right?  So you don’t even get the bike out.  Instead you sit down on the couch with a Coke and a Ho Ho to watch The Jersey Shore.  You know its not going to make you faster on the bike but what can you do?!  You just don’t have time.  What if you found the new, highly motivated ninja warrior version of yourself and fought the train wreck lure of Snooki, got the kit on, bike out, and were determined to get the best 30 minutes you could on the bike.  

That is just what one of my athletes does on a regular basis when he has to travel for work or gets stuck late at the office.  Below is his workout from yesterday.  He had only 45 minutes available to workout after getting home late last night so he changes, tosses the bike on the trainer, and knocks out a solid 35 minute workout.  He is in the middle of a block of high aerobic threshold work and sweet spot rides so after a good warm-up he settles in at 90% of his threshold, solidly in the sweet spot zone where he can accumulate a lot of volume at a high aerobic intensity.  As you can see from the graph, he starts feeling better and better as the workout goes and slowly ramps up his power to right below threshold.  He finishes off a solid 20-minute effort (avg. power 266 watts or 93% of threshold) with a 5 minute cool down.  While I am not suggesting that someone can get super fast on a steady diet of sub-hour rides, these rides can be super valuable in a riders progression when other aspects of life intrude on our training.  They all add up and will make a difference on the scale, on that century ride, or on race day.  Something is better than nothing.

A solid use of 35 minutes!

Of course there are other options when we are only left with a short time to fit in a workout.  If your a runner or triathlete, a quick run is pretty easy to fit in and can provide a good fitness benefit.  One advantage of running is that it is easy to get ready for your workout.  You don’t have to worry about putting on cycling kit, checking tires, lubing chains, etc.  You can just throw on some shorts and your shoes and head out the door.  Just remember not to cut your warm-up short.  Take some time to get warm and do some mobility drills and stretches before ramping up the running speed.  Other quick workout options include a body weight strengthening program or a good foam rolling routine with some mobility and stability exercises.  Stop making excuses and start thinking of possibilities.

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