La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Fixie tempo rides

This is the time of year for putting in the base miles. I’ve been ramping up volume as much as possible but I’ve also been reading a lot of Joe Friel and James Wilson’s articles about aerobic base training. Basically the idea of LSD (long steady/slow distance) riding is not very helpful for aerobic fitness. It is just junk miles (unless you’re actually training for super long distance events at low intensity).

The better approach is to push your “aerobic threshold” or AeT. AeT is about 20 beats below your lactate threshold and represents the optimal stress point for your aerobic systems.

So I set off today to do a 2.5 hour ride at 150 bpm. But aerobic endurance is not the only thing on todays schedule… this was my first of many long distance fixed gear rides. This incorporates all of Friel’s base period skills – spinning speed, force and endurance. The fixie forces you to spin like mad on the descents, spin solidly on the flats, put out weight-lifting-style low rpm grinds in the saddle. And there is no cheating by coasting… you’ve got to have your spin down because you’re going to moving those legs for 2.5 hours straight!

I went out and back to refugio on the 101 which provided some good little rollers. Some of the long downhills got me up over 30 mph for a few minutes … with my 38×16 gearing that means over 160 rpms. Trust me when I say that is harder than climbing any hill! The lack of coasting means a whole lot more work than my normal endurance rides .. I did 47 miles in 2.5 hours but I swear it feels like I just rode a century. My legs do feel really loose compared to my normal post road ride state. I think the fixed gear must help with hip flexibility a bit.


November 22, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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