What will you be doing this weekend? Sleeping in? A leisurely breakfast maybe? How about spending 4 hours on your bike exploring the great outdoors. Which one sounds more attractive? Touring the back blocks of Beenleigh and the upper east side of West End on my treadly does it for me. Not only to enjoy the great outdoors but there are also many other reasons that will point you towards becoming a better athlete.
We have all heard about periodising your training which begins with base training. That is, basically doing longer miles to create a platform to reach greater heights of performance. When base training is over you still need to top up the miles every week with longer slower sessions mixed in with the intervals. The more intervals you do, the more it erodes your base.
The Saturday rides are part of this strategy, as are the Sunday long runs. To do these longer sessions it is imperative that they are done at a specific pace, or more to the point, heart rate. They should be done at a lower heart rate to burn fat. The length of training time builds and strengthens the muscles. It also promotes new muscle fibers and mitochondria. Essentially the long slow training will lean you down and add another level to your racing. Without it you will find your times plateau.
So, take the time to “go long” and you will benefit physically, socially and it will open doors to the greater outdoors that you never knew were there.
Brad Beven OAM
Byron Bay Triathlon Ambassador
ITU World Hall of Fame
Australia Hall of Fame