training vs just riding?

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  • training vs just riding?
  • aw

    I do a steady 10 mile commute and dont seem to be getting any better? My fitness levels tend to vary (as does my weight!).

    I did spot a training regime incorporating a commute in my cycling fitness mag. The plan involved interval training using cadence and heart rate. Obviously this is based on the darkside road cycling 🙂

    I have a boardman team carbon and have a Garmin forerunner 305 with a HRM. I have just bought a cadence sensor as well…

    Although I have the Boardman I also enjoy single speeding and wondered is it really worth the training plans, cadence sensing, hear rate monitoring. Maybe just do the miles and I will eventually get better? Or is there real benefit in all these training plans and diet science?

    PS I have a sportive or two coming up….


    Nah it makes no difference at all……just keep plodding on with the junk miles,training properly is all a big con perpetuated by the cycling magazines to keep the ‘training industry’ afloat.
    After all cycling is cycling…..Fitness is all genetic anyway.


    I got fitter by just enjoying the cycling….staying out on the bike longer during the nicer summer months helps, tried riding trails slightly faster than usual….that helped too.

    Best bit was that it wasnt planned, i rode each ride how i wanted on that particular day….i hate schedules for things that should be fun.


    lots of base miles at a god damn boring pace does actually work wonders, I hate to admit it 🙁


    yes they do keep on about ‘base miles’ especially this time of year in prep for next season…

    the mags are seductive and do keep me thinking there might be something in the training ‘con’

    I did read an article a while back; profile of a SS champ who said ‘just go out and ride’. It worked for her and she got to the top that way, mind you for SS it is difficult to stick to a training plan!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    First thing is to work out WHY you want or need to be doing training. What are your weak points, your goals, your current abilities? Just going out “training” without any sort of goal or focus is more harmful than good as you never have any benchmark to test yourself on so you end up overtraining.

    Then you need to work out how to focus on those. Training plans in bike mags are all well and good for page fillers and “ideas” but they’re very much guidance only, they don’t take into account things like work, families, previous illnesses or injuries etc.

    Work out what is realistic for you in terms of riding time available to you, local terrain and the actual equipment you’ve got. It’s no good following a power-based training plan if you haven’t got a power meter… The other key thing is to keep a record of what you’re doing. Online, downloaded from GPS, written in a diary, whatever works for you but some sort of record that shows what you did and when so you can measure your progress.

    Important thing though is to enjoy it; plans are useless if you hate doing certain parts of them or can’t commit to that amount of time or when you lose the fun part of just riding a bike cos you’re so busy looking at your heart rate. If that’s the case then just wing it and ride your bike more! 😉


    I use a forerunner 305 and keep all the ride info at Garmin connect web site.
    My weakness is definitely cadence as I am a bit of a power grinder being an ex SS er.
    My problem is time so using my commute to train is useful. I can extent it both ‘in’ and ‘out’ but weekend riding of any length is a bit difficult to commit to due to other things in my life (kids, girlfriend, allotment, etc).

    I do agree focus on your goals and use those to decide what you need to do to get there…


    I never follow a proper training regime – too hard with kids, job and committments. But I do ride loads of commute miles, rides with kid on seat and short MTB rides occassionally – about 60-100 miles a week.

    Result, 2.5 stone lighter after a year, and much faster – I think ‘ride loads’ is a good philosophy.


    I’ve never used a training regime, just get out and ride is my philosophy. I’ve recently been doing some core strength exercises though and it works wonders. Thinking about doing some yoga or pilates sessions.


    chase stuff and have a bit of fun.


    This is a hard one.I trained for 15 years for racing XC mountainbiking.But the only way you are going to get fitter is to keep at it all the time not easy and at the end of the day you are only going to get to a certain level.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    lots of base miles at a god damn boring pace does actually work wonders, I hate to admit it

    It can do as part of a plan. But 10 miles a day isn’t enough.

    Whatever riding you do it has to develop, otherwise you’ll just be training to do whatever it is that you do all the time. So that’s more miles, faster, harder whatever. You have to put more in to get more out.

    If you are just commuting, try going as hard as you can. If you already do this then you will need to do some intervals or something else creative.

    PS ‘base training’ woudl involve a 3 hour or so ride not a 30 minute one that you do all the time.

    If you are racing and want to do well then ‘training’ is a must IMO.

    We do hill intervals , chain gang sessions, sprint sessions (for road racing I may add )- I know lads who do same thing week in week out and never get any results/points.

    Agree with Rorsch – genes is key- know lads who also ‘train’ and still struggle – they’re still prob better as a result though

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear

    Your not going to progress unless you train aerobic and anaerobic. Better to follow a training regime. The ones polar arent too bad, plenty of advice on the net. Also train areas where you want specific improvement. Want to go faster? Intervals etc I use HRM, gym and turbo mostly for winter and it works a treat. MTB on weekends to keep my skills up. I do tend to include more interval for short bursts of speed as mountain biking tends to need those. Long steady miles your talking fat burning and endurance 3 – 4 hour sessions. Constantly doing the same distance and heart rate will not produce any improvement. Bodies need stressing to get fitter.


    I haven’t been doing enough riding recently so i went for a 40 mile training spin on the pomp today. it felt far harder than it really ought to, but more of the same and I should get some fitness back in the legs!

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