2 Cycling Workouts to Keep You Fit

With temperatures already plummeting in many parts of the U.S., it's getting harder to pull yourself out from beneath the covers and head outside on the bike. While the offseason should be a time of rest and recovery, ending your workout routine completely will make your base phase in early spring that much more painful and set you up for injury, sickness or a mental burnout.

Here are two different workout routines—each roughly an hour in length—that will keep you fit and strong and give you pre-season speed.

Workout #1: Threshold Reverse Ladder

This is one of those hard, "I'm sweating buckets" trainer workouts that your body will thank you for come spring.

More: 5 Common Bike Handling Mistakes

A reverse ladder means you start with longer intervals and work down toward shorter intervals. As your interval and output increases, so will your rest interval. By doing this, you're teaching your body to hold a high output at fatigue. If you don't know your FTP (functional threshold power) or heart rate, go off of RPE (rate of perceived exertion). On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being lying on the couch and 10 being working so hard you couldn't hold the intensity for more than 30 seconds), your threshold RPE is going to be about an 8.

Warm-up

1. Spin easy for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Ride for 30 seconds at base cadence (cadence you normally ride at), then

for 30 seconds at base cadence plus 10, and finally at base cadence plus 15.

3. Spin easy for one minute and then repeat the above three times.

4. Complete 30 seconds of single-leg spinning on left side, then 30 seconds of single leg spinning on the right side.

5. Spin easy for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

More: 7 Ways to Prevent Bicycle Tire Punctures

Workout

Complete the following ladder two times (or three if you want a longer workout).

1. Ride for five minutes at 75 percent threshold (RPE 5).

2. Spin easy for 30 seconds.

3. Ride for four minutes at 85 percent threshold (RPE 6).

4. Spin easy for one minute.

5. Ride for 3 minutes at 95 percent threshold (RPE 7).

6. Recover with a one-minute easy spin.

7. Ride for 2 minutes at 100 percent threshold (RPE 8).

8. Spin easy for 75 seconds.

More: 10 Essential Strength Training Exercises for Cyclists

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About the Author

Susan Grant Legacki

Susan Grant Legacki is the founding editor of LAVA Magazine, and currently serves as the magazine's features and online editor. Prior to joining LAVA, she worked as a Senior Editor at Inside Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine. She is an Ironman finisher, Boston-qualifying marathoner, certified Pilates instructor—and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. You can read more about her on Susanegrant.com and follow her on Twitter at @susanglegacki.

Susan Grant Legacki is the founding editor of LAVA Magazine, and currently serves as the magazine's features and online editor. Prior to joining LAVA, she worked as a Senior Editor at Inside Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine. She is an Ironman finisher, Boston-qualifying marathoner, certified Pilates instructor—and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. You can read more about her on Susanegrant.com and follow her on Twitter at @susanglegacki.

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