How good is your aerobic system?
While we all like to ride hard, race a bit, and jam with our friends underpinning all these efforts is our aerobic system. It is the aerobic system that allows us to ride well, recover and do it all again.
How good do you think your aerobic system is?
Ride the zoo loop endurance time trial and find out
Andrew did the zoo loop at the end of May to create a long Strava segment that we can all test ourselves on. The segment starts at River and Gerrard, doing the loop clockwise to finish up at The Cycling Gym on Carlaw.
To download a file to your Garmin so you can follow the route log into your Strava account, click on the link above, then navigate to Andrew's ride on May 27th. From there you can click on the wrench icon and "create route" to get a Garmin file to follow.
The goal is to complete the loop as quickly as you can, but never going over 75% of your maximum heart rate.
A few things to consider when looking at your ride.
- did your effort stay constant across the ride or did you have to slow down to stay below the 75% of max heart rate ceiling?
- if you use a power meter and Training Peaks what was your power to heart rate (PW:HR) number like? you want to see something close to 5% or below
- you can also look at the VI (variability index) to check how well you can control your power on the rides, this should be something like 1.05
Better or worse over the summer?
Do one of these endurance time trials now in early-summer, and then again towards the end of the season. Has your aerobic system improved or gotten worse?
The common mistake amongst most athletes is discounting the importance of riding "easy" in making them better riders. We all tend to ride in the middle, sort of hard, all the time. But the best riders typically ride 80% of their time below their tempo pace, with the other 20% being very hard sessions or races.
Take a look at these recent articles to get a better idea of what this means and how the best in the world really train: