Barton Haynes here in sunny San Diego. I’m continuing my July series on bike training exercises. I realize it’s August, but I simply had to get one more article in on brutal training rides, and so my July series is bleeding into August.
There are two types of training:
- Long training – done on medium to long rides
- Short training – training that takes less than an hour
In this article we will look at killer, hard, brutal, will-make-you-hate-yourself short bike training exercises.
The longest sprint
This is as simple as it sounds: sprint until you can’t. Rest. Do it again. Rest. Do it a third time. All told, this exercise will likely only take around 15-30 minutes, so it’s ideal when you don’t have a lot time to ride. I highly recommend stretching and doing a 10 minute warmup ride before this activity though.
As you sprint, track your total time and, if possible, your maximum speed. Document your max time and max speed. If you do this, you can keep track on your improvements over time, which is quite fun.
The harder you sprint, the more you will get out of this activity. Your sprint should be the “life or death” type of sprint, the kind where after you finish sprinting you simply cannot pedal any more. Ideally, if it doesn’t strain your knees or other body parts, you should be off the saddle, standing while you sprint. I can practically guarantee you will be sore the day after your first time doing this.
The steepest hill sprint
For some locations without hills, this simply won’t work. However, if you live in hilly areas you can likely find very steep hills. Your goal is to see how fast you can ride up the hill. Depending on the size of the hill. Try and spend at least 20-30 minutes of time sprinting, which means you will likely go up your hill a number of times.
Like the longest sprint, keep track of your fastest time going up the hill.
The 4 mile wind sail sprint
This activity is a 4 mile sprint, which should work out to a ~15 minute ride. But you are not simply sprinting 4 miles, you are sprinting with as much wind resistance as you can generate. I wear a baggy coat, which adds quite a bit of drag. If you have the energy, do this sprint 2-3 times.
Happy cycling and thanks for following along!