With winter a distant memory and spring slowly but surely becoming something resembling summer, thoughts inevitably turn to a season of sportives, racing and long rides with, fingers crossed, the sun shining.
We all have ambitions of riding fast this summer and, after a long winter of training, where slow and steady base miles are largely the order of the day to build endurance, now is the time to up the intensity.
So we asked two top coaches, Stephen Gallagher and James Spragg of Dig Deep Coaching, for six training sessions to build form for summer.
There’s something for everyone, depending on your objectives this summer: hill repeats for riders training for a sportive with lots of short sharp climbs, threshold intervals to perfect your breakaway riding, sprint drills, a high-intensity calorie burner, a sweetspot session to prepare for long Alpine climbs, and cadence drills.
All six sessions can be done on the road and specify the intensity according to Andy Coggan’s power and heart rate zones, based on a percentage of threshold power or heart rate – the maximum pace you can sustain for an hour. You can find a full table of Coggan’s zones here. If you don’t train with heart rate or power then the table also lists a perceived rate of exertion.
That’s enough of the science, here are six sessions to ensure you’re first over the line this summer.