Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Singlespeed Specific Workouts

Ok, I have had a few of you ask about SS specific workouts. Now I am certainly no guru about such matters, but I know what works for me, and hopefully you as well. Hills are what make or break your ride or race. You might think that it is impossible to climb some of the hills your buddies do on their whimpy granny gear, but you will in time. How? Intervals are still the primary exercise for your needs, but more leg power is needed, as well as stamina.

I really only do (1) SSSWO per week, and I mix it in with my others. Hill repeats, hill repeats and more hill repeats. This is what you will be doing -like it or not. I have one set of intervals that I do which are pretty rough, but get results. You do 2 (3x3) intervals. So basically you do 1 set with 3 repetitions @ 3 minutes each (yeah, 3 minutes is a long time brother!) and 3 minutes rest in between each rep and 8 minutes between sets. After 2 weeks, add another set or reduce the rest time. Use a gear that allows around 100 rpm's seated and 65-75 when standing, and stick with it, these are tough. Alternate sitting and standing. The kicker-go full out for the 3 minute duration. If you are doing these on a trainer, gear down so you can stand without spinning out. The key here is good, even power throughout. You dont want to do 2 intervals at a good power level and then drop off significantly on the third. Your HR will escalate as you do each interval, but again, you are concerned with POWER. You want to maintain the same power output for all 6 intervals! SEE THE BLOG ON GEARING UP FOR AFC SUGAR HILL 

You can also do the 1 x 1's; I minute full on, 1 minute easy. Do these 10-12 times and on a medium sized slope, not to steep or you wont be able to turn the pedals. Do them on the road with a road bike and 53/17-19 or some equivalent gearing. Try and keep the cadence at 50-60. These are tough, but do get results, once a week is plenty. Increase reps by one each week for 3 weeks than take a break. BIG NOTE SECTION!!! MAKE SURE YOU WARM UP PROPERLY FOR THESE OR YOU WILL DO MORE DAMAGE THAN GOOD! AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES. ALSO GET SOME NUTRITION IN YOUR BODY WHEN COMPLETE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS ASWELL, ESPECIALLY ON THE TRAINER; WHERE YOU TEND TO SWEAT A BIT MORE.

I dont use a power meter, but I find that cadence is a pretty good indicator for consistent power output. These will work your quads and thighs and this is where your power comes from on those steep climbs. These alone arent going to make you superman, but mix them in with your workouts and core strength routine and you will see results. I'm 43, and I have made some significant gains doing these. Enjoy the pain.