Give yourself three months to get into shape. Three months for me is always the ideal amount of time to get myself or one of my athletes into peak shape for an event. With three good months of training I am confident that I could get just about any rider into the best shape of their life.This breaks down to three four-week cycles that each include three weeks of hard training and one week of rest. A more experienced athlete might do an extra week of hard training while an older or less experienced rider might trim it down to two weeks on, one week off but three on and one off will work for most riders.
Never do hard intervals without a substantial mileage base. For most cyclists that may be 1,000 miles for others it may be slightly less. The main idea is to ensure that your muscles, tendons, ligaments and cardiovascular system are in adequate condition to undertake the stress of interval training.Most cyclists know that rushing into interval training early in the season can lead to knee problems, but there's a more important reason: You need a sound aerobic foundation to build your intervals upon. Without that base, you'll reach your peak performance sooner, but performance levels won't be as high as if you had exercised more patience.
What can you possiblyaccomplish in just four minutes on the bike? A lot, actually. All you have to do is ride as hard as you can. Better yet, instead of riding as hard as you can for four straight minutes, ride at your true maximum power-output level in several short bursts, resting just long enough between bursts to avoid a precipitous decline in power output from one burst to the next.What will this hellishly challenging four-minute session accomplish? It will boost your aerobic and anaerobic capacity simultaneously, increase your fatigue tolerance and lead directly to improved performance.The session I just described is known as the Tabata protocol.