With many of us working 40, and even up to 60 hours a week in full-time employment, and with other family commitments, finding time to get in some precious training on the bike can be a balance to say the least.
So, what does it mean to train “smart”? Quality training is the name of the game when time is hard to find, vs quantity based training. There definitely are benefits to having the ability to train 20 plus hours a week, including long steady “base” rides having possible benefits of increased mitochondrial density and capillary density.
The good news
The good news is that time poor athletes can still be competitive by working on aspects of fitness that are most likely going to have more bang for your buck in increasing your fitness. These include working on improving your power at lactate threshold and above at the higher end of your anaerobic capacity. This can definitely be achieved, with many success stories of full-time working athletes, being competitive in even A grade club races with fulltime cyclists, with 8-10 hours of training. Examples include working on gradually increasing the time you can hold at your lactate threshold via interval training, and intervals specifically designed to increase your anaerobic capacity, with maximum intensity intervals (those lungs burning 30 second to 4 minute intervals), with adequate recovery rides and training sessions incorporated also.
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All the best, from the eurocyletours team.
Note: This is not individualised training advice, and all athletes should consult with an exercise or medical expert about their specific health needs.