If you’ve lost your fast paced group ride for a few weeks because of Covid-19 restrictions, here’s something to try if you're still allowed out to play on your own.
Z3 Power (Tempo) is often ignored in training prescription for solo riding, perhaps because it tends to be the kind of effort level used in faster paced group 'through & off' type training rides or quicker Sunday club runs but, in the absence of these during lockdown, it might be worth trying a bit of Z3 on for size.
'Resist turning all your longer training rides in to Zone 3, you’ll be bolloxed...'
Z3 power is 76-90% of FTP or 84 -94% of your heart rate threshold (the HR you can hold for an hour) if you’re not using power measurement ...yet. So, whilst still fitting in to the ‘aerobic endurance’ definition, it’s pretty tough stuff, particularly to maintain on your own. I tend to prescribe sessions of 90 mins to 2.5 hours in duration with my riders. I tried to do 3 hours of it myself once and started to hallucinate about lemon curd on toast. Anyway, whilst it's noticeably tougher than Z2, trying to maintain this level can have a number of benefits, so...
If you try it, let me know how you get on.
Rich Smith tried to fit a rock & roll reference in to this hastily constructed piece but thought 'Stone Tempo Pilots' was pushing it. He has coached the Great Britain Transplant Cycling team for over 10 years, is a British Cycling qualified Level 3 coach and a mature psychology student. He spent 30 years responding badly to people in authority in senior roles for Barclays, HSBC, British Waterways and National Grid Property before launching RideFast Coaching which is much more fun.
The ramblings of a cycling coach...