When we ride a Granfondo or charity event we all want to
ride well, with a strong finish amongst our friends. Maybe even pushing ahead of
them a little bit at the end if possible! What often makes the difference amongst
riders at events like this is their different ability to maintain a constant pace over
long periods of time. While racing might be about surging and riding at your
maximum as you attack over the hills, riding an event like the Ride for Karen is
mainly about your ability to ride consistently across the length of the event. To not
fade as the day goes on.
A great way to improve your ability to last the distance is to improve what is known
as your tempo capabilities. Tempo is an effort that is somewhat above endurance,
but sustainable for long periods of time. On those rides when you have turned for
home but everyone is tired, leaving you to do long, repeated pulls on the front you
are riding at tempo.
From a training perspective the effort would be 80-83% of your maximum heart
rate, or using perceived exertion the effort would be rated an 8 out of 10. This type
of training also offers a good opportunity to train at a variety of cadences. Typically
you can ride at cadences between 75 and 85rpm, the kind of work that helps
improve your muscular endurance which is important when you want to keep
grinding away on that gear towards the end of the ride.
To improve your tempo riding ability work through the following progression chart.
Move to the next step on the chart once you have done the previous step a few times
and have become more comfortable with it. Incorporating one or two tempo rides
into each week of training is ideal.
Incorporating these tempo rides into your training is sure to help improve your ability to be consistent further into the ride. The better your tempo the easier the higher paces will feel, the more energy you will be saving for the finish!