This post is a reminder to me (and others reading this post) that slow isn’t a bad thing, even if, or especially if, you also care about going fast. I’ve written before about recovery rides which are a specific sort of slow ride.
I’m mostly interested in performance related reasons to go slow but this week has also been a big week in the news about the health dangers of too much high intensity cardio. See Too Much High-Intensity Exercise May Be Bad for Your Health.
See also my past post Time to Go Slow.
The truth is that we need to mix it up, go slow sometimes, go fast at others. As I head outside on my road bike for the first time this week, here’s me reminding us both about that.
Why Riding Slow Will Make You Faster
“As we have mentioned in an earlier article, you should focus your training around the polarised training concept. This involves making sure 80 per cent of your training is done at low intensity (slow) with 20 per cent of your training comprising high-intensity interval sessions. The key to the polarised training model is ensuring that your easy rides remain easy (slow). One of the most common mistakes the majority of amateur cyclists make is feeling that they need to ride hard on each session in order to make an improvement. They spend large amounts of time training in this heavy intensity domain (the sweet spot) as they are often too afraid to go slow.”
The Danger of Regular Big Efforts on Zwift
“The takeaway here is to manage and distribute your intensity correctly. Yes, these races are great to motivate and get you to push yourself. But be careful not to make these races too frequent. Over-training can take weeks to get over and in severe cases can take months or even years to recover fully from. Enjoy the these races occasionally but don’t throw away your chances of racing well in the real world by pushing too hard, too often in the current situation. Key tip: Keep it easy most of the time. A good rule of thumb is to keep 80 per cent of your sessions at lower intensity; and watch your performance improve.”
See also Why You Might Need to Do More Low-Intensity, Steady-State (LISS) Cardio.