I recently spent an evening listening to Chris Carmichael, Olympic cycling coach, owner of CTS, and author of The Time-Crunched Cyclist, at Bike Barn in Houston. He has recently published a new edition of the book, and it was interesting to hear his approach to training for those individuals who have around six hours to train per week.
The Time-Crunched cyclist has about six (6) hours available per week to train. With the time restraint, programming is designed to maximize the time available. Using of variety of training principles, his recommendations include more interval work to improve overall VO2 (volume of oxygen consumption — or how efficiently the body is able to deliver oxygen to the cells and process it). Perhaps, instead of using long, inevitably slow, rides to train for that century, perform one long ride a week, and then use different intervals with varying recovery to improve VO2 and Lactate Threshold. The weekly long ride can be used to build comfort in the saddle.
I found it interesting in the Q & A segment of the evening, Carmichael stated that heart rate is a product of work and can be elevated or depressed for a variety of reasons. Using it a the sole means of determining a training sessions, or basing a training session completely around is limiting. And yet, many of us rely heavily on the gadget or heart rate to determine the workload.
I enjoyed this evening, and thankful to the hosts that promoted it. Bike Barn hosts a variety of events. If you are local to Houston, you may want to check their upcoming events.