Are you new to cycling, or just starting to take it more seriously?
Are you looking for a way to keep your bike rides fun; and more challenging? But you’re not ready yet for heart rate monitors and complicated sounded acronyms for types of workouts?
Have no fear, we’re here (with the lovely ladies of Fusion RT Fierlan) to help.
What is “Change of Pace” Training?
Change of Pace training is, to put it simply, switching from one pace to another.
When racing, the pace of riding can change quickly; and this type of training will helps racers to keep pace with (and overtake!) competitors.
However, it’s still a really good training tool for even the most decidedly uncompetitive cyclist.
Why you should do it
This type of training is brilliant to improve your fitness. You’re more likely to push yourself harder when you know there’s a period of recovery coming up too.
Learning how to take the discomfort of fast acceleration will really help you keep your head in the game on tough rides.
Changing up pacing also helps to keep long rides interesting…if not fun.
When you’ll find it useful
For the everyday cyclist, being able to handle this type of riding will come in handy on any group or club ride.
Unless your group is all remarkably similar in ability, you’ll still find some members of the group will fly up hills, whereas others will excel on the flat. This type of training will help you keep up with everyone.
It’ll also mean that, if you’re time-pressed, you’ll be getting much more out of your rides, fitness speaking.
How to do it
We like finding points on the route to change up the pace between. Make sure it’s safe to do so, and then try cycling as fast as you can up that lamp-post, or tree ahead, then ride at a normal pace, and repeat. When you’re starting out, make sure you do this on a shorter ride so you’re not completely worn out.
If it helps, imagine you’re being chased, or you’re in a race and you’re just about to cross the finish line. We’d love to hear whatever it is you come up with!
Where to go from here
If you’re now comfortable with changing up your pace and doing intervals of riding really hard mixed with a more-laid-back (but not totally relaxed!) pace, you could start to look into more formal workout plans.
BikeRadar have a collection of training sessions here that don’t require monitoring your heart-rate, or getting too technical. Enjoy!