|What my cycling looks like now|
Here's how it works:
|What it'll look like in Abu Dhabi|
I use a 'random' program on the stationary bike and cover up the screen that displays the resistance profile(or hill profile as the machine calls it) so that my only indication of the resistance is the read at the bottom of the screen. I've then set 'mile per hour' benchmarks for each of the levels (or pairs of levels). These will obviously depend on the fitness of the rider and the type of stationary bike being used. I think the bikes i use are Lifefitness, though i'm not sure of the model number. To create a ride that will mimic (as much as possible) what i'm after, i've found setting the target speed the same for two successive levels works the best. My last ride I aimed for 18+ mph anytime i was at levels 6 or 7, 19+ for levels 8 or 9, and 20+ for levels 10 and up. This ride came on the heels of a 30 minute run (No-slo-random-pro), and so i was already slightly fatigued. One key to making the workout pay the biggest dividends for Abu Dhabi (and perhaps in general) is to set the target speed for the base level that will appear in the program such that you are firmly in Zone 2/2+ - not Zone 1 (where you might typically recover). I have a strong suspicion that even sitting squarely on the wheels of a big group of the lead riders is not going to find me twiddling my thumbs and chatting casually about the scenery (Zone 1) so i'll be damned if i'm going to spend any time there during training. This philosophy is very similar to what i've used very successfully in my running - unless i'm doing very short duration sprint work i try to keep limit my recovery (during a workout) to that which can happen in Zone 2 or above.
My hope is that using this workout over the next few weeks will get my mind and body a bit more ready to deal with what some of what i expect to face out there in the desert. Now if only i could find some sand.....