It is around this time that people claim that they are getting out to do 'base K's' during the holiday period in preparation for next season. Despite their best intentions, a lot of people tend to misinterpret what 'base k's' actually are.
The Brisbane cycling scene is a thriving one with hundred's of people keen to roll a river loop every morning. However, with organised bunch rides being the order of the day, it is very easy to fall into what I call the 'Brisbane training schedule'. It looks something like this...
Monday: recovery river loop.
Thursday: Gravatt's or efforts.
Friday: recovery river loop.
Saturday: Muzza or Nundah Crits.
Sunday: Zupps or another bunchie.
This may seem like a perfectly good week of riding but if you are doing it week in, week out then you will not improve your form. A good training program should be periodised with sections of over-loading the body and then time to recover and let the body adapt. If you do the same thing all the time, you cannot expect that you will improve dramatically just by magic.
Another downside to riding in Brisbane is the terrain. There are no real climbs and when you think about it, there is not much real 'flat' either. Most roads are rolling with short, sharps rises that you are able to punch it up. This means that a lot of people tend to accelerate hard up the hills and then get off the gas and soft-pedal down the other side.
At the end of the day, this is just interval training. You may have a good average HR or power output at the end of the ride but more than likely, you were either riding too hard up the hills or too easy down the other side. What you think was some good 'base k's' was simply riding in the wrong zone.
So what can you do?
Plan your training. Don't just bounce week to week doing whatever you feel like or what ever is handy.
Ride by yourself once in a while. It's great to ride with others but you will not get quality training while wheel-sucking behind 30 other people.
Go easy up the hills. Use your gears and don't accelerate up the hills. Take it easy and maintain a steady output.
Pedal down the hills. Don't freewheel down hills. Keep pedalling with the same intensity. You will probably find that you will actually have a higher average speed at the end of your ride!
You don't always have to stop for coffee. Imagine if you converted the time that you are usually at the coffee shop into extra k's. Imagine!
Well that's it from me.
See you on the road.