I see on Ellen's training blog that Neva also sent her an email message answering her questions about the nitty-gritty day-to-day training for the Huntsman 140. Ellen asked, "How many miles should I be doing in a week? How much should I increase distance from week to week?"
I'm pasting that advice here:
It's a good idea to have some cross training and/or resistance training a couple of days a week - on those days you don't ride at all. It's also a good idea to have a day (I use Tuesday) to do some kind of interval work. That is, after at least 10 minutes of warming up, doing 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 intervals of 30 seconds up to 5 minutes (depending on your base and where you are in the season) with recovery in between of at least the same amount of time as you did the interval. One of the things you're working on is increased leg speed and/or increased resistance - higher gear or up hill. On that day, you're not doing a lot of time or distance on the bike, but you're training your muscles to take up oxygen and recover.
A typical schedule might be:
Monday - resistance training and cross training - 30 minutes. The cross training should be gently aerobic. This is not the time to push. The work was in the resistance training.
Tuesday - Interval work - 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, minimum 10 min warm-up and cool down.
Wednesday - resistance training and cross training - 30 minutes.
Thursday - a "moderate ride" - not too long or hard, but not too easy either. How long you can go will partly depend on your schedule, but it's nice to get between 1 and 2 hours in.
Friday is a recovery day - 45 minutes to an hour at the most of very gentle cross training, e.g. walking or jogging slowly, or spinning easily on the bike. Heart rate shouldn't go above 120.
Then, Saturday, you do the long ride. If you're able to ride with a group, you'll probably get pushed - I know I did last year. The term "moderate" took on a new meaning. But I wanted to keep up, so I was going pretty hard. And I got stronger and faster as a result. The increase in distance from one Saturday to the next Saturday probably shouldn't go up more than 10 miles per week. Today the "long distance" riders went 60 miles. Two Saturdays ago they went 50, and last Saturday they eased off at 35. Then Sunday, you rest or do something very gentle, like walking or spinning for 45 minutes to let the muscles work the lactic acid out.This is what I've been doing, more or less. Sometimes I've made Thursday or Wednesday into a recovery day, instead of Friday. I haven't been taking long rides on Saturdays yet, but did ride with Jason part of the Banks to Vernonia trail Saturday. We didn't do the whole thing because his back was giving him problems. Then I was going to do more on my own, but got a flat tire, so that ended the day for me. (Yeah, I know there are people who can fix a flat tire and go on riding, but those people do not include me, not a back tire, not on that day.)
Also, I've been keeping up with Laura's blog, in which she writes about her training and, most recently, about some movies about cycling.
I totally agree that watching movies like the ones she mentioned are good for motivation and inspiration. I watched a couple of movies,*** thanks to her sending them to me, last year, and they were wonderful. So I'm looking forward to watching these ones, this year.
(***The Flying Scotsman and Bicycle Dreams, both of which are available from Amazon.com or to borrow from me---Just let me know!)