bike fitness

High Intensity Training (HIT) and Long Slow Distance (LSD)

Base training

Winter base training is the foundation of a successful race season.  Traditionally, long slow distance (LSD) was the mantra, but there is evidence that high intensity training (HIT) can boost endurance with short, hard efforts.  How do you balance the two training strategies?


Unfortunately, we can’t forgo LSD for HIT.  You still need to put in the hours at low intensity.  Studies suggest that a balance of 80% LSD to 20% HIT gives the best results for the endurance athlete.  In the real world, this means devoting about 2 sessions a week to HIT.  These HIT sessions can be 6-8  5 minute efforts with 60 seconds rest or 20 60 second efforts with 120 seconds rest. Both workouts have similar effects.  Keep the intensity high (80% peak power).

Deliberate Training – Stay out of the grey zone!

Keep your HIT high and your LSD low.  Most cyclists make the mistake of “winging” their training, which most of the time, leads to too much time spent at high intensity and not enough time keeping it low and slow.

Enjoy the Winter!


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