What’s with all the small ring work? I get asked that a lot and to answer that it is important to know a few things. Athletes typically take 2-6 weeks off the bike to rest and recover after a long season and after putting many miles in the saddle. The small ring work satisfies a number of things but shouldn’t encompass all the riding in this phase.
Small ring intervals benefit cyclists by:
• Eases the muscles, tendons and ligaments back into riding without putting too much load onto the muscles and connective tissue thus reducing the chance of injury
• Improves the bodies fat burning system which will help to improve your endurance
• Improves your bodies ability to store and use glycogen
• Increases the number of capillaries in the body which will help to transport more oxygen to working muscle groups
• Teaches the neuro muscular system to turn the pedals over quicker with a higher cadence
An interesting point is that some cyclists will actually lower their saddles up to 3 cm. in the Base period as they have taken significant time off the bike in the off season and the muscles have shortened. As they ease back into the training they raise the saddle back to normal height.
Just some thoughts for December.