Wednesdays are generally my favorite. They usually call for a few hours in the saddle with a fair amount of intensity. Substitutes for these can be weekly mtb or crit races, or if you’re pressed for time and can’t spend a few consecutive hours on the bike you can try to brake them up throughout the day. I’ve been in that boat before and one of the ways I found around it was this. Start the morning off with the 25 mile commute to work, 1-1.5 hour hard lunch ride and back at it on the commute back home that evening.
Ideally, I’d like to spend 3-4 hours in the morning or evening pounding out a good route with lots of climbing, or turning the pedals during a fast group ride. Both scenarios are have their own set of high dollar values when it comes to finding good fitness.
Even though it’s nothing more than a dirt road, the ride up Farmington Canyon is for sure on my top five list, of favorite rides. From my home to the top is roughly two hours and 5,000′ of climbing. It’s not an easy climb either. Once you reach the half way point the traffic on the road thins out quite a bit and the scenery gets much better. It’s a perfect ride to work on your climbing technique and positioning. Throw in some threshold work or do some shorter timed efforts. Just don’t forget to save a little for the top. The last mile or so kicks up pretty good and you’ll need a little in the tank to finish it off.
Hooking up with a weekly group ride can also be a great way to get some top end speed work in the legs. The nice thing about riding with a group is that you have a number of riders all out pushing each other and if you slack off a bit (which happens to me when I’m riding alone) you get dropped of the back. In some cases, it’s not in the groups objective to nurse along slower riders so be ready to either pull through when it’s your turn.
All in all, Wednesdays are a great day for a few extra hours on the bike with some good intensity. A few times in the past I’ve hooked up with some good friends to pre-ride the race course for the upcoming race. Taking a quick lap or two can really help dial in the fitness for that particular race and give you a good edge on those that haven’t pre-ridden. Generally we’ll keep on riding until the sun goes down which makes for an excellent evening on the trails.