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I have touched my bike only a few times this winter. I decided to run a half marathon in early february, so I am just now getting back on my bike. I think I have a solid aerobic base from all the running. Do I need to go through a full base cycle on the bike? Even though my cardio system would be fine, I don't think my legs could handle a three hour ride at 19mph. How do you suggest I proceed from here? Would it be beneficial for me to go on say a 2-3 hour ride with my heart rate around 130bpm and casually ride my legs into cycling shape? I am 19 years old, so my max is ~200bpm.
 

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Reverse periodization

I grabbed this from another post a while back... seems like with a strong cardio system this methos would be a good way to work on those legs...

The following is from Roadbikerider.com -- I found it interesting:

How Do I Train Using Reverse Periodization?

Question: In newsletter issue No. 129, you mentioned
"reverse periodization" as a way to deal with training
through rough winters. Apparently, it means to focus on
power in winter and endurance in the spring, rather than the
opposite. I'd like to know more about it because I'm in the
worst winter in years! -- Ashwin A.

Coach Fred Replies: As you're discovering, it's extremely
difficult to do long, steady, base-building miles in the
winter if you don't live in a mild climate and can train
during daylight hours. So reverse periodization (RP) makes
sense for many performance-oriented riders.

Little has been written on this subject, and it goes against
the classic periodization model where endurance is built
first and then power and speed are added as the competitive
season nears. Even so, I think a lot of snow-belt riders use
RP, probably without even knowing what it's called.

I set up the training plans in my Complete Book of Road Bike
Training using some features of the RP model. I figured that
many readers would be in your situation (and mine, too, here
in snowy Colorado). Check the book for detailed information.

If you want to try RP, here's a simple version.

You should still aim for one long, steady ride each week. If
road conditions prevent it, you can do a long run, hike,
ski, snowshoe or some other aerobic crosstraining activity.
The last resort is a long, boring bout on the trainer. Avoid
that unless it's getting close to your goal events and the
roads are still unridable.

During the week, do two harder workouts on the trainer if
you can't get out. They shouldn't be longer than an hour.
Concentrate on intensity. Use a heart monitor, a watts meter
or, preferably, a finely tuned sense of perceived exertion to
gauge your efforts.

These workouts can include time trial-like lactate-threshold
intervals of 10-20 minutes; shorter and harder intervals;
simulated climbs out of the saddle with a large gear;
one-leg pedaling for strength, or various other choices.

The remaining four days should be devoted to easy aerobic
exercise, resistance training and recovery.

Here's the payoff: When better weather finally arrives and
you can get out for longer rides, you'll find that endurance
comes quickly. In fact, endurance returns faster after a
winter spent as just described than do strength and power
after a winter of long, low-effort rides.

The danger, of course, is overtraining and burnout from
doing intense workouts before the season begins. You
have to know yourself and be careful to keep intensity
under control.
 
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