Pretty much every triathlete is familiar with the Columns Drive loop. Located just off 285 and Johnson Ferry Road, Columns Drive is a flat, fast 5-mile loop with a parking lot at either end. Because of its parking options, wide bike lanes and long flat stretches, cyclists flock there for everything from time trial training to taking on the Columns Century. Keep in mind that it can be a fairly busy area and is in a neighborhood so make sure you are a considerate rider if you choose to ride here. These workouts are not limited to Columns Drive. If you can't get out there or aren't in Atlanta, look for a relatively flat area that's 3-5 miles long with no stop signs or stop lights.
Plenty of people can be found at Columns Drive just getting in some mileage but we have 3 suggested workouts that will really help boost your cycling fitness.
- Time Trial Intervals. Start with a 20-30 minute warm up. Add some short sprints (30 seconds) toward the end of your warm-up to get your legs spinning and your heart rate up. The main workout set will be 3 x 8-minute time trial intervals with 2 minutes of rest between each one. If you have a power meter, you want to try to stay at least 10-15 watts above your FTP. If you're working from heart rate, you're trying to stay in that Zone 4 HR. These should be all out! Finish with an easy 10-minute cooldown.
- Bike/Run Repeats. Start with a 15 minute warm-up at an easy pace. Then do one lap around Columns Drive going HARD out and easy back. Immediately get off your bike and run 1 mile at a 5k pace. Get back on the bike and ride EASY out and HARD back. Immediately get off the bike to run 1 mile at a 10k pace. Final lap - GO HARD. Run one mile easy.
- Long and Steady. Try a 2-3 hour at Columns Drive working to maintain a steady pace the entire time. Sound like the most boring thing in the world? Maybe but it's great mental training. Learn to focus your mind. Even though you can pass your car every 5 miles, try not to stop. Look at your files afterward. How steady were you able to hold your cadence, heart rate, and power.
Suggested tools to execute these workouts:
Do you have a great workout idea? Let us know or take a photo of your workout and tag us on instagram! (@podium_multisport)