If you spend all winter and spring in the little chainring, you can’t expect to win your local crit—or even keep up on a fast-paced training ride, says Mayhew. Base miles will help build a strong foundation of fitness, but too much time in any zone will impede your progress. It takes variety to improve.
The Fix: You need to find a middle ground between too much and too little intensity. If most of your solo training time is spent cruising, mix it up with a weekly group ride for some high intensity. And add variety into your rides by sprinting for signs or other landmarks, Mayhew says. But don’t go overboard: a cycling diet comprised only of high intensity intervals will also prevent you from reaching your peak performance. Keep the LSD, but don't let it overwhelm your training plan.