So, why train slower to race faster?

"Winter miles, summer smiles."

If going slow might makes you strong, shouldn’t going fast make you that much stronger? Wouldn't hard intervals in November, give me a leg up in summer? Allow me to try to convince you otherwise, and help you get fast the slowest way possible.

Let’s start by looking at VO2max. It’s a measure of the body’s ability to take up and use oxygen—an important measure in an aerobic sport like cycling. VO2max is actually a bad predictor of performance, but it’s a great tool for looking at training.

For decades, scientists have researched which factors are most important in determining VO2max, and it’s still a hot debate whether “central” or “peripheral” factors are most important. Central conditioning refers to the heart’s ability to deliver blood to working muscles. Peripheral conditioning, on the other hand, builds the muscle cells’ ability to take up and use that oxygen.