From Spring to Autumn, Black Runs are just longer, faster more challenging rides. Over Winter, they form a structured training programme:
Black Runs are where our strongest riders become our best riders. If you are serious about doing more with your riding this is the session for you. We would like to see a lot of our fast new riders taking part. Remember, these rides start at 08:30 on Sundays. You will ride with James Stone, a very experienced racer and coach. People would pay for these rides because, unlike our Blue and Red Runs, these are training rides and if you stick with the programme, you will be a stronger rider next Spring. NB. These rides are disciplined and are not a thrash fest where people go chasing after Strava segments, none of our Sunday rides cater for that.
We are lucky to have James, here is what he has to say about the Black Run programme:
The Black Run is an organised and structured ride of 3.5-4.0 hours starting promptly at 8:30 am. There has been some demand for longer rides and that may happen but it would mean an earlier start, not a later finish. The rides will be structured so there is a consistent pace throughout without any peaks and troughs.
The programme will follow a traditional winter cycle of:
- Post-season recovery and repair - steady, low-intensity riding with some focus on group riding skills.
- Build phase one - the same duration but with more intensity.
- Build phase two - sustained intensity with additional duration.
- Pre-race phase one - the same duration but with structured intensity sections.
- Pre-race phase two - a progression of structured sections.
This will take up the whole winter and take us up to March /April where racing and more serious sportives start.
You will need to be more organised, committed and disciplined to get the best out of these rides. The early rides establish better group riding skills at low intensity. As the sessions progress it will be harder and harder for people to simply dip in and out. My advice is to start now and use the progression of them. The second point that's got to be made is this. I can imagine that a lot of the people who will want to do these rides will switch over expecting them to be really hard and us all trying to average good kph and hit Strava segments. The reality is that the first rides will be low intensity but well organised. Riders will need to be made aware the objective is not a high ave speed but a steady state low-intensity ride. There is an inestimable benefit for our bodies to have a period of R&R following a hard season of racing. If you want to hit some super-high intensity riding it's best to do that on your own or in small groups during the week (Thursday nights are one opportunity). If you want a proven, structured approach you're in the right place. This is the sort of programme that any good coach would recommend and one which many many people pay for.