Specific Training Sessions To Get You Stronger And Faster On The Bike

July 16, 2019

 

I’m going to lay out some training ideas that have worked very well for many athletes over the years. For this example, let’s make some assumptions about the athlete who might benefit from these sessions: the athlete has ridden for a year or two and can ride 4-6 times a week. We’ll jump into this example months away from her “A” race.

 

We’ll use Team MPI’s Training Zones below:

 

 
During a training week, include a focused Tempo (zone 3) ride along with a VO2max (zone 5) ride separated by at least one day and progress over the next 4-6 weeks within each of these sessions.

 

1. Example of Tempo Session:

3x10min Tempo (1 hour)

 

  • 5min EASY w/u 95±5 rpm

  • 1min EASY @ 100 rpm

  • 30sec @ 105 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 30sec @ 110 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 30sec @ 115 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 30sec @ 120 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 5 x (30sec pickups, 30sec EASY)

 

Main Set

  • 3 x (10min zone 3 (Tempo) RPE 5-6 (MODERATE), 3min EASY

  • EASY c/d to finish


2. Example of VO2max Session:

6 x 3 VO2max (1 hour)

 

  • 5min EASY w/u 95±5 rpm

  • 5 x 30sec one legged @70rpm (each)

  • 5 x 30 pickups, 30 sec EASY

 

Main Set

  • 6 x (3min zone 5 (VO2max) RPE 9 (MAX), 3min EASY)

  • EASY to finish an hour total

Following the above block, I then roll the athlete into a focused Threshold (zone 4) ride along with a Neuromuscular (zone 6) ride each week also separated by at least one day and progress 4-6 weeks within each of these sessions.

 

3. Example of Threshold Session:

5 x 6 @ Threshold (1:10)

 

  • 5min EASY w/u 95±5 rpm

  • 5 x 30sec one legged @70rpm (each)

  • 5 x 30 pickups, 30 sec EASY

 

Main Set

  • 5 x (6min zone 4 (Threshold) RPE 7-8 (HARD), 4min EASY)

  • EASY c/d

 

4. Example of Neuromuscular Session:

3 x Through 30,20,10 MAX (1:05)

 

  • 5min EASY w/u

  • 5 x (30sec Standing, 30sec EASY Seated)

  • 5 x 30sec pickups, 30sec EASY

 

Main Set, 3 Times Through:  

  • 3 X 30sec zone 6 (Neuromuscular) RPE 10 (ALL OUT), 30sec EASY

  • 2min EASY

  • 4 X 20sec zone 6 (Neuromuscular) RPE 10 (ALL OUT), 20sec EASY

  • 2min Easy

  • 5 X 10sec zone 6 (Neuromuscular) RPE 10 (ALL OUT), 10sec EASY 

  • 5min EASY

  • EASY c/d to finish


Finally, we may then roll into weeks filled with one Tempo SWEET SPOT (super zone 3 - lower zone 4) ride along with a Polarized (all zones) ride separated by at least one day and progress 2-4 weeks.

 

5. Example of Tempo SWEET SPOT Session:

3x15min SWEET SPOT (1;15)


Sweet Spot is a range that covers 2 or more zones and usually falls into upper aerobic/lower anaerobic energy systems. It's a place we can stay in a long time while gaining significant fitness.

 

For our purposes, SWEET SPOT =
zones 3-4
MOD - HARD
RPE 6-7
FTP 88%-92%

 

  • 5min EASY w/u 95±5 rpm

  • 1min EASY @ 100 rpm

  • 30sec @ 105 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 30sec @ 110 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 30sec @ 115 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 30sec @ 120 rpm, 30 sec EASY

  • 5 x (30sec pickups, 30sec EASY)

 

Main Set

  • 3 x (15min zone 3-4 (SWEET SPOT) RPE 6-7 (MOD-HARD), 5min EASY)

  • EASY c/d to finish


6. Example of Polarized Session:

10, 5, 3 All Systems (50min)

 

  • 5min EASY w/u 95±5 rpm

  • 5 x 30sec one legged @70rpm (each)

  • 5 x 30 pickups, 30 sec EASY

 

Main Set

  • 10min zone 3 (Tempo) RPE 5-6 (MODERATE)

  • 3min EASY

  • 5min zone 4 (Threshold) RPE 6-7 (HARD)

  • 5min EASY

  • 3min zone 5 (VO2max) RPE 7-8 (MAX)

  • EASY c/d to Finish

What do we do for the other 2-4 bike sessions? Recovery Spins, longer Endurance rides and maybe even some hill work. 

 

7. Example of Recovery Session:

GLASS CRANK RIDE(30-60min)


Just get out and ride or stay indoors on Trainer. EASY pace to promote recovery.  We'll call this a “glass crank ride” pretending that our cranks are made of glass. If we push too hard on the pedals, we’ll break off a crank arm!

 

Keep it in Zones 1 & 2 (Recovery & Endurance), RPE 1-4

 

Remember, there are NO secrets in training and there are NO absolutes as everyone is different with skills, time to train, goals, etc.

 

However, there are some “truths”:

  • When it’s time to go EASY, you must go EASY to gain the true benefits of going FAST/HARD before-

  • Every pedal stroke counts! This means that the way to get faster and stronger on the bike is to RIDE YOUR BIKE

  • The body LOVES change and change is essential for fitness progression. Targeting specific energy systems that are different throughout the week promote great, positive changes within the body.

 

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

~ Coach Mark
 


 

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