Training for the Working Cyclist
Great workouts in under 2 hours.
I recently returned from racing the San Dimas stage race and was lucky enough to travel to and from the race with my teammate and fellow coach, Shawn Rosenthal. You can check out his coaching website at Provantagesports.com. Cyclists who are constrained by family and work commitments who can only get 1-2hrs of training in usually fall in to 1 of 2 categories: Those who do too much tempo, and those who do too much intensity. We were discussing the best way for someone to train for a race like San Dimas, where you can expect to spend most of the race at tempo, rollers climbed at threshold and a leg burning 2 min anaerobic climb every lap. An all tempo training plan will leave you feeling fresh for the final climb, but with no “pop”. An all intensity plan will have you flying up that 2 min climb…for the first few laps of many though. A great workout to simulate this type of race is called “Lactate Progression”.
If you are pressed for time, you don’t need a huge warm-up for this workout. Go ahead and ride 20-30min in Zone 2. Here’s the workout:
12min @ 85% FTP
6min @ FTP
2min @ 120% FTP
Switch seamlessly between the different powers for a straight 20 min workout. Here, we’re simulating the tempo that constitutes most of the race, the threshold effort that precedes the climb (the fight for position), and the anaerobic finale. If you have time to do 2 of these workouts in a single ride, give yourself a full recovery (1:1 workout to rest).
Hopefully, doing this workout a few times 1-4 weeks out from a long hard road race/stage race will leave you prepped and ready to go. You should now be feeling less tired coming in the hard section of a race with more pop to give at the end.
Adam Switters is a former professional cyclist and currently races for Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase. He is a USA Cycling Certified Coach is the owner of Switters Coaching. You can check him out at his website http://www.SwittersCoaching.com/. Feel free to comment if you have any ideas for workout or questions.