In Rob’s first training block, we focused on aerobic work; building the engine with long sustained efforts. For the next 7-10 days, we’ll shift to focus to shorter, harder efforts. This will help add a ‘turbo’ to his fitness, allow him to follow and make hard attacks, and break through the ceiling of his sustainable power output. In simple terms, first, we do more, then we do harder!
July 25th, 2016 – Day 1
This workout was done on a tough local climb, Flagstaff Mountain. Rob completed four sets of 10 minutes each, riding Z5 power output for 40 seconds, and nice easy recovery (or as easy as a tough climb allows while continuing upwards) for 20 seconds. As you can see, most reps are well over 500 Watts and while the recovery is 200-300 Watts (as easy as the hill allows).
Here’s what the workout summary looked like:
And the data file:
After these efforts, it’s back to the motor pacing for some high-speed work on the flat roads around Boulder! We motor paced for just over an hour at an average speed of 29.6mph (47.6kph). Rob produced 306 Watts normalized at an average of 96 rpm!
Here’s the motor pacing:
For the last part of Rob’s day, it’s back into the hills, with a long climb home, on which he does one last 10 minute block of the 40 sec / 20 sec intervals. He starts these after the five hour mark, preparing him for the brutal effort up to Snowbird, the finale of the hardest stage of the Tour of Utah…. Ouch!
Rob’s Comments: “Nailed it. The last set of these bastards before the taper so I really pushed them. These are the best sets I’ve ever seen and repeatability is also better than years past. The first 4 sets combined with a rippin’ MP session and the final set on the way home made for one hell of a hard day. Ready to race bikes now…after I sleep for the next 3 days!”
The Takeaway: There’s a good tip for everyone here; Oftentimes when rest is imminent, the day before a rest day or easy week, travel etc, is a great time to go a bit deeper than normal. Really pushing hard at these times can lead to greater fitness gains.
July 26th, 2016 – Day 2
Even for a top pro, that day is a tough act to follow! Rob’s legs are pretty beat, too fatigued to do any quality high-intensity work. So it’s back to basics with a long endurance ride including more motor pacing and two sets of very short but maximal sprint work incorporated into the session.
Here’s the day:
The focus is to create near-maximal torque; this builds the strength needed for the hardest bits of racing, where he’ll be right at his limit. Rob uses a large gear on the steep climb, locks out his upper body and core and pedals with maximal force, just getting ‘on top’ of the gear at the end of 20 seconds. He then rides easy for 1 minute and 40 seconds before repeating 5 times.
Here are the sprints:
Rob’s Comments: “Tough day! While I’ve had plenty of tough periods, I can tell I’ve progressed and gotten stronger during this training camp. The watts are coming with less effort and the speed while motor pacing feels easier”
The Takeaway: It’s worth noting, that training can be simple. There will be plenty of ebbs and flows in an athlete’s energy and daily outputs during a training program, but performance should be trending upwards!
July 27th, 2016 – Day 3
It’s time for REST!! There is simply no improvement without it. The contrast for Rob is dramatic. He goes for a nice easy 48 minute spin, with an average power output of 207 Watts (normalized).
Here is the data: