After setting a good foundation during the base period of your training year, it’s time to start combining some of the workouts that you have been doing as you build toward your peak form. During the base training period, the focus is primarily on readying your body to be able to handle the next phase of training. You are targeting or performing many race-type efforts in the base period.
You are working on aerobic endurance(the body’s ability efficiently use oxygen to burn fuel and produce energy.) During aerobic exercise, the body is absorbing and transferring oxygen at an adequate rate to optimize the use of stored fat by the body. This is often improved by longer, less intense workouts.
In addition to aerobic endurance training in the base period, you should also be working on muscular endurance. This is the ability to push harder on the pedals. There are several ways to accomplish muscular endurance including resistance training and low cadence interval workouts. These are effective at helping to build strength in the leg muscles.
As you move from the base period to a build period of training, the focus shifts from building these systems separately to combining them. If you think about it, the goal of training is to go faster and to do this, you need to be able to push the pedals harder the same number of times. By applying more force to the pedals, you overcome the forces of drag and gravity which try to slow you down.
As you start your build phase of training, there are lots of different types of workouts you can do to help develop the ability to combine force and endurance.
Here are some ideas of cycling build phase workouts that are beneficial during this training period.
- 5 x 3 min at power zone 5(3 min recoveries, 65-75 rpm), then 20 minutes at zone 4.
- 4-5 x 1 min at zone 5, 30sec-zone 4,1m,30s,1m,30s, 1m, 30s,1m, 30s (over/under LT) 85-95 rpm. 3 min recoveries.
- 4-5 x 8 min at LT, aero position, 90 rpm.
- 3 min x 120%LT(80 rpm), 2 min recovery, 5 min x 95%LT (95 rpm), 2 min recovery-this is one rep. Do 4-5 reps.
- 5 x 8 min at zone 4, climbing position, 70 rpm
- 4 min climbing repeats-ride a 6-8% hill approximately 4 minutes long. Recovery is a coasting decent. Do 8-10. 70-80 rpms
- 8-10 x 90 sec(60 sec at 5 min power, then out of saddle 30 sec at 1 min power, 4-6% hill.) This can be broken up into two sets of 4-5. 2 min recoveries. Then ride 20 min at zone 4.
- 2 x 20 min zone 4, aero position or tt bike, five min recovery
- Crit sprints- 8-10 x 20 sec at 1 min power. 3 min recoveries
- Ride a hilly course attacking the short hills < 1 min, zone 5 on the longer hills. If you don’t have hills in your area, ride aggressively varying your output from hard 1 minute efforts up to 8 minute efforts. The shorter the effort the harder you go. 80-90 rpm.
Check out my build phase training plans for a great road map to your best performances ever!