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Join Us for our 2020 Season Salvation Plan

NEW ‘RETURN TO RACING’ TRAINING PLAN NOW AVAILABLE.

We’re calling it our…

2020 Season Salvation Plan

With the possibility of events happening before the end of summer and into fall, the time is now to begin a 2020 re-build of fitness to be ready if/when racing resumes.

For this unusual time in history, we’ve put together a 12-week training plan designed to accommodate cyclists of all variants with a training progression to bring their fitness to a high level before the end of summer. Modeled off our popular annual winter Base Builder Training Program, and including all the value and support our athletes have enjoyed for years:

  • Detailed training program delivered via Training Peaks
  • Designed for all cycling disciplines (i.e. road, mountain bike, gravel, cross)
  • Volume adjustable to fit individual ability & goals
  • Easy to follow workouts designed around power, heart rate and RPE
  • Weekly Podcast to discuss the weekly training and share valuable insights along the way
  • Follow along in ‘real time’ with us every week for increased motivation & accountability

Along with all of the proven training we’ve implemented through our winter program, we will follow a similar build of fitness over the summer months but with a handful of differences to make the most of this unusual time of ‘Summer Base Training’:

  • Extra emphasis on riding outdoors and logging (at least a bit, if not a lot) more ‘base miles’
  • Structured workouts easily performed outdoors, as well as indoors
  • Following a ‘steeper’ progression curve (i.e.. progressing more quickly than typical winter base training)
  • Added weekly video tips to enhance engagement
  • Added nutritional direction to assist in performance & body composition changes

The Plan Details

Our 12-week plan is broken into three 4-week training blocks:

  1. Low-Intensity Base
  2. Mid-Intensity Aerobic Threshold
  3. High-Intensity Interval

The blocks consist of three weeks of progressive training, followed by a lighter recovery week. The weeks are volume-adjustable to meet your personal training goals. We will explain how to do this on our podcast, as well as offer to do it for you as an optional add-on to your plan.

Low-Intensity Base

This is the classic ‘base miles’ time. Three weeks to build your daily riding frequency and weekly volume (via hours, miles and/or TSS). Intensity is kept low so you can simply focus on riding more and maximizing your time outdoors enjoying your bike. During this time, we’ll provide additional information via podcast and video tips on improving your diet to increase your performance and shed unwanted body mass.

Mid-Intensity Aerobic Threshold

This block raises the intensity slightly and adds in structured intervals to the weekly schedule. The Aerobic Threshold energy system develops sustainable power and muscular endurance. These relatively long duration intervals train your ability to pedal hard while maximizing the aerobic system to improve overall endurance and strength. Also included in the this block is continued low-intensity riding to further create aerobic adaptations.

High-Intensity Intervals

The third and final block of the plan switches gears to a more polarized approach of ‘easy days-hard days-easy days’.  The hard days emphasize the glycolytic energy system: putting greater demand on carbohydrate usage for increased power output over shorter durations. The glycolytic ‘sub-systems’ of Anaerobic Power, Vo2 Max and Anaerobic Threshold are addressed each week combined with very easy recovery days for three weeks. This kicks your race-preparation fitness into high gear as the end of summer approaches.

Upon completion of this 12-week progression, you’ll be event-ready. You can then easily transition into late season racing, a cyclocross schedule, or some fitness-charged fun fall riding.

Plan Assistance

Like with our annual winter Base Builder Program, we’re in this together. As part of your plan, you can choose to follow along listening to our weekly podcast for deeper instruction and insights into the plan. We will provide suggestions on how to maximize your training plan experience by providing suggestions on how to:

  • modify the weekly volume to fit your needs
  • create your ‘return to racing’ calendar within the Training Peaks ATP
  • modify and execute the structured intervals
  • fuel your workouts & recovery
  • daily diet tips & videos
  • and answer questions you have via email

Optional Volume Personalization

Not exactly sure how much is enough training and/or concerned about doing too much?

We have written the 2020 Season Salvation Plan to accommodate all types and levels of competitive cyclists. It has been written in a ‘mid-volume’ level of workout duration and weekly loads. This volume is modifiable to the individual and we will explain this in detail within the weekly podcast.

For those that would like us to personalize the volume for them, we are offering a optional upgrade ($29) for this convenient service. Via a short list of questions and a view into past training efforts, we can adjust the daily and weekly volume for you to fit your goals.

Ready, Set, Go

Our ‘live’ following of the plan begins June 15th to have us finishing by middle of August. Join us then and follow along in real time.

Not ready to start in June? Or not needing to be event-ready in August? No problem. You can choose to start the plan any Monday after June 15th and listen to the podcast in order of your start date. Simply find your target event date, count back 12 or more weeks from there and that is when you can begin.

Too confusing? Send us an email and we’ll get you sorted out.

Plan Purchase & Delivery

We have created this plan on Training Peaks. You will need a free Basic account or paid Premium account to access the plan. You can simply view and purchase the plan directly from Training Peaks for $99.

But wait…

We want to offer all of our training plan users, followers and podcast listeners an even better deal!

 

 

 

 

 

Get the 12-week plan for just $48!

That’s only $4 a week, less than a premium coffee, for dialed-in training, online support & accountability, and a boat load of knowledge to get you fit and fast for the remainder of 2020. Join us and save your season. You won’t regret it!


Plan Options



Register today! We’ll get back to you via email within 24 hours to provide directions on connecting your existing Training Peaks account or creating a new FREE Basic account for you. Then we can attach the plan to your desired start date, and make any Volume Personalization modifications if chosen. 

Listen to our recent Podcast to Learn all About it…

Episode #36: our 2020 Season Salvation Plan

Questions?

Email Us: [email protected]

 

Aerobic Threshold

Aerobic Threshold Booster Plans

Changing Times, Changing Plans

In light of the current worldwide health crisis and cancellations of at least the Spring racing season, everyone’s plans have changed… and so should our training!

Many riders are choosing to be on their indoor trainers utilizing online training apps while others are willing to venture outside to keep racking up the miles. However, instead of smashing yourself with high-intensity training or epic long rides with no events in sight on the calendar, take a step back and target your Aerobic Threshold energy system. Take this opportunity of ‘no racing’ to build your most powerful aerobic base yet!

What is Aerobic Threshold?

The first of two metabolic thresholds, the Aerobic Threshold (AeT) relates to fuel utilization. Put simply, this first threshold is a theoretical metabolic balance point of fuel utilization between fat & carbohydrate. At AeT you’re at the highest power you can sustain while burning equal parts fat & carbohydrate fuel sources. In other words, you’re maximizing your power while still utilizing at least 50% fat for fuel. Go beyond this threshold and you begin to burn more sugars than fat; go below this threshold and fat utilization goes up, carbohydrate utilization goes down.

From an endurance athlete standpoint, the more work (power) you can do while utilizing fat for fuel and sparing glycogen (stored carbohydrates in your muscles and liver), allows you to ride longer and faster before running out of glycogen. It is well known that riding long and slow (HR< 75% max heartrate) is how you maximize fat utilization. However, to be most effective with this type of training you must ride long durations. Train above AeT and you become more ‘anaerobically fit’, capable of going really hard for short durations (often followed by dramatic slowdown!). Short, high-intensity interval training is effective for this, as is simply riding just a little too hard, too often… a common pitfall for most amateur cyclists (aka ‘sugar burners’).

How do you find this Aerobic Threshold?

For utmost accuracy, you should be tested in a lab by a physiologist. Much like a Vo2 Max test, you wear a mask, you pedal from easy to hard, they collect the expired gases from your lungs from which the ratios are used to pin-point the exact moment you cross that ‘fat vs. sugar’ threshold. Keep in mind, we’re always burning a mixture of fat and carbohydrate for movement. Think of it as a sliding scale of usage: when one goes up, the other goes down. Slower movement relies on fat. The faster you move the more carbs are brought it. Raise the effort further and you’re using carbs almost exclusively.

What if you don’t have access to a lab and physiologist? You can estimate! For most reasonably fit individuals, your AeT falls around 75-80% of maximum heart-rate. Being a metabolic threshold, training by heart rate is the most effective method by which to train. However, you can identify a power value corresponding to the HR-based effort through testing and training. This power level is typically between 80-90% of Anaerobic Threshold power (FTP) depending on one’s level of aerobic fitness.

How do you Improve Aerobic Threshold?

Targeting the specific 75-80% of HR max range in your riding is among the best ways to improving your AeT. Depending on your current level of aerobic fitness, this pace may be slow and easy or it may be somewhat challenging. The more anaerobically fit you are, the slower (less power) you will likely have to ride to stay in this zone; whereas, the more aerobically fit you are, the harder (more power) you will ride.

Begin by performing sets of shorter intervals of say 5:00 in duration. Then progress to more intervals and longer intervals over subsequent training sessions and weeks. Here is an example of an Aerobic Threshold training progression:

  • 6-8x 5:00 (1:00 recoveries)
  • 3-6x 10:00 (2:00 recoveries)
  • 3-5x 15:00 (3:00 recoveries)
  • 3-4x 20:00 (5:00 recoveries)
  • 2-3x 30:00 (recovery as needed)

With the intensity of these intervals being not particular hard, you can perform 2-3 sessions per week while recovering with ease between sessions. Keeping intensity levels lower helps boost your immune system keeping you healthy, consistent and making gains. These sets of intervals are also equally effective both indoors on the trainer or outside on flat, rolling or low-grade climbs.

Get Started Honing Your Fat-Burning Engine.

Try one of our 6-Week Aerobic Threshold Booster Plans available for download in the Training Peaks Plan Store. We offer a Low-Volume version ideal for the indoor rider, and a High-Volume option for the indoor and/or outdoor rider. Not only are these plans great for this particular time in history, but they are perfect for anytime in your annual program when you’re looking to maximize your aerobic fitness base.

 

In-Season Strength Maintenance

Strength Training, that is training with weights in the gym (or at home), has become more widely accepted in the endurance sport world over the last 5+ years. There are still some hold-outs on the subject, but most athletes and coaches will agree there are valuable benefits to be gained from lifting heavy weights within an endurance sport training program. Improving your strength from season-to-season only occurs if you perform Strength Maintenance sessions year-round.

The intent of this article is not to spew out the benefits of Strength Training (you can read a previous post that covers all those points); rather my intent with this article is to point out the value of YEAR-ROUND strength training. More specifically, focus on lifting weights within your competitive racing season.

Don’t Lose your Gains, Bro

If you’ve gotten this far, I’m going to assume you’re on board with Strength Training, at least as part of your off-season training program. The majority of endurance athletes do some form of strength training in their off-season. Then what seems to be very common is many athletes cease their Strength Training program once their competitive race season begins. The reasons I hear for dropping the strength training from their training programs are often:

  • Wanting to spend more time on their primary sport (“get more miles in”)
  • Lifting weights makes them slow (“legs too sore/tired”)
  • Don’t want to gain weight (“too much muscle”)
  • Getting bored with the strength training (“same old routine”)

I’m here to encourage you to not stop your Strength Training once your race season begins. In fact if you do stop, I can tell you you’re leaving performance gains on the table!

You may be thinking, “Whoa! Hold up. You want me to lift weights during my race season?!”

Yes I do! And here’s why…

When you Strength Train for 2, 3 or even 4 months of your off-season, you spend the first few weeks working through the soreness of training the muscles. Only then do you begin to make some gains in actual strength of movement. These improvements to your health & performance as an athlete include:

  • Increased muscle fiber recruitment (use more of the muscles you have)
  • Increase top-end power (raise the ceiling of your power curve)
  • Increased anabolic hormone production (balance the catabolic nature of endurance training)
  • Improve range of motion/activation (offset imbalances)
  • Improve the overall “durability” of your body
Read More

The Waite Endurance Race Preparation Plans

With Spring around the corner it’s time to think about Race Preparation. Most athletes are putting the final touches on their off-season Base Builder training. Following our Base Builder Plan Programming, athletes have gone through an extensive strength building program in the gym combined with a progression through the six primary aerobic energy systems we utilize on the bike; from lowest intensity to highest intensity:

  1. Aerobic (all day power)
  2. Aerobic Threshold (2-4 hour power)
  3. Anaerobic Threshold (32-64 minute power)
  4. Vo2 Max (8-16 minute power)
  5. Anaerobic Power (1-4 minute power)
  6. Peak Power (5-20 second power)

Depending on when they got started with their Base Builder training and how much time available for building Base, athletes went through a 12, 18 or 24 week progression; in 2, 3 or 4 week blocks dedicated to each energy system mentioned above. Regardless of your exact base training protocol you may have followed, as you come to the end of your base phase you may be asking yourself this question:

With my Base now built and general cycling fitness established, what comes next?

Race Preparation Training

Where Base Building is general fitness development; Race Preparation is specific fitness development for your A-priority event(s) of the year.

Read More

Training Metrics: Power vs. Heart Rate

We get this question a lot regarding training metrics… What’s the better training metric: Power or Heart Rate?

Power-based training has risen to the status of “must have” for effective training for serious cyclists. Unfortunately, the use of heart rate as a training metric has been tossed aside by many. The power meter is a wonderful tool and one we strongly recommend. However, without the simultaneous use of heart rate you are only seeing half of the story

…our answer is: use BOTH metrics! 

Both Power & Heart Rate training metrics are needed for maximum effectiveness

Using one without the other is a mistake. Here’s why…

  • Power (watts) is the direct measurement of the amount of work that is being done. Many will say, “a watt is a watt, and watts don’t lie”. This is true, power is an absolute. You either have it or you don’t on a given a day. However, the effort required to produce those watts on any given day is effected by many variables. This is where heart rate comes in!
  • Heart Rate (bpm) is an indirect measurement of your bodies response to the work (power) being done. You might hear people poo-poo HR. They’ll claim that it’s affected by so many outside variables; such as sleep, hydration, elevation, temperature, fatigue and so on. But… why are these affects considered a negative attribute? When in fact, it’s these very affects wherein the value of training with HR comes in!

Let’s look at this example of a training block using both Power & Heart Rate training metrics…

Read More
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