EPC Tips - Mid-Summer Threshold Training on the Bike

Aug. 1, 2014

More threshold training on the bike...

It's mid-summer and a time most athletes are beginning their specific build-up towards the Fall championship races. Along with the endurance training to coincide with your race distance, you'll likely want to spend some quality training time at your lactate threshold to improve your sustainable race day power output. For most athletes, lactate threshold is that 'comfortably hard' (becoming uncomfortable with longer intervals) effort with an RPE of around 8 out of 10. The classic 'zone 4' in heart rate training and 95-105% of your functional threshold power (FTP) for the 'techie' athletes in the group.

Depending on your fitness levels and goals, most athletes will want to spend about 30-60 minutes at this effort level within a workout. You can divvy up the work into fairly small or fairly large segments (intervals) to make the work more tolerable. A great strategy is to start with shorter intervals and work up to longer ones as the weeks go by. An example might be 6x 5:00 the first week, 5x 8:00 the second week, and 4x12:00 the third week. Rest should typically be 1/4 to 1/2 of the interval length, although allow for longer rests depending on workout design. If you do these as hill repeats you simply turn around and ride back down the hill for recovery, if on a long continuos road or trainer, you can pedal easily for the recovery time between intervals.

The following is a 'standard' session in my training regimen...

Being an off-road athlete, I like doing these on my mountain bike on a local climb that takes approximately 10:00 minutes to climb and 10:00 to loop back down and around to the start again.

10:00 easy ride to the trails.
15:00 building effort to get HR up and ready to go.

MAIN SET:  Done in descending time (ascending effort) by starting out a slightly under LT effort for the first one, lower end of LT for #2, upper end for #3, and a little above for #4  (if I'm feeling good!).

~ 10:30 @ 290 watts
10:00 easy looping around

~ 10:00 @ 300 watts
10:00 easy looping around

~ 9:30 @ 310 watts
10:00 easy looping around

~ 9:00 @ 320 watts  (this one at 320w doesn't always happen, but that's the goal)

WARM-DOWN: 20:00 Easy ride home

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. Racing XTERRA USA and/or World Championships this Fall? Then checkout his XTERRA Championship specific Group Coaching Program for a complete XTERRA specific program leading up to the BIG races!

EPC Tips