Friday, 23 December 2011

Winter Turbo Sessions - The Basics

Winter Turbo Sessions

Whilst we are in our base training period and doing the Long Steady Distance (LSD) rides at the weekend it is still important that we do some higher intensity work each week. With the dark evenings and inconsistent weather most of us will be doing some indoor cycling, either in the gym, on a turbo trainer or on rollers. Here are some ideas of sessions that have been of use to me and hopefully will give you some more ideas of what you can do:

Warm Ups
Cadence pyramids. We have been doing variations on these at the Wednesday club turbo nights.
Warm up for 10 mins or so in a steady gear, cadence around 90RPM. If you don’t have a cadence sensor then try a pedal 15 revolutions every 10 seconds.
Do one minute at 105 RPM, recover back to 90 for 30-60 seconds
Increase by 5 RPM for next interval and recover.
Repeat to 120-130 RPM and then intervals back down to 105.
A 20 minute warm up of that type will ensure that your muscle are ready for some high intensity work.

Basic Pyramid Session
A session that gets progressively harder, peaks and then takes you back down to recovery. Only takes an hour with a good warm up but can be used to take you above Lactate Threshold into an area where you are working anaerobic ally depending on what gears / resistance you use:
0-15 min: warm up in steady gear
15-30 min: Up one click or one gear - base line, suggest about 70% Max Heart Rate
30-35 min: Up one click or one gear
35-40 min: Up one click or one gear
40-45 min: Drop back one click or one gear
45-50 min: Drop back one click or one gear - back to base line
50-55 min: Drop back one click or one gear. Try to spin
55-60 min: Warm down
If you wish to make the session longer or harder just add more increases until you reach the intensity you desire. Will all sessions of this type remember not to start too hard. If you’re going to repeat the sessions record what gears / resistance you use so you know where to pitch it next time.

Basic Ramp Session
20 minute warm up. Use cadence drills if possible.
Pick a gear that’s just one above the intensity that you would do for a base ride. Pedal at a steady 90RPM for 6 minutes. Remember that gear. Recover for 3 minutes in an easy gear.
Go to one gear harder for 6 minutes. Then recover for 3 minutes.
Repeat for 6-7 intervals with each one in one gear harder.
After the last interval spin out in an easy gear until your heart rate is down to a Perceived Rate of Exertion of 2-3 (light exertion).
Again, you can vary the session with the timings of intervals to recovery and the gears used. A ratino of 2:1 effort to recovery is a good baseline.
Lactate Threshold Session
See separate post on turbo session 21st December
A session designed to increase your Lactate Threshold by working above the threshold for a short interval and then recovering below it. Repetitions of this are a way of training your body to increase Lactate Threshold and ultimately enabling us to work harder in a time trial.

Happy training


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Increasing Lactate Threshold

As a follow up to the turbo session on the 21st December here's a quick summary of what why we are trying to increase our lactate threshold and how we started training to do it:
Lactic acid is produced by our muscles and at low intensity our bodies can process that continuously. When we reach a state called Lactate Threshold our bodies are producing more Lactic Acid than it can process, this then results in the build up of Lactic Acid and ultimately limits our performance. Typically most of reach that point at 80-85% of Max Heart Rate (MHR). This point is sometimes expressed as a % of VO2(max). Most sedentary people reach this at around 60% and good club athletes at around 80%. Elite endurnace athletes may be as high as 90%.
Therefore, for our type of events it is advantagoeus to increase our Lacate Threshold and the session we did at the turbo class was designed to help us do that. If we can time trial at a higher intensity for longer this will directly result in more power and speed. By doing intervals above Lactate Threshold we can train our bodies to deal with Lactic Acid. The method we used was to continuously cross that threshold. If you look at the output from my heart monitor you can see that I crossed that 85% threshold 7 times during the session.

To remind you of the session that we did and to enable you to re-create it / adapt it to your needs here is a summary:
20 mins warm up, drills to increase cadance, some single leg drills.
Pyramid session
1 min in a gear that gets you below Lactate Threshold but isn't too easy
1 min recovery
2 min interval, 1 min in the gear that was used for the first 1 min interval and 1 min in a gear that's two clicks harder
1 min recovery
3 min interval, 2 mins in the first gear used and one min two clicks harder
1 min recovery
4 min interval, 3 plus 1 as per the previous pattern
1 min recovery
5 min interval, either 4 + 1 or 3 + 2 if you can manage it
1 min recovery
5 min interval, either 4 + 1 or 3 + 2 if you can manage it
1 min recovery
4 min interval, 3 plus 1 as per the previous pattern
1 min recovery
3 min interval, 2 plus 1 as per the previous pattern
1 min recovery
2 min interval, 1 plus 1 as per the previous pattern
1 min recovery
1 min in the harder gear
10 mins easy pedalling to cool down

This session has been adapted from one I learned from Richard Stannard's Turbo Torture class that I attended on the 19th December. If ever you're in the Windsor area on a Monday or Thursday I can recommend them as excellent sessions and good opportunities for learning good training techniques.

Feel free to adapt the session by adding / deleting more intervals depending on the time you have and your fitness.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Are you ready for LSD?

Base Training – Long Steady Distance Riding
Firstly many thanks to Andrew Costello for sending me the following link:

It underwrites a lot of the principals that we need to adhere to make our winter base training a solid foundation for our season. I have also received similar advice from an old pro (Keith Butler) who was ride leader on a winter training camp I attended some years ago. The key point for those January rides is one of Long Steady Distance which we will kick off at our first ride in January. On that training camp some years ago Keith was watching me mash a massive gear on the first ride of the week, for the rest of the week he banned me from using the outer chainring as we were there to turn the pedals for a long time not to push big gears. I can certainly attest to the fact that I got a better training benefit from the camp and coped with the longer rides better. Therefore, I am suggesting that this will be a good thought to have for our January rides.
With the mainstream adoption of compact chainsets I was wondering if the gearing of modern bikes will make it impossible to do a long ride on the inner ring. On the assumption that we will not use the smallest sprocket on the inner ring a cadence of 90RPM should enable us to have enough speed to do the Long Steady Distance rides in January at a suitable pace. Perhaps only using the large chainring where we need that control on certain descents. Now would be a good time to practice riding on the inner ring as we prepare for base training in January.
Please try it and let me know how you get on.
The table below shows the speed in MPH that a 90 RPM cadence generates. If you ever want to find information on gears the first stop is the late Sheldon Brown’s page:

Inner chainring
Sprocket 39 36 34
12 22.9 21.1 19.9
13 21.1 19.5 18.4
14 19.6 18.1 17.1
15 18.3 16.9 15.9
16 17.2 15.8 15.0
17 16.1 14.9 14.1
19 14.4 13.3 12.6
21 13.1 12.1 11.4
23 11.9 11.0 10.4
25 11.0 10.1 9.6

So if this doesn’t match your gears put in your own figures so you can work your own out.