In this video, I discuss how to match interval training sessions to real-life cycling scenarios. I’ll be taking a deep dive into the data, exploring the different kinds of sessions that you can do and how they can help you achieve your cycling goals.

So let’s talk about indoor training sessions. I’m just going to bring up Training Peaks. So what we generally do in our custom training programs we’ll look at what people are doing in their courses, like, for example, one client that was riding Amy’s last year. And the big thing about Amy’s Gran Fondo to qualify for a UCI Gran Fondo is that you need to be able to get up the climb and be with the top 10% of the riders.

I think it’s 10% to qualify. So we spent a lot of time working on 20-minute efforts because we guesstimated it take them about 20 minutes to get up the climb based on the profiling that we were doing for that particular course. And that’s part from obviously being able to deliver good power throughout the entire ride. The main thing that we were focusing on was being able to produce good power for 20 minutes to make sure that they were in a good position at the top of the first climb.

And that particular event to be able to make sure that they are in the right bunch to be able to carry them to the line – to improve their chances of getting a qualification. So those are sort of things that we do around the customisation of our training programs. We’ve got one client we’re working with, getting them prepped for criterium racing.

And the biggest issue they have is being able to go over a threshold and recover from it quickly. She’s currently on the Crit Racer, so we’re working on tuning the Crit Racer specifically around her power zones and her recovery and improving her ability to be able to go over threshold and recover quickly so that she can be a better criterium rider.

So anyway, let’s talk about some of the training sessions that we have. We’ve got the Crit Lat Ergo. It’s a beginning session for introducing over-threshold efforts to our clients. You’ll notice with the over-threshold. When we do the effort, we don’t back off into recovery. We actually stay pretty close to threshold and then we go over threshold again because we want to replicate that migration to be able to go over a threshold and recover quickly, at threshold or somewhere pretty close to it and then go again.

So where we start modifying these sessions as we go, well, maybe they can only manage one-twenty watts and maybe in the recovery they can only ride at 90 watts? So, we have to drop them back or we may have another athlete that can go like, well, they can do 140 watts and they can run these a little bit higher. Maybe 102% of their FTP. And we have athletes that are running these up at 160% of FTP. Right. And then when it comes to the minute recovery, again, we may have some athletes that need 2 minutes for recovery, other athletes may only need one and a half minutes. And some athletes only need 30 seconds or 45 seconds. This is where we start tuning these interval sessions based on what their actual physiological profile is and then working on reducing the time they have for recovery, increasing the power that they can produce when they go over threshold and increasing the level of power that they can maintain when they’re recovering. It does make sense.

Then there are the foundational sessions that we’re doing. The 002-strength endurance. It’s a classic six-by-five effort.

5 minutes is a great starting point for building your ability to be riding at the top end of a E3 and focusing on your type IIa muscle fiber that we want to develop good enduring power at threshold and a little bit of over threshold. So again, you know, we modify these sessions, we can go on and we say, okay, well, maybe we want to reduce the time to one minute and we might be able to run the athlete a little bit higher.

Maybe we can run because these are only five minute efforts. Maybe you can run them at 105% of FTP. But initially, when we run our athletes through these sessions, we want to make sure that you’re able to complete the session. I mean, some people, when they get on and do the 002 session, it’s too challenging for them, so, in that case we actually need to back it off a little bit.

So, the fruit bowl is another example of just working on various threshold efforts. We’ve got 10 minutes, we’ve got five minutes, we’ve got 2 minutes and we’ve got one minute and we noticed that the one minute efforts are done at 110% of FTP, whereas the ten minute ones are done at 98% of FTP. And that’s because we want to match the threshold efforts against their power curve.

And these are starting points. Well, we do these for the athletes to start off with, and the first thing I want to do is we want to be able to send a session to anybody that’s jumped on a trainer. And for them to be able to get through it, we also want to replicate what’s actually happening in their power curve.

So these sessions are the starting points that many of our clients are going through. And then when we work on the custom training programs, we start tunning them specifically for those clients.

So here’s the Sandown Ergo. Now, this is a really interesting session and it’s similar to our tempo ramps. Now originally this file was created to replicate racing a Kermesse race in Melbourne and it’s a great indoor training session to manage threshold and over-threshold. You’re actually riding at 80% of your FTP. And then we take it up to 105% of FTP and then we take it up to 110% of FTP for 30 seconds. So they go below threshold, above the threshold for 2 minutes and then we go slightly over threshold and then we back it off to just below threshold again. And we do that repeatedly to replicate riding at those intensities for the duration of a particular race.

Hill Climber Cadence Steps is a classic six-by-five session, but we do it at lower cadences. So instead of doing it at 90 to 100 RPM we do it at lower cadences. And the reason why we do that is that we want to be able to develop good power across a broad range of cadences because when you’re climbing a hill, sometimes you don’t have a choice at what sort of cadence you ride up the hill that because you’ve run out of gears.

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