I’ve had a couple requests for crit-specific training rides, and since crit season is either here or coming soon, depending on where you live, this is a great time to prepare.
Crits are characterized by quick and constant changes in power requirements. You’re often going all out to create a break, catch up with one or if you’re suffering and trying to hang on to the tail end. In addition, you’re forced to accelerate quickly coming out of corners or if you have a hill to climb.
And while your fitness level may be fairly high coming out of your winter training, you’ve likely not spent much time on repeated quick, explosive bursts with short recovery.
So that’s the workout described here. It’s called a “micro-burst” workout, and it’s great for crit preparation, as it focuses on developing and improving upon your neuromuscular power. This workout can be done both indoors and outdoors equally well, and works great in conjunction with a power meter.
5 minutes easy spin
3 x 1 minute “fast pedal” drills (110+ rpm), followed by 1 minute easy spin recovery
5 minute sub-threshold effort. This is warm-up only, so don’t overdo the effort. The purpose is to warm up your muscles and open blood vessels, not to have you tired out for the main part of the ride.
5 minute easy spin recoveryMAIN SET:
10 minute continuous interval consisting of 15 seconds “on” and 15 seconds “off.” If using a power meter, your goal should be to ride the “on” portion at approximately 150% or more of your threshold power, while the 15 second “off” portion should be at around 50% of threshold power. In other words, easy soft-pedaling but not coasting.
If your training is based off your heart rate, you should expect your HR to climb into z4-6. While these bursts are short, recovery is minimal so heart rate never is allowed the chance to come down.
Your goal for this workout is to start with 1 x 10 minute interval, then progress to 2 x 10 minute intervals, each separated by a 10-15 minute easy recovery spin.
5 -10 minutes or more of easy spinning. You can end the workout there, or you could continue building your aerobic base by additional riding in z2-3 (endurance/tempo)
Youl’ll find this ride to be very taxing, but is very similar to the demands placed on the rider in a criterium.
My Workout Recap:
I rode twice yesterday. The first ride was indoors and was a solic aerobic ride. The entire ride was spent in upper z2 – z3 (endurance/tempo) and was filled with random gear/cadence changes.
The second ride was a threshold interval ride. I performed 2 x 15 minute intervals just below my threshold power level.
These 2 rides were a good combination, and pretty much “did me in” for the day.
And finally, REMEMBER TOMORROW’s SEMINAR:
ADD THIS TO YOUR CALENDER
I’m hosting a seminar Thursday, March 19 in the Mpls/St Paul area, so plan to stop by if you’re in the area. Topics of discussion will be how to train in the final 6 weeks leading up to this event, but I’ll also branch out and discuss bicycle training in general. Click on the “Ironman 2009? tab here for more details.
Add your comments below, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. Then GET OUT AND RIDE!