Race Training – Sessions 9&10

Results from last nights time trial race simulation are shown below:

Split 1 Split 2 Finish Rank
Dante DNS
Jason F 08:33 17:11 25:39 7
Hector 08:23 16:40 DNF
Bernie 07:51 15:30 23:13 2
Todd 08:16 16:27 24:30 6
Jason M 08:45 17:29 26:00 8
Wes 07:53 15:42 23:18 3
Rob 07:59 16:08 24:04 4
Peter 08:49 17:53 26:55 9
Torsten 07:39 15:27 23:05 1
David 07:56 16:06 24:06 5

Good work everybody and special shout out to Torsten for recording the fastest time.

I would encourage you all to repeat this test every now and again to see how your fitness is progressing.  A 20-30minute effort such as this is ideal for calculating your functional threshold power if you have a power meter and if not you can use the effort required to broadly gauge training intensities as percentage of that effort.  We have been doing this through these sessions as I have been referring to percentage of threshold pace for the effort we should be putting in.

Next week, Session 10 is the last planned session of the Race Training Clinics (has a bit of an “end of school” feel to it, don’t you think?).  There are three options: we can either do a decreasing interval set, a fartlek session (race simulation) or repeat a previous session if anyone has a favorite they want to do again.  Drop me an email with your preference and I’ll make a decision over the weekend.

Race Training Session 9 – Warm Up Protocol for Time Trials

Here is the warm up protocol we will use for tomorrow’s time trial training session.  There are many warm up protocols for time trials but this one works for us as it is about the right length of time and has the key TT warm up elements, an easy phase at the beginning and end, a progressive build phase, and some short sprint efforts to get your body used to the hard effort to come without tiring.  It also has been used by Team Sky (http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/page/latest-news/?id=88439).

  • 5 min light
  • 8 min progressive to Zone 5
  • 2 min easy
  • 2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate
  • 3 mins easy


  1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes.  Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5 (Z5 -> 90% maximum heart rate for those that have HRM’s)
  2. 6 second accelerations are sprints & for a whole 6 seconds!

There are three key things to remember when warming up for time trials – the shorter the time trial the longer and harder the warm up needs to be; make sure you warm up hard enough and don’t finish your warm up too long before the start time.

Race Training, Sessions 8&9

Great session last night everyone.  A couple of points to remember if you are going to do a session like last night again, firstly, remember to use the rest part of the set to try to recover, don’t worry about keeping your speed up, in fact sometimes its worth going slower so you can complete your next jump before a corner (say).  Of course, these kind of efforts are really better done on a trainer where corners, stops, lights, traffic etc can’t interfere with the quality of the interval.  Secondly, those hard repeated out of the saddle efforts really make you realize how important core training is for cycling.  Finally on last night, I’d like to say that Todd – you really surprised me – fantastic effort! I never knew you had such a jump, we’ll have to turn you into a sprinter……

Anyway, on to week 9.  This week is TT training.  I know in SoCal we don’t have that many TT’s but they are a great way to improve and test your threshold and that can help with other aspects of racing too.  Teams like Garmin seemed to have made a policy of recruiting plenty of strong time trialists to their ranks, because these kind of guys can use that ability to win races solo, from breakaways, drive the front of the peloton, lead out sprints, oh and time trial.  Pretty versatile skill to have.

I’d recommend all riders test themselves with a 20-30minute time trial over a set course at regular intervals during the season to understand their (threshold) fitness level.

The session plan will be like this:

Warm up laps – time trial specific warm up
3 lap time trial – set off at 30 second intervals
Warm down lap

This TT training session will be for road bikes so no turning up with TT bikes,disk wheels, skinsuits etc please!

To get you in the mood, here are some time trial specific articles you may find interesting, a lot can be applied to riding in the wind on a road bike, so don’t discount them just because you don’t have a specific TT bike.




See you Wednesday

Race Training Session 8

Well, 7 sessions down and 3 to go!  This week, (#8) is another sprint training session.  The plan is as follows, please set up your stopwatches/Garmins to reflect the workout ahead of the session.  This is going to be a hard one to pace if you don’t have the workout planned on a Garmin, so if you don’t have one then try to pair up with someone who does.


Warm up lap x2
Regroup/Split into groups of 2 or 3
1 lap: 10 second intervals with 30 seconds between each interval (approx 12 per lap)
1 lap: 20 second intervals with 1 min between each interval (approx 7 per lap)
1 lap: 30 second intervals with  1 min 30 seconds between each interval (approx 4 per lap)
The shorter sets should be done on a smaller gear, using a slightly bigger gear for the longer interval so you can keep going for the longer duration.  The focus should be on sprinting up to maximum as fast as possible, focusing on your jump/acceleration and then holding on, rather than trying to pace yourself over the full interval.
Nearing the end of each lap we’ll take a short bit of recovery time (2-3mins) along the short straight then carry on with the next set.
After the 3 laps we’ll come in and regroup, then we’ll do one lap together to warm down.

As for assignments, here’s another sprint tip from cyclingtips:
Fine tuning your sprint:  http://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/10/fine-tuning-your-sprint-with-ben-kersten/
And don’t forget to Google victory salutes so you can make it look good when you win!

Race Training Sessions 7&8

Session 7
I hope everyone enjoyed last night.  I was a bit nervous about the structure of the session as it was something I hadn’t done before.  Please email me any feedback you may have.  I’m working on the basis that if my legs ache the next day then it must have been a good session and they sure ache today!

Session 8
Session 8 will be another sprint training session, similar to session 5.

Pre-session 8 assignments
Fine tuning your sprint:  http://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/10/fine-tuning-your-sprint-with-ben-kersten/

And don’t forget to Google victory salutes so you can make it look good when you win!

See you next week.

Race Training Clinic 7

Sorry for the delay in posting feedback from Session 6 and what is planned for Session 7.  Apart from the cars leaving the college at the beginning of interval 1, I thought session 6 went well, I know my legs ached on Thursday!  Anyway, best effort of the night this week I’m going to say went to Bernie, who looked great spinning up that climb for a big guy. Good work Bernie, prize coming for you this week.

So week 7.  The plan is breakaway practice.  We’re going back to laps of the bowl this week.  This will be structured though with pairs of riders taking it turns to go up the road, making a 2minute flat out type efforts with 2mins of recovery at 80-100% of threshold rather than the more common 40-50% you would expect from a traditional HIIT session.  This will mimic more accurately the type of effort you might need to put in to get out front of a peloton.  Full details will be given at the session.

For assignments this week, check out these.

Race strategy and tactics:






Race Training Clinic – Session 6

Firstly, there is a change to the meet up point.  Because of the construction work where we normally meet, from this week we will meet at the south west corner of the Rose Bowl/Lot K, under the light where we were stopping last week.  Usual time.

Anyway, this week is hill intervals mk2.  After a warm up lap we will be heading for Lida for 5x4minute hill intervals.  Lida is a 1.1mile 6% climb with a Strava record time of 5:12, so we’ll do the 4minute interval and turn and return to the bottom before we reach the top.  This will be done in groups.  After we’ve done 5 sets we’ll return down Salvia Canyon for a warm down lap and finish.

See you Wednesday.

Oh and remember my goal for these training sessions?  2 winners from the alumi this year – Bernie gets the first and it’s only week two of the season!  Way to go Bernie!  Now who’s going to get the other….?

Race Training Clinics – Sessions 5 & 6

Good work out last night guys.  My legs ache this morning and I hope yours all do too!

Anyway, we’ve five sessions in the bag and five more to go.  To recap, so far we have covered:

  • Group riding technique
  • Paceline technique
  • Advanced Paceline technique with sprint efforts from threshold
  • 1 minute (hill) intervals
  • 20 second sprint intervals (Tabata) followed by lead out practice

For the five sessions to come the plan is to base the sessions around the following:

  • 4 minute intervals
  • 2 minute intervals (break simulation)
  • Threshold session – time trial training
  • 10 second intervals (sprint training part 2)
  • Descending intervals — that’s descending in intensity not going downhill 🙂

As there were several requests last night to do another hill interval session, we’ll do the 4minute intervals in the hills next week.  These are your sessions though so if you want to cover something else either next week or in future please let me know.

As far as assignments, check out the following:

  • Positioning http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/03/positioning-yourself-in-the-peloton/
  • Review your cycling parameters (in rider audit given out before session 1).  Review your riding log for the last few weeks. How many hours did you spend working your weakest parameters?  Think about your goals, will what you have done in training over the last few weeks bring you to your goals?  If not, what can you do to refocus your training on your goals in the coming weeks? 

Race Training – Session 5

As requested we will be covering sprinting this week.  The outline session plan will be as follows:

6:30 Meet/Briefing
2 Warm up laps
10x20sec intervals in groups of 2
Sprint lead out training in groups of 4
Warm down lap

Pre clinic assignments are sprinting and sprint related:

See you Wednesday