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By the end of this 6-week training plan, you'll have the opportunity to face & conquer everything from long aerobic Endurance rides to high-intensity VO2max intervals and everything in between.
The high-volume version of Power Sweet Spot Base I is much like its successor in the way that it's built almost exclusively of Sweet Spot workouts. These are aimed at increasing your ability to drive the pedals harder and longer, via improved muscle endurance and higher fatigue resistance, over demanding but not too exhausting workouts. This high-volume onslaught ranges from about 8-9 hours per week.
Following the initial fitness assessment, you'll face 5 weeks of work targeted at a very narrow, specific range of power output except for the occasional recovery ride. Week 6 will bring this initial phase of high-end base conditioning to a close with a week of low-intensity, aerobic Endurance workouts.
Following a total of 28 minutes of warm-up, a couple of 8-minute time trials are used to assess Functional Threshold Power (FTP) & Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). The recovery interval between assessment efforts is 10 minutes.
Use any cadence that suits you, but if you're pedaling slower than 80rpm it's in your best interest to increase your cadence over the course of your training.
This workout can also serve as a workout in its own right and will target muscular endurance and optimal aerobic power output during the two 8-minute time trials.
This workout could also be used to improve short-duration pacing strategies for short time trials or prologues, perhaps even downhill MTB races.
Output Cycling: "Tempo" training
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
This workout is 3x20-minute intervals at 85% FTP with 5-minute recoveries between intervals.
The primary aim is to improve your ability to resist fatigue at reasonably high power output over substantial lengths of time.
In other words, this workout is all about increasing your muscular endurance.
In doing so, you can improve your ability to climb faster & longer, face stiff winds without fading and time trial more consistently over the entire course of the event.
Additionally, you have the option of targeting specific riding attributes be following along with the various form drills.
Cadence recommendations vary depending on the current drill, but riders choosing to omit the drills should aim for a spin between 85-95rpm.
TrainerRoad - Tray Mountain
This workout is 4x8-minute intervals between 88-94% FTP with 5-second high-power tags between 150-180% FTP.
4-minute recoveries separate the intervals.
The workouts primary goal is to improve your ability to sustain pretty high levels of your FTP for longer periods of time, i.e. increased muscular endurance.
Additionally, you can achieve increases in glycogen storage capacity, fat utilization, and your capacity for more intense workouts later on.
The workout also aims to increase your ability to generate a lot of power in a very short period of time via increases in how much muscle you can activate as well as how quickly you can do it.
These muscle-activating tags are short enough to avoid overwhelming your muscles as long as a quick cadence is utilized, so spin quickly through the bursts and then promptly return to your pre-burst cadence.
Try to keep your cadence above 85rpm during the majority of the intervals and then as fast as you can control during the bursts, ideally above 110rpm.
This workout is an hour of aerobic Endurance work spent between 60-70% FTP.
Optional form drills include Form Sprints, Endurance Spinning intervals, and quadrant drills like Pistons and Kick & Pull drills.
Aerobic Endurance workouts are aimed at improving your aerobic (i.e. non-sugar) power producing capabilities in a low-stress manner.
By riding for increasingly longer periods of time, your endurance muscle fibers become more efficient at utilizing oxygen for fuel and sparing sugar stores for more intense efforts.
Additionally, Endurance workouts like this can improve oxygen delivery & utilization, increase muscular resistance to fatigue, improve integrity of connective tissue, and even help you improve your on-bike nutrition strategies.
Regarding the form drills, Pettit targets improvements in pedaling mechanics, leg speed & sprinting form as well as improved pedal economy.
TrainerRoad - Petit
This workout is 5x10-minute intervals in the Threshold power range at 95-99% FTP with 5-minute recoveries between intervals.
The workouts primary goal is quite simply to improve muscular endurance while adapting to an increasingly aerodynamic position.
Additionally, and equally as important, riders can learn to tolerate the mental discomfort inherent in maintaining high levels of Functional Threshold Power.
By spending time very close to lactate threshold while remaining just below it, riders can improve their sustainable power & muscle endurance by teaching their muscles to process high levels of lactate & acidic buildup without slowing down.
On top of all this is an emphasis on spending longer periods of time in an increasingly aero position striving to find that balance between aerodynamics and power output.
Cadence should fall in the 85-95rpm range but steady stress and target watts are more important than pedal speed so prioritize accordingly and don't worry if your cadence falls outside of this range from time to time.
TrainerRoad - Kaweah
This workout consists of nearly 2.5 hours of aerobic Endurance riding spent between 60-75% FTP.
Optional form drills include Form Sprints,
Endurance Spinning and Single-Leg Focus (SLF).
TrainerRoad - Koip
This workout consists of a total of 14 power ramps ranging from 115-150% FTP.
Each set of ramps includes different recovery durations depending on the intensity of the preceding ramps, but none are very long.
Power ramps help develop the ability to maintain power at lower cadences and they lend themselves to gradually improving joint integrity as long as proper pedaling mechanics are maintained.
These ramps top out at high power outputs and coupling this muscle/joint stress with a slower-than-usual cadence can be dangerous. So it's recommended that less experienced riders complete this workout with a normal cadence the first time and save the slow-force cadences for later passes at Keeler Needle.
In terms of priorities, Target wattage is the primary aim, low cadence comes second. Riders who have done force work in the past and feel safe turning out high wattage very slowly can spin even lower than 60rpm while most riders are better off playing it safely and completing this workout above 80rpm.
Whether you spin at 50rpm (advanced), 90rpm (safe) or anywhere in between, keep your watts climbing and pay attention to any hints of joint pain which mean you're not quite ready for such strenuous force work, at least not at such low cadences - increase cadence and/or reduce the Workout Intensity.