A series of three three-step ramps. This workout is designed to challenge your ability to make small pace changes to respond to terrain or race-day pressure.
In order to go fast, you'll need to be able ride at your Vo2 max pace and also your anaerobic capacity, increasing these abilities so that you'll be ready to dish out the pain come race day.
Warm-up is followed by 3 minutes VO2 max and then 2 minutes anaerobic capacity with 2 minutes recovery between each. Repeat 3 more times for a great workout! Cool down. This session is very difficult.
30 seconds is not long enough for your body to develop a high blood lactate concentration, which has the effect of decreasing power output by increasing the concentration of hydrogen ions and therefore acidity in the working muscles. Instead, the 30 seconds is just long enough for the for you to accelerate up to a high speed, hold it for 15–20 seconds, and then decelerate into the rest. The cardiac demand stays relatively high with only around a 5 to 10 bpm decrease during the rest interval. As far as your heart is concerned, you’re working quite continuously at or near your VO2max.
The 30-second recovery interval allows the myoglobin in the muscle cell to recharge its small oxygen store. This in turn allows a higher power output—and better engagement of fast twitch muscle fibres—for the next 30-second work bout. Fast twitch fibres have poor endurance and will fatigue during longer work repetitions; the short repeats with equal rest intervals provide them with a greater endurance training effect.
Perception-wise, athletes report leaving a 30/30 interval workout feeling invigorated and not overly wiped out. This is often in stark contrast to sensations after finishing a more traditional VO2max interval workout with long-duration repeats. For that reason, I use these sessions quite frequently and see fantastic results.
Progression: Increased number of intervals (8-10) and decreased recovery (3m - 2m).
Classic 3 x 10 minute FTP intervals with a twist. Over-under efforts are perceived to be more achievable and by changing the threshold blocks to OU intervals you also train your body to recover when your effort goes just below your threshold power.
Do what you like. Go long, go hard, so easy, just get at three hours in the saddle for a similar duration that is consistent with your goal event.
Training inside is incredibly effective, training outside provides a different social stimulus and the skills needed to ride in a bunch.
Sweet spot training promotes mitochondrial biogenesis (the key to a strong aerobic base), increases your lactate threshold (helping handle intense efforts), increases your ability to store muscle glycogen and will help increase your VO2 max. The duration of these efforts will mimic threshold efforts later in your program and increase your tolerance for sustained power output at specific intervals.
Training to develop our VO2 max requires high intensity intervals where the majority (but not all) of the power produced comes from aerobic energy pathways.
Athletes who excel in this area are generally able to climb and time trial well. On its own, VO2 max interval training is an effective method to increase fitness. It also serves as a good indication of an athlete's potential.
This is designed to improve your Vo2 max power, so you are ready for hard steep climbs and the big watts needed to attack those hills.