3 Bike Workouts to Boost an End-of-Season Race

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Racing your best for an entire season takes planning.

Your training should come in waves of building volume, followed by intensity, in a methodical manner. If designed well, the end of your racing season can culminate with a second seasonal peak and your best performances of the year.

It is common to emphasize base miles in the late winter and early spring, followed by strength (hills) and threshold work and higher intensity as the race season approaches.

To achieve a late-season peak, plan a short recovery period of reduced volume and intensity (seven to 14 days) followed by a short return to base miles (14 to 21 days) and then ramp it up to another level of training and racing intensity (14 to 21 days).

During this last two- to three-week block of intensity, reduce base miles and increase rest. If the bike is something you really need to work on, build your training program around your riding to emphasize it, allowing yourself to hit those key sessions with a bit more energy.

And, depending upon your specific needs, or limiters, select two of the below three sessions and include one per week during this final block of intense training. Make sure to warm up thoroughly at the beginning and cool down well at the end.

1. Strength Builder

This session should be performed on the trainer with lots of tension or on a moderate-grade hill. It will increase your hill-climbing ability and flat time trialing. Stay in the same gear throughout the set and gradually let your heart rate and power output increase as the cadence rises.

The harder you work, the greater the strength gains. You heart rate should increase 10 to 15 beats per minute and your power output level by 40 to 60 watts from the start to the finish of each interval.

    Week 1: 3 x 10 minutes as 3 minutes @ 50 rpm, 3 minutes @ 60 rpm, 4 minutes @ 70 rpm. Take 3 minutes rest after each work interval.

    Week 2: 2 x 15 minutes (5 minutes rest) as 3 minutes @ 50 rpm, 5 minutes @ 60 rpm, 7 minutes @ 70 rpm. Take 5 minutes rest after each work interval.

    Week 3: 30 minutes as 5 minutes @ 50 rpm, 10 minutes @ 60 rpm, 15 minutes @ 70 rpm.

2. Threshold Boost

These sessions increase oxygen-carrying capacity and power output at threshold heart rate and race cadence. They should be performed at, or above, your typical race cadence. Your heart rate should rise higher than your typical Olympic-distance race heart rate. You may perform the workout on the road or a trainer.

    Week 1: 15 minutes at 90 rpm at race heart rate and goal race pace/effort/wattage. Five-minute recovery ride. 8 x 3 minutes (with 3 minutes easy spinning after each work interval) at 100 to 105 rpm with your finishing heart rate five to 10 beats higher than your average race heart rate.

    Week 2: 15 minutes at 90 rpm at race heart rate and goal race pace/effort/wattage. Four-minute recovery ride. 6 x 4 minutes (with 3 minutes easy spinning after each work interval) at 100 to 105 rpm with your finishing heart rate five to 10 beats higher than average race heart rate.

    Week 3: 15 minutes at 90 rpm at race heart rate and goal race pace/effort/wattage. Three-minute recovery ride. 5 x 5 minutes (with 3 minutes easy spinning after each work interval) at 100 to 105 rpm with your finishing heart rate five to 10 beats higher than average race heart rate.

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