My good friend and teammate Joey Mesa wrote down 3 of his favorite workouts for January. Thanks for giving me a day off from writing, Joey!
It seems like every week I get asked about what kind of riding I've been doing or a question about an interval that was on one of my strava rides. There's a few workouts I like to do around this point of the early road training season, and I thought I'd share 3 of my favorite ones. I'm starting into my last base period, so I've been trying to increase the intensity/training stress and put some of the final work in to raise my FTP (functional threshold power). If you're around a similar point in your season, you might give some of these workouts a try.
-2 x 20's. In my opinion, this probably the best all around "bang for the buck"workout there is, especially if you're short on training time. I'll start doing these around the start of my base period and pretty much continue this workout all the way through the race season as a maintenance ride. Early on I'll start doing the 2 x 20's maybe in the upper tempo zone (80-90% FTP) or 90-94% of your threshold heart rate if you don't have a power meter. It's a pretty simple workout. Warm up 10 minutes of so, go 20 minutes, do a recovery interval for 2-5 minutes, then another 20 minutes and then cool down for 10 minutes. Super easy to knock out on the trainer or if you have a 4 mile stretch of uninterupted road, you can do an out and back. I like the dam at Hefner for these. Gradually you'll want to increase the power to your sweet spot (88-94% FTP), maybe after 2-4 weeks, and eventually at threshold (91-105% FTP). I generally like to do these a couple times per week.
-Hour of Power. This is another workout that is good to do on the trainer or doing a couple laps at Hefner. There are a couple of variations, but basically warm up 10-15 minutes, hit the interval button and keep it in the sweet spot (88-94% FTP) for 1 hour. Every 3 minutes, drop a couple gears and stand up and do a 10 second burst. These take a lot of focus to keep track of the time until the next burst and keeping the pace in the correct range, but the hour goes by pretty quickly. I like doing these about a month or so out from the first race and as a tune up on non race weekends.
-Kitchen sink ride. Another workout with several different variations. I think there's 4 different types in the Training and racing with a power meter book, as well as if you google "kitchen sink ride", you'll find several more. The jist of the workout is that you work on basically every system or zone. There are a couple of variations of the kitchen sink ride I like to do as well. The first would be a group ride followed by 45 - 60 minutes of tempo or (if I got any legs left) sweet spot riding. Our team rides work well for this because you get plenty of endurance, some city limit sprints, some 3-8 minute VO2 max pulls at the front and some 30 sec to 2 min Anaerobic capacity roller hills.
The second version of this ride is usually best done solo. I usually just cruise and warm up for 20-30 minutes and then focus on working a different system each hour. I'll start with 2 x 20's at threshold, the second hour I'll do 6-8 sprints all out for 10-15 seconds, usually half in the little ring and half in the big ring. Recover for 5 minutes or so between each sprint. In the 3rd hour I'll do 4 or 5 x 5 minute VO2 max intervals at 106-120% FTP with 5 minutes of recovery between intervals. In the 4th hour I'll attempt 4-6 x 2 minute anaerobic capacity intervals at 121-150% FTP. These are normally the point where I start to crack and it gets difficult to keep the power in the correct range. You'll probably be running on fumes at this point, but the goal in the 5th hour is 45 minutes in the tempo zone.
The kitchen sink ride is great if you're preparing for a stage race, getting ready for a big training camp, or you want get lots more matches in your matchbook.