Workout of the month: January 2020

With another year upon us it is important that we start thinking about a more structured training plan. Winter training is reaching its end and although we do not want to introduce intensity work, we want to start introducing structured work. This is why I believe that it is important to start introducing low-intensity tempo intervals into your training before you actually go into “full gas” mode. This will help the athlete build a better foundation for the hard work that will be coming shortly down the line.

In California, our cross-country season starts in March normally, so January is a great time to do this. This will give you an opportunity to increase your intensity gradually, until reaching V02 target zone quality workouts before racing season. A good workout that I use for my athletes is completing blocks commonly varying in time from 10 to 20 minutes per block with a short recovery in between.

Here is an example of a progressive set of intervals that I would recommend for your training plan. They can progress weekly or every other week, and of course, need to be re-evaluated to fit the athlete’s current fitness level. Some of my junior athletes start with 5 to 7-minute sets, which eventually increase to up 15 or 20 minutes long as well. Training in tempo or zone 3 is the equivalent of training about 80-93 percent of your FTP, which should not be very taxing but again a great introductory target area for structured workouts. If you feel the duration is too long, then lower it and work your way up. Remember that less is more when it comes to training.

Let me know what you think about them and how they worked out in your training plan.

Session 1

Tempo Intervals 3x15min with 10 min R.I.

  • Warm Up
    • 10 minutes
  • 100+ RPM Warm Up Intervals
    • 3 x 1 minute at high cadence
      • 1 minute recovery
    • Recovery Block
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 15 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Recovery
      • 10 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 15 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Recovery
      • 10 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 15 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Cool Down
      • 10 minutes

3x15m with 10m RI

Session 2

Tempo Intervals 3x15min with 5 min R.I.

  • Warm Up
    • 10 minutes
  • 100+ RPM Warm Up Intervals
    • 3 x 1 minute at high cadence
      • 1 minute recovery
    • Recovery Block
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 15 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Recovery
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 15 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Recovery
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 15 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Cool Down
      • 10 minutes

Session 3

Tempo Intervals 3x20min with 5 min R.I.

  • Warm Up
    • 10 minutes
  • 100+ RPM Warm Up Intervals
    • 3 x 1 minute at high cadence
      • 1 minute recovery
    • Recovery Block
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 20 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Recovery
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 20 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Recovery
      • 5 minutes
    • Tempo Interval
      • 20 minutes at zone 3 (around 80-93% of FTP)
    • Cool Down
      • 10 minutes

3x20m with 5m RI

 

Written by:

Gilberto Cortez - USA Cycling, TrainingPeaks & NICA Certified Coach

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