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Winter fun workout on rollers or trainer

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Winter fun workout on rollers or trainer


Old 12-23-18, 06:31 PM
just another gosling
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Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

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Winter fun workout on rollers or trainer

Here's a possible challenge for you, or at least an interesting way to pass the time indoors once in a while..

I've been doing a fall/winter workout once a week, every week for many years - or at least I try to do it every week. It's still fun. Aster a hard weekend ride or event, I usually take one day off or do a short recovery ride, then do this workout the next day. It's also really a recovery ride, a restorative.

This workout isn't based on power or HR, it's based on your first ventilation threshold (VT1). Finding your VT1 is based on the Talk Test. A good example of a talk test is being able to comfortably recite the alphabet in one breath. At my VT1, my breathing rate is 30/minute.

So, the workout: The idea is to pedal on a trainer or rollers in a small gear and at a high cadence, continuously at VT1, for 15'-45'. One warms up and cools down for ~15' before and after. I use a HR that's a little above my zone1 for the before and after. "High cadence" is 115-120 or as fast as you can hold at VT1 or just below where you start to bounce. "Continuously" means no breaks, no standing, no breaking that continuous cadence flow. One sees occasional references in the literature to trying to increase your comfortable cadence by pedaling up to the bounce point for one minute, then slowing down. Do this instead.

The strong folks who post and visit here will all probably be able to do this workout with ease, holding ~120 cadence. The rest of you can get there over time. Probably all of you who visit here can do this with practice. For those of you who bounce, the trick is to flatten your feet, relaxing your feet, toes, and ankles. Imagine that there is a cushion of air between the bottoms of your feet and your shoe insoles. Pedal only with the upper. Feel your heel cups. Wiggle your toes.

This is mostly a neuromuscular workout. The idea is that, over time, your pedaling will become more efficient, meaning that less of your energy will be absorbed by merely making your legs go around, and thus more energy will wind up on the ground. That's why the workout is based on VT1 or oxygen cost, rather than power to the road or HR. HR at VT1 will vary with time unless you are in really good form and have no HR drift. Power at VT1 will hopefully increase, since the idea is to decrease the effort involved in wiggling your legs and put more of that oxygen cost on the road. The idea of limiting it to VT1 is keep the aerobic stress down, enabling one to do a hard workout after or the next day, plus it gives one a metric to see if one can get faster at the same effort. I usually do strength training immediately after it.

Post your results! Last week I fast-pedaled for 40' at an average of 112 in my 39 x 27. Today I did 15' and had it up to 116-117 by the end. 15 years ago, I used to hold 116-117 in my 42 X 19 but those days are gone. Still, I'll do quite a bit better by May.
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