Effective Build Phase Training (Podcast #55)

Effective Build Phase Training (Podcast #55)

Do you wish you could get more cycling prowess out of your build phase training?

So do a lot of riders.

Here's a short backstory: A while back I released a podcast discussing how you can get the most out of your base training by throwing out much of the old school rhetoric and focusing on new school science.  That podcast has become one of my most popular podcasts to date, sparking questions about everything from workout frequency to using High Intensity Training to rocket your fitness up during the base phase.  It didn't stop with the base phase either: people started asking how to turbocharge their build phase training too.

So by popular demand, this time, I'm going to tackle the build phase of your training plan.  Again, the name of the phase sort of gives away the goal behind it: to build fitness in an exponential way.  However, fitness is a tricky thing: there's general fitness (for you power meter users, that's the CTL on the performance management chart) and there's situation specific fitness such as climbing ability, sprinting ability, 3 minute power, etc etc (which can all be tracked if you're training with power).  Many athletes are happy with going out and doing the same old rides, watching their “fitness” (really, they're seeing an increase in CTL) steadily climb.  Then they register for a fondo, race or event and fail to meet their expectations.


Because they didn't train their weaknesses, nor did they build specific fitness to conquer their goals.

In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, we'll cover that and more.  Show notes and links are available after the jump:

Build phase training graphShow Notes:

@0:16 – Welcome, show notes links, newsletter signup, new sponsor in EXOS Nutrition, Summary of Tailwind Coaching athletes' successes at Battenkill and Tour of New Zealand, update on crash injuries from 4/11/15 Cherry Blossom Challenge.

@14:47 – Differentiating base training and build training (Episode #51: Effective Base Building), the types of training in base, early and late build phases and why base training is so important to effective build training.  Discussion on building up Friel's pyramid form the bottom up and what makes up the peak of the pyramid.

@33:49 – Effectively building towards a goal, the concept of the “fitness savings bank”, analyzing your season for weaknesses, building on those weaknesses, honing and polishing your strengths, maintaining your core stability and fitness.  Examples of combining strengths and weaknesses. Using TSS to divide up your training load into weaknesses and strengths (if you're training with power.)  Specific examples of combining strengths/weaknesses/base work into workouts to get the most value for your time, places to add base work without adding even more training time, and the plusses and minuses of doing “weakness only” or “strength only” workouts.

Key point for today's podcast:  The build phase of your training is the time to train hard to build goal specific fitness by minimizing your weaknesses, honing your strengths, and maintaining your base of fitness.

If you enjoyed this episode, click through to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars. A positive review helps the podcast move up the ratings, reach more listeners, and help more people get stronger, faster and fitter.  Don't forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, on the Tailwind Coaching forumscontact me via email or leave a comment below.  Don't forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free, help me to get this information to more people and help grow the cycling community.

Want to get MORE tips and tricks on how to increase the return on your training investment?  Subscribe to the Tailwind Coaching Newsletter to get my best coaching tips delivered to your inbox, along with a free bonus training plan.

If you're looking for a complete training solution, you can pick up your training plans by checking out my modular training plans in my online store.  Summer goals will be here before you know it, so you'll need to start building fitness and thinking about climbing, sprinting or preparing for a century ride.  Let me help you out by providing your training path to glory!

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About the Author:

After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science/Pharmacology, I continued my education with a doctorate of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. As I progressed through my education, I was able to apply the concepts I learned in the lab to my own daily workouts and goals. At the time, I was following some of the principles of traditional coaching and getting mediocre results. Frustrated, I realized that if I could apply all my physiology, chemistry, nutrition and training knowledge, I could “build a better mousetrap” not just for my own training, but for other athletes. With this goal in mind, I started Tailwind Coaching, to help cyclists [with busy lives and limited training time] become stronger, faster, fitter and healthier. And while I may not be a ex-ProTour rider, an Olympic Coach or even a prolific race winner, I am something that most coaches are not: a regular guy just like you who has a job, a family and a desire to be a stronger cyclist.