High Intensity Interval Training Part 2 – Programming Workouts

Last time on the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I talked about the science behind high intensity interval training.  In the end of that podcast, I said that I'd be back to talk about how to program high intensity interval training into your schedule and avoid some of the pitfalls that typically plague the HIT protocol.  I also said I'd give you a few different kinds of workouts to try adding to your training sessions.  You'll find those at the end of these show notes; all you have to do is share this podcast with your friends or get yourself signed on to the Tailwind Coaching Newsletter to download them.

So listen to the podcast, check out the show notes below, share with your friends and learn how to put more HIT into your riding!

As a reminder, the sponsor for this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast is Stages Cycling.  Check out their power meters and help support the show!


High Intensity Interval Training Part 1 – The Science

For a long time it's been said that the ticket to aerobic fitness is lots of riding at moderate paces. High intensity interval training was only for racers or competitive cyclists preparing for a hard event.  The problem with that concept is that most cyclists have jobs, families and other commitments that prevent them from spending 25 hours per week training.  They want to be fast, but they don't have the time to train to be fast.  There has to be some way to boost fitness in less time.

High intensity interval training is the answer to that question.

What exactly is high intensity interval training?  Why does it work so well?  How does it help to build fitness so quickly?  In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching podcast I'll cover the science behind high intensity interval training and explain how it can help you boost your fitness in a fraction of the time you might usually spend.

Click through for the podcast show notes and more:

This podcast is brought to you by Stages Cycling, creators of the Stages Power Meter.  Check them out and help support the show!



Ride Stronger: VO2 Max Workouts

Among the many weapons in the armament of the cyclist who wants to ride stronger, one of the least practiced and most important is VO2 max repeatability.  The ability to accelerate and push your body to the limits, recover at threshold and repeat that process over and over is one of the most versatile and important skills for a cyclist to possess.  It's also the one that's almost always lacking in the cyclists that I consult with or coach, and it's one I drill home in my training plans.

The real question most people follow up with is “why?”

Before I answer, first let's delve into VO2 max a little bit.  For our purposes, a VO2 max level effort (or a Zone 5/Z5 effort) is a suprathreshold effort that is sustainable for around 3-8 minutes (depending on the intensity of the effort.)  It is a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic energy production and is most often used in pursuits, attacks, bridging small gaps and short climbs.  By the numbers, it's an 8 to an 8.5/10 on an RPE scale, 105%-120% of Functional Threshold Power and >105% Lactate Threshold Heart Rate.

After the jump, I'll give you some more detailed information and a couple workouts to help you build your Zone 5 Repeatability (Z5R).


The Truth About Cycling Core Strength (Podcast #65)

Core strength is something that most cyclists know about, but don't tend to train very often.  Even if they do train core strength and stability during the off-season (or the “not so off season” as I call it) they tend to ignore it again once the weather turns nice and on-bike training begins in earnest.

That mistake could not be more damaging to your season long cycling progression.

As you'll learn in this podcast, the core of your body is one of the most important parts of your power production on the bike.  A weak core can lead to a variety of problems from neck and low back pain to loss of power, fatigue on long rides and unrealized power.  So click through and start learning about what your core is, why core strength is so important and how you can build core strength with a free preview download of my upcoming Unbreakable Core Stability training plan.

Don't forget to like and share with your friends and help them build their core fitness and strength too!


Get More Sweet Spot Training

Sweet spot training is one of the biggest “bang for your buck” workouts available to an athlete, especially early in the season.  WEven when you're late into a season, sweet spot training can give your regular interval work a significant boost.  Even once your season has been shut down and you're cruising through the off-season, some weekly sweet spot training can help to keep your fitness from degrading too much as you wind down and rest.

Unlike high-intensity interval work, sweet spot training takes longer and leads to slightly different adaptations.  It takes up a little more time than typical high-intensity interval training, but it is easy to recover from and the value per minute of training is huge.

In this podcast, I'll go through the definition of sweet spot training, some of the benefits and some ways to get more sweet spot training into your workouts.  As a bonus, you can pick up a free copy of my power testing and fatigue resistance tool (which I'll explain how to use during the podcast) at the end of the show notes!

Don't forget to share with your friends and click through for the show notes: