The Three Day Combo Workout

Nice for those, like myself, who are short on time. Emphasis is on intensity, threshold, and laziness in the form of easy recovery rides. Plus, it allows for the proper dosages for this point in the season (mid-base). First an overview of the week in terms of power distribution per category...

While it might be better to have a bit more in the threshold account (blue), this week's low TSS allocation kept the L4 workouts to a smaller dosage and the combined deposits in the L5 and L6 accounts are not exceeding 10% (these accounts will build toward the 20% range as the season plays out). L2 and L3 are relatively low compared to L1, which reflects the yin and yang of the Three Day Combo workout, which plays out as follows:

Day 1: 8/1 L5 and L6 work. This is based on research presented here and discussed by others. The immediate appeal though is the HGH production, the large dose of TSS from a sub-40 minute workout, and the boost this workout seems to give to the 2x20 workout on day 2. In a roundabout way, these might actually help to boost's a graph snapshot:

Pretty challenging, especially the set of 4x30 second efforts at the end, but not so bad as to take the edge off of the 2x20 workout on day 2:

Note: this is the second week of the Three Day Combo Workout. Last week the 2x20 intervals worked out to 102% and 103% FTP respectively, which called for a reduction this week in the recovery interval from 5 minutes to 4 minutes. Even so, interval 1 yielded 104% FTP while interval 2 backed down to 103%. Of course, 20 minute interval execution protocol was strictly followed.

Exit questions: was the reduction due to 1) the shortened recovery period, 2) the more intense first interval, or 3) a combination of both? Sort of leaning to 2) as the answer. It's amazing how quickly the hole appears when work is performed just a tad over FTP.

Anyway, day 1 and day 2 made me look forward to Day 3: a group ride, easy pace. A perfect scenario for slacking off and practicing lazy pack habits:

Couple of notes. What look like two data drops are actually 1) a stop to pick up the group at the coffee shop and 2) a period where the group was required to climb a high game-proof gate to access the dirt road section of our chosen route. Lot's of deposits into L1 and L2 with a few forays into the "forbidden zones" on this ride.

Which brings up day! The rest of the week will be easy rides akin to day 3 to get the CTL back in balance...need to reverse periodize for a week or so to recover from Christmas break bike camp and training shenanigans.

Oh, the route for day 3 took the group on a future Kerr County road connecting Lane Valley Road to Turkey Knob. A nice four mile stretch of caliche. That steep climb that appears on day 3's profile above was on the caliche section. Big fun. Here's the route:

A Visit to L5

Albeit briefly. A bit too early in the season to spend too much time here, but it was good to give the sleeping vo2 max's cage a shake. The fatigue definitely manifests itself differently than from doing consecutive FTP work days and in such a way as to inspire caution on the dosage levels of these types of workouts. This one grew out to 5.5 minutes with just two doses of vo2 max efforts (book ended by some FTP work):

This will grow out to multiple efforts up to 7 minutes, over time, but not quite yet...

Keeping the Pressure On, Ever So Slightly...

With regards to the Next Level post, the search for a way to carefully develop and integrate workouts that acheive the higher percentage of training time at or near FTP while keeping an eye on endurance easy task for someone with a career and family. Yesterday, such a workout was put to the test.

Now, to complicate things a bit, the workout was constrained by a budget of only 181 TSS, but given that next week is more or less a recovery/testing week and that there was a need to field test this workout.

So here it is, in all of it's glory: a 3+ hour ride that includes a 2x20 set followed by a 10 minute interval at 105-115% FTP:

Couple of notes:
  • Ideally, the interval sets should take place at/near the end of this workout go get the full goody, but having a guest along for the ride (non-racer) needed to make the workout/route fit our agenda.
  • Note the apparent temporal rift/wormhole in the time-line...once again with a nod to hospitality, a stop for a bacon/cheddar/chive scone and espresso at High Street Cafe in comfort was on the agenda.
  • Aside from the intervals, the rest of the ride was pretty low key to keep the TSS score in check. Alas though, the ride went over-budget by 28 points on the week (208 for this routine alone), but the rolling ramp rate this season is still within target parameters.

Burn Baby, Burn!

The BSE workouts have been mentioned before, but since Dr. Mercola's article is a bit longish, this repost is serving as a summary of the basis for this less than 30 minute long workout.

First of all, I have two "super eight" type workouts in the library. The Billat Super Eight is less super than the Tabata Super Eight, but can be pretty effective at stimulating the natural production of HGH and is a better choice for early season forays into the VO2 Max range.

To get the full goody out of these intervals, refrain from eating carbs for 2 hours post workout. I like these in the a.m., I can finish, grab a handful of raw almonds and a cup of coffee, and I am good to go until lunch on most days.

Here's a visual on the 28ish minutes it takes to stoke the bacon burning fires:

Bike Camp!

Which training camp would you choose?


Or Garmin-Cervelo's?

Me? I'll take JPB's bike camp any day:

The Next Level

Great article by Hunter Allen. Actually integrated some of this into my run up to the state road race. The intensity might have kicked a bit too much steepness into the ramp, but I could feel it work.

Passes muster with the logical test: focus on increasing FTP and the VO2 Max/AC stuff sort of takes care of itself. Hmmm....

A Great Rainy Day FTP Workout

Problem is, it isn't rainy today. However, since I wanted to double down on my FTP workouts today, the search for variety and darkness compliance for an a.m. workout led me to break out the 90/90/90 workout shown in the graph below:

  • I like this as a roller based equivalent to the 2x20 workout. The last 5 minutes of the first 20 are hard. The second five minutes of the 2x5 minute efforts is hard. The 4x30second AC efforts toward the end actually weren't that bad, but modulation at, and not above, the target wattage lest end of interval fade creep in. 
  • The 2x5 minute efforts at supra threshold serve to basically compress what would be the second 20 minute effort of a 2x20 into a shorter, more intense time frame, especially given the short TBI that separates them.
  • Bonus, the 4x30 second efforts capture the essence of the BSE intervals (but at the AC as opposed to VO2 Max level) and essentially ice the cake by making this a quasi BSE/TSE interval. Point of fact, this close to Thanksgiving, I need all the fat-burning help I can get
  • Tried to keep the cadence high during the 20 minute interval, but wattage would fall off. Couldn't quite find the right gear to keep it in the mid-90s so I slogged along in the high 80s-low 90s for most of it, except for the occasional peaks where a relief/recovery spin up was sought.
  • Cadence for the 2x5 minutes had to stay pretty low too, see interval 2, like I said, it was hard, err, challenging.
  • I didn't read the TBS correctly between the 2x5 and the 4x30s intervals...thought it was 5m, but was supposed to be 2.5m. Anyway, the break-point is where I had to switch to some Radiohead to get me through to the end, resulting in a 3.5m TBS. Oh well.

The Science Behind the BSE and TSE Workouts

Yes, I even prescribe the BSE workouts during the base training periods. They work, especially helpful around those calorie filled holiday times. Exit question: will this jack with my biological passport profile?

Here we go...

With little to no sadness and a great sigh of relief, I am pleased to usher in the demise of the old Top Gun Velo website by bringing to life the new Top Gun Velo site right here, courtesy of a hijacked blogger site.

I am moving into new territory with single tier pricing, a very limited client base, and training plans built around an annual TSS allotment. I'm also looking forward to obtaining my level 1 coaching certification this coming February at the OTC in Colorado Springs.

Stay tuned...