Discover who you are as a rider in this challenging 12-week plan designed to unearth your strengths and weaknesses, whilst teaching you key post-session analysis skills.
The overarching goal of this plan is to help you discover more about yourself as a rider. Not only what your power profile is like over different timeframes (your peak powers), but also what your capabilities are like in different contexts. For example, how comfortable you are in different types of climbs and how composed your are in a time trial environment.
Each of the ‘Discovery’ sessions is challenging in their own way. The rest of the programme is then built up by sessions intended to balance out the work performed in the ‘Discovery’ sessions. So for instance, if a week’s ‘Discovery’ session is Vo2max focused, your other sessions that week will likely be Endurance, Threshold and/or Anaerobic focused. Therefore, this is not only a plan for profiling you as an athlete, it’s also just a great conditioning programme!
THE DISCOVERY SESSIONS (WITH COACHING VIDEOS)
This is a fantastically varied series of sessions with efforts to test almost every aspect of bike fitness. Each session is also accompanied by a coaching video we would recommend setting up to run at the same time as the relevant session. The coaching video is intended to give you a fuller understanding of the purpose of each ‘Discovery’ session and to help improve your training knowledge.
Session 1: FTP Test
Not anyone’s favourite session but a crucial place to start to ensure we have an accurate baseline to work from. Otherwise, in certain sessions, you might not be working the correct energy system, making the whole thing a waste!
Session 2: Speed Endurance
Here we are testing your speed endurance i.e. how good you are at repeating high powered efforts in quick succession. This is a key skill in pretty much all forms of bike racing.
Session 3: VO2max TTs
In this session we are looking at your V02max over a sliding scale of durations. These intervals should demonstrate how well developed your V02max is and that even within specific training zones, your body still has ‘gears’ to use.
Session 4: Hill Reps (Short Reps)
Pick your favourite virtual or real world hill of around 1km in length as we test your climbing prowess over what we call a ‘power climb’. This essentially means a climb that due to it’s relatively short length, requires a significant anaerobic component to drive over it.
Session 5: Threshold ‘Bench-marking’
A ‘bench-marking’ session is one that you can repeat between FTP tests to help you gauge progression without having to suffer the physiological demands of an FTP test.
Session 6: 1min & 20-second Rep Tests
In this session, we are having a look at your anaerobic and sprint power, hopefully in the absence of fatigue. The idea being to see what sort of max power you can produce whilst fresh, so we can compare it to other anaerobic focused efforts elsewhere in the series.
Session 7: V02max 8s & 2s
The V02max power range is a broad spectrum and this session will demonstrate that perfectly. It will be clear from this sessions as to which end of the spectrum you are most adept. Is it the lower longer end requiring a greater aerobic component? Or are you better suited to the shorter, punchier efforts with more of an anaerobic factor? Time-trialer or sprinter? The age old question!
Session 8: Hill Reps (Long Reps)
This time we’re looking for a longer steadier climb that will draw in more of an aerobic component, where form and efficiency become increasingly important rather than outright strength.
Session 9: End of Range
The idea is to push you to your limit and not necessarily see you complete the intervals perfectly. A key thing to look at in this session is your ‘decoupling rate’ i.e. how well your power stays linked to your heart rate as this is an indicator of your aerobic fitness or in certain circumstances, can indicate accumulated fatigue or illness.
Session 10: Neuro Sprints
In this session we’re about one thing, max effort sprinting and seeing how high we can make our 20s and 5s peak powers!
Session 11: Pacing Efforts Blind
Being able to pace on feel is a crucial skill and one that is often neglected with the rise of smart trainers etc. In this session we are looking to establish how good you are at pacing and interpreting the relationship between your power targets and rate of perceived exertion (effort out of 10).
Session 12: 20k Time Trial
Nothing is more revealing than a race of truth! The psychological aspect of training and racing is key to success and this 20k time trial will test your mental toughness as well as your aerobic fitness to the max.
NEED SOME EXTRA GUIDANCE?
If after completing the pan, you feel you need some extra help analysing your data or making determinations about where to focus your training, please remember we have a coach consultation service. For a small fee you can arrange to talk to one of our coaches, who will take you through your data and answer any questions you have as a result of the performing the series.
Simply drop us an email at [email protected] and we will arrange for one of our coaches to speak with you.
Who is this plan suitable for?
This is a relatively advanced plan and so we would suggest it is most suitable for those with an FTP of at least 2.5 watts/kg for men and at least 2.1 watts/kg for women.
What you will need?
In order to follow this plan, you will need:
– a Training Peaks account; and
– a turbo trainer which is either a smart trainer/bike or a basic trainer with a power meter on your bike; and
– access to some sort of training platform over which to run the sessions. Our recommendation would be RGT Cycling.
We would recommend purchasing a Training Peaks premium subscription for the duration of this plan to enable you to move your sessions around to suit (within the recommendations above) and so that you can more easily interpret and collate your data in-line with the instructions in this plan.
- Firstly, set yourself up with a free Training Peaks account if you don’t already have one – Training Peaks
- Once you have ordered the plan, you will receive a confirmation email, which will contain a link asking you to add us as your coach on Training Peaks
- Click the link and add us as a coach and we’ll import the plan into your Training Peaks account
- Then off you go!