I thought I'd suggest a few trainer sessions for the bored isolator.
I hope you enjoy (in a weird way).
1. The FTP Test
The FTP test is basically a test designed to work out what power you could do for 1 hour, then training zones can be based around this number. . As its very hard to get someone to actually prove this (most "normal" people can't push themselves that hard without just giving up), so it's commonly done as a 20 min test, then multiplied by 0.95 to get the number.
A common misconception is that the FTP is like a score to rank you against others and work out who is the "big dog" at the cafe. That's not the case. A high FTP (watts per KG) does indicate big aerobic capacity, but it's not what usually wins races (except say 20km time trials).
A good FTP test produces a consistent power line throughout. It's very uncomfortable, but should not produce a big increase in power and heart rate at the start and finish. You should finish it gasping for air, thinking these never get any easier, not collapsed on the ground wondering if you need an ambulance.
Make sure you have an easy day before the test, and the warm up will be very important.
Note: The % numbers below relate to people who have already done a test. If you've never completed one - you may have to go off "perceived rate of exertion" for the first one.
- 10 mins warm up 40% threshold building to 80%
- 1min recovery
- 5 mins at 50% threshold building to 100% including 2 x seated 5sec sprint activations and 1 x standing one scattered throughout.
- 1min recovery
20 min FTP test - Full gas! Maintain the highest watts possible without peaking at the start or finish. Lap your computer at the start and finish
10-15 mins cool down.
Please lap Garmin before and after the test.
2. 15/45s - Get the bucket ready
This classic session delivers just about the best "bang for buck" possible if you havent got much time. Some racers also use it to peak for an event like an explosive road race, track race, or Cyclocross race. It works the anaerobic system, challenges your lactate tolerance and promotes quick recovery from an effort.
- 10-20 mins warm up 50% threshold building to 70%
- 6 mins at 70% threshold building to 110%nc 3 x 5 second explosive sprint activations (2 x seated and 1 x standing
- 2 mins recovery
- 15 sec seated sprint at 110+ rpm, followed by 45 seconds of pure recovery - just spinning at 40-55%. You are in control of the sprint. Go as hard as you can manage. Expect the quality of the sprints to drop off toward the end of the set.
(repeat x 8)
5 mins recovery, then......
15 sec seated sprint at 110+ rpm/45sec pure recovery
(repeat x 8 again)!!
10 mins cool down
Can modify this to make it shorter or longer.
3. The Zwift Race
Zwift is a trainer app that lets you ride and race with others around the world. I highly recommend it if you want to make training interesting, especially if you are competitive.
You can do both ‘group rides’ and ‘races’ The group rides kind of resemble races if you're right up the front. I find the actual races really valuable for setting new power records as you can push yourself harder than normal trying to catch back up to, or ride away from someone.
You can see a list of events in the Zwift Companion app, and you can enter a race and category that suits your ability. There are usually races starting every 10-15 mins and the app gives you an idea whether they are flat, or hilly. The hilly races are usually dominated by the lighter riders with high "watts per kilo" and the flatter races tend to favour the "big power" riders.
Once you’ve entered an event, It's best to log on and warm up 10-20 minutes before the start time, and a notice will pop up notification telling you the event is starting soon. Click accept and your current ride will be saved and you’ll be taken to the start line where you can keep warming up in a start pen with the others.
The Races are usually 30-60 mins in length and they start really fast for some reason so be ready!
I like Zwift races as they are messy and unpredictable. they force you to think quick, and react. You have to ride at other people's pace rather than your own a lot of the time, which in group ride and race situations is a very valuable attribute.