Our Favorite Workouts: Indoor Maximum Aerobic Work
It’s finally towards the back half of winter. Spring is right around the corner but if every time you look outside it’s still cold and snowy, you know you’ve got at least one more solid block of indoor trainer sessions on the books.
If you’ve been following my winter riding articles you have followed the progression. The final step or block I like to see done on the trainer before we head out and let our hair finally rip through the wind is a solid block of maximum aerobic power work. Everybody uses different term for this — VO2max, Zone 4, Max — but it all means the same thing: very, very hard.
These sessions need to placed carefully into your week and allow for ample recovery.
- Warm up
- 25 minutes gradual increase in cycling effort
- 2x (2 minutes build to hard and then 2 minutes easy spinning)
- 5 minutes easy
- Main set
- Depending on the athlete, there are two ways to go about this session.
- Session Example 1
- Note: The last 1-2 minutes of each of these intervals should be done at 90-95% of max. RPM 90-105. Rest is always double the work.
- Start with 5x 3 minutes with 6 minutes between each interval.
- Your final goal is to progress to 5x 5 minutes at your highest possible effort. Maintain 90-105 rpm, 90-95% of max power and HR. Again, always double rest-to-work ratio so rest is 10 minutes for the 5 minute efforts.
- Session Example 2
- Note: Each 30 second effort is as hard as you can go. Here is the progression:
- 30 seconds as hard as you can / 30 seconds easy – repeat continuously for 3 minutes
- 3-5 minutes recovery
- Repeat 2-3 times
- 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off continuously for 5 minutes
- 5-10 minutes recovery
- Repeat 2-3 times
- 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off continuously for 8 minutes
- 8-12 minutes recovery
- Repeat 2 times
- Be sure to do a minimum 20 minute cool down up to one hour of easy riding after completing the last rep.
These are high intensity sessions and should only be included in your overall program if the steps to get here have been completed. This is the final step in your progression before you head out, off the trainer and see the races coming near.
Recover well, get strong and see your best results ever.