- 1.The S:6 Off-Season Base Builder Cycling Plan (a deep dive!)
- 2.The S:6 Base Training: Primer
- 3.The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 1
- 4.The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 2
- 5.The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 3
- 6.The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 4
- 7.The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 5
- 8.The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 6
Five down and one to go!
Our off-season is nearing its end and the competitive season is right around the corner. It’s time to put the finishing touches on our off-season Base Builder Program with our 6th and final block of training. To recap, our in-house group training program began back in November working from the low-intensity end of the energy system spectrum with pedaling skill work and aerobic intervals; then progressing through progressively higher intensity energy systems in monthly blocks: Aerobic Threshold (2-4 hour power), Anaerobic Threshold (32-64:00 power), Vo2 Max (8-16:00 power), and Anaerobic Power (1-4:00 power). The 6th and final block of our Base Build Program is the highest intensity (on-bike) energy system: Peak Power.
Peak Power is your top-end sprint power… Everything you’ve got of 4-8 seconds!
With the racing season approaching we plan to reach top-end intensity to finish off our off-season Base Build Program. This very same 24-week program is available as a downloadable training plan on Training Peaks ( 24-week Base Build Training Plan ). We also have a more condensed 12-week Base Build Training Plan available to those that prefer a shorter, faster build of early season base fitness. Both versions allow you to follow my programming on your own where ever you live!
Upon completion of our Base Build we’re ready for our competitive season of specialized training and racing. At this point we can then begin to back out the intensity while adding in more endurance training to meet our target race fitness goals.
Our upcoming Block 6 makes up weeks 21-24 in the 24-weeks of our Base Build Program. You can read more about each previous block from links at top.
Block 6: Gym Sessions
In the gym we spent the first 12 weeks of Base Builder gradually building up movement strength (force). You can read previous posts to get the full low-down on our strength progressions. With a strength base established we then added in speed of movement to train POWER (force x velocity = power). This speed of movement (velocity) comes in form of plyometrics: jumping, rebounding, throwing, and moving light to moderate loads quickly. Like everything we do, the plyometrics come in progressions that allow for safe and effective adaptation. Read info from blocks 4 & 5 to learn more on the plyometric power movements.
Our final 3 weeks of off-season gym training includes faster paced box jumping with rebounding and shorter rest intervals, along with multi-movement weighted ball movements & throws. These movements require full body neuromuscular coordination and power production for maximum power and stability development.
Upon conclusion of our off-season gym programming, we will continue with an “on-season” gym program to maintain the strength, stability and power gains made over the off-season. More on this topic to follow in future posts.
At S:6 we’re firm believers in year-round strength training for endurance athletes.
Year-round gym sessions are required not only to allow for improvements in strength from year-to-year, but also to maintain joint and soft-tissue health throughout the racing season and minimize muscular imbalances that can lead to discomfort and/or injury down the road.
Block 6: Structured Trainer Sessions
The Peak Power energy system is the first link of the “on-bike” energy system chain (there are the “off-bike” energy systems of peak movement strength & power in the gym that come before the on-bike systems). This is your maximum power effort on the bike. From here it’s all “downhill” towards the longer duration efforts of the energy system chain. This is where your Fatigue Rate comes into play, determining how much your power drops from this Peak Power starting point.
Sprint and power riders typically have high Peak Power numbers in excess of 1400 watts (men). Compare that to their more endurance based counterparts that are excited to tickle the 1000 watt benchmark (men). The difference here is that along with the impressive peak power outputs, the sprinters also have higher Fatigue Rates, meaning they slow down more quickly (lose power over increasing durations) compared to their diesel engine counterparts that have lower Fatigue Rates. This is where genetics and training come into play to maximize both ends of the spectrum to make the most power and balanced rider possible across more durations of output.
In Block 6 we target the top-end power outputs in order to train and expand, even if only a little, the top-end capacity of endurance athletes. Endurance athletes rarely, if ever, train Peak Power. Many feel it is too far away from the racing demands and don’t feel the time spent is worth the return. But one must recognize that all of our energy systems (power output capabilities across different durations) are interconnected, like links of chain.
There are no “on/off” switches in between our metabolic energy systems as we increase and decrease intensities while riding and racing.
Each system is connected to the previous and next; just like a chain made of individual links, you’re only as strong as the weakest link and if you can improve the strength of each individual link then you’re stronger overall, across the full length of the chain!
Here’s how Block 6 will look in our Wahoo Kickr Trainer Studio at Sessions:6…
Week 1, Sessions 1 & 2
- Set 1: 6×0:05 @ MAX power (0:55 recoveries)
- 10:00 easy spin
- Set 2: 6×0:05 @ MAX power (0:55 recoveries)
Week 2, Sessions 1& 2
- Set 1: 8×0:05 @ MAX power (0:55 recoveries)
- 10:00 easy spin
- Set 2: 8×0:05 @ MAX power (0:55 recoveries)
Week 3, Sessions 1 & 2
- Set 1: 10×0:05 @ MAX power (0:55 recoveries)
- 10:00 easy spin
- Set 2: 10×0:05 @ MAX power (0:55 recoveries)
Block 6: Endurance Sessions
Weekend riding, and possibly some weekday riding now that we’re experiencing more daylight hours, can and should be allotted to longer aerobic endurance riding. How much volume depends on the athlete. Experience level, events training for, time availability are among the biggest factors. Spring time is the best time to begin stretching the long rides out longer and increase that endurance capacity and maintain or even lower your Fatigue Rate.
Upon the conclusion of the Base Builder program, we’ll begin to shift the attention towards the endurance side of things. We will have spent the off-season bringing our high-intensity capabilities (strength & power) to a peak (for the season) at the expense of an increase in Fatigue Rate. The focus of the competitive season will then be to take the new & improved power we have gained and begin the process of lowering our Fatigue Rate (improving our endurance) so we can maintain more of this strength and power across longer and longer durations.
Look for more posts on this topic in coming weeks.
Interested in giving it a try yourself?
• Download our complete 24-week Base Build Program on Training Peaks HERE.
• Download our more condensed 12-week Base Build Program on Training Peaks HERE.
•All the strength training details, including videos and set/rep schemes and calculated loads specific to your ability.
•Full Testing Protocol and Training Zone Calculator to identify HR and Power zones and track progress.
•Structured training sessions uploadable to your app of choice (Zwift, Wahoo, Garmin, Trainer Road, etc.)
•Bonus weekend training ride suggestions for either indoors or out.
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Looking for help with your endurance sport training? Check out S:6’s Training Plans, Team Programs, and Personal Coaching options created to fit your needs and budget.
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