April Training Plan

In Blogs by Steve Neal

Time To Get a Little Excited …

So everyone has been training hard getting ready for the season and just can’t wait to show off their new DUDS (aka…fitness)

If you are trying to race the entire series of Substance Projects races, be careful how much importance you put on the very first race, the season is a long one.

Trying to train through the first race, with little or no taper might pay big dividends from mid-summer through the big finale in Kingston (and you know how much fun that race is!).

Generally, the greater your fitness, the more you can taper. Of course the opposite also rings true.

So if you are feeling good about your fitness and are planning on being consistent all year or even better still, improving as the year goes on, likely training through this first event would be wise.

If you have life plans that don’t allow you to complete all summer and this race is of importance to you, then a taper is likely the best option.

Training Intensities:

The workouts this month will be prescribed by either heart rate or feeling.

Workout by Feeling:

When workouts are prescribed by feeling, the goal will always be to go as hard as you feel you can, over the duration of the interval, while keeping the effort and pace of all efforts as close as possible to each other.  In fact, if you can learn to build your pace slightly every interval and finish stronger that you start, this can really help when racing starts.

Completing Workouts by Heart Rate:

Please refer to the previous article on pacing intervals by heart rate.

This same philosophy is also true when looking at how to pace races!

Training Zones

The test to set your training zones was listed last month if you need to refer to it. If you already know your max heart rate the calculations are below;

Recovery                     40%  60%

Endurance                   61%  75%

Tempo                         78%  83%

Threshold                    85%  90%

Vo2 Max                       90%  95%

Training Plan

Build Week                April 4 through 10 (rest weeks will always be the same and listed at the bottom)

Monday, April 4            Rest day / A great day for strength or stretching session / nothing if you feel tired

Tuesday, April 5          Session 4

Wednesday, April 6     Rest day / A great day for strength or stretching session / nothing if you feel tired

Thursday, April 7         Session 3

Friday, April 8              Rest day – no riding – stretching today would be great

Saturday, April 9          Session 1 – OR – Race – OR – Hard Group Ride with Friends (preferably off-road if trails in your area are suitable for riding)

Sunday, April 10          Session 2 – if you didn’t race yesterday – if you did just ride between 1 to 3 hours easy endurance between 60 and 80% max heart rate without accumulating too much muscular fatigue.

+++

Race Week                 April 11 through 17 (rest weeks will always be the same and listed at the bottom)

Monday, April 11          Tempo/Low Cadence Activations Session

Tuesday, April 12        Endurance – 1 to 3h

Wednesday, April 13   Rest day / A great day for strength or stretching session / nothing if you feel tired

Thursday, April 14       Active Recovery – 30 to 40m total time.

Friday, April 15            Pre-Race Prep Session

Saturday, April 16      RACE DAY – Substance Projects – H2I

Sunday, April 17          If you raced yesterday, were happy with how you felt on the bike, and had really good pacing, today could be an endurance ride of 1 to 3 hours.

If you raced yesterday, felt like your race was really hard, and your pace fell off throughout, likely best to take a rest day today.

+++

Build Week                April 18 through 24 (rest weeks will always be the same and listed at the bottom)

Monday, April 18          Rest day / A great day for strength or stretching session / nothing if you feel tired

Tuesday, April 19        Session 4

Wednesday, April 20   Rest day / A great day for strength or stretching session / nothing if you feel tired

Thursday, April 21       Session 3

Friday, April 22            Rest day – no riding – stretching today would be great

Saturday, April 23        Session 1 – OR – Race – OR – Hard Group Ride with Friends (preferably off-road if trails in your area are suitable for riding)

Sunday, April 24          Session 2 – if you didn’t race yesterday – if you did just ride between 1 to 3 hours easy endurance between 60 and 80% max heart rate without accumulating too much muscular fatigue.

+++

Rest Week                 April 25 through May 1

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A few tips to personalize the training plan. These were posted last month but I think they are important to keep in mind.

There are no total hours listed for each workout, or weekly volume.  This is tricky to prescribe without knowing more about each person’s lifestyle and commitments.

The best rule of thumb is to remember that we are trying to do work, and then absorb this work to get better. To absorb the work, we have to have adequate recovery, otherwise we may simply be making ourselves worse.

Training Too Intense:

If you find that you can’t do the intensity prescribed for the workout don’t give up. Keep riding, keeping the intervals the same duration and working at the closest intensity you can sustain to that prescribed for the workout.

Training Too Easy:

If you are finding the training too easy, try adding volume around the prescribed training until you feel it is all you can handle with the intensity suffering.

Training Too Hard:

If you find that you are not improving every few weeks, try and back off the intensity a little from what is prescribed, and add some more easy endurance rides.

Recovery Week

Monday               Rest day no riding

Tuesday             40 to 90m easy riding by feeling NO muscular fatigue, try and avoid climbing.

Wednesday        Rest day no riding

Thursday            Same as Tuesday but include 10s max sprint every 6m during the entire ride.

Friday                 Rest Day no riding

Saturday             Race or Session 1

Sunday               Long Endurance Ride by feeling, have fun, still try and limit muscular fatigue to prepare for the next training block.

Sessions

Session 1 – Vo2/Race Pace Sessions

This session is great to learn the sensations to start longer races like in this series.

Warm Up            10 to 20m gradually increase HR Tempo zone (90/95 rpm)

Main Set            Complete 3 sets below

3x 30s Hard (like a fast race start) + 4m30s Tempo (this is a 15m interval before you get your 5m recovery below)

5m Recovery

Cool Down        At least 10m allowing heart rate to get below 60%, (rpm at comfortable selected range)

+++

Session 2 – Threshold/Tempo Intervals

These workouts are great for rolling tempo across the flats and having to push a bit more to keep the speed up over rolling hills.

Warm Up            10 to 20m gradually increase HR up to Tempo (90/95 rpm)

Main Set            Complete 3 intervals below

3x 3m Tempo (60 building to 80 rpm) 2m Threshold (90/94 rpm)

5m @ Endurance (75/85 rpm)

Cool Down        At least 10m allowing heart rate to get into Recovery zone, (rpm at comfortable selected range)

+++

Session 3 – Threshold

Warm Up            10 to 20m gradually increase HR up to Tempo (90/95 rpm)

Main Set            Complete 4 intervals below

12m @ Tempo (70/85 rpm)

3m @ Recovery (75/85 rpm)

Cool Down        At least 10m allowing heart rate to get into Recovery zone, (rpm at comfortable selected range)

+++

Session 4 – Ultimate Plus

A great workout for punchy single track and working on repeated short-interval work.

Warm Up            10 to 20m gradually increase HR up to Tempo (90/95 rpm)

Main Set                     9 x 30s max / 30s easy

1m off completely

8 x 25s max / 35s easy

2m off completely

7 x 20s max / 40s easy

3m off completely

6 x 15s max / 45s easy

Cool Down        At least 10m allowing heart rate to get into Recovery zone, (rpm at comfortable selected range)

+++

Tempo/Low Cadence Activations Session

Warm Up            10 to 20m gradually increase HR up to Tempo (90/95 rpm)

Main Set                     40 to 90m total for this portion of the workout, include the following intervals (rest of riding endurance pace 90/95 rpm)

2 x 8m @ Tempo (60/70 rpm)

5m @ Recovery comfortable rpm

Cool Down        At least 10m allowing heart rate to get into Recovery zone, (rpm at comfortable selected range)

+++

Pre-Race Prep Session

Warm Up            10 to 20m gradually increase HR up to Tempo (90/95 rpm)

Main Set                     45 to 90m total for this portion of the workout, include the following intervals (rest of riding endurance pace 90/95 rpm)

10m @ Tempo (70/80 rpm)

5m @ Recovery comfortable rpm

2 x 5m Threshold (85/95 rpm)

1m30s Reocovery comfortable rpm

Cool Down        At least 10m allowing heart rate to get into Recovery zone, (rpm at comfortable selected range)