[The Flagellation Files is a new feature on GamJams, with each installment providing a new workout designed to wear you down en route to building you up. Leave any questions in the comments and the coach who designed the workout will answer them there.]
- by Adam Switters
Let’s face it, few of us are lucky enough to be able to ride our bikes for a living. Often enough, instead of making money, we are taking out a second mortgage just to be able to afford our sometimes absurd hobby, but we love it. The average cyclist out there is not Ben King - who can spend up to 30+ hours a week on his bike - but fathers, and mothers, and people who have real jobs and commitments besides being a cyclist. Plenty of people out there are fast (and a few who are incredibly fast) on less than 10 hours a week on the bike, and you can be too. Here is where I’ll be sharing workouts that you can do in 90 minutes or less and still grow your Fast.
This is a workout that simulates a fast, aggressive criterium. You’ll be hitting it hard out of the gates to simulate those early attacks, learning to hold it there for breakaways, and finally finishing it off with a sprint to the line. This is an intense workout and shouldn’t be done more than once every 2 weeks.
Warmup: When your time is limited, often the warm-up and cool down becomes condensed. You’ll need a decent warm up for this one though as we’ll be going anaerobic right away.
Take it out easy for 15min to get the blood flowing. Build into a 5 minute medium endurance set (about 15% below your 1hr TT power or roughly a fast tempo), followed by 5 minutes of recovery spinning. Now we are ready to go.
Pyramid: Just as the name states, you’ll be building up in time, then bringing it back down. Each set lasts 5 minutes with a 5-minute recovery in between. Start your first interval at a nice rolling speed. Begin each interval with a slight jump to get yourself up to speed, followed by sitting down and powering through till the end. Start off with doing the intervals at roughly 85% max effort (we want you to get through the workout), and adjust based on how you are feeling throughout. Remember, each set takes 5 minutes, so you’ll be doing a total of ten 15sec efforts for the first set.
Set 1: 15sec on, 15sec off for 5 minutes
Set 2: 30sec on, 30 sec off for 5 minutes
Set3: 1min on, 1min off for 5 minutes
Set 4: 30sec on, 30sec off for 5 minutes
Set 5: 15sec on, 15sec off for 5 minutes
Cool Down: 15-20min of easy spinning.
This is a very intense workout. It is important that you try and maintain good form throughout. Work on putting all of your power into the pedals and not wasting energy and extraneous movement and bike thrashing. Maintain a high cadence (90+ rpm) as this is designed as a speed workout.
You can adjust this workout as well. If you feel like you need a longer warm-up, cool down, or recovery in between sets, change the set time to 3 minutes. Remember to listen to your body, and this can be a great workout to get you ready for criterium season.
Adam Switters is a former professional cyclist and currently races for the XO Communications/Battley Harley Cycling Team. He is a USA Cycling Certified Coach and is always interested in helping out cyclists. You can check him out at his website www.SwittersCoaching.com. Feel free to comment if you have any ideas for workout or questions.