Working full time? Just become a parent? You can still achieve your goals. You just need seven hours a week.
- By Chris Carmichael
Traditional training plans focus on building a high-volume base of aerobic and lactate-threshold power, which can eat up more than a dozen hours per week, and then topping it off with high-intensity intervals before a goal event. But often people’s real-world demands seriously limit the volume side of the equation. We’ve found that a programme built almost entirely of short, high-intensity workouts can adequately prepare an athlete for competition, with a caution or two.
This plan works well only for short events (ie you need more training if your goal is the Double Century). And the fitness you develop won’t last long, only six to eight weeks, because the workouts don’t address the aerobic engine and power at lactate threshold. But, if your point of training is to be able to enjoy racing, then the ends justify the means. During your race season, alternate between using week six and week three from the programme below, substituting one or two races for the workouts on the weekends. When the season is over, you’ll need to refocus on building your aerobic base and sustainable power. The sessions during the week can be done on an indoor trainer.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1 hour EM w/3 sets of 4×1 min PI, 2min RBI, 10 min RBS
Thursday: 1 hour EM w/ 3×8 min OU (2min under, 2min over), 6min RBI
Saturday: 1 hour EM w/ 3 sets of 4×1 min PI, 2min RBI, 10 min RBS
Sunday: 2 hours EM or group ride
EM = Endurance miles
DI = Descending intervals
OU = Over under intervals
PI = Power intervals
RBI = Rest between intervals
RBS = Rest between sets