Now that the racing season is over in SoCal, we have time to reflect on which workouts worked best and which fell flat. The HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout described in this article was my favorite kind of training, and resulted in the most gains for strength (power) and stamina. This total workout, including warmup and cool down is only 51 minutes.
Note: Before it gets too late in the season, it’s now time to consider discussing your 2019 annual training plan (ATP) with your coach. This is a free Webinar offered by Training Peaks that discusses the ATP and periodization.
At this point in the season, most SoCal Masters’ Racers are just concluding their ‘official’ RACE mesocycle (a training phase in the annual training plan that contains usually of 3-6 microcycles). However thanks to the weather and sunlight, most SoCal race-riders extend the RACE mesocycle for as long as they can. They go hard on Tu/Wed/Th club and team training rides, as well as a hard Saturday ride that they treat like races. For those interested an effective and fast workout to complement the SoCal-crit-racer lifestyle, I want to share the best XHIIHRT (Extra High Intensity Interval Hill Repeat Training) that I have experienced.
PREP: For this training session find a hill or series of hills that are around 8-11% grade (this is a very steep gradient) and at least 1-minute duration under FULL-POWER, from bottom to top. Make sure to warm up for at least 20 minutes.
NEXT, shift into a gear you can push on this hill at around 85 rpm. All intervals in this workout will be standing on the pedals and hands in the drops. Try and hold 160-170% FTP for the entire minute. Rest completely for 1 minute by rolling back down the hill and getting ready for next repetition. Repeat for 6-8 times.
For this workout, 8 sets should be your maximum. If you are looking for more information on interval sessions, Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan’s “Training and Racing with a POWER METER” has a great formula for furthering your interval training (see page 74, table 5.1). Until then, try this workout once per week for 4 weeks and you will reap unbelievable gains.