As our first post with the Barry Roubaix crew we thought it apropos to begin with a basic foundation of your base building efforts. Aerobic Threshold (AT) is the level of effort at which anaerobic energy pathways start to be a significant part of energy production, and occurs at approximately 80% of your lactate threshold (AKA Functional Threshold). It is a level of power that you want to be able to sustain for 2+ hours once your base periods are complete.
Before you delve into that though it is absolutely critical that you are rested and ready to get going again with this next season of training and racing. The “transition period” is a low volume, low intensity group of 2 – 4 weeks at the end of a tough season of riding. It is meant to rejuvenate the mind and the body for what lies ahead. While you want to stay in reasonable shape, you don’t want to have any structure during this period. Have fun, stay active and get your affairs in order cause it’s about to begin! Once that is over….
If you don’t know you’re heart rate zones see here for a quick run down of how to establish them. AT is the high end of your zone 2 heart rate. Dive into AT work as you would dive into VO2max intervals in the spring. This stuff is not easy! In fact some people find it more difficult than short and intense intervals because of the extended duration. The goal is to build as much wattage as possible within your high end of zone 2 heart rate. Just focus on heart rate for the first few AT rides. As an example, if your zone 2 heart rate tops out at 142 bpm’s, then keep heart rate between 140 and 142 for 30 minutes to see where the watts fall. Do that 2 or 3 times to confirm the numbers.
Once you’ve established that you can begin to use wattage as your goal while keeping an eye on heart rate so that you can increase or decrease to suit. If you are at 200 watts and 140 bpm’s and see that your heart rate is dipping to 136 bpm’s at 200 watts then you’ve just increased your AT power. Bring the wattage up until your heart rate stabilizes at 140 – 142 bpm’s, make note and feed the higher wattage into your training. Now you have a new wattage goal of, say, 208 watts for your next AT ride. You’ve just become stronger!
The duration of your AT fitness is also of great importance. The point at which you experience decoupling is the duration of your current aerobic fitness. If you can hold 200 watts/140 bpm’s for 60 minutes then move on to a 75 minute duration. If, however, your power goes down/heart rate goes up more than 5% at 50 minutes into the interval then you’ve decoupled at 50 minutes and need to stick with the 60 minute duration until both indicators are stable all the way through to the 60 minute mark.
Keep on this track up to two hours and then you are ready to move on to more intense efforts. Move on too soon and you will invariably pay for it down the road. As mentioned, it’s not easy! One or two AT rides per week is sufficient. Take each duration to its end and then move on to the next:
15 minutes zone 1-2 warm up. 45 minutes at AT and 90-100 rpm’s. 15 minutes zone 1-2 warm down.
15 minutes zone 1-2 warm up. 60 minutes at AT and 90-100 rpm’s. 15 minutes zone 1-2 warm down.
15 minutes zone 1-2 warm up. 75 minutes at AT and 90-100 rpm’s. 15 minutes zone 1-2 warm down.
15 minutes zone 1-2 warm up. 90 minutes at AT and 90-100 rpm’s. 15 minutes zone 1-2 warm down.
15 minutes zone 1-2 warm up. 105 minutes at AT and 90-100 rpm’s. 15 minutes zone 1-2 warm down.
15 minutes zone 1-2 warm up. 120 minutes at AT and 90-100 rpm’s. 15 minutes zone 1-2 warm down.
Barry Roubaix Training Plans (click on your distance):
22 Mile Coupon Code BR2217
36 Mile Coupon Code BR3617
62 Mile Coupon Code BR6217