There's no such thing in endurance training as a secret or "special" workout that can give you a leg up on your competition. Success rides on the coattails of consistent, hard work over a long period of time. However, there are some workouts that are better than others, provided that they are utilized in conjunction with a properly designed training plan. If you find this workout useful, please let us know by posting on social media with the hashtag:
Purpose: Aerobic adaptation, muscular endurance, increased FTP (click here for an explanation of what FTP is).
Duration: 60 minutes
No warm up, just ride!
One hour steady at zone 2 power or heart rate. VI should be at 1.03 or lower.
No cool down, just go eat breakfast.
Notes: The steady endurance ride is sometimes the most overlooked component of an athlete's training plan. I find this is often true, especially with cyclists. The reason is that many cyclists like to ride in groups, and the nature of group riding is extremely stochastic. Because triathletes, on the other hand, are more likely to consistently ride on their own, I often encourage triathletes to engage in group rides. But whether you are a triathlete or strictly a cyclist, you need to learn how to hold consistent, unvaried power on your own. The key to this workout is in the word "steady." It doesn't mean easy spinning, it doesn't mean hammering, it means just what it says- strong, consistent, steady riding. Like many shorter sessions, I found that a ride like this is sometimes best done on a trainer because there are no stoplights, hills, or rabid dogs to disrupt the workout. Another tactic I use is to hop on my mountain bike and ride the roads, since my speed is lower and the tread on the tire provides more resistance that helps keep the power consistent. It's not a particularly hard session, but it does require that you resist the urge to hammer. No sprinting up hills during this one!
These workouts are examples of actual sets we do with our training programs under the watchful supervision of a coach. Please check with your doctor to verify that you are physically fit before you attempting any sort of exercise program of your own.