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Build Phase- Part 2

Pinnacle Training Guides

Build Phase Part 2 

In the initial segment of the build process we touched on the general parameters, the importance, and potential pitfalls of this phase. For a recap go to .  Training done is this 8-12week block of your training will predicate what level of race specific fitness you bring to the line during your peak events. The premise of this blog is to not only touch on the planning, but to cover the importance of particular workouts, their placement, and how they should be evaluated.  Let’s use Tampa Twilight as our reference point. 

Your build phase is designed to be the most intense mesocycle with the primary emphasis being placed on causing particular adaptations in the aerobic and anaerobic phases through controlled overload. Continuing to raise your FTP (functional threshold power) and developing efficiency in the VO2, AC (anaerobic capacity) and NP (neuromuscular power) ranges lie at the core of what’s needed to be a player in the Tampa crit. For simplicity I will select the VO2 range and how those workouts are issued and evaluated over the course of the mesocycle.

A standard VO2 workout would look like what’s below. This is a great entry point into this range and will really depict where the athletes stands. 

Time Description % FTP %FTHR
Warm up 15-20min. easy riding 56-75 69-83
main set 5min. (5min. RI.) VO2 MAX 106-115 >105
6X3min. (3min. RI.) VO2-max 120 >105
cool down 15min. easy riding 56-75 56-75

As the build phase progresses the length of the VO2 intervals may increase and the rest period between intervals will decrease. In the final phase of this mesocycle the athlete needs to become immersed in workouts mirroring precisely what will be needed to excel in an event such as Tampa Twilight. The following is whats referred to as a race winning interval. This is an effort just over 3 minutes. Its designed to create a sharp separation from the field with a 15 second out of the saddle effort followed by 15 seconds hammering at 200% of your FTP. The second phase of the interval is 3 minutes at VO2 and finished with a 10 second sprint.  See below for the prescribed workout

Time Description %FTP %FTHR
Warm up 20min. easy riding 65-75 69-83
5x1min.(110RPM'S)1min RI. <80 <90
5min. Endurance pace 65-75 69-83
Main set 5-8  4min. 5-6min. (RI.) Race Inning interval 100-110 100-105
30sec. sprint peaks at 300% 200+ N/A
3min. steady effort 105-115 100-105
10sec. burst 200+ N/A
Cool Down 15-20min. easy riding 65-75 69-83

Now that you have the conceptual planning it’s time to transition it to a real work application. Below is a quadrant analysis from the 2nd place file in the Amateur Finals at the 2013 Tampa Twilight Crit. You will notice that there is a high concentration of time (33%) spent in the upper right hand corner which is quadrant 1. This range reflects high force and high velocity, which is very typical to crit racing. When assessing your development over the course of the build it’s vital to insure that the appropriate ranges and displacement of power align when doing these efforts. Just riding in the VO2 range at a self-selected cadence isn’t enough! The power and pedal velocity need to mimic the sharp efforts that will ultimately sort the field the night of the rapidly approaching Tampa Twilight criterium. 

Get this phase of your training right and the race will feel like another workout, get it wrong and you will never see the front end of the pack. If you are uncertain with your planning, having trouble designing and analyzing your workouts, call or email me

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