Automatic Endurance Training
Alright, so you're sitting on the top step of your garage, freezing your tits off, strapping on a pair of shoes, and blowing warm air into your cupped hands. You've just watched thirteen minutes of Tom Boonen youtube highlights, had a pot of coffee to yourself, and you are ready to smash. and. BASH. You're literally about to rip your own face off you've got so much damn motivation. Two hour trainer workout, with an hour and fifty-nine minutes of zone 100 work? Ain't no thang, baby! LET'S DO THIS.
Then you hear it: the flimsy slamming of a thin, rusted RV door, followed by hillbilly boots crunching in the snow. Cousin Eddie is fourteen hours early.
You unstrap you shoes, put on some decent clothes, lest you be mocked by a raccoon accessorized man for wearing "tight-n-brights," fix a smile to your face worthy of Father Christmas, and go greet the one person you had most hoped had been taken out by a pack of roving trick-or-treaters. But alas, here he stands.
With each minute of idle chit-chat that drifts by, you feel your muscles eating themselves, your blood thinning as it boils, and any hope of winning a race next season fly out the window. What was going to be your best workout of the month has turned into sitting on the couch, nodding like a crazy person, and trying not to scream as the rest of the family wakes up and your plan of doing any productive work has now surely been tanked. Finally, after an hour, you manage to slip away: What do you do?
Do you pound six Marty Moosehead glasses full of eggnog and cry? Or do you get dressed, salvage the next 30 minutes on the trainer and brace for holiday impact? Hint: the answer is both.
Here are four options to try when life gets in the way:
1) Curl into fetal position; drink liquor mixed with dairy until January 1.
2) Threshold Maintainance
- 2-3 minutes warmup, just getting the legs loose
- 25 minutes straight, done 30" at just above threshold and building, followed by 30" recovery.
- Cool down
Tip: Don't go smash yourself at 500w for the first two reps then die a thousand deaths for the next half hour. Stick to what you know you can repeat 25 or 30 times, and build off that so that your last rep is your best rep (#LastOneFastOne). These should be hard, but not something that's setting your body on fire.
3) Remember that time, way long ago, when I was all, "it shouldn't feel like you're setting your body on fire"? Yeah, that doesn't apply to this one.
- 3-5 minutes warm-up, building gradually to high zone 4, followed by a minute or two of recovery
- 10X(30" at target, followed by 2:00 recovery)
- Cool down
Tip: A good starting point for your first 30" rep would be just below your best one minute power. Build from there, so again, #LastOneFastOne.
4) If you're feelin' tough, and you had a bowl of nails for breakfast (without any milk), do this:
- Gradual 6 minute build to zone 4 followed by 3 minutes easy recovery, getting the effort out of your legs.
- 20 minute test.
- Cool down
Tip: Target 5 watts below your recent 20' best for the first 17 minutes of the effort, then use the last 3 minutes to drive that average as high as possible. You should finish this effort absolutely floored, but it shouldn't begin that way. To quote Shane Sutton: "Don't go lookin' for the pain; the pain will find you."
One final disclaimer: These workouts will not make you race ready. These are simply meant as a stand-in for when your Plan A has been put through the meat grinder. These don't make you good. These keep you from getting bad. If you have any questions, I encourage you to shoot us an email, or drop us a message on facebook. Advice is free!
Now go train. Cousin Eddie is coming.