Training Support

Training Zones

The charts at the bottom of the page are found at https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/power-training-levels/. The article there provides a really great simplified breakdown of what happens to our bodies under different levels of exertion and physical stress (training).

The Training Peaks (https://www.trainingpeaks.com/) website is a really outstanding reference site for all your questions regarding training, and how to reach your target goals in any endurance sport effort.

We're providing this information to support your knowledge with respect to our training rides and the target effort goals of members when participating. The descriptions are excellent and easy to understand, so when you see "Z3" for example in a training ride description, you'll know what we're referring to:)

As a club it's our goal to provide training outlets for every type of rider and ability. You will see two categories of training rides on our calendar, "recreational" and "training." We've done this in order to provide a ride opportunity for every member, every time. The idea is that we start at the same time, finish (hopefully:) at the same time, but experience different levels of intensity on our rides according to our abilities and fitness/skill goals.

"Recovery rides," as they're aptly referred to, are for everyone to experience. The recreational group can use these rides to ask questions of the more intense riders and racers, and we have great opportunities each week to talk, share stories and get to know each other better:)

"Jumps"

Jumps are described at http://spinlife.spinning.com/to-jump-or-not-to-jumps/ and refer to riders transitioning from seated to standing positions while maintaining their balance over the pedals and when appropriate resistance levels are used. Jumps are about rhythmic transitions from a seated position on the wide part of the saddle to a standing position over the tip of the seat. Forward flexion is not increased and (ideally) cadence remains consistent through the transitions. Jumps challenge the body’s ability to adapt quickly to the varied demands of sitting and standing while pushing appropriate resistance loads.

"Bridges"

Bridges are the efforts made to catch a lead out group during a race. It can be done alone, or by taking a small group with you. This means that to stay ahead of the peloton or large group, and catch the lead out group, the "Bridge" group must be faster than the large group behind them AND the small lead group in front of them. It's a carefully paced effort to avoid blowing up and getting swallowed by the pack and failing to catch the lead out group.

"SFR"

Description at http://www.propelbikecoaching.com/sfrs/. SFR stands for Slow Frequency Repetition. The purpose of SFR’s is to strengthen the muscles used specifically for cycling. This is a great preliminary exercise prior to doing harder hill repeats, or to just get yourself used to doing more hill climbing. It’s similar to “base building” training used to prepare for longer endurance rides. The SFR is a high torque, low cadence hill repeat on a shallow graded hill done in your big chainring. It does not emphasize high heart rates, instead you are pushing a “big gear” which taxes the muscles rather than the aerobic system. SFR’s are like “weight lifting” on the bike.

Table 1 – Power Based Training Zones (Coggan Power Zones)

Active Recovery

"Easy spinning" or "light pedal pressure", i.e., very low level exercise, too low in and of itself to induce significant physiological adaptations. Minimal sensation of leg effort/fatigue. Requires no concentration to maintain pace, and continuous conversation possible. Typically used for active recovery after strenuous training days (or races), between interval efforts, or for socializing.

Endurance

"All day" pace, or classic long slow distance (LSD) training. Sensation of leg effort/fatigue generally low, but may rise periodically to higher levels (e.g., when climbing). Concentration generally required to maintain effort only at highest end of range and/or during longer training sessions. Breathing is more regular than at level 1, but continuous conversation still possible. Frequent (daily) training sessions of moderate duration (e.g., 2 h) at level 2 possible (provided dietary carbohydrate intake is adequate), but complete recovery from very long workouts may take more than 24 hs.

Tempo

Typical intensity of fartlek workout, 'spirited' group ride, or briskly moving paceline. More frequent/greater sensation of leg effort/fatigue than at level 2. Requires concentration to maintain alone, especially at upper end of range, to prevent effort from falling back to level 2. Breathing deeper and more rhythmic than level 2, such that any conversation must be somewhat halting, but not as difficult as at level 4. Recovery from level 3 training sessions more difficult than after level 2 workouts, but consecutive days of level 3 training still possible if duration is not excessive and dietary carbohydrate intake is adequate.

Lactate Threshold

Just below to just above TT effort, taking into account duration, current fitness, environmental conditions, etc. Essentially continuous sensation of moderate or even greater leg effort/fatigue. Continuous conversation difficult at best, due to depth/frequency of breathing. Effort sufficiently high that sustained exercise at this level is mentally very taxing – therefore typically performed in training as multiple 'repeats', 'modules', or 'blocks' of 10-30 min duration. Consecutive days of training at level 4 possible, but such workouts generally only performed when sufficiently rested/recovered from prior training so as to be able to maintain intensity.

VO2 Max

Typical intensity of longer (3-8 min) intervals intended to increase VO2max. Strong to severe sensations of leg effort/fatigue, such that completion of more than 30-40 min total training time is difficult at best. Conversation not possible due to often 'ragged' breathing. Should generally be attempted only when adequately recovered from prior training – consecutive days of level 5 work not necessarily desirable even if possible. Note: At this level, the average heart rate may not be due to slowness of heart rate response and/or ceiling imposed by maximum heart rate)

Anaerobic Capacity

Short (30 s to 3 min), high intensity intervals designed to increase anaerobic capacity. Heart rate generally not useful as guide to intensity due to non-steady-state nature of effort. Severe sensation of leg effort/fatigue, and conversation impossible. Consecutive days of extended level 6 training usually not attempted.

Neuromuscular (Maximal)

Very short, very high intensity efforts (e.g., jumps, standing starts, short sprints) that generally place greater stress on musculoskeletal rather than metabolic systems. Power useful as guide, but only in reference to prior similar efforts, not TT pace.

Table 2 – Expected physiological/performance adaptations resulting from training at levels 1-7:

Table 3 – Borg's 10 point category-ratio scale of perceived exertion: