One-Hour Workout: Racing on Empty – FTP Booster Bike Workout

Use this killer set to practice riding well with fatigued legs

This week’s workout comes from Cody Moore of APEX Coaching & Consulting based out of Boulder, Colo. Cody coaches professional cyclists and triathletes including the current Mexican elite road race and time trial national champion. He is certified by USAC, USAT, and the NSCA, and is currently APEX Coaching’s administrative manager and bike fit specialist.

“Time-crunched athletes need to find creative ways to target improvements with the amount of training time they have available,” Moore says. “There is a balancing act each week between combining the proper amount of intensity with the proper amount of rest. More specifically, it can be difficult for triathletes to find ways to boost their FTP (Functional Threshold Power) in a shorter workout window, but it can be done.

“This workout can be done outdoors on a shallow climb or indoors, on a trainer. The shallow climb helps to maintain the limited rest during the 20/40’s in the first half of the workout. Before beginning this workout, you should determine a goal race cadence for your nearest event, usually within a range of 5-10 rpm.

“The workout begins by depleting your ‘anaerobic battery’ in preparation for a focused, race-like effort at the back end of the hour. Forced to rely on your oxidative energy systems, you’ll have an opportunity to hone in on your chosen race cadence, and get ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable.’” 

Warm-up
4 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion, on a scale of 1-10)
3 minutes build from 70% FTP to 100% FTP (5-7.5 RPE)
1 minute easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)
5 second sprint “opener” (90% of max effort)
2 minute easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)

Main Set
8 minutes of 20/40’s as:
20 seconds ON @ 140% FTP (9.5 RPE)
40 seconds “OFF” @ 80% FTP (6 RPE)

5 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)

8 minutes of 20/40’s as:
20 seconds ON @ 140% FTP (9.5 RPE)
40 seconds “OFF” @ 80% FTP (6 RPE)

5 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)
20 minutes at 90-95% FTP and goal race cadence (7 RPE)

Cool-down
4 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)

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