Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The art of the Block training

Block Training is a fundamental philosophy in the training I am doing. I credit it for making me stronger on less time.

Even if you don't do intervals and 'just ride' you can apply it. The keys are
A.maintain intensity from 1 day to the 2nd day and possibly the third day
B.decrease volume so that you can do part A.

Here is how it is applied from an interval perspective.

Day 1:
3 sets of
6reps of 1 minute ON at 320W 1 minute OFF
3 mins rest between sets

Day 2:
2 sets
8reps of 1 ON at 320W 2 off
3 mins rest between sets.

So I was worked from day 1. But was able (just barely) to complete day 2 at the same power output as day 1. The key was getting an addition minute rest after each rep. In addition my total work volume on day 1 was 18minutes, my total work volume on day two was 16minutes. So I had more rest, and I wasn't doing as much work. Yet I was able to work at the same power output from day 1 to day 2.

This is a reason why power meters are great and heart rate monitors are suspect. Power doesn't lie. Either you can do it or not. Typically on consequtive days of training, HR will start to drop from one day to the next. The inability to get your HR up to a certain threshold has been considered a tell-tale sign that you need rest.

But Dave's work has shown that you CAN work back to back days at the same power output, even though the HR data is showing that you need rest.

How many days you work back to back and how you do it is very individual. For me, I have to either have more rest intervals and/or lower volume over the consequtive days. 2 days seems to work best for me. Sometimes 3 and rarely 4 when I am really working it to peak for something in 2 weeks.

Rest is key after blocks. 2 on , 1 off, 2 on 2 off. Whatever your protocol. Work hard, rest harder.


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