Absolute Minimum Endurance Training

Designed by Zirconicusso

Designed by Zirconicusso

We’re almost at the end of the season right now and I’m trying new things in terms of training structure.

As you guessed from the headline, my latest “Empiric Training Study” is:

What’s the minimum amount of training, I have to do, to get improvements?

Or at least hold my fitness level 🙂

For a good answer, I have to be honest so I need specific targets. I want to test this specifically for cycling. I usually do running and swimming as crosstraining, so this has to stop, otherwise I have to calculate the aerobic training effect of this sessions into my results. Targets in terms of numbers? I want to, at least, hold my FTP, plus I want to hold my weight. Meaning no extra pounds … loosing one or two is okay for me 🙂

As time commitment, I set myself a target of round about three hours a week – I know, this sounds crazy for an endurance athlete. But hey, maybe it works for me 🙂

The Training Sessions:

Endurance session:

90 minute ride: 10 min warm up / 8 x 5 min Zone 2 (70% FTP) followed by 5 min rest in Zone 1 (52% FTP)

Threshold session:

45 minute ride: 10 min warm up / 10 min Zone 4 (100% FTP) / 10 min rest in Zone 1 (52% FTP) / 10 min Zone 4 (100% FTP) / and then a 5 min cool down phase in Zone 1

45 minute ride: 10 min warm up/ 30 min Sweetspot (90% FTP) with 10 sec burst after every 5 min / 5 min cool down in Zone 1

FTP-Test:  45 minute ride

Anaerobic sessions:

30 minute ride: 9 min warm up / 4 x 45 sec Zone 6 (200% FTP) followed by 3.15 min rest in Zone 1 (52% FTP) / and then a 5 min cool down phase in Zone 1

30 minute ride: 10 min warm up / 15 x 30 sec Zone 6 (120% FTP) with 30 sec rest in Zone 1 (52% FTP) / 5 min cool down in Zone 1

The execution plan:

I know, that a good training plan desperately needs two extra things: variation and progression. So for the progression element I will improve the intensity times in my intervalls which will slowly cut out the resting phases. And for variation, I switch between the prescribed sessions.

What do you think? Could this work? 


17 responses to “Absolute Minimum Endurance Training

  1. hi! I think, this is definitely an absolutely interesting topic. Your schedule looks quite professional to me, but personally, I have no experience in training like this…so, yeah, I’m excited about the result!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m interested in improving my aerobic capacity too. My goal is to be able to commute faster and have more energy at work. I think I’ll do something like four easy days a week and one hard day for my commutes. The hard day might have 30-20-10 zone 6 intervals when going home. You may be able to get more hours with the same schedule if you have an exercise bike at your work space.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi my thoughts.

    1 I think your endurance session would it not be better at “tempo” say Zone 3?

    2 For intervals what helped me a lot coming back from injury lay off was 10 min warm up then 5 intervals as follows. from almost stop sprint for 30 sec Zone 6 then hold at zone 3 for 3 min, 5 min rest and repeat another 4 times. The legs burn but it built strength for me.

    3 under and over. 30 seconds at 110% FTP, 30 seconds 90% and do that for 10 min. Have 5 min rest then repeat.

    4 Do some hill reps. Find a 3 min hill and ride it say 5 times. Standing climb if you can.

    5 For endurance do a ride Zone 2 but every 5 min switch your cadence, 65 then 110.

    The next bit could be age related, but every 4 weeks I need to drop the intensity. or I just get this fatigue that builds and starts to interfere with sleep as well. But I am in my 50’s so it could be something a youngster like you need not worry about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting reading. Meanwhile I’m considering some of the points as I continue my cross Canada trek. With 5 hours plus in the saddle 6 out of 7 days since June 26 my average speed has gone up by about 5 km/hr. Two more weeks to get to the end point, Cape Spear, Newfoundland.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Update on my Minimalist Endurance Training | The Bike Escape·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s