Favorite Workouts of Fast Talk All-Stars, Part 2

Former Fast Talk guests, including Ted King, Lindsay Golich, and Kristin Armstrong, discuss their favorite workout and its benefits.

Kristin Armstrong time trial London Olympic Games
Kristin Armstrong captures time trial gold at the London Olympic Games.

Whenever we speak with a guest of Fast Talk—coach, athlete, or scientist—we always ask them their favorite workout. In this episode, we share the favorite workouts of coach and athlete Jen Sharp, Ted King, Sage Rountree, Lindsay Golich, Kristin Armstrong, Daniel Matheny, and Sondre Skarli.

Each guest discusses the specifics of their chosen workout, and in so doing reveals a sense of their philosophy and the “style” that they bring to the execution and prescription. 

Episode Transcript

Chris Case  00:13

Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance performance.

Chris Case  00:19

I’m the host Chris Case sitting down here today with Coach Trevor Connor, and we want to do another episode of our favorite workouts from Fast Talk all-stars.

Ryan Kohler  00:32

Hey, Coach Ryan here, it’s spring for most of us, which means more volume and more intensity. This is a great time to win an INSYD fitness test. INSYD his laboratory fitness test you can do wherever you are without visiting a lab. INSYD lets you take a detailed look at your own fitness, you’ll discover your VO₂ max, training zones, anaerobic threshold, fat max, carb max, and more. We’re giving away three INSYD advanced tests. Just join Fast Talk Labs at any level by April 30th, and you’ll be automatically entered in our contest. Join us to enter at fasttalklabs.com.

Introduction to Favorite Workouts

Chris Case  01:13

We like to ask everybody that comes to the studio or we get on the phone for an interview to describe their favorite workout. Why they do it? When they do it? How they do it? How much they suffer, how much they don’t suffer? And that’s what we want to share today. Trevor, any thoughts on some of these workouts?

Trevor Connor  01:33

There’s just a whole lot of pain so you can pick your poison and go and enjoy it. I have tried almost all these, they are great.

Chris Case  01:41

Alright, let’s start with one from Jen Sharp, an elite cyclist, and coach. Looks like she’s got some high-intensity intervals that she does, tell us a little bit more about this Trevor.

Trevor Connor  01:51

So, she talked about a 30-second interval, really high intensity, this is all out with a long rest. But she really focuses on, this is something that women need to do, particularly women that are getting a little bit older. So, she talked a little bit about perimenopause, but it’s something a lot of women don’t do enough of and there’s a lot of evidence showing this is really beneficial for health.

Chris Case  02:16

Excellent. Here’s Jen.

Jen Sharp: High-Intensity Interval Training

Jen Sharp  02:18

A love, hate one, I would definitely say high-intensity interval training. So hit intervals, and the reason I say that is because as women, we probably don’t get enough of that. I like to do it because it’s short and sweet, four intervals of 30 seconds with 90 seconds rest, and up to three sets, and those on portions are a full gas sprint, hold on as long as you can, recover, and then do it again. The reason for that again it is for women, and specifically, I’m aging, and I know a lot of my athletes are aging, and we need that high intensity right now in our cycles, and where we are in life, if we don’t use it, we’ll lose it. It’s inspired recently, Stacey Sims has partnered up with Selene Yeager. They’ve done this feisty menopause podcast that they’re doing for women that are, you know, perimenopausal, so right before menopause, maybe in their early 40s, to late 40s to 50s, it’s really important to have that high intensity in there. As we age, we’re great at endurance like we’ve got that nailed. The aspect that we don’t have and that we’re losing as we age and what we’re fighting against this the higher intensity, and the ability to go anaerobic and into your VO₂ max. And so by doing those short, sweet efforts, you know, once or maybe even twice a week, depending on where you are in the periodization and cycle, women can benefit from those.

Chris Case  03:52

Alright, now let’s hear from Ted King. Ted being a former World Tour roadie, and now he’s turned himself into a bit of a gravel racer, a bit of a bike packing racer, adventure racer. He’s got an interesting set of 40/20s that he describes for us. What’s this all about, Trevor?

Trevor Connor  04:10

He calls this his butt-kicking workout, which I kinda like. This is a really popular one among the pros, so this is a Tabata Workout. The original Tabata was 20/10s, but whenever I’ve talked to pros about it, they like to do these 40/20s, which are pretty darn hard, but a really good bang for the buck. So, let’s hear what Ted has to say.

Ted King: 40/20 Workout

Ted King  04:34

Your favorite workout? I think 40/20s are a pretty righteous butt-kicking, with awesome ROI, 40 seconds maximum effort, 20-second recovery. When I’m feeling unfit, and I haven’t done them in a long time, I might do six when I’m feeling very fit. Then I will do 10 in a row in as many as two sets. I don’t train with much, my general philosophy now in career 2.0, as a gravel cyclist is, it’s so much more relaxed, I don’t do intervals per se, I might come to a point in a particular day or week or month and be like, “Oh, you know what, I haven’t done anything hard in a while.” And 40/20 are an awesome bang for your buck. You get the climatization, your body a climatization, your customization to that repeated really hard effort. So it’s sort of like anybody can be fresh early in a race, it’s how good are you late in the race? How good are you to repeated attacks late in the race? So yeah, I would also recommend 40/20s later on in a training session, where you have a little bit of fatigue in your legs. They’re fun workouts. You can build up to this, you might start with like 20/40s, full gas, 40-second recovery, and then 30/30s, and then ultimately go into 40/20s. And so just that forcing your body to go to maximum on minimum recovery. I don’t have a sports science degree, so they can’t explain why I think it works, but for me, it has been something that I’ve relied on for my entire career and really enjoy. Maybe that’s the best part, too, right? It’s not, it’s not a 15 or 10, or 20-minute threshold effort, VO₂ efforts are extraordinarily hard it whatever, 2,3,4 minutes. So, 40 seconds, you can always grit through them, even if at 10 seconds, and you’re like, “oh my gosh, these are the longest 40 seconds of my life.”

Form Finders

Ted King  06:32

I had a teammate Jeremy Hunt, who, you know, had a very lengthy career in the world tour, I remember him calling him form finders. You’ll find out if you have form, when you do them, you’re either smashing through them, or you’re not smashing through them, and therefore you’re gonna find your form by doing them. So yeah, they’re typically a little bit of the last-minute tune up, right? You know, leading up to a race, because they’re also not horribly fatiguing, so they are the kind of thing that you can be doing. There is also a relatively short window before, before a big hard event of any kind, I would suggest full recovery between sets. So, you know, it sort of depends on how much time one has given the luxury of having, if you’re doing two sets in one hour, you’re going to be a lot less recovery time. As opposed to, you know, Joe pro athlete can go out for five hours at a time. Full recovery might be as much as 20 minutes, you can get by on 10, 12, 15, really easy spinning. But yeah, you want to give at least the same number of minutes, so if you do a six-minute set, for sure, do at least six minutes recovery.

Chris Case  07:44

All right, let’s hear from Coach Lindsay Golich. She’s a sports physiologist working at the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Trevor, what does she have for us here today?

Trevor Connor  07:56

Lindsay gave us 20/40s, not to be confused with 40/20s such as a Tabata workout. This is something she does with track athletes, particularly when she’s working with a pursuit team because it has some real race specificity, so it’s a good hard workout. Chris and I actually went out with a couple friends last week and did something very similar, it’s this simulating being on the front of the group going hard, and then getting sort of arrest for 40 seconds before you have to go hard again.

Chris Case  08:25

They hurt. Let’s see from Lindsay.

Lindsay Golich: 20/40 Workout and Team Pursuit

Lindsay Golich  08:27

As I mentioned, I work with our track cycling program, and specifically our team pursuit. So, their race is a four-minute race, and it’s a series of basically micro intervals, inside like a maximal four-minute time trial effort. We do a series of what we call 20/40s. So, in team pursuit, an athlete is roughly on the front of their team time trial for about roughly 20 seconds, and then as they rotate back to the back of the line, they have 40-second break, but it’s still at well above a threshold power. So, we do these 20/40 sessions that mimic a race, a race effort, it’s definitely a lot of suffering going on from athletes a big return on their investment. So, it’s not a session that we do frequently, because of the stress and the, you know, the load that we put on the athletes, and we’re not just in one in a row, we’ll do somewhere between, I don’t know three to five of those. I enjoy it because I know that the reward that you get from doing this really high intense type of effort is really exciting, especially as we get closer to Tokyo. You know, we know what kind of numbers that we need to look at as a country, the U.S. was the current world champion in the event, so we know what we need to do to hopefully continue to stay on top of that podium.

Trevor Connor  09:51

How hard are they doing the 20 seconds? How hard are they do on the 40 seconds?

Lindsay Golich  09:56

The 20 seconds it does change based upon different parts of the season, but when we’re looking at it, like FTP power, it’s about 150% above FTP, and then the 40 second is it’ll range somewhere at 100% to 125%. So it’s 20/40s, but it’s not an on-off necessarily. It’s an on-on versus on type of effort.

Trevor Connor  10:26

it’s a really on and an on.

Lindsay Golich  10:28

Yeah, exactly.

Trevor Connor  10:30

And what would you say are the physiologically the primary gains of this workout?

Physiological Gains

Lindsay Golich  10:35

So really what we’re tapping into, you know, don’t use WKO terminology, we’re looking at that like FRC, so that functional reserve capacity, so the amount of time or workload you can spend above your threshold power. So, when we’re looking at these really short, intense efforts, my goal is I want the athletes to work on getting that FRC value or that amount of working kilojoules as robust as we can make it going into a competition. Even if it’s, you’re not doing a four-minute time trial, even if you’re getting ready for the local criterium, an hour race, or even if it’s just a training ride locally, that workout like this can be really impactful as well, because you’re looking at the top end, we’re looking at that anaerobic capacity, and again, that’s FRC value. And it’s an area that I find that a lot of endurance athletes don’t tap into enough, for obvious reasons, it’s not fun, it hurts, you don’t always feel like you maybe accomplished as much in a, you know, 45-60-minute session as you could in a four-hour ride, you know, just physically being there. But it is something that I find that all athletes can utilize, and now maybe you adjust the percentages, maybe you’re on verse off a slightly different ratio, or you’re off is a little bit, maybe closer to that 85 to 100%. So, it’s not a full recovery, but it’s enough to recover, so you can actually tap into the really high power type of output.

Trevor Connor  12:15

So final question, what time of year would you do this workout?

When To Do the Workout

Lindsay Golich  12:20

Yeah, I would do it a couple of different times throughout the year. I think it’s, again, for most athletes, it’s not our area of strength. So it might be something that you can do, you know, somewhat early season if you’re trying to build the top end of your conditioning, and then it becomes very race-specific. So as you get closer to competition or your events, it can be beneficial. But I would say the one caveat on it is that it’s not a primer session, like you when you’re doing it, you want to make sure you have ample recovery on the back end, just because there’s a lot of fatigue.

Chris Case  12:55

Alright, let’s hear workout, so to speak, from Sage Rountree. She is a yoga and Pilates expert, and specialists. We had her on an episode talking all about yoga. What does she describe for us here today, Trevor?

Trevor Connor  13:09

Yeah, I’m not going to go deep into this one myself because I have never done Pilates, but this is one of Sage’s favorite workouts. It’s a standing workout that uses in both Pilates and yoga, and it sounds really interesting might have to give this a try.

Chris Case  13:23

Perfect. Let’s hear from Sage.

Sage Rountree: The Karate Kid

Sage Rountree  13:24

I do a lot of Pilates and really like Pilates. My favorite part of taking a Pilates class or teaching a Pilates class is doing some standing stuff that challenges balance, especially once you are already tuned into your core. Once you’ve got a light sheen of sweat, and awareness, and light fatigue through the core to take it up and really feel how everything connects is a unit. So, I teach a sequence both in my Pilates classes and in my yoga class that I called Karate Kid. It’s basically moving first into we kind of build into a shape that we would call crane, it kind of looks like that kick in The Karate Kid, you know, you raise a knee, and you raise your arms, and you kick your leg forward, and then you bend your knee and swing your foot behind you and come into what in yoga we call warrior three, it’s like an airplane or a balancing stick pose. We go back and forth between the two, so it’s kind of like the yoga equivalent of doing a reverse lunge to a front lunge and back again. So, you kind of feel the load shift forward and back on. You’re really great for hip stability and for hamstring strength, because you’re pretty much going into Romanian deadlift when you go into warrior three. Then you’re pulling up and through and using your quads and your hip flexors to extend your foot out in front. So altogether, sometimes I call it Karate Kid, but I’ll also call it drinking bird because it’s kind of like this drinking bird toy with the little bow tie that tips into the lowball glass and back again. I think that’s a fabulous movement that kinda hits many points in the chain that cyclists need. A hip strength, hamstring strength, core strength, and awareness of where you are in space, even while you’re moving, which is really critical for balance. Often in class, we’ll do kind of build into it, we’ll go back and forth, and then I’ll say, “Alright, everybody do it three times, forward and back on the same leg.” And then they think they’re done, and like, “now let’s do five.” Because you have a different experience as you warm up into it, it’s kind of like a dish that sauces itself, like a risotto or something like, the more you go into it, the more it kind of becomes a coherent whole.

Chris Case  15:34

Now let’s hear from three-time Olympic Time Trial champion, Kristin Armstrong, on her five-by-five interval set. What does she have going for us, Trevor?

Trevor Connor  15:45

Yeah, I was kind of expecting her to give us just a good solid threshold workout being a time trial. Well, she’s good at everything, but certainly great at the time trial. She gave us the good old five by five VO₂max intervals on a climb, which are painful. She talks about you finish, you have two minutes to basically try to hold in your lunch, and then you go and do it again. So, let’s hear what she has to say about this workout.

Kristin Armstrong: Five-by-Five VO₂ Workout

Kristin Armstrong  16:13

I don’t want to play on words right now, but one of the most golden workouts that I do is probably my five by five, VO₂s. Those are probably the most painful, but also most effective workouts that Jim’s ever given me.

Chris Case  16:27

We’ve heard about these from Jim, I believe.

Jim Miller  16:30

Least desirable, most effective.

Trevor Connor  16:32

Yeah. So describe to me how you do them.

Kristin Armstrong  16:36

So basically, I go out and I warm up for about 30 minutes, and then I go into, I call them a lower tempo style. I don’t want to go into my full tempo because I don’t want to take away anything from my workout. So it’s slower tempo. I would say 75% range not getting up in that sweet spot at all. And then you’re going to come down for five to ten minutes, and that five minutes to ten minutes is more about mental preparation because I just can’t go straight in from tempo, there’s no way, it’s just not. So, then I pick one section, and I like to do these on anywhere between like, 3 and 5% grade. So, I like to be able to keep my cadence, good cadence, and not get bogged down, but at the same point have just a little bit of inclined to help that power number come up. And so, I find a stretch of road that I always do it on, I do it on the lower half of part of Bogus, in fact, there’s this is one stretch that I know where I’m doing my five by fives, and I go after it. Basically, at the end of my five minutes, if you know you’ve done it right, if you are leaned over your bike for the next minute or two, you roll down back to the same spot because rolling back to the same spot keeps you accountable. So, you can look at numbers, you can look at averages, you can yada yada, but nothing keeps you more accountable than going back to the same starting spot and doing it again and trying to pass that one mark that you made.

Kristin Armstrong  18:06

I can tell you that in this workout if you go 10 watts too high in your first one, you’re in big trouble by number four. You do not come back. And so you only have to pick that lesson one time, and then you’ll never do it again, but you’re trying to push the envelope, and you’re pushing so hard that you’re hitting a number you’re getting through about three minutes, and then you’re trying to refocus on your brain and saying I only have two minutes left, now I have 90 seconds, how am I going to focus for 30 seconds? All right now, I’m under, I can do anything for a minute, am I gonna stand? Am I gonna sit? How am I gonna like crush myself? And then you do that five times, and it’s an incredible workout. I would also use that workout when we talk about time trialing and being specific, so you have a time trial coming up, and guess what? I throw my disk on because climbing up a disk is very different than climbing with a rim or spokes. So I would do the same workout with my, sometimes with my time trial bike with my disk, but I’d also do it on my road bike with my disk, just to climb with a disk. So those are another little, you know, taking it to the next level that I would do. So yeah, that’s my, my favorite workout, meaning it’s probably one of the hardest, most effective, but it has to definitely you have to bring that in when you’ve come off, you need to have a foundation of fitness prior to throwing this one in.

Trevor Connor  19:37

So it was gonna be one of my questions. What time of year would you do these?

When To Do the Workout

Kristin Armstrong  19:41

Yeah, that’s gonna go into when you’re going into, you know, even into your initial races, but you’ll bring that back again into some of your key races. So, you know, a lot of times, if you have back-to-back weekend races, it’s going to be a little bit too much to throw in from race to race, like with only like five days recovery. So you’re going to want to bring that in as you’re leading into that season, but also, when you have those two or three weeks, between races, it’s super effective to, to bring back in as well, because it’s physically tough, but also mentally tough. So, you know, there’s always ways of doing workouts differently, and getting to that same point. Still, we talked a lot today about mental training, and extending those times, in that anaerobic state, is something that not only prepares you physiologically but also it’s going to tax you mentally, and that’s what we’re after.

Trevor Connor  20:41

Right. So I was gonna ask you what the gains are, and you’re saying a big part of it is just learning that suffer essentially?

Physiological Gains and Learning How To Suffer

Kristin Armstrong  20:50

It is. It’s learning to suffer, it’s learning, I don’t want to say it’s necessarily learning to know your limits, but it is true, because when you start going into the zone of you know, 110% over that FTP, that VO₂ anaerobic, if you don’t know your limits, you can’t fake your way through it, I mean, physiologically, you’re going to fail, if you go too much, and even stretching that rubber band, you know, you get into like a zone three, and you stretch that rubber band and tempo, and you’re going to be last. It’s not going to like accumulate any lactate. I mean, you can like fluctuate 10-15 watts, here, there’s not going to be a big deal. When you get into this higher zone, like I said, you go over what your target goal is that your coach gives you by just as little as like a five to 10 watt over, you’re going to, you’re going to pay the price on number three, number four. Unfortunately, that may be the breaking point where you’re not even training in the correct zone anymore. So, the first time out, I always tell people, you know, listen to me, if you want to flex and kill it, and you think that the zones I gave you are, are too simple, then you have an opportunity to those last two to do what you can do, and to really see where we are you have it. So one of the things as a coach that I look at is, a lot of times people will be a little bit too conservative, and you’ll see that that last effort, people will like, totally kill it, I’m like that he didn’t enter the table enough. If you do it properly, that last five minutes, you shouldn’t be able to go 10-15 watts more than you did on the first four. You just shouldn’t, and there’s going to be a little bit of a decline. Eventually, your goal is that you can nail all these within five watts, which is again, another focus that takes time and its friends.

Chris Case  22:48

Now let’s hear from Coach Daniel Matheny, who you’ve heard on the program before in a q&a episode. He has a variation on the five by fives, tell us a little bit more about these, Trevor?

Trevor Connor  22:59

Well, actually, Daniel describes as more as an alternative to the five by fives, as we just heard from Kristin, five by fives are a great workout, but boy, are they hard. So, this is a workout that’s a little easier to get through but hits that same energy system.

Chris Case  23:17

Great. Let’s hear from Daniel Now.

Daniel Matheny: Variation of Five-by-Five Workout

Daniel Matheny  23:19

Based on some research I was doing of sustaining, like say VO₂max, without actually doing like say the five by five minute, or something like that, where it’s like you see it, hard effort and then fall off. What I consider prime the system with a hard effort, and then you basically undulate it, it relates to me almost like the true mountain bike efforts or the race winning efforts that occur, like either to make a separation off the start, but it’s actually to go full gas and then step down. So there’s two versions of it, one is almost like a race start, and this is obviously specificity. If you can sustain that, that VO₂max style effort or super threshold effort longer than that next person, then you’ve made the selection, or created a gap that somebody else may or may not be able to hold on to. So it’s typically, we’ll do, you know, like 90 seconds near full gas, and then another couple minutes just above threshold, and then another couple minutes at threshold, and then basically like a sweet spot or some type of like, really, after those efforts are really hard effort, but then you actually accelerate on and off for a duration. So depending on the development of the athlete, it could be a 20-minute interval per se, like when it comes to specificity, and that sounds very complex. Still, I try to get the athlete to do it very dynamically, not necessarily like so rigid that they can’t, they shouldn’t be looking at their computer and just following it like a super rigid effort. Another variation of that is like actually VO₂ efforts where you build up to the intensity you’re looking for, go hard and then actually just undulate, so it’s a hard start, and then an undulating sustain like just below the threshold, and then a surge, and then just below threshold, and a surge, to kind of keep yourself at that VO₂max. That high breathing rate almost what I call like the Darth Vader breath for a longer period of time because usually the athlete can stay there longer at a high heart rate, I guess more like 90 to 92% of max heart rate and get the stimulus that they need. The one thing they can watch, is kind of an idea range of like, okay, your heart rates in this, should be in the, like, 89 to 92% of max heart rate. So, typically, it’s pretty dynamic, that’s the hard part of coaching the exercise, but it’s usually somewhere in around the 15-30 second window, where they’re going hard to kind of get back on top of the gas because all it takes is a super threshold effort to get that heart rate to come back up. Then it’s even after that fact, usually, the heart effort itself isn’t that hard, it’s actually settling back in and not dropping too low once you go, because anybody that’s done under overs, usually the over, is like, “Okay, I’m hammering,” but then when they try to go back down to the under and still maintain a higher output, that’s the hard part, because you’re dealing with what the effort you just did. So that’s kind of the coaching tip is like, don’t let it drop, you’re not going to recover yet, you’re just dropping it back down and trying to manage what you just did. So it’s, you know, say like, 90-95% of threshold, for 90 seconds or two minutes, and then 30 seconds for gas, and that’s, you know, depending on what you’re seeing with heart rate, that’s why it’s hard to prescribe. That’s why it’s not an exact prescription, but sometimes I’m getting, you know, a 15-minute effort out of athletes, or even like maybe lesser trained athletes, they can only do a three-minute peak power at their VO₂max power. But to do an undulating effort, they can do a minute full gas, get to that primed heart rate effort, try to get to there as quick as possible, to that VO₂Max, and then basically hit the power every minute in a half, and then they’re keeping it there for seven or eight minutes, where they wouldn’t be able to sustain that long at VO₂max otherwise. We know that usually, the first effort of an interval set like this doing VO₂Max, you don’t spend a lot of time at VO₂Max, it’s kind of a throw it out the door. But the latter part of the interval sets, and the latter part of each interval where you spend more and more cumulative time.

Daniel Matheny  27:15

So it’s like, if you can get that person to stay at that uncomfortable point longer, they’re going to get more accumulation of time at VO₂max, with less psychological strain, like they may feel better about doing the undulations than just seeing, what I call like the peak and fade, like some people, some athletes don’t like seeing their power fade, their heart rate or not heart rate, but their power and cadence fade at the end of it like a typical flatline VO₂Max, they want to be able to hold that power. But a lot of times I see that is like if you’re fighting the fade, don’t get in. But as long as your heart rate staying elevated, your breathing rate is elevated, you’re getting the benefit, but a lot of people will shut down when it gets hard in the development phases. It takes a lot of developed fitness to be able to handle that. But it’s also one of those where if you get into it, you may be able to do it, like early build phases, because it’s one of those where instead of doing like flat out efforts where you have to basically peak and fade the power and watch everything kind of drop as you suffer, this is a better way to actually do that, because you get to spend a little bit more time and you can manipulate it to say, maybe the early efforts of these or shorter duration, you know, seven, eight-minute efforts, whereas you get more developed, maybe you try to hold them for longer like you know, 13-15 minutes, something like that, because you ramp up the power and then you can stay there that elevated rate for a longer period of time. So there’s a progression, I would say it’s not just one effort right away, so I’d say to build phases.

Chris Case  28:42

All right now let’s hear from Norwegian coach Sondre Sklari. He’s got a four-by-ten-minute workout, tell us a little bit more about this, Trevor.

Trevor Connor  28:50

He’s actually got a few, he started by just saying he really likes as you’re coming into the season doing race-specific work. So gave a few examples but really focused on that, get in some work that simulates the type of race you’re doing.

Chris Case  29:06

Perfect. Let’s hear from Sondre.

Sondre Solari: Four-by-Ten Minute Workout

Sondre Sklari  29:08

The favorite workout would probably be a specific workout, a workout that is close to competition, and you could see if you’re on the right path or not, probably a bit shorter, and something you can measure a lot of metrics. Where you can measure speed, or power, or heart rate, or lactate, or maybe sometimes VO₂, and perception of the athletes, those are like numbers. It’s hard to pick out just one workout because they kind of attach each others. They have a meaning to each other. One workout leads to the other one. So, I like the high-intensity workouts the most, because they’re it’s most exciting. Four times ten minutes, It’s pretty hard. So, workout, I think works for a lot of sports, which I find exciting to do and exciting to watch.

Trevor Connor  30:11

So what would be an example of a competition-specific workout for a road cyclist?

Competition Specific Workout for a Road Cyclist

Sondre Sklari  30:18

For a road cyclist, I think it could be, road cyclists. I actually like the one-hour power workouts. When I work with national team cyclists, I sometimes challenge them to do one-hour power and to see how high average power they can get. They often, almost always request, “wow, that’s way too hard. That’s way too long.” I say, “Yeah, if you do a time trial, it is one hour plus-minus.” And if you do a road race, it is six hours, sometimes more. So I think that’s a really fun workout to do with a road cyclist to see how many watts can you do and for one hour and just stay steady.

Trevor Connor  31:03

And when would you do this? Would this be during the season close to races?

When To Do the Workout

Sondre Sklari  31:10

It would be close to the season. I think it’s a good workout before the season starts because you get to learn your body. It’s a bit closer to competition speed, even though it’s not that much up and down in watts like you have in a normal road race. You challenge yourself mentally because it’s a really tough grind especially when you do it indoors. And when we do these types of workouts, we measure a lot of metrics on the way, and I think it’s a really good test to see how you develop and to repeat again to see if you’re one step closer to the goal.

Trevor Connor  31:47

So how frequently would you do this? This wouldn’t be an every-week thing, would it?

Sondre Sklari  31:51

No, this would be probably not more than once a month, maybe every fourth or every six weeks or so.

Trevor Connor  32:02

Fast Talk listeners, you may have heard about the Fast Talk Labs N1 challenge. Every cyclist is a study of one, we invite you to share your own experiment with us. For more on our N1 challenge, download Fast Talk Episode 147.

Chris Case  32:16

The four of us have chosen pretty distinct, pretty difficult challenges but I think we could all start riding together more, and progressing together more and keeping each other motivated.

Trevor Connor  32:29

Join our N1 challenge on the Fast Talk forum and join our N1 challenge Strava club. Tell us your goals, and how your training is going. Ask questions, get answers all at fasttalklabs.com/N1.

Chris Case  32:51

That was another episode of Fast Talk. Subscribe to Fast Talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcasts. Be sure to leave us a rating and review. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual. As always, we love your feedback, join the conversation at forums.fasttalklabs.com to discuss each and every episode. Become a member of Fast Talk Laboratories at fasttalklabs.com/join and become a part of our education and coaching community. For Coach Trevor Connor. I’m Chris Case. Thanks for listening.