My favorite workout

Every time we speak with a coach, athlete, or scientist, we always ask what his or her favorite workout is. Which has led to a discussion at Fast Talk Labs world headquarters about our favorite workouts.

What’s mine? I always love a good set of pyramid intervals. 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1. One minute “full gas” (bearing in mind that I want to be able to complete the entire workout), one minute easy spinning for recovery. Two minutes “full gas”, two minutes recovery. And so on.

When? I’ll do these once a week, several weeks out from a target race.

Why? Despite the fact that this workout may not be as specific as some—because of the various lengths, you’ll hit different energy systems—it still gives me that sense of satisfaction that I look for in a workout, it is physically and psychologically challenging, and it’s something that I can perform well at. And, ultimately, a successful workout is one that feels satisfying, both from a physiological as well as a mental point of view.

Do you have a favorite workout? Share it with us.

My favorite workout is based upon two sets of 4x4 minute intervals with 1 minute recovery. This time of year they are at about 93% of FTP. They progress during the off season. 2nd week of the first 4 week block I’ll do 4x5s.
Later in the offseason the progression is similar but at a higher effort, starting at 105% of FTP.
I’ll typically do these intervals twice a week.

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@badticker17, thanks for your comments, and welcome to the forums!

I love, love, love 4x4 intervals. That’s a great way to progress them - early season, sub-threshold, and as you move toward in-season, they get harder as a higher %FTP.

Coach Ryan

I am currently having my athletes work through SST Hill Repeats (91% FTP, 2:1 recovery) in a progressive manner.

  • 5x8
  • 6x8
  • 5x10
  • etc…

I’m curious on what others do to help build their FTP and fatigue resistance.

Hey @GravelStevo, thanks for sharing! I think those are great suggestions. In terms of building FTP and fatigue resistance, I have to slide back to the good old long ride, but with a twist at times.

Two types that I like to include:

  1. Long ride (4-7 hours) with a lot of climbing, but the climbs are done all below threshold, so you’re really working on riding that fine line as the hours go by of riding within yourself. The climbing helps to keep the rider honest by ensuring the intensity is appropriate to make the rest of the ride.

  2. Long ride, but with some 30/30 or tempo/sub-threshold intervals at the end. So you get 3, 4, 5 hours or so of long steady exercise and then you push the envelope.

Another one, similar to what we did on yesterday’s live ride was Batman intervals, which were really just start hard - settle in - finish hard. The point I like to make with those is that when you can push yourself in that initial hard start before settling in sub-LT, you can go into the sub-LT segment feeling a high degree of discomfort. But that’s fine; it’s only discomfort, and nothing you can’t ride through. So I encourage riders to sit with that load in their legs, don’t go for the recovery right away, just experience it. What you’ll find is that you can hold that power longer than you might think.


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