Periodized Training for the Triple Bypass: Part 2

Part two of a three part series on training to prepare for the Triple Bypass or any other summer riding event.

Preparation and base training were discussed in the March Bike Beat; the next phase of training to promote a stimulus to advance fitness is the build phases. Traditionally when training for an endurance-specific event like the 2009 Triple Bypass, a cyclist will need to go through several phases of training over the months leading up to the event. The physical demand and mental preparation it takes to complete 120 miles over three mountain passes is such that attention paid to planning out details and performing certain types of workouts will allow for an enjoyable day in the saddle amongst friends.

Build phases are blocks of training from three to five weeks in length in which the training duration and intensity are slowly increased above the work load performed in the base phase. Each build phase is followed by a recovery week that has a reduction in overall duration and preferably a workout to measure signs of improvement at the end of the recovery period. This specific workout, called a benchmark, will help the cyclist determine if the training bout in the last phase has created an improvement in ability. The number of build phases depends on the amount of time the cyclist has until the event they are training for.

1. Build phase I workout

  • Attempt to use all gears of the bike
  • Up to an hour, three days a week, preferably back-to-back and up to three hours back to back on weekends
  • Add in some drills of Force production (low cadence climbing) once per week and rolling hills to extended climbs on the weekends

Once the first build phase has completed the cyclist should pay attention to how he or she feels after the benchmark workout has been completed and begin the next build phase. In this phase the workouts are similar to the last phase the cyclist is just doing more reps of a drill or additional time higher in the heart rate zones for the longer rides. At the end of each build, recovery is key and testing your fitness with the benchmark will allow for comparison of results to the last test for a measure of how the cyclist is adapting.

2. Build phase II workout

  • Attempt to use all gears of the bike
  • Up to an hour and a half, three days a week, preferably back-to-back and up to three/four hours back to back on weekends
  • Continue drills of Force production (low cadence climbing) once per week and rolling hills to extended climbs on the weekends
  • Add in some high intensity efforts on the extended climbs

Using the build phases to continue your training for the Triple Bypass or other summer cycling events will help you transition into the larger efforts needed to create success in your training. This can lead to a fun summer of views from your bike. Consider purchasing a training plan designed to prepare you for the Triple Bypass; the 15 week training plans start March 30th and can be started as late as April 20th 2009. The plans use the build techniques mentioned above as well as preparation and base phases, climbing techniques and tapering for the event. Look for future articles that cover these additional phases.

Training Plan

Preview of the Triple Bypass Training plan

Go to the plans page for the Triple Bypass.

Written by: Adam Fivehouse

Adam Fivehouse, USA Cycling LII Certified Coach, provides testing and coaching through Optimize Endurance Services. Contact him at 720-270-6876 or email Adam with training, coaching or testing questions. Or feel free to join us on one of our OES Training Rides. Ride details can be found on our Training Calendar.