Periodized Training for the Triple Bypass

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

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. Preparation and base training are the introduction that provides the body with the initial stimulus to advance fitness.

Preparation training is the onset of training in which the body comes to realize that work on the bike is going to become more common. This is a several week phase that utilizes low intensity and low duration workouts set up in increasing fashion. This phase is especially important if the training stimulus is new to the body due to time away from training. It is meant to introduce the body to the activity and not create too much stress.

1. Preparation workout (Best done on a trainer for consistency)

  • Small (compact) or middle (triple) chain ring and biggest three gears in the back.
  • 20 minutes to an hour in length every other day for two weeks
  • Spin in a range of 75 to 100 rpm varying throughout workout

Once the Preparation phase has begun the cyclist should pay attention to how he or she feels and when this initial stimulus feels like it is beginning to plateau it is time to move on to base training.

Base phase training is sometimes thought of long slow distance or LSD. So increasing the intensity and duration of the preparation phase will transition the cyclist into base training. The idea here is to increase the time on the bike over several weeks to bring about the challenge that helps the body adapt to the needs of the longer rides. It is also good to add some drills to the shorter rides to help improve neuromuscular response to training as well.

2. Base workout (Best done indoors and outdoors to allow for added stimulus)

  • Attempt to use all gears of the bike
  • Up to an hour, three days a week, preferably back-to-back and up to two hours back to back on weekends
  • Add in some drills of high cadence spinning and single leg spinning during the week and flat to moderate rolling hills on the weekends

Using these two phases to initiate your training for the Triple Bypass or other summer cycling events will help you ease into the 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 will start in late March. The plans use the techniques mentioned above as well as build phase, climbing techniques and tapering for the event. Look for future articles that cover these additional phases.

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.