For 2 months I have been completing spinning workouts designed to increase my cycling power.
I do not have a power meter on my bikes but there is one on the spinning bike I use at the club. This winter, I decided to regulate workouts based on power (wattage) output, a training technique used by most professional cyclists. In the past, I have trained using a heart rate monitor which I can use both in the gym and on the road. This winter, I focused more on wattage varying the length and intensity of spinning sessions as proposed by Dr. Andy R. Coggan’s (PhD) Power Training Zones for Cycling.
At the beginning of each month I tested my Functional Power Threshold (FPT) and adjusted my weekly training sessions accordingly, progressively increasing the load, duration, and intensity. I posted the weekly schedule on my locker door and checked off each workout, recording the average wattage and heart rates when they were higher than planned. Each workout was 60-75 minutes in length, including a 15 minute warmup followed by 15-20 minutes of stretching. After the first month, I had increased my FPT and power/weight ratio by over 8%. This month I expect a similar gain.
During these workouts, I also wore my heart rate monitor so that I could correlate my heart rate with wattage output. I learned I could work harder and longer than I normally do when cycling. For example, yesterday I did a tempo workout which included a 15 minute warmup followed by three 15 minute intervals at 75-90% of my FPT. I completed the final set at 95% of my FTP and 88% of my MHR. This is equivalent to 3 successive 15 minute steep climbs. I seldom work this hard on the road unless climbing one of the local mountains, and even then relax into a more comfortable pace.
Next week, I will retest my FPT after 2 months of focused training and consider how best to take these workouts outside with Chas and Lou.