From the Archive: Team Tibco Trainer Workouts

Back in 2013 we asked Kinetic-sponsored Team Tibco riders Carmen Small, Kendall Ryan, Sam Schneider, Megan Guarnier, Allison Powers, Carlee Taylor and Erinne Willock give us some of their favorite Kinetic Trainer workouts, warm ups and tips. Try 'em out!

Carmen Small’s VO2 max workout

Living in Durango, Colorado makes it difficult to get needed miles in on the bike outside during the winter, so I end up having to get creative with my training. Growing up in Durango, I was a competitive Nordic ski racer, and luckily I can now ski as part of my base training for the cycling season. As part of my program, I will ski for a couple hours, then come home and get on the trainer for about an hour. This trainer time helps me warm up after being in the cold, and it also, as Megan Guarnier noted in last week’s trainer tip, promotes muscle memory and recovery from the “strength” workout that Nordic skiing offers.

I was very impressed with the Kurt Kinetic trainer from day one. As the racing season nears, I need to use the trainer to do more specific workouts such as short 3 minute VO2 max efforts and longer 15 minute threshold efforts. In the past, I have dreaded doing these workouts – not due to the difficulty of the workout but because I never had a great trainer like the Kinetic. It really does make all the difference! This is especially true with short out-of-the-saddle efforts that other trainers were inadequate for – constantly causing me to lose my rhythm. The transition between the steady efforts and the short bursts of power is totally smooth on the Kinetic, and the overall quality of the unit has made my 2011 winter training the best yet.

The VO2 Max Workout

Here’s one of my favorite indoor workouts prescribed by my coach. It is challenging to complete, specific for VO2 max training and effective. This workout is great because it’s hard enough that time will pass fairly quickly, and it gives you a truly quality session on the bike.

  • Warm-up for 20 minutes in Zones 1-2 (active recovery/long endurance pace)
  • Complete two sets of 3 x 3 minutes in Zone 5 (VO2 max pace) with 3 minutes rest between each effort and 10 minutes rest between the two sets.
  • Cool down for 20 minutes in Zones 1-2 (active recovery/long endurance pace)

Another way of looking at this workout is like this:

  • 20 minutes zone 1-2
  • 3 minutes zone 5
  • 3 minutes zone 12
  • 3 minutes zone 5
  • 3 minutes zone 1-2
  • 3 minutes zone 5
  • 3 minutes zone 1-2
  • 3 minutes zone 5
  • 3 minutes zone 1-2
  • 3 minutes zone 5
  • 3 minutes zone 1-2
  • 3 minutes zone 5
  • 20 minutes zone 1-2

(Zone 1-2 is considered "active recovery/endurance" or about 55% to 75% of your wattage produced at threshold (FTP). Zone 5 is a "VO2 max pace" or about 106% to 120% of your wattage produced at FTP) For a more in-depth explanation of Lactate Threshold and training zones, see our article on determining your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and setting your own training zones.

Kendall Ryan’s criterium warm-up strategy

Last Sunday,Team TIBCO fielded a seven rider squad to contest our first criterium as a team. The squad for Merced included Erinne Willock, Samantha Schnieder, Allison Powers, Carlee Taylor, Emma Mackie, Carmen Small, and myself– Kendall Ryan.

After a hard team camp and winning the road race the day before, our legs were feeling pretty heavy. All of us rode to the race and set up our Kurt Kinetic trainers at the last corner of the seven-corner circuit. Emma provided us with some “bumpin” warm-up music, and we used trainer time to get in the zone, spin the lactic acid (or spin out the “Larry” as Carlee calls it) out of our legs from the day before and prepare our game faces. Team trainer time served as excellent motivation pre-race.

After trainer time, we took the line for the start of the race. It was great to have a full team lined up next to each other. Together, with our DS, we had discussed race strategy, and we were ready to execute it. Team TIBCO took two spots on the podium at Merced. Sam Schneider placed 2nd and Carmen Small was 3rd. I finished 4th. We have a lot of strong riders and we’re meshing together well. It’s clear we’re on track to become a strong, unified team. I’m looking forward to the races to come as the season progresses. The Merco Stage Race, our first multi-day event, begins today. Pre-race, expect to find us on our Kinetic trainers.

Here’s how I generally warm-up for a criterium

  • Warm-up for 10-15 minutes in Zone 1-2 (active recovery). Here, I’m just looking to get the blood flowing.
  • I ramp up the pace until I’m riding in Zone 3 (tempo). Depending on how much time I have, I’ll ride 5-10 minutes of tempo before starting my intervals.
  • Complete one set of 6 x 30 seconds Zone 5 intervals (all out efforts) with 2-3 minutes of tempo between each effort. Cool down for 10-20 minutes in Zone 1-2 (active recovery)

Another way of looking at this workout is like this:

  • 10-15 minutes Zone 1-2
  • 5-10 minutes Zone 3
  • 30 seconds Zone 5 (interval 1)
  • 2-3 minutes Zone 3
  • 30 seconds Zone 5 (interval 2)
  • 2-3 minutes Zone 3
  • 30 seconds Zone 5 (interval 3)
  • 2-3 minutes Zone 3
  • 30 seconds Zone 5 (interval 4)
  • 2-3 minutes Zone 3
  • 30 seconds Zone 5 (interval 5)
  • 2-3 minutes Zone 3
  • 30 seconds Zone 5 (interval 6)
  • 10-20 minutes Zone 1-2

Sam Schneider’s base-building movie picks

Riding the trainer is a must when living in Wisconsin during the snowy winter. When the roads are covered in ice and snow, finding a way to get the right workout in is possible with my Kurt Kinetic trainer. During the winter I typically build up to about 20-25 hours a week to work on my base. I use my Kinetic trainer to ride with the front wheel elevated to help simulate climbing in order to build my climbing legs.

When putting in a lot of base time I find watching action movies helps the time pass. Once my base is established, I start to increase intensity by doing intervals twice a week. I’ve always felt prepared for the early season camp and races even though I have had zero time on the road.

Here are some of my favorite trainer time movies:

  • Bourne Identity
  • Bourne Ultimatum
  • Bourne Supremacy)
  • Law Abiding Citizen
  • Fast and Furious (1-4)
  • Taken
  • Italian Job

Occasionally I’ll watch a more girly movie like:

  • 27 Dresses
  • The Ugly Truth
  • In Her Shoes

Megan Guarnier recommends trainers for recovery too

Trainers can be an amazing tool for season preparation when you’re stuck in New England during the wintry months of the year as we build our endurance. However, we often overlook the value of the trainer to help in recovery, both during off-season and in season.

Many of us are familiar with the heavy, lethargic feeling we have after leaving an arduous weight lifting session. Generally, this sensation is strongest at the beginning of any lifting regimen, and you may still feel tired days after your lifting session. I’ve found that a trainer session after my time in the gym can be extremely beneficial. The trainer is in a controlled setting, where I can spin at a high cadence with low resistance. I can focus on a circular pedal stroke without dodging cars and potholes. This aids in “flushing out” my legs after all that heavy, weight bearing movement, much like a cool-down.

I’ve found that this type of trainer session is also effective after activities that are not part of my regular training. If you decide to go downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, telemarking, running, or whatever your cross-training activity of choice may be, hop on your trainer for just 10-30 minutes to spin and you’ll find your legs a lot fresher afterwards.

Allison Powers: Don’t forget the cool down!

A proper cool down is an often overlooked part of training and racing. The cool down is one of the most important parts of the workout. Cooling down helps your muscles get rid of waste products such as lactic acid, thus allowing your body to relax, recover and repair for the next workout and/or race.

Last month, while we were in California for our Team TIBCO/To the Top training camp, we raced two local races in Merced. The criterium, on Sunday, was my hardest workout to date. At the end of the race, I was very tired and the last thing I wanted to do was to keep riding my bike. However, I knew I would feel better if I continued to ride and cool down. I asked our team mechanic to pull out one of our Kinetic Trainers as the riding near the race finish was not ideal for a proper cool down due to stop signs, traffic, etc.

I hopped on the Kinetic Trainer, performed my favorite cool down, and in less than 15 minutes I was finished. My legs and body felt much better than before the cool down and I knew the upcoming car ride and travel the next day would now be more comfortable and tolerable.

My favorite cool down

  • 5 minutes easy spinning
  • Then every 50 seconds, “burst” for 10 seconds.
  • Spin easy for 50 seconds, burst for 10 seconds. Continue 6-10 times
  • 5 minutes easy spinning

(A “burst” is a high cadence sprint. No need to get out of the saddle, just spin as fast and as hard as you can for 10 seconds. The first 3-4 “bursts” will hurt your legs as you start to clear the lactic acid. After 4-5 “bursts” you should feel better and your legs will feel lighter and more “springy”.)

Total time is 15-20 min.

Carlee Taylor Loves the Trainer for Specific Efforts

Even though we don’t get the freezing cold temperatures and snow back in Australia, I often use my Kinetic Road Machine trainer. This is because it is very effective when doing specific efforts. For example: 5 x 5 minutes @ threshold with 5 minutes recovery between each effort. When trying to do this on the road numerous factors can inhibit your effort, such as traffic lights, corners, or a slight decent. The fluid trainer on the other hand provides a "controlled" environment, and when using this in conjunction with a power meter it allows me to analyze my efforts and compare data.

Using my Kinetic Road Machine trainer not only helps me see where my form is at, but it is very time efficient and specific. An hour work out on the fluid trainer is enough to leave you feeling absolutely smashed! My coach believes in this philosophy so much that I do two trainer sessions a week (no matter what the weather is like outside!) This is because I can train for any type of race by doing different types of efforts. I can do strength endurance (big gear efforts), sprint sets, high intensity lactate or VO2 max efforts. I have only just started using the Kinetic Road Machine trainer this year, but I love it! It is quiet, and provides enough resistance no matter what type of effort I am doing because the resistance adjusts as my speed changes.

When doing a trainer workout I like to have the following in close proximity:

  • A fan!! Or a source of cool air such as an open window or do it outside! It’s amazing how much you sweat it up when there is no wind in your face and you’re doing a full out effort.
  • A towel
  • A clock or heart rate monitor. You definitely want to know how much longer you have left of your effort or how fast the recovery section has gone!
  • An iPod. Music always gets me pumped for my efforts. This might sound lame, but TNT by AC/DC always seems to get me in "the zone!"

Erinne Willock’s High RPM Workout

Living in Victoria, Canada I get some cold and rainy days during the winters and I definitely need and use my Kinetic trainer. But, not only do I use it when I can’t go outside, I’m also on my trainer a minimum of once a week no matter what the weather. I use my trainer, like my teammate Carlee Taylor discussed in her tip, to focus on specific intervals and technique drills.

During the winters my typical once-a-week workout is something like the following:

First, I get set-up and have some good music, windows open, and a fan. My workout takes just under 1.5 hours and I keep myself busy doing different efforts. My number one goals while on the trainer is to work on leg speed; that’s why I always try to stay above 105 rpm the whole time.

Leg speed is important for two reasons:

  • it allows a rider to potentially ride a higher cadence with a larger gear
  • and the warm-up and cool-down drill I do can also ‘wake-up’ the nervous system.

Next, I start out with 10 minutes of spinning and then I do a ‘spinerval triangle’ which takes 5 minutes. This triangle is an increase of 10 rpm every minute. For example I start at 110 rpm for 1 minute, then 120 rpm for 1 minute then 130 rpm for 1 minute, then back down to 120 rpm then 110 rpm again. You can start at any cadence you’re comfortable with and work your way up to higher numbers. Remember to keep the resistance very low. After this I cruise for 5 minutes. Then 5 minutes of about 75% effort. Then cruise again for 5 minutes.

Now my real intervals begin. I do 5 x 5 minutes at an 85% effort (think TT pace) with a 2-minute rest between each effort.

For my cool down, I typically do a couple minutes of single leg pedaling on each side. This creates strength and can balance discrepancies between legs. But it is at a slow cadence so I do another spinerval triangle afterwards and then cruise and cool down for 10 minutes.

Throughout your trainer workouts, strive to keep leg speed up and entertain yourself with little drills throughout your workout. It will help your trainer sessions fly by! Have fun and Rock and Roll!!!