5 Early Season Race Prep Indoor Workouts

by Gary Tingley - USAC Level 1 Cycling Coach

In many parts of the U.S., early season racing will soon be upon us. Get tuned up with these indoor race-specific workouts. I perform these on my SportCrafters Omnium Trainer and use a large floor fan for cooling. Note: For pacing using PE or a HRM, see Power Training Levels by Training Peaks.

#1 - High Cadence/High Intensity Surges (1.5 hour ride)

  • Start with a 20-30 minute gradual warm-up.
  • For this workout, visualize taking :15 second HARD (130-150% FTP) pulls, and then dropping back behind an imaginary breakaway partner into the draft for :15 seconds. Do this for 10:00. It will be difficult, but keep it rolling. Then easy for 5:00.
  • Finish out the ride at endurance pace (70-80% FTP).

#2 - Threshold Intervals (1.5 hour ride)

  • Begin with a solid 20+ minute warm up, stretch out the legs.
  • For main set #1, ride 4 x 12:00 @ 98-103% of your FTP with a 3:00 rest interval between each threshold interval.
  • Cool down for 10 minutes.

#3 - Climb the Pyramid (1.5 - 2 hour ride)

  • Warm up for 20:00.
  • Then do a reverse pyramid of intervals @ 93-95% FTP, starting with 20:00 and working your way down, by cutting the time in half: This is 20:00; 10:00, 5:00, 2:30; 1:15; :45. Incorporate 3:00 of recovery time in between each effort.
  • Recover for 5:00+ after the last interval, to make 1.5-2 hours total ride time depending on your needs.

#4 - Bursts and Sprints (1.5 hour ride)

  • Warm up for at least 20:00
  • Then complete a set of 5 microbursts of :30sec/:30sec 150% of FTP “ON” and 50% of your FTP “EASY”. Then ride very light for 10:00 to fully recover.
  • Then complete 3 “full gas” sprints from a slow roll/stop, full effort :10 to :12 second sprints with 4:00 of full recovery between each one. For the sprints, jump hard out of the saddle, explosive effort to get on top of the gear, then when you have reached maximum cadence, sit down and maintain maximum intensity for the entire length of the effort of :10 seconds or 20 pedal strokes.
  • Then after this set, ride at endurance pace to make 1.5 hours total ride time today.

#5 - Race Day Pre-Race Warm Up (40 minute ride)

  • The warm-up is 40 minutes total, and at a race is also completed on a trainer or on rollers.
  • 20 minutes easy spin, slowly raising cadence to 100 rpm, and include a few 5 second high-cadence bursts.
  • Then 1×3 minutes @ 90%/95%/100% of FTP w/2:00 easy spin between intervals 1-2, 2-3.
  • After interval 3, 4 minutes easy spin
  • Roll over to the start line area with 10 minutes to go.
Download a PDF of this article so that you can put these workouts to good use!

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