Archive for the ‘power training’ Category

The Coach’s Test

March 28, 2011

So I preach about testing and training methods. Time to put my money where my mouth is. Its my turn to test myself! I figured talking about my own test results might be a fun view. I will be able to analyze my own results and discuss them in depth to help others analyze their findings. So with out further ado, these are the previous standards:

aerobic capacity (1st and 2nd 45min avg’s) = 1% change between the first and second 45mins

anaerobic test: (30sec on, 30sec off, how many times) = 4 times

Sprint max = 1375 W @ 18.21 W/kg

1 min power = 619 @ 8.32 W/kg

5min power = 417 @ 5.6 W/kg

20min power = 340 @ 4.5 W/kg

So these are the numbers, stay tuned as I will update how the tests are going.


Plyometrics for spring

March 20, 2011

As the northern hemisphere rotates into the sun, its getting warmer out!! Cyclist, runners, and man more are starting to see the hints of spring and are salivating to get out on the bike and ride! I am an advocate for strength training for any endurance athlete. By now the strength portion of your weight routine, or off bike routine should be coming to a conclusion.

It is not time yet to totally abandon a weight routine. Instead I am a fan of continuing to work the muscles not used very much by your current sport. for instance for cyclist, working the abs, hamstrings, back, and arms are all critical to maintain an injury free season. Also I still advise athletes to work at least one set of the main movers. For cycling as an example, this would be the quadriceps, glutes, calf muscles, and a few more. (both these lists are not exhaustive, email me at for a more complete list for different sports) All this I recommend once a week or so.

This time of the season is not just about cutting weights down to once a week. It is also about addition of plyometric sessions. Plyometrics are explosive efforts that help take the strength founded in the weight work and adds a quick explosive movement to recruit better firing patterns. Power is something most endurance athletes need at some point during an event or competition. The mathematical expression for power is Power = force per time. If we think about this, force (moving a weight) and time (pedal stroke, running stride etc) are something done during every session of workout. Plyometrics takes the weight component and teaches your body to do it quicker. Another benefit is to load muscles, connective tissue, and bones to deal with a high amount of force.

A website I will recommend for viewing different work outs is here: I use this as it is a great tool for showing plyometrics as it would be to difficult / long to try and explain them.

Lower body = HERE

Upper body = HERE


I recommend for endurance athletes to do about 20-30 total movements (1 jump = 1 movement) for the lower and upper body (20-30 lower body, and 20-30 upper body) for starters. Over time this can be increased to 40-50 total movements. Do not exceed more than 50. Plyometrics also carry a risk of injury if not done correctly. Also with the addition of several hours of training each week 50 total movements a week should be adequate for a gain in performance.

As always, Ride Hard

Coach jordan

Please contact me at if you have any further questions

A ride in California, when planning meats success!

February 15, 2011

I am out in california being educated about bikes this week. Specialized is putting on quite a show and treating us guests to a week of nothing but awesome bike talk and rides.

I am out here for the rides though and to test myself a bit. The riding is amazingly scenic and perhaps some of the best I have done to date. Today we did a short ride of about an hour or so. The group was kept very controlled but we were given the opportunity to open it up a few times. One time in particular was a shallow 2.5 mile climb. Needless to say I was chomping at the bit.

The outcome? thats to come! but this posting is about how coaching got me to the end result. I have to be my own coach sometimes and I have to turn the tables on myself on a daily basis to plan my rides and make goals along the way.

This winter I am doing something a bit different. For those whom I coach you probably have seen this to. This winter I am doing a bit more early threshold development work. This development has been in the form of steady state training. This zone is defined by being 83-90% threshold power or 92-95% threshold heart rate. While the science of this zone is a bit complex, it works on threshold development. In addition to this threshold development, I have been using periodic doses of maximal interval training. These efforts are a 30sec to 2min long and are typical interval sessions.

The idea to split form the my usual in the past of long steady distance (LSD) rides is two fold. One, I just don’t have the time or mental stamina like the season I was doing 15 hour weeks on a trainer. With work, coaching and much more, I seem to be setting in at 8 to 12 hour weeks. Another is I wanted to be able to show up for some early season challenges with a bit more high-end ability and just not be the guy who can pull for 3 hours at a moderate pace. This would probably lend itself to more motivation and reward for the work I have been doing.

So how is this bid paying off? Very well! The climb today was fast and I was able to put in a few good turns of speed. I climbed with the top three guys and gave them a challenge all the way to the top. I did get redlined, but it was much less painful then I remember other spring rides like this being. I felt great! It was a real confidence booster. This has given me the drive to get this week done an return home for a serious 6 weeks of training before my next small target.

While I know I still need to get in some longer rides of 3 hour plus; I would say my training thus far is putting me exactly where I want to be.  Do I still have further to go? You bet!! But my new tactic seems to be paying off. I would recommend anyone whom has done the LSD rides in the past to introduce some of what I mentioned above into their training. While I am not a fan of interval work only like some plans. I would say a hybrid of the traditional model of LSD rides and interval work seems to be working.

Ride hard

Coach Jordan

Why is cross so darn hard?

September 29, 2010

Every season when cyclo-cross comes around, everyone I know (including myself) Seems to be so confused by how hard cross season is, or even some mountain bike races.

During the months of about december to september we are all in the training mode for road season. Road season is always a regimented training program, doing a 20min warm up, 3×10 min threshold intervals with 5 mins rest and then a 20min cool down. From personal experience I know the beginning portion of an interval will be taxing, but after a short bit you “settle” into the interval and it can even feel good. Cross season how ever is one race of intervals all over the place. :30sec sprint through the barriers, long grind up the hill, short burst at top, short rest through the turn… you get the idea. Then add in the attacks by others, trying to move a place here and there, and recovering after a slip up. There is no consistency at all, While criteriums can be close there is a general recipe for how the race plays out. Keeping in mind the human body is a creature of habbit, cyclo-cross is the complete opposite.

So this begs the question of how to train for a sport that seems to be so all over the place? Cross training must replicate the needs of the race; that is high intensity, high muscle force; random cadence, repeat ability, min rest. High intensity being short intervals that train the anaerobic  system.

This will be high out put efforts for :15sec to 2min in length, and be 110-150% of you threshold power. Work outs of this nature will generally be no longer than an hour or so with short warm ups and cool downs. In general the efforts will be focused towards what you know your weakness is. If it is in the 2-3 min area, than those intervals should be in your work outs. Also working on a 1:1 rest to work ratio will help out big time, especially on intervals less than 2 mins long. In road racing we would put more breathing room between, this is not the case with cross. However the recovery time between sets will be greater.

Cross also needs high muscle force as well. Frequently in cross there are situations where you come out of turns in the wrong gear, or going up a hill in to tall of a gear. Both of thee situations require bursts of high muscle tension to get going. Workouts to accommodate this will be things such as low rpm pedaling, sprints starting at 2mph in the highest gear, and pedaling them all the way to a 120+ cadence sprint. You could also try on a mountain bike to just not down shift sometimes on a hill. Furthermore, working in a short plyometric session can help vastly to improve your jump or ability to grind the gear out for a few seconds longer.

Speaking of cadence, there is variability in cadence used. So as just discussed with low cadence you also need to work on high cadence. This is as simple as trying to pedal at 110+ rpm for long periods or doing sprints that build to a 140 or greater cadence. This is also great to pear with the low cadence days. Because in one moment of cross you might be pushing a big gear, and the next spinning like mad for moments in time. Not to mention that sometime the mud clogged drivetrain might dictate some gear choices…

As eluded to earlier there needs to be variability. Looking at a power file of a cross race there is many efforts of more than 400 watts in the last race an athlete raced. Again just like a crit, there is need to produce big numbers for brief periods of time. The only case in cross though is it might look like a :30 sec effort, 1 min effort, :20 sec effort. So instead of just doing straight 1min or :30 sec sprints in from the road season. do :30 sprint, :30 rest, 2min effort, :30sec rest, 1:00 min effort. Vary these and try to repeat efforts until full exhaustion sets in. Once exhaustion does set in though, be sure to give your self ample rest time between sets. Any type of interval that makes you go hard, then go harder again will only help.

Last but certainly not least, cross race type simulation. Every where I have been has some sort of cross practice night. Take advantage in your area and do these practices it will only help with your cross season. Get a hold of you local bike shop, and ask, or look in a forum. These will be the best form of cross practice you can get.

From a power perspective, if you have just done a race that feels like a cross race does. Look at your file and have either gold cheetah, training peaks or email me the file to look at. Your looking for how many times you crossed 400 watts or greater (or zone 6, for those whom I do work with). This number will be a number to replicate and beat in a practice scenario.

Much of what is discussed above is very applicable to mountain biking. The course never follows :30 on and :30 off pattern. These strategies can help take the sting out of a hard technical mountain bike course.

One last note, is that some of this is all to forgotten when road season comes. While most races follow a general recipe and will always split at a certain hill of a certain time. It is good to have the ability to mix it up a crucial stages of a race to test your break away companions, or make it of a group to get in the break.

Ride Hard

Coach Jordan or email me at

%d bloggers like this: