Archive for the ‘workouts’ Category

My favorite cycling workout at the moment…

July 13, 2011

Here is a good workout to go to try!!  This works on the ability to repeatedly make hard efforts. this application if or crit racers, road racers, mtb bikers.

**I use zones 1-7**

Warm up 10-20 mins

2mins at zone 4

15 sec, Full gas zone 6/7

15sec rest

30 sec full gas again zone 6/7

20 sec rest

45 sec full gas at zone 7.

Rest 1 min then repeat. Repeat 2-4 times as you feel you can. The last 45 sec effort should be between 80-100% of your full 12 sec power

The combination of short rest periods and hard efforts combine to teach your body to deal with lactic acid. This workout should burn!!


Getting ready for a big event.

May 21, 2011

By now it is that time of the year where most people are gearing up for some sort of a big event. In this part of the series I am going to talk about what to physiologically to get ready.

At this point in your season, you want to start honing in on race or event specific challenges. For instance, if your race is a criterium, then adding a good dose of very hard back to back efforts are going to be critical. If your event is a longer ride or race over varying terrain, you would want to be sure your ready to take on that challenging terrain. This is not the time to crash train by realizing you have 3 or 4 weeks to go and ride / run / swim like made to get ready.

A sudden bump in volume is the very opposite of what you want to do. Instead this is the time to start cutting training volume and do specific intervals. I can not say how many times I have seen someone start training huge amounts of hours right before an event. A well planned but shorter workout week will make for more bang for the buck then just going out there and doing a bunch.

Here is a slice of how my progression has gone by comparing a week from about 6 weeks ago to a current week.

6 weeks ago                                                     Current

Mon:               off                                                                     off

Tues:      2 hours w/ 2x15min steady state                      1.5 hours, 3 sets of 5 sprints at zone 6 to 7

Wed      1 hour easy                                                               1 hour easy

Thurs:   2 hours with high cadence sprints                   1 hour easy

Fri:  2 hours with 4 x 5min hill repeats   Z5                  1.5 hours with  10 x 5min hill repeats zone 5

Sat  2 -3 hours, with at least 1 hour zone 3                   1 hour easy

Sun:  3-4 hours. 3x 20min at Steady state                     3-4 hours, 2x15min Zone 4, then 5x 2-3min hard hills or flat.

As you can see the over volume decreased but the intensity is way up. This is the pattern your training should start  to follow 3 to 5 weeks before a big event. Tweaks are needed depending on the goal, but the basic concept remains the same.

All endurance sports will follow a similar pattern, the one above relates to cycling but the same paradigm is used for running, swimming, triathlon and adventure racing. The concept is to increase your bodies tolerance to hard efforts and teaching it to recover quickly.

Also when you are starting to decrease volume, be sure your diet reflects the loss of calories burned over all. Another thing to keep in mind this is not the time to add more stuff in other areas of your life. For these few weeks try to remain rested and stress free as you can.

Next part will be addressing the mental side,

Till then, Ride hard

Coach Jordan

Alright, I have to work out, What do I do?

May 11, 2011

This is a question I know I even have sometimes. Despite having clearly defined goals for myself, a huge knowledge base of what I am good and bad at. It still happens from time to time. There are two ways to prevent this.

1) If you don’t have a coach deciding for you on a daily basis of what to do, then it requires just a minute or two of thought. It always best to work on your weaknesses. If you are not a very good hill climber then do hills. If you need to work on the amount of time you can maintain a hard pace, then it is time to do a long hard effort.

Another alternative is I see many people will do multiple hard days. After 2 to 3 days of doing different intervals, they have run out of ideas for intervals. In this instance, if you have been going for a few days hard, you need to go easy. Going easy will help your body rest and recover. You don’t have to make every work out hard! Giving your body time to rest and heal is when you make improvements.

2) Hire a coach, this is pretty simple and straight forward it is my job to make this never happen for you. This is the best option if you are frequently having this type of problem.

I know the above solutions seem a bit obvious, but I am surprised by how many times I have seen people get there gear on, put there running shoes or cycling shoes on, start going, and have no idea what to do. Often times this leads to a workout lasting a moderate amount of time and just going hard. This is the dreaded zone 3 burnout if it happens to often.

The next time you start your training session with no real idea, just go work on your weakness. This will almost always result in much more quality workout.

As always, Ride hard!

Coach Jordan

Rest and Recovery

April 25, 2011

Its no secret I am an a fan of this blog about fitness. Check out this great article about rest and recovery.


You will notice that this posting is tagged under “workout” This is because rest is just as important as a workout and should be treated as such!

P.S. The topics I promised are coming!

A quick Addition… An improvised workout

April 25, 2011

Those days happen, the days that something suddenly comes up and your workout is toast. I had one of these days on thursday. I suddenly realized we were moving and needed to do it that day. So my planned ride was to do 2 hours with some hill repeats.

So I improvised, I knew I would be having to climb stairs over and over again (two flights to be exact). So my improvised workout was to bound up the stairs as a form of plyometrics. Every time I went up the stairs, I leaped up the stairs. Though my fiancee and soon to be father in law thought I was a bit nuts, it did work. The next day left my legs pretty fatigued.

While this wasn’t as specific of a workout to cycling as I would liked it to have been, it was an acceptable substitute given the circumstance.

So in short, the next time your workout plans suddenly get crushed, think of an alternative, chances are you’ll be able to at least come up with something.

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

Cool new training log.

February 28, 2011

Training logs are a great resource to track information from year to year. I have recently found this one by athlete forward. It is a very comprehensive online training log that supports runners, cyclist, gym goers and many more. Check it out and start a training log today.


Later this week will come a posting about nutrition for weight loss.

Coach Jordan

Winter time cycling work out.

February 17, 2011

In a two for one day today, here is a recommendation for when you get a nice day here in late winter or early spring. The intent of this work out is to build aerobic / muscular endurance. During this type of work out it is critical to be maintaing the prescribed zones.

15 warm up zone 1 (RPE of 3 to 4)

alternate 20mins at zone 2 (RPE of 4 to 5) and 20mins of zone 3 (RPE of 5 to 6).

After each zone 3 20min effort do 5mins at low cadence of 60 to 65 rpm’s in a bigger gear.

repeat this for the entire ride duration. I have done this for periods of 2 to 3 hours.


Organizing weekly training

February 3, 2011

Organizing your week of training can be a challenge for all people. I know even myself I must struggle with finding the time to do a workout during my week. Between sleeping, eating, work, working on coaching, and various other things; my time to train to can be hard to organize. I am going to give a clue to how I organize my training every week.

One thing to keep in mind is that all workouts can be moved around. Even if you are one of my clients, and I say to do a particular workout on a particular day, it is still moveable. The only trick is to try and space out hard or length work outs. For instance, I try not to pair a 5 hour day with intervals the next two days straight. Instead I try to give the 5 hour day at least 2 days before or after any interval work out. I frequently use easy days (at least one per week) and days off the bike (again one per week), to try and space work outs apart.

My process is to first look at my work schedule and my training schedule. Any days off I have will automatically be a day for a longer ride. If I have two days off paired, I will do two longer rides. Contrary to what I said above, sometimes you have to adapt. If I have two long days, I will give a day off, an easy day, and a skills day before I do any significant work out. If you must go two days hard, be sure to pair it with at least 2 or 3 days before any interval work. For most people whom have the weekends off saturday and sunday will give some variation of a long day and a moderate distance higher intensity work out. If your days off are spread apart, this is easier to plan around. You can do your two hardest days (long day, and moderate distance / high intensity) as separated as possible.

The next piece of information I look out for is weather. If one day is going to be really nice, and a few crappy days. I will be sure to try and get the highest quality work out I can during the nice day. On rainy or nasty weather days my motivation is down, so I tend not to be as enthusiastic about my workouts.

There are handful of other variables that will play in to my decision about what work outs I do when. These variables are many and are frequently a unique situation from week to week. Sometimes this will force me to have to do a long or hard day on a day of bad weather. If this is the case, this is where being steadfast to your goals helps to drive you get the work out done.

There are other tricks I will use to help get the workouts in. Often this is in the form of getting up and getting the work out done as soon as possible. The early bird catches the work right? Try getting up a hour earlier (also going to bed an hour sooner) to get your work out in. If you are especially pressed for time, try getting in a higher intensity but short work out. I have included a list of these here. (under short hard work out ideas)

Sometimes if you are just to busy during a week, some work outs just can’t be done. In this case treat the week as a rest week. Try to carve a bit more time out for next week, and do a little extra. This is a good example of rest followed by over reaching. Over reaching is what activates the mechanisms in our body to come back better than ever. Just be sure you follow a harder week again with a bit of an easier week to allow your body recovery.

Sometimes, getting workouts in means being creative. I have read about all sorts of solutions. Sometimes the best  best way to figure out if you can get more in, or how, is to add up all your hours of activities. Subtract this from 168 (amount of hours in a week) and this can be a useful tool to understand just how much time you have to train. Use your time on a bike for commuting, jog to the local supermarket, maybe use a less than ideal pool to get your swim in. These are all little things that can help squeeze some time in to your training week.

As always, Ride hard

Coach Jordan

For more information go to or email me at

A Case study, making time for training

January 5, 2011

I would like to share an interesting email I had from a client. The back ground to this email is that I had not heard from him in a while. Over the course of these last few weeks he had only been training 1-2 times per week. Below is an email he sent me. I have highlighted in red the most important points I would like to talk over.


The integration of split intervals to accommodate commuting is OK with the advice you gave me about splitting them. I am comfortable with that.


(1) How would duration of workouts differ in a 3-4 workout week vs. a 6 workout week? If the workouts will be 3 hours vs 1.5 – 2 that may not help.

As soon as the weather safely permits I will begin commuting (temp. <25 is the determining factor). This should allow for more workouts per week.

Rest days being on Tuesday and weekends may be most desirable. (2) I would also like to have some advice on being able to move rest days around. What types of workouts are best not/done before/after rest. (3) If multiple rest days happen what would the best way to plan workouts before/after these 2 or 3 day breaks?

I will answer these few questions in order that they appear, with the appropriate number.

1) When an athlete is very crunched for time there still must be adequate training stimulus to encourage compensation by the body for improvement. Working out consists of two general variables to manipulate. One is time, and the other is intensity. A training load can be defined roughly as the time time’s intensity. This value is what gives the athlete the ability to create a stimulus the body must overcome and adapt to. There are two ways to generate big amounts of stimulus. One is by a huge volume of low intensity training. Lets just attach some numbers with this. Lets say the athlete works out for 12 hours a level of 3 on a 1 to 5 scale. This would result in a value of 36. Another approach to get the same amount on intensity would be to train 8 hours at level 4, this results in a total stimulus of 32. A much shorter amount of time, performed at a higher intensity. When dealing with a shortened training week. The substitution for volume must be made up for in intensity. This particular case of only being able to work out 3 times per week will feature a general plan as follows: 1 long ride 2-4 hour, and 2 other short 1 – 1.5 hours at a much higher intensity. (More on this form of training to come)


2) When it comes to rest days, there is more of a general rules, rather than an instance for every case. The purpose of rest is to allow the body to heal and recover after a big effort. Also though, training in a depleted state does not allow for the full potential of training to shine through. Therefore rest days must come after a big or hard workout, and in some cases before a particularly hard or big workout. (The later case is more for one day racing preparation; stage racing and back-to-back races take on a different paradigm.)


Rest days do not have to be set days of a week. Rest days are best taken after a break through workout or after a lot of fatigue and soreness has been built up after a period of training. Rest days are also for mental affairs as well. I, just the other day, took a rest day because I could just not get my head in the workout. If this is the case it to is also a sign to move the workout and take a rest day. In reference to this athletes question about training 2-4 time per week, nearly every “on day” will be followed by a rest day. This is mainly due to each work out will be very intense.


3) Dealing with periods where training is not possible for 2-4 day stretches is easily dealt with. In this case each period of “on training” will be 2-4 days of hard intervals or a big volume day to create an overload for the body. With this overload must also come a period of rest. This is frequently a tactic used by stage racers. Stage races feature 2-10 days of bike racing back to back. To create this sort of demand in training the athlete must train hard for 2-10 days straight. After though, rest will create the fitness gains from hard training. When a rest block must be demanded by work, family life, or other commitments, be sure to have a solid 2-4 days of training before that rest period. Most importantly, do not feel guilty during this rest period, as this the time the body will recover and make you a better athlete.

Great questions! Feel free to send me an email at and I would love to answer these.


Ride Hard,

Coach Jordan

Please go to for more information about coaching services.


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