Building up aerobic capacity

Posted on February 03, 2019 by Camila Rutford | 0 comments

Smiling because they're CRUSHING intervals and improving their aerobic capacity!

I figured it'd be important, and hopefully interesting to some, to talk about what a cyclist or triathlete needs in their wheelhouse (get it?!) to become better at their sport. There's a reason coaches and professionally-crafted training plans throw around words and phrases like functional threshold power, VO2max and lactate threshold, to name a few. 

That's because there are some pretty specific components in the strong-cyclist formula. One of them is aerobic capacity!

Aerobic capacity, also called VO2max, comes down to how much oxygen an athlete can take in to use for energy at maximum aerobic effort. More oxygen = more energy. More energy = more power. More power = more speed. (This is an extremely boiled down, non-scientific explanation so that I don't end up typing 230 pages and have to cross-reference dozens of people who are much smarter than me, because after a certain point, this stuff for sure goes over my head.)

We're talking about heart and lungs here, folks. 

Doing higher-intensity intervals (VO2max is typically 120% of your FTP), is one way to work on improving aerobic capacity. These intervals force you to work hard and get your heart rate up without pushing you to your absolute limit like anaerobic intervals might (think sprints and steep climbs).

So here's what we did in class Saturday morning, adapted from a TrainerRoad workout: 3 sets of 5x 1 minute at 120-125% FTP, 2 minutes recovery. We focused on staying at a high cadence.

FUN! Ben worded aerobic workouts like this perfectly: In the first set, the last 5 seconds of each interval might hurt. In the second set, the last 15 seconds hurt. And in the third set, maybe you're working through a full 30 seconds of ouch. Gotta love that compounding effect of aerobic capacity work!!

I'm doing a really great job of convincing you to come to class, right??

Point is, we're being deliberate about our workouts so that they will help you become a stronger rider! Come spin with us!

Mondays and Thursdays at 6pm, Wednesdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 8 am. Sign up here:

See you soon!


Posted in Greenstreet Cycles, Indoor Spin, Kickr, Kickr Studio, Training, Wahoo



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