This year, Adam and I decided to do something a bit different with my bike training. We decided to place a huge emphasis on training me to be able to recruit my glutes while riding. Adam did a lot of research this summer on glute recruitment and how to specifically train these muscles - which is now heavily emphasized in the WattsUp program. My "butt training" started with me riding in running shoes or with my bare feet on top of my bike shoes (to isolate the glutes during the "push down on the pedal stroke"), a lot of glute activation work (bird-dogs, side-band walks, glute bridge, etc.). This training progressed to lots of hills and slow strength work in December and some short VO2max sets. Without doing much VO2max work at all, I had a personal best 5min TT in December of 259W in aero position - that's about 4.9W/kg. Then, I went on to do a 20K TT at The X3 Lab, where I held 218W avg power for ~36minutes (~4W/kg). My previous best 20min TT from last year wasn't much higher than that. Currently, I'm doing a lot of work with short intervals at 240W to 300W. That makes 205W feel super easy!
An example of a set I did:
5x(1:30 on - 10s off), 5x(1:30 on - 20s off, 5x (1:30 on - 30s off) when on = ~240W
In addition to on the bike work, I have included strength training. I have a glute activation routine that I complete 3-4 times/week before hard bike workouts. I also have a strength routine which I complete twice per week. Currently, my strength routine involves forward and reverse lunges with light weight, single leg deadlifts with light weight, single leg angled leg press with heavy weight and straight leg deadlifts with heavy weight.
As I move toward race season (my first race is June 11th) I will progress my 240W+ intervals to 2, 5, 10(?!) minutes. I will combine these workouts with FTP, tempo and endurance rides and continue strength training. The hope is to FINALLY hold 200W NP for a half-distance race!
Test Sets 2016 to 2017:
5min TT - Dec 23rd: 259W avg P (5min)
20K TT - Dec 30th: 218W avg P (36min)
20 minute TT - March 24th
20 minute TT - May 4th
Half-ironman - June 11th, Sept 18th (Barrelman!)
Long course (56km) - June 25th (Welland) and Aug 6 (K-town)