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Mixed bag

Aim of Session

Four sets of work at and above MMP - not for the faint hearted, but a great MMP booster!

 

Session description

WARM UP: 15 min progressive warm-up, not included in session time

Set 1: 10 mins in length: first 3 mins zone 4; 7 mins of 5s at 120% MMP / 10s off

Set 2: 10 mins in length: first 3 mins zone 4; 7 mins of 10s at 120% MMP / 20s off

Set 3: 10 mins of 30s at MMP / 30s off

Set 4: 2 mins zone 5, 1 min off; 1 min zone 6, 1 min off; 15s at MMP, 5 min off - repeat this set.

5 mins between each set

COOL DOWN: Easy 15 minute spin to end, not included in session time

Physiology

This session is aiming to hit the physiology of zones 4 and 7: the high power bursts for short periods of time will give an overall feel of zone 4 whilst also affecting muscle fibre recruitment - the physiology of which is covered in the tabata session descriptions. Set 4 will also hit the VO2max system (challenging heart rate, maximal blood flow). The challenge taking the rider beyond the power intervals and tabata sessions is the progression and duration of this session - the amount of time each burst at 120% MMP lasts increases across sets; plus the number of sets will induce a higher level of exercise stress and therefore fatigue. Note the shift in work to rest ratio - starting at 1:2 (making the reps more anaerobic), and becoming 1:1 in set 3.

Application for the Rider

Because of the high level of power output required and the duration of each block, this session is great preparation for events lasting 4 to 10 minutes e.g. track pursuiting. The accumulation of work at high intensity also lends itself to criteriums and shorter mountain bike races.

Practicalities and tips!

  • There is a lot to remember in this session - we suggest you print the session description out and perform it on a turbo; at least for the first attempt.
  • Don't worry if you get things slightly wrong: the main things to remember are that each set is 10 min, and the bursts on increase from 5, 10 to 30 across sets 1 to 3. Set 4 differs slightly as it builds to a crescendo

Evaluation of the session

  • The first thing to check is if your session ran to the planned set time, and whether bursts within each set were performed as per the desired duration - as noted above, its not a major concern if not, but might just help you remember the structure second time out
  • How did the average power for each 10 minute block compare?
  • How well did you hit MMP for each burst? Were you able to maintain this level across the 10 minutes; and across each set?
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