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Indoor Cycling Training – 20 Minute FTP Session With Surges

Indoor Cycling Training – 20 Minute FTP Session With Surges

– Hello and welcome to a
GCN indoor training session. This one is just 20 minutes long. But do not worry, it is
still going to make us fitter and if it’s your kinda
bag, it’s also gonna hurt. The focus is to boost that
all-important threshold power, so the maximum power you
can sustain for one hour, the power that governs
how fast you ride up hills and how fast you ride on the flat. We’re just pedalling
steadily at the moment, we’re gonna ease ourselves in very gently with a nice four-and-a-half minute warmup. Now let me do some introductions. Joining us for the ride
today, we’ve got Lindsay and Matt on the front row. And we’ve got Juliet
and Tom on the back row. They are gonna be suffering along with us and doing some good hard yards. Right then, as I said,
we’re warming up gently. We’ve got a minute of
just gentle pedalling before the first of our cadence drills. So we’re gonna pick up the pedal speed up to 120 revs per minute,
just for 15 seconds. The point of that is to
start really stressing your cardiovascular system,
so your heart and lungs, but without putting too much
pressure on your leg muscles. So it just allows you
to warm up gradually, ready for the hard work. And when I say hard
work, I mean hard work. To boost your threshold power, you need to ride at threshold. So in just 20 minutes, we will be doing 14 minutes of threshold riding. But then, to add a little
bit of spice in the mix, we are gonna be doing some surging. So I’ll tell you more
about that in a minute. Get ready with your
gears, to get that first high cadence effort, just 15 seconds to go before you wanna raise the
tempo to 120 revs per minute, keep the gears light and
turn those pedals quickly. Ready? Five seconds. Two, one, and go. 120 revs per minutes. (upbeat music) Might feel a little uncomfortable,
a bit unnatural at first, but just keep them turning. And two, one, lock it back to it. Back to some gentle pedalling. May not feel like it’s done much, but it’s just getting you
used to that hard work. Right then, back to our surges. What’s that all about then? Well, to improve riding a threshold, riding at threshold is very important. But even more important
than that, is your ability to just go above it and below it. So in real world situations,
you might be riding up a long climb, and the
gradient just kicks up, it’s that ability to get out of saddle, ride over it, and get back to threshold. And then as an added bonus, that extra bit of work is also gonna really boost your overall threshold power. So it’s gonna be a really potent workout. Only 20 minutes, but I can guarantee you will be buzzing after it. Alright, everyone ready, we’re
gonna lift the tempo again, in five seconds, we’ll knock
up to 120 revs per minute. And go! Keep those pedals turning
quickly, light feet, pick up your calls, and go. Okay, whoo. Right, keep those pedals turning. Hopefully you’re a little
bit out of breath now. Maybe starting to get a bit of a sweat on. I know I certainly am. Right. Not long now until we
start our threshold work. So if you’re thinking
about your effort level, the first one minute 50 should feel hard, but not too hard. So no sprinting into that first interval, going to ride in gently, knock
it down through the gears, so the end of that one minute 50, you’re feeling nice and warmed up, okay? Breathing hard, but your
legs shouldn’t be screaming. And then, the end of
that, we’re gonna surge, not sprint, but surge. Okay, think about your gear selection, got 10 seconds to go before we start our first bit of threshold. Okay, two, one, off we go. It should be a very undramatic
start to your hard work, just waiting for the effort to come to you rather than going looking
to make your heart rate jump rapidly and your legs burn. That’s not what we’re about. This is control. That’s what we’re looking for. Now if you’re thinking
about resistance levels, keep it quite light, keep
your pedalling nice and quick. If you can, maybe put your
cadence up to 120 rpm. It won’t feel like your climbing tempo, but it should be simulating that nice fast flat-riding feeling. How’s everyone feeling? Getting out of breath? The effort’s coming to you? Good stuff, good stuff! It certainly is to me. right then, 15 seconds to our first surge. What’s it gonna feel like? So it’s not a sprint. I want you to imagine
you’re currently riding on a flat road, and in front of you, you can see a little ramp. It’s short, and you can just
simply sit in the saddle, and power through it. That is what we’re looking for. If you’re lucky enough
to have a power metre, you’re probably gonna be looking to double your threshold power, so whatever that may be. 200 watts to 400 watts, if you’re lucky 400 watts to 800 watts. But it’s just a short, short
burst with a low cadence. Okay, 10 seconds to go. Think about those gear selections. Okay, surge, that’s right,
dropping out through the gears. Increase the resistance. The bad news is that now you just gotta drop it back to threshold. No recovery, straight back to threshold. Try and breathe deeply, do the
best recovery that you can, while still putting out that power. Might help maybe to have a drink. It’s only a short session,
but you still run the risk of being dehydrated for
the rest of your day. You’re looking strong, guys. I like it. Keep that cadence nice
and fast, light feet, put your heels up. But do work. Okay, we’ve got another
minute before our next surge. Even though we’ve only
been riding a few minutes, you still feel that
effort starting to build. My lungs are working, my
heart, 175 beats a minute. I’m gonna be buzzing after this. Everyone’s looking good
and solid on the bike. Upper body’s nice and still. Okay, 15 seconds to our next surge. A little ramp in the
road is in front of you. I want you to knock it down a few gears, lower your cadence, and just push through. Surge through it in two, one, go. That’s right, looking
good guys, looking good. And we’re off it, back to threshold. No recovery, back to threshold. How’s it feeling? Tough. That’s what we’re talking about. ‘Cause you have only 11
minutes and 40 seconds to go, so make it count. Keep that cadence nice
and light if you can. Simulate fast flat-riding. As well as allowing you
to respond on climbs, to change the gradient,
it’s also gonna allow you just want to change the pace
in a race or on your club run, the difference in seeing
the wheels and going through and doing your turn on the
front, it’s all super important. But done in a nice controlled
way, on your indoor trainer. Don’t know about you but I’m breathing in
some serious lungfuls. Okay, 30 seconds until our next surge. Keep drinking, keep drinking. Right, 10 seconds to
go, let’s start thinking about changing onto those gears
for another 15-second surge. And ready, go. Power through it, come on. Over a little ramp, up the crest. Put out some watts. Okay. Whoo. Back to threshold. If you’re cursing those words right now, then you’re doing it right. No recovery. We’re gonna get an
hour’s work of hard work into just 20 minutes. We’ve got less than 10 minutes to go. Only a few more surges to come. Now if you’re wondering a little bit more about effort levels, then a guide on the
right-hand side of the screen refers to the duration of interval, as well as how hard you’re trying. So a 10 out of 10 effort for an hour is very different to 10 out
of 10 effort for 15 seconds. So you need to think about
how your body’s feeling and then you need to translate that into what we’re asking you to do. So right now, 10 out of 10 effort level, you’re gonna be hurting, but not the same as when you’re surging for 10 seconds. Keep thinking about your breathing. Get as much oxygen as you can in. This is about long intense efforts. And that is gonna be super important. Okay, another surge in 10 seconds, get ready for it. Five, two, one, and surge, come on. Power through. Your legs should be hurting, screaming, and knock it back. Back to threshold. Back to threshold. Try and recover as best as you can. If you need to stretch your legs, get out of saddle, but no soft pedalling. I want you to lean on those pedals still. Nice work, Tom, stretch those legs, and keep the cadence high 110 rpm, it’s a big ask, it might feel unnatural, but that’s what training’s all about. You stress your body, then
we get out on the open road, you go faster, simple as that. How’s everyone feeling? Yeah, good stuff. How the heart rate’s working? I’m at 180, anyone trump 180? I’m at 180, yeah. That’s alright, there’s more to come. I’m gonna hang in there, it’s
only six minutes 50 to go. Okay. Jokes aside, that kinda heart
rate for effort level 10 certainly about right for me. Dig indoors, it’s been warmer,
running a little bit hotter, as you can probably tell. So my heart rate’s gonna drift up. Okay, surging in five seconds, change those gears, ready to push through the next little rise on the road, go! Three, two, one, and back to threshold. Should be really fighting now. We’re not far off the end and the session. That’s six minutes to go. Keeping the power down. But keep those pedals light. I’ve got a tendency to
drift, to pedalling slower, so I just make a conscious
effort to get those feet moving. If you’re wondering why
this is hurting so much, it’s not just ’cause
it’s a 20-minute session, it’s ’cause Dan Lloyd was
the one who invented it. And he isn’t here right now. He’s making us suffer. Another minute before our next surge. How’s everyone doing? Are the lungs starting to go yet? Breathing hard? That’s right. Not long to go till that
beautiful warm down. And then, like I said, you’re gonna be buzzing
the rest of the day. Take a big drink. Okay, thinking about
those gear selections, we’ve got just a couple
more rounds to come. Two more surges, think about
following those wheels, dropping your riding
mates, winning that race. And one, go! That’s right, surge! Five seconds to go. And back to threshold. Back to threshold. Effort level 10 for a
reason, this is gonna hurt, but we’re all gonna make it. It’s not long now. We’re all in the same position, all in the pain cave. The last nail is going into the box. If that’s the case, you’ve
just timed it right. No long to go, look at that timer. Three and a half minutes, we can get off, have a drink, put your feet up. I might have a shower, possibly. Picture how much faster
this is gonna make you go, think about how much time
you’re gonna knock off that PB, think about how you
announce to that group ride for a little bit longer. Or putting your friends in the
pain cave on the chain gang. Or nailing that sportif
with big long climbs. Well, we’re training the
Maratona dles Doomites, and we’re already working on
our threshold power for that. Okay, we’re nearly there guys. Okay, 20 seconds to the last
surge, good work lassie, it’s what we like to see, mate. Bit of pain, visible pain, yes. 10. Riding, surging in five. Go! Surge, surge, surge. Ah! Big gears. Just leave her over. And we’re back, we’re back, we’re done. That’s it. Knock it off, gentle spinning. Ah! How’s that? Anyone cross-eyed? Just me, yeah I can stop here cross-eyed. That’s good work. Finishing heart rate is up
to 185, just a casual 185. Ah! Just keep those legs turning. If you can, if you got anything left, just keep that cadence nice and light. It’s a short warm down. You might wanna do it longer, but if you’ve gotta be somewhere,
if you gotta go to work, your dinner needs to come out of the oven, then just keep it short. Keep those gears really light. And just wait for your
effort to come down. You could if you’re really hard core, just wait for the next GCN
indoor training session to load, you just keep pushing through. But can’t imagine why
anyone would wanna do that. But still, the option is there. You might get a bit more
recovery as well with a warm up. So who thinks they’re gonna
be climbing faster after that? Yeah? Matt’s gonna be climbing faster. We’re hitting some pave next
week, it’s gonna help for that. Short intense bursts, bit of recovery. Right, just 10 seconds to go. And then we can climb off
knowing that we have done some seriously good hard work. Seriously good hard work. Well, that was one epic 20-minute session. Well done, everyone. That is gonna hurt, but like I said, it’s gonna leave you absolutely buzzing. Now, if you’re not too sweaty to start touching your
laptop or your phone, first thing you should do now is make sure you subscribe to GCN. It’s completely free, so do it
and just click on the globe. And then, you’re probably
not see it right now, but in the couple of days maybe, jump back on the indoor
trainer and saddle up for an ounce of our dear
marathon climber Dan Lloyd. That video is just down there. Or for 20 minutes of
pain, fat-burning pain, click just down there for that one. Ooh.

47 comments on “Indoor Cycling Training – 20 Minute FTP Session With Surges

  1. Is this in the GCN workouts on Zwift? If not, will it be soon? – Will give it a go once I;m over this bloody sinus thing that's been bugging me for a fortnight.

  2. Ive noticed in some of the indoor zwift or other indoor sessions that you either use a little 8-9 inch face fan or like in this video from what i can see, no fan at all… Why not get a few 20"+ fans? I use a 22" fan on the neo or on the rower and im virtually dry as a bone when finished, can go alot longer too…. with no cooling its like running a car with no water in the radiator.

  3. Great job Si,
    Much better than yesterday's spin class.
    I appreciated the spin instructor's enthusiasm, but his delivery was almost irritating.

  4. Guys, I'm a little confused with the scales here. SR talks about "back to threshold", yet it shows Effort=10.

    Surely Threhold=Z4=RPE8, and

    Maybe I'm missing something? Or can you explain how your Right Hand Effort bar graph corresponds to either Power Zones, or %FTP, please?

  5. HI, how is the effort level compared with the watts training zones (z1 z2 z3, etc..)? I always see that level meter on your videos but dont know how to find a correct equivalence to my training zones either the power or Heart rate.. Thanks! the videos look great!

  6. Toughest turbo session yet, even better than the micro intervals. Managed to shave 1 minute off my local hill climb, thanks GCN!

  7. Listen to the last 3.5 mins without the video. My wife was on the floor in hysterics. It's the most @accidentalpartridge thing she's ever heard. It bloomin priceless.

  8. Did this workout today, was amazing! Nothing like some Christmas Eve indoor cycling torture sessions. "Pick up you Hankles!"

  9. Hi GCN, thank you again for another great session! Simon, awesome job! Real quick ?, do you and the other riders hear the same music that we hear while you train or are you all on a different soundtrack altogether? Thanks again for all the great content GCN puts out regularly!

  10. hi guys, your sessions are all great. if fits me well because of my limited time to be on my bike these days
    … just one question though: how often do i have to do each session in order to achieve best results?
    thank you and more power

  11. hello @GCN –
    i'm a total n00b here and have been riding hard since spring, 5 mos with 4 weeks off to recover from a wee crash … anyway – i've acquired an indoor trainer but am not clear what's going on here.
    are you changing gears to match the decreased rpm … is there somewhere this is explained with text?
    in advance, many thanks!

  12. This bike was easy to assemble.>>> I love that it folds up and I can move it from room to room if needed. This lets me get the exercise I need, in the comfort of my own home, whenever I want, wearing whatever I want! This is a great bike to begin with to see if you'll stick with it, rather than spending a bunch of money on a more expensive bike that only gets used for a month and then you quit! The seat is super comfortable. I can watch TV or read a book while I ride and Very satisfied

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