Earlier this week on Instagram I asked if you’d like me to make the indoor trainer workout I was doing public. 82% of you said yes, so... here it is!
The session was 3 x 15 minute Wide Range Lactate Shuttling Intervals which I completed on my Wahoo KICKR. This session is one of our own pre-built workouts in TrainingPeaks, compatible with Erg mode enabled smart trainers, which I exported into my Zwift custom workouts. You might be familiar with these intervals already, or have heard them called 'Under Overs' or similar before.
I prefer to do sessions like this indoors on my Wahoo with Erg mode enabled to ensure the efforts are consistent and controlled. However, you can complete this session indoors or outdoors, with or without a power meter or heart rate monitor.
I planned this session for Wednesday after the SXC mountain bike race the previous Sunday afternoon. These intervals are hard so I made sure to schedule one day off training, and one low-intensity training day to recover before I attempted the session.
It's also worth noting that for an interval training session you need to fuel up. I did this session in the afternoon following a good breakfast and lunch, prioritising carbohydrate over protein and then fat. Low-carbs for a session like this would only end in tears. So if you are trying to reduce carb' intake then do this on days when training dictates it appropriate!
Why do this session?
For an endurance athlete, such as a road cyclist, gravel rider or mountain biker, these blocks of work over and under FTP provides the stimulus to raise this key attribute of cycling performance. They are great to do late in your Base phase and during your Build phase of training. Lactate shuttling is the process of moving lactate (lactic acid) from muscles to other body tissues like your heart for use as fuel. Contrary to the old school view that lactate is a waste byproduct, it is actually an important fuel for your heart during exercise. The goal of this session is to flood your body with lactate so that it gets better and more efficient at utilising it as a fuel source.
What to do
Warm-up: Over 20 minutes gradually build intensity from Zone 1 to low Zone 3. Increase your cadence as you do so, and consider including one or two high leg-speed 'activation sprints' of no more than 10 seconds.
Main Session: Complete 15 minutes of work with repeat efforts of 2 minutes 'under' with 1 minute 'over'. For wide range lactate shuttling, 'under' efforts should be Zone 3 and ‘over’ efforts should be high Zone 5 to low Zone 6. Cadence for both efforts should be above 90 rpm.
Depending on your level of fitness you can do as few as one 15 minute set or as many as 4 or even 5. If you are completing more than one set: have 10 minutes of easy riding for recovery between sets.
During each effort aim to keep your pedal stroke smooth and even. You should be aware that the shift in intensity from under to over is fairly subtle. It might just be a gear shift so you don’t need to accelerate or slow up abruptly. Finally, if you ride to failure and can't complete the set, progress to your cool down.
Once you have completed your session you should cool down for at least 10 minutes, and ideally follow the session with a 'head-to-toe' stretching routine.
If you want to see my completed session then click here to check it out on TrainingPeaks.
So there you have it, that's my session. If you decide to try it out then please share the ride with us on your social media and remember to tag yourself as a #WCCRider. We'd love to hear what you think of it so please send us a message or leave a note in the comments below!