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The Comeback Training Plan

The 12-Week
Program for
Revitalizing
Your Cycling
Fitness
By Chris Carmichael
with Jim Rutberg
 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Comeback Training Plan

The Comeback
How a 37-year-old, busy father returned to peak
fitness—and you can too

T
ruth be told, by the time the himself into his new life. He became much schedules. In 2005, a few members of the CTS
2005 Tour de France concluded more involved in the fight against cancer, coaching staff competed in the Leadville 100
on the Champs Elysées in speaking at universities, hospitals, fund- Mountain Bike Race, in Leadville, Colorado.
Paris, Lance Armstrong was raisers, and even before the U.S. Congress. A few days later they challenged me to stage a
all too ready to retire. What Under his leadership, the Lance Armstrong comeback of my own and compete in the 100-
had started as a comeback to prove—to Foundation was instrumental in drafting mile mountain bike event the following year.
himself and the cancer community—that and passing new legislation in 2007 in Texas, Actually, it was more than a simple challenge:
cancer survivors were not fragile, but instead Proposition 15: Texas Takes on Cancer, They bet me $1,000 that I couldn’t finish the
capable of tapping into their experiences which allocated $3 billion over 10 years to event in less than nine hours.
fighting the disease to achieve even greater fund cutting-edge cancer research in Texas I hadn’t entered a race in more than a
accomplishments afterward, had turned laboratories. decade, but I’d ridden more in 2004 and
into an unprecedented run of seven Tour And unlike many retired professional 2005 than I had earlier in Lance’s Tour de
de France wins. But the nine years since his athletes, Lance stayed in very good physical France reign, and I relished the challenge. So
cancer diagnosis had been strenuous, and shape as well. He rekindled his love for I trained hard for nearly a year, dropped 15
the pressure to continue winning increased running and competed in the New York City pounds of body weight and joined the coaches
with every passing year. By 2005 Lance had Marathon in 2006 and 2007, and the Boston on the start line of the 2006 Leadville 100.
been a professional cyclist for 15 years and Marathon in 2008. He continued riding his Nine hours and 18 minutes later, and out
a professional athlete since he was a 16- bike, branching out to enjoy mountain biking $1,000, I crossed the finish line and vowed to
return the following year to claim the large
rodeo-style belt buckle reserved for finishers
No one had ever attempted to do what who beat the nine-hour mark.
Lance Armstrong was proposing. Was it The Leadville 100 had long been on

even possible to regain the power neces- Lance’s radar. He knew of the ultra-endurance
d a r t e r

event held every August in Colorado, but


sary to compete in the Tour de France? never had the opportunity to compete during
m i c h a e l

his professional career. But as he saw me train


for Leadville, his interest in the race grew. In
year–old triathlete. He was justifiably tired, and cyclocross as well as road cycling. the spring of 2007, he called me and asked
b y
p h o t o g r a p h y

mentally and physically, and looked forward While Lance was enjoying his retirement, me to meet him in the old mining town just
to spending more time with his young I was focused on expanding Carmichael across Independence Pass from Aspen for a
children and devoting more of his efforts to Training Systems and mentoring CTS coaches ride. Lance was looking for a challenge, too,
the Lance Armstrong Foundation. who were working with other pros as well and wanted to see the course so he could
Never one to be idle for long, Lance threw as plenty of motivated amateurs with busy decide if he wanted to give it a try.
C o v e r

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

On a Sunday morning in June, Lance, CTS I thought he was talking about continuing Just weeks earlier, 41-year-old swimmer Dara
coach Jim Rutberg and I set out to ride the to race ultra-endurance mountain bike events, Torres had earned a trip to the 2008 Olympic
first and last 25 miles of the course, which and rattled off the names of a few more Games, in Beijing, China, her fifth Olympics
included four of the race’s five major climbs. competitions I believed Lance might enjoy. as a competitor. She won both the 100-meter
Still obviously in great shape, Lance rode “No,” he said. “I mean, what if we go back to and 50-meter freestyle events at the Olympic
away from us on every climb and proved to be the Tour?” I was astonished. Go back to the trials, breaking her own American record in
equally adept on the steep and rocky descents. Tour de France?! Lance was almost 37 years the latter. In Beijing she earned three silver
On the drive back over Independence Pass old and hadn’t raced as a professional in three medals, bringing her career total to 12 and
to Aspen, he pressed me for every piece of years. He was fit, but nowhere near as fit as earning her the distinction of being the
information I could provide on the race and he had been during his last Tour de France, in oldest athlete to win a medal in an Olympic
what it would take to win it in 2008. 2005. And no one had ever attempted what he swimming event.
Throughout the next year, Lance was proposing to do. Was it even possible to Brett Favre, longtime quarterback of
continued his work with the Lance Armstrong regain the power necessary to compete in the the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, retired and
Foundation and stayed active on his bike, in world’s toughest cycling competition? returned to professional football with the
the gym and with his marathon training. He
didn’t talk much about the Leadville 100, and
I figured it had been a passing interest the To transform Lance, we had to accelerate
previous summer. Then Lance called again in
the progression of his training and
July wanting to meet in Leadville for another
reconnaissance ride, and this time his interest focus on three main areas: endurance,
wasn’t idle curiosity: He wanted to race. intensity and body composition.
Reigniting The Fire Within
Lance’s decision to return to competition was One of a coach’s responsibilities is to New York Jets at the age of 39. Indeed, Lance
spurred by a confluence of factors. For the be frank and honest with an athlete, and I was quoted in a September 2008 article in
first time since he had retired, he had taken presented all the reasons why a comeback Vanity Fair saying, “Look at the Olympics. You
a particular interest in the Tour de France. might not be a good idea: What if he tried and have a swimmer like Dara Torres. Even in the
And as he watched the race on television from failed? Was he really ready to return to the 50-meter event [freestyle], the 41-year-old
the United States, he realized that the riders monastic lifestyle of a professional cyclist? mother proved you can do it. The woman who
occupying the top 10 positions in standings Did he really want to reenter the highly won the marathon [Constantina Tomescu-
were all riders he had competed against and political world of professional cycling? Dita, of Romania] was 38. Older athletes are
beaten. At the same time, he was looking for But Lance had a goal that trumped all performing very well. Ask serious sports
the next challenge he wanted to tackle—and the challenges presented by mounting a physiologists and they’ll tell you age is an old
he and I had been talking about my training comeback: taking the Livestrong message wives’ tale. Athletes at 30, 35, mentally get
for the Leadville 100. In late July, Lance’s international. The Lance Armstrong tired. They’ve done their sport for 20, 25 years
competitive spark reignited, and he decided to Foundation’s success in passing Proposition and they’re like, ‘I’ve had enough.’ But there’s
return to racing by joining me at the start line 15 in Texas and the interest it had generated no evidence to support that when you’re 38
of the 2008 Leadville 100. in other states convinced Lance that it was you’re any slower than when you were 32.”
When Lance committed to racing time to engage the world in the fight against If age wasn’t Lance’s biggest challenge,
Leadville, he had fewer than three weeks cancer. And what better place was there for what was? I reasoned that it was the three
to prepare for the event. But true to his Lance to raise awareness for a global cancer years away from elite competition. During a
nature, he gathered as much information as initiative than from the saddle of his bike in normal year of his professional cycling career,
possible about the race, the course and the competitions around the world? And as for all Lance rode about 45,000 kilometers (almost
competition. There was really only one man of my questions, Lance simply replied that if 28,000 miles), which means that even though
to beat, former World Cup mountain bike he succeeded in raising worldwide awareness he stayed fit in retirement he missed out on
racer Dave Wiens, who had won the race five of the need to commit more resources to nearly 140,000 kilometers of training and
consecutive times. In 2007, Wiens won his finding a cure for cancer, then his comeback racing. And even more significant than sheer
fifth title and set a new course record, beating would be a success, regardless of his racing distance, Lance missed out on the positive
Lance’s former teammate, Floyd Landis, in results. training impact of three Tour de France
the process. And with that, I set about the task of races. The Tour de France was not only the
But what caught my attention was the designing a training program that would endpoint of Lance’s training program, but
enthusiasm Lance had for training. More once again bring Lance back to the top of also an integral part of the plan for success
than once I commented to the CTS staff and professional cycling. Age, I concluded, would the following year. There’s simply no way to
my friends that I hadn’t seen Lance so excited not be the seven-time Tour champion’s replicate the intensity and demands of the
about training since 1999. And then during biggest challenge. There was plenty of Tour in training, making the event itself a key
a training ride in Aspen, Colorado, Lance evidence to support this conclusion, including component to training for it. This was true
asked me, “What if we just keep going after incredible performances by other athletes even during Lance’s comeback from cancer;
Leadville?” who had once been considered too old to win. he finished fourth in the three-week Tour of

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

Spain in September of 1998 before winning


the Tour de France in 1999.
In response to the challenges Lance faced
in attempting to race the 2009 Tour de France
almost exactly one year after emerging from
Recovery on a Grand Scale

A
three years of retirement, I designed an
fter nearly 20 years of working with Lance, I understood what an extraordinary ath-
aggressive plan of training and racing that
lete he was, but even I was surprised by Lance’s rapid fitness progression between
was different from Lance’s earlier plans but the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2009. Looking back through Lance’s training logs, I
based on the same proven methodology. realized that the only other time he had made similarly impressive gains was in the winter
between 1998 and 1999. Another similarity between his two comebacks: his high levels of
The Comeback Plan dedication, focus and enthusiasm. What’s abundantly clear is that no one had truly realized
how tired Lance had been at the end of his historic Tour de France run.
Effective training is a process of progression.
It occurred to me that perhaps the three years away from professional cycling could
The 12-week program in this guide, for prove to be more beneficial to Lance’s performance in 2009 than detrimental. One of the
instance, progresses from easier workouts most important principles in training is that of overload and recovery. For a system to adapt
to more challenging ones as you gradually and grow stronger it must first be overloaded and then allowed time to recover. On the
get stronger. In between Lance’s Tour de smallest scale, this is the reason there are recovery periods between hard efforts during
interval workouts. From there the principle expands to include rest days during hard train-
France victories, he kept training so his
ing weeks, a recovery week within a month of training, and finally a longer recovery period
fitness was never more than about 20 percent lasting several weeks at the end of a long season.
off the mark he needed to achieve to be in But what about a recovery period on a grander scale? Lance began his career as a
race-winning form. That meant that his professional triathlete at age 16. He transitioned to cycling and turned pro in 1992 after
progression through the winter and spring the Olympic Games. And even though he missed the 1997 season as he battled cancer, he
still approached life then as a professional cyclist. Lance devoted his life, year in and year
each year could be relatively gradual. But
out, to being a pro athlete from 1992 through 2005, so you could look at his three years
after three years away from elite competition, away from the sport as an extended recovery period.
his fitness—in terms of his endurance, his Regardless of Lance’s results in 2009, I believe the concept of a grand recovery
sustainable power output, and his ability period has implications for athletes of all ability levels. Amateur racers and recreational
to launch high-power accelerations—were cyclists frequently train and participate in events for several years and then turn their
attention to other things. Maybe you were a Cat 3 five years ago, or an avid century rider,
well more than 20 percent below his peak.
but your bike has been collecting dust or you’ve resigned yourself to weekend spins to
To transform a now 37-year-old retired stay moderately fit. It took Lance three years to want to get back into the game. Maybe it
father of three back into a Tour de France has taken you more time, or less, but once again Lance is showing us that all comebacks
contender, I knew that we had to accelerate are possible. My advice? Follow Lance’s lead and create your own comeback.—C.C.
the progression of Lance’s training and focus
on three main areas: endurance, intensity and Wiens crossed the finish line to capture his challenge of racing the Tour de France—or
body composition. sixth consecutive Leadville 100 title, taking meeting any cycling goal for that matter—
another 13 minutes off the record he’d set and I knew we had to also prepare Lance to
Endurance the previous year when he won in front of handle the intensity of racing for 21 days in
At the 2008 Leadville 100, Lance rode with Floyd Landis. Lance finished only about two July, initiating and responding to attacks, and
five-time defending champion Dave Wiens for minutes later. going for the win. To do this, I started Lance
nearly 90 miles, all of which were contested at To rebuild Lance’s endurance, I set him on interval training early on in his comeback
more than 9,000 feet in elevation with climbs up with a schedule that called for three-day training, starting with longer Tempo and
that topped out at 12,600 feet. As the two blocks of four-, five- and six-hour rides, and SteadyState Intervals and progressing to
men reached the top of the last significant within a few months he was able to complete shorter, more intense PowerIntervals.
From my years of coaching everyday
cyclists who have very limited time available
Becuase time was short, I incorporated for training, I also knew that short, high-
elements of the training programs that intensity interval training was also an

work for time-strapped amateurs into effective way to build a strong aerobic engine,
so I incorporated elements of the training
Lance’s Tour de France preparation. programs that work for time-strapped
amateurs into Lance’s Tour de France
preparation.
climb of the race, Lance said something to these rides at an average power output of
Wiens he’d never said to anyone in a race between 280 and 320 watts. Lance would Body Composition
before: “You go, I’m done.” Wiens, displaying take one or two days of shorter, easier rides In the three years since Lance had last
a spirit of camaraderie rarely seen in road between these blocks in order to recover and raced professionally, he had kept busy with
racing, urged Lance to stay with him, but prepare for the next one. a significant amount of strength training.
at nearly six hours into the race Lance was While he had done some strength training
well beyond the longest ride he’d completed Intensity during his Tour de France years, he was
since the 2005 Tour de France. In the end, Covering the distance is only part of the always mindful not to gain too much upper-

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

body weight, as this increased muscle mass optimize not only his position on the bike but charge of ensuring accuracy, so the company
would inevitably reduce his power-to-weight also the design of his equipment. Referred to brought a laboratory-grade power meter
ratio. Like many athletes, Lance packs on as the F1 Group, the team that gathered in with 20 strain gauges—one of only four in
muscle rapidly, and by the time he began his San Diego in November consisted of three of existence. For comparison, the Pro version of
comeback training he had added about 10 us from CTS as well as representatives from an SRM has four strain gauges and is accurate
pounds of lean muscle mass to his frame. To Trek, SRAM, SRM, Bontrager, Giro, Oakley within 1 percent. When asked about the
make matters worse, most of that muscle was and Nike—all suppliers of equipment and accuracy percentage of the lab-grade power
on his upper body, where it would do him little clothing Lance would use during time trials. meter, SRM’s Daniel Gillespie simply replied,
good in terms of powering his bicycle uphill. For aerodynamics, the team relied on Steve “It’s accurate. Period.”
At the same time, Lance had remained Hed, the aerodynamics guru who was one of But it’s one thing to determine the optimal
quite lean. In the summer of 2008 his body- Lance’s first sponsors when he was a triathlete balance among aerodynamics, comfort and
fat percentage was not as low as it had been
during his Tour de France victories, but it
was still below 12 percent. This presented a Cyclists rely on a strong core to provide
challenge because it meant that getting down
a solid platform that their powerful legs
to Tour de France weight would require Lance
stripping muscle off his body and not just fat. can push against, and a weak core leads
But rather than stay out of the gym, it was to a lot of wasted energy.
actually important for Lance to intensify his
strength training. Cyclists rely on a strong
core to provide a solid platform that their and the creator of the three-spoke carbon power production in the wind tunnel and on
powerful legs can push against, and a weak wheels Lance and his teammates frequently the velodrome, and something else to actually
core leads to a lot of wasted energy. As strong rode during Tour de France time trials. ride full-gas in that position for an hour at the
as Lance’s legs were, he needed to focus on The week before the wind-tunnel visit, Tour de France. Since it would take a while for
building even more strength with cycling- Lance had competed in an individual and Lance to get used to riding a time-trial bike
specific lower-body resistance exercises. a two-man team time trial at the Tour de again, I started prescribing interval workouts
For the specifics of his strength program, Gruene, in Texas. During the individual time in the aero position immediately following
Lance enlisted the help of Peter Park, owner trial he used a brand-new riding position, and the trip to California.
of Platinum Fitness, in Santa Barbara, although he won he reported that he didn’t
California. Park’s program included dynamic feel like he had access to all his speed in that Measuring the Progress
strength-training movements, including position. The position was adjusted so it was Lance had little trouble getting back into the
kettleball swings, lateral lunges, step-ups with more like his 2005 time-trial position for the routine of training as a professional athlete,
weights and Bulgarian split-squats. following day’s team time trial. He won the but the big question was whether his body
Lance made progress rapidly, and by race with longtime friend John Korioth and would adapt after the three-year layoff. I
December 2008 Johan Bruyneel—the team took that setup with him to the wind tunnel. monitored Lance’s training by analyzing
director who had guided Lance to all seven To get some baseline numbers, Lance was power files downloaded from his power meter
of his Tour de France victories and who first tested on a bike set up exactly like his and set up a schedule of performance tests
would again be his team director when Lance 2005 position. He was then tested on the bike to gather scientific data. The first test was in
returned to the peloton—and I recommended with the new position. The data showed that mid-November, a few weeks before Lance was
that he reduce his focus on strength training the 2005 bike was very fast, but that adding scheduled to travel to Tenerife, Spain, for his
in preference for more race-specific training a few features of the new position reduced team’s first training camp.
on the bike. Lance’s drag numbers even further. The test was a standard lactate threshold
The following day, Lance traveled to test, during which Lance progressed through
Into the Wind Tunnel the velodrome at the ADT Event Center in a series of steps. At the end of each three-
Lance won 11 of the 19 individual time trials Los Angeles to confirm that the positions minute stage, the resistance Lance was
held during his seven-year Tour de France that looked best in the wind tunnel were pedaling against was increased by 25 watts,
reign, but he hadn’t been on a time-trial bike actually the best in the real world. He rode and his finger was pricked so a small sample
since Stage 20 in 2005. His strength against two-kilometer efforts (eight laps) at constant of blood could be tested to see how much
the clock was crucial to every one of his speeds (50kmh) and the team downloaded lactate it contained. At intensities below
Tour victories, so getting Lance back onto a power data each time he returned. If an lactate threshold, an athlete’s blood lactate
time-trial bike was a high priority. It was so aerodynamic position was truly superior, levels remain low, and they start to rise as
important that one of the first calls made Lance would be able to maintain 50kmh the athlete gets closer to threshold. When an
after Lance committed to the comeback was using less power. (In a racing situation this athlete crosses his threshold, his blood lactate
to the Low Speed Wind Tunnel, in San Diego. would translate to riding at his maximum levels increase dramatically, and coaches
Wind-tunnel testing had been an annual sustainable power and going faster.) Accuracy and sports scientists can plot the levels on a
event for Lance during his career, and he was crucial, because the difference between graph and determine the point where lactate
had formed a team of engineers, designers, the best aero position and a good one could threshold was reached. More importantly,
aerodynamics experts and coaches to be as little as four to six watts. SRM was in they can determine how much power the

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

athlete was producing at threshold, as this is energy by burning fat through his aerobic in rapid succession without adequate time
the key determinant of how fast an athlete system. to recover. To get Lance ready for the 2009
can ride for prolonged periods of time—as in Tour de France, I encouraged him to enter
time trials and long mountain climbs. In the Back to Racing the Tour Down Under in January, the Tour
mid-November test, Lance’s lactate threshold Bolstered by encouraging test results, Lance of California in February, Castilla y Leon in
power was determined to be 400 watts. readied himself for the first race of his March, and for the first time in his career, the
At the training camp, team director Johan comeback: the six-stage Tour Down Under, three-week Tour of Italy in May.
Bruyneel observed that Lance was one of the in Australia. He traveled first to Hawaii for Lance performed well in the Tour Down
three strongest riders, an impressive feat a two-week training camp that consisted of Under and even tested himself a few times
considering he had been training seriously more three-day training blocks, this time with accelerations off the front of the peloton.
for only about three months. But it was with only one day of active recovery between It was a good first step because, although the
still too early to deem Lance’s comeback a each. And I joined him in Hawaii to put him race is difficult, it doesn’t include either a
complete success. Lance had been training behind the motorbike for a handful of one- long individual time trial or a major climbing
hard while the other cyclists on the team had hour motorpacing sessions. Lance’s power stage. It was still a little early for those efforts,
been finishing up their racing seasons and output showed he was ready to race, but he but six days of high-quality racing in high
taking some well-deserved time off. Dean and I both knew it was also important for temperatures and gusty winds provided
Golich, a coach and sports scientist who has him to get reacquainted with the 40 to 60 Lance with a superb training stimulus.
worked with Lance and me since the early kilometer-per-hour (25 to 40 mph) pace of In preparation for February’s Tour of
’90s when Dean and I coached together at professional racing. California, Lance spent more time climbing
USA Cycling and Lance was a member of the Lance had chosen the Tour Down Under as and continued to work on his time-trial
US National Team, summed up the situation the launching point of his comeback for a few power. The work paid off and Lance was
well by commenting that Lance’s fitness was reasons. First of all, it was a great opportunity more than capable of fulfilling his role
about 10 percent better than expected and to bring the Livestrong message to another of superdomestique for his team leader,
his teammates’ power outputs were about 10 continent. And from a racing standpoint, it Levi Leipheimer, who went on to win his
percent below their peak racing fitness. was important for Lance to get back into the third Tour of California. Race fans had an
A few days after Lance returned from fray. You need great fitness to win the Tour opportunity to observe a Lance Armstrong
Tenerife, Dean and I traveled to Austin, Texas, de France, but you also need to race shoulder- they weren’t accustomed to seeing. Instead
to test Lance’s lactate threshold in the Pedal to-shoulder with nearly 200 other racers of riding as the team leader at the back of a
Harder Performance Center located inside day after day. The professional peloton is a long line of teammates, it was Lance who was
Lance’s Mellow Johnny’s bike shop. Lance’s hostile and unforgiving environment, one sitting at the front of the line setting the pace
former teammate, Kevin Livingston, runs that demands an athlete’s complete attention for Levi. What was most impressive to me
the center and was in charge of administering in order to stay safe, let alone win. Along was Lance’s ability to do so much pace-setting
the test and gathering the blood lactate data. these lines, Lance’s main objective was not work and still finish 14th in his first major
The positive training impact of the team to win the Tour Down Under, but to use the time trial since the 2005 Tour de France.
Fourteenth was a long way from being a
dominating performance, but when you put
At the team training camp, Lance was one it in the context of his comeback and his role
of the three strongest riders, an impres- within the team during the preceding days of

sive feat considering he had been training racing, it was a performance that indicated his
form was right on target.
seriously for only about three months. Racing is a great form of training, and we
used the Tour of California as the start of a
high-volume training block for Lance. Instead
training camp was immediately apparent: race to get used to the rhythm and routine of of taking a recovery period right after the race,
Lance reached lactate threshold later in the professional racing. Lance kept riding. For the next week, he piled
test and his new lactate threshold power was For me, the Tour Down Under was also on the miles; we were taking advantage of
measured at 425 watts. He had improved by an important component of Lance’s training. the training stress he’d already accumulated
25 watts in just two weeks. During his Tour de France years Lance never during the Tour of California by heaping on
As impressive as his power improvement raced in January, preferring to train and wait more volume. But in order for this block to be
was, Dean and I noted that his blood lactate until later in the spring to start competing. effective, it was important to cut back on the
levels throughout the test were also lower But my comeback plan included an earlier intensity and focus on long, steady hours in
than they had been during the previous test. start to Lance’s racing season as well as the saddle. By the time Lance was done, he
Lactate is made when an athlete produces more races than normal, because there is had completed a massive two-week endurance
power using the anaerobic energy system, and no better way to gain race-winning fitness block that would build the stamina necessary
lower lactate levels indicate that the aerobic than to race. It is impossible to replicate the to return to competition in Europe.
engine has become stronger. That told me demands of racing in training, because the The Tour of Italy was the race Lance was
that Lance was adapting well to his training intense efforts in races are unpredictable and building up to. Sure, the 2009 Tour de France
because it meant his body was getting more extreme, and often come one after another was the long-range goal, but the immediate

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

concern during March and April of 2009 was put on hold. If a comeback stalls, it often than a European event.
preparing Lance for his first appearance at the stops altogether. Going into the Tour of Italy, Leipheimer
Giro d’Italia. If Lance was adequately prepared Within 10 days of his crash, Lance was looked like he had the form necessary to
for the Giro, I reasoned, he’d race well enough back to doing interval training on his own challenge for the pink leader’s jersey, and Lance
to achieve a really big bump in his fitness bike on an indoor trainer. He wasn’t putting was excited by the prospect of supporting his
level. That meant Lance had to be a factor in much weight on the handlebar because of his teammate to a Grand Tour victory. For most of
the race. He had to be near the front of the collarbone injury, but that’s another reason a the 2009 Giro d’Italia, Leipheimer had a viable
peloton on major climbs, be a strong asset for broken collarbone can be seen as a “preferred” chance of capturing the pink jersey, but fatigue
Levi Leipheimer and stay in the top 10 to 20 injury. Compared with anything involving from a season that began with a win at the
places in the overall classification. In other the legs, hips, back and head, riders are Tour of California in February caught up with
words, he needed to have the conditioning often able to maintain a higher training load him in the third week of the race.
to ride where the racing was most difficult, throughout their recoveries from shoulder, For Lance, the first week was the
because being there would supply the arm or hand injuries. toughest. Unlike the Tour de France, which
stimulus necessary to take his fitness to the By the time I joined Lance in Aspen, tends to start with a few days of relatively flat
next level. If all he could do was ride in the Colorado, where he had gone for altitude stages designed to showcase the speed of the
back of the pack, he’d get a three-week stage training, three weeks had passed since his sprinters, the Giro d’Italia mixes mountain
race under his belt, but the training stimulus
wouldn’t be enough to get him up to Tour de
France condition in time for July. Within four days of breaking his collar-
Through most of March, things were
bone, Lance was on a stationary bike. The
looking great. Following a climbing training
camp in Italy and southern France, Lance had workout wasn’t that important, but the
a strong ride in the 256-kilometer Milan- act of getting back to pedaling was.
San Remo classic, and then moved on to the
Castilla y Leon stage race in Spain. I was really
looking forward to seeing his result from surgery and he was back out on the road. stages and sprinters’ stages right from the
the Stage 2 individual time trial, because his Although he had some minor pain in his start. And in 2009, the organizers included
power outputs going into the race were very collarbone still, he could pull on the handlebar two back-to-back long stages in the first week
good and I was confident he’d get a result during climbs, ride on rough dirt roads and that each topped 240 kilometers. By the end
that would make his competitors take notice. descend with full confidence. All told, the of the first week, Lance was tired, and it was
Unfortunately, Lance’s comeback came to an broken collarbone was a very minor setback time to see how his body would adapt. If the
abrupt halt during Stage 1, when he crashed and it actually offered him the opportunity to training program had adequately prepared
and broke his collarbone. add a new race to his schedule. him for the Giro, he’d start feeling better
Silver City, New Mexico, is one of the and stronger about halfway through the
Two Steps Forward, secret gems of cycling in the United States. second week of the race. If he didn’t start
One Step Back Located at 5,895 feet above sea level and feeling better, that would mean his pre-Giro
Setbacks are part of the game in sports surrounded by mountains, it’s a high-altitude conditioning was inadequate and that instead
and training, and throughout his cycling training ground that’s far enough south to be of adapting to the stress of the race, he would
career Lance was pretty lucky to avoid major hospitable in winter and beautiful year-round. continue to get more and more fatigued. For a
injuries. That this broken collarbone was For the past 23 years, riders have been going to few days, all we could do was wait and see.
the first of his entire career was remarkable, Silver City in late April for the Tour of the Gila, Part of what separates Grand Tour
considering that a fractured clavicle is the and in 2009 the race made a perfect addition champions from the rest of the peloton is the
second-most common cycling injury (behind to the altitude training Lance had been doing way their bodies respond to the incredible
skin abrasions). Nevertheless, he was headed in Aspen following his collarbone injury. stress of a three-week race. Everyone fatigues
back to Austin to have surgery when he The Tour of the Gila may not be as well during a Grand Tour, but the handful of riders
should have been racing in Spain. known internationally as the Tirreno- in contention for the overall victory has the
The nice thing about a broken Adriatico stage race or other races used as ability to adapt to the stress, overcome the
collarbone—if there’s anything nice about tune-ups to the Tour of Italy, but it offered a fatigue and get stronger during the third
breaking a bone—is that you can typically unique training opportunity for Lance. Had week. Lance has long been one of those riders,
return to training reasonably quickly. Within he chosen to go back to Europe for his final and despite being well behind the leaders
four days of his crash in Spain, Lance was on pre-Giro tune-up race, he would have spent of the 2009 Giro d’Italia, his individual
a stationary bike. The workout wasn’t that his days sitting in the middle of the peloton. performances and sensations on the bike
important, but the act of getting back to At Gila, he was one of the main players in the indicated that he was getting stronger as the
pedaling was. One thing I’ve learned about race, and he spent many miles setting a hard race approached its final stage in Rome. He
comebacks is that you have to maintain tempo on the front of the pack. Considering finished the race in 12th place, which was a
forward momentum. An athlete, whether that his role at the Tour of Italy would be that strong showing for the second-oldest man in
it’s Lance or you, has to feel like the process of domestique, the way he was able to race at the race and a guy who had been riding and
is moving forward, even if training has been the Tour of the Gila made it a better option running only for fitness 10 months earlier.

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

Your comeback plan


A 12-week program to revitalize your fitness

I
believe there is an athlete in every body, and no matter how that it can evolve as you do. As long as you have two wheels and pedals,
long it’s been since you last considered yourself an active everything else is semantics.
cyclist, you have what it takes to get back out there and regain The programs in this guide are designed to get you back to the
your rightful place in the pack. If you’re reading this, you’re cycling activities you love most, or get you started as a cyclist. And if
a person who enjoys spending time on your bike. It doesn’t you already have years of riding in your legs, you’ll be happy to know
matter whether you want to race, ride centuries, go to the that even if you’ve been off the bike for a while, your body will still
local group ride, or just cruise the streets or trails. A comeback adapt to training more quickly than if you were starting out as brand-
doesn’t need to be founded on high-pressure goals like winning races new rider. I’ve included two 12-week training plans. The Back in the
or riding farther or faster than you ever have before. It can be, but it Saddle Plan (page 12) is for riders who have been away from the bike
doesn’t have to be. A comeback is about being happy and accomplishing or barely ridden for at least the last six months, and the Performance
personal goals that make you proud. Lance returned to professional Plan (page 13) is for cyclists who have been riding regularly (two
cycling because he wanted to engage a worldwide audience in the fight or three times a week) but are looking to return to a higher level of
against cancer and because he loves to train and race. He didn’t launch performance. Recognizing that the vast majority of people using these
a comeback because he needs more yellow jerseys. If he wins another programs will be working adults with families waiting for them at
one, that’s great. If he doesn’t win anything, but succeeds in raising home, I’ve scheduled only three workouts per week on the Back in the
international awareness of the fight against cancer, then the comeback Saddle Plan and four workouts per week in the Performance Plan. If
will be a success. you’re using the Performance Plan and have more time to devote to
Likewise, when I decided to launch my own comeback in 2005, I training, add an endurance ride on Wednesday, but maintain the rest
didn’t do it because I had dreams of winning the Leadville 100. I did it days on Monday and Friday. If you’re using the Back in the Saddle Plan,
because it has been a long time since I’d felt the exhilaration of being I don’t recommend adding any additional training sessions, even if
a powerful cyclist. My comeback was about remembering how great it you have the time. Like athletes who are just starting their training,
feels to be strong and fast, and rediscovering my love for training. athletes who are returning to cycling after a long period of being
We are extremely fortunate to be cyclists. It’s a sport and activity relatively sedentary have more problems dealing with volume (training
that can be adapted to all manner of goals, and you can be a cyclist hours) than intensity. Even though some of the weekday workouts
from your early childhood all the way to your final days. The kind of contain difficult intervals, the intensity is governed by your field test
riding you do, the type of bike you ride, your average speed and the results so it’s appropriate for your fitness level. Adding more volume,
events you participate in may change, but the beauty of our sport is however, can lead to a training workload your body is not ready for.

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

Getting Started

Complete the CTS Field Test start too fast; you should reach your top speed know either the higher of the two average
The CTS Field Test should be completed about 45 to 60 seconds after you start, but not power outputs or the higher of the two
before you begin either of the training before that. average heart rates from your CTS Field Test.
programs in this guide. When you view the If you have both pieces of information, you
programs, you’ll notice that the CTS Field Test Step 3: Find Your Pace And Gear Keep acceler- should calculate both power and heart-rate
is not included in the schedule. Rather than ating and shifting until you reach a speed you training intensities, but use the power ranges
work it into the program itself, I want you to feel you can barely maintain for the length to gauge your interval efforts whenever
complete it a few days before you begin one of of the effort. Focus entirely on completing possible.
the training programs. this effort at the highest power output you
The Field Test itself is two eight-minute possibly can. Try to maintain a cadence above Workout Descriptions
efforts, but when you get on the bike, you’ll 90 rpm on flat ground or on an indoor trainer, The workouts described below are used in the
need time to complete the warm-up, the Field and above 85 rpm if you’re completing the test training programs in this guide.
Test and a good cooldown, so budget a total of on a climb. When you get to the final minute
an hour for the whole Field Test workout. of the time trial, really open the throttle. EnduranceMiles (EM) This is your moderate-
pace endurance intensity. The point is to stay
CTS Field Test Instructions Step 4: Recover And Prepare For Effort #2 at an intensity below lactate threshold for the
When performing the CTS Field Test, collect When you reach the end of Effort #1, you vast majority of any time you’re riding at EM
the following data: should be completely drained, but keep pedal- pace. The heart rate and power ranges for this
> Average heart rate for each effort ing for the whole 10 minutes of recovery. intensity are very broad in order to allow for
> Max heart rate for each effort widely varying conditions. It is okay for your
> Average power for each effort Step 5: Complete Effort #2 After the 10-min- power to dip on descents or in tailwinds, just
(if you use a power meter) ute recovery, begin Effort #2 from your start as it is expected that it will increase when you
> Average cadence for each effort point. Gradually increase your speed for 45 climb small hills. One mistake some riders
 eather conditions (warm vs. cold,
>W to 60 seconds, just like the first effort. Avoid make is to stay at the high end of their EM
windy vs. calm, etc.) the temptation to pace yourself based on your range for their entire ride. As you’ll see from
 ourse conditions (indoors vs. out-
>C first effort. the intensity ranges for Tempo workouts, the
doors, flat vs. hilly, point-to-point vs.
out and back, etc.)
 te of perceived exertion (RPE, or
> Ra
One mistake some riders make is to stay at
how hard you felt you were working)
the high end of their EnduranceMiles
for each effort.
range for the entire ride—you’re better off
Step 1: Find A Suitable Course The CTS Field staying in the middle of your range.
Test can be completed on an indoor trainer, or
you can find a relatively flat course or a course
that is a consistent climb of about a 6 percent upper end of EM overlaps with Tempo. If you
grade. (A course with steep climbs or descents Step 6: Cool Down And Record Your Data All constantly ride in your Tempo range instead
will dictate your effort more than you will.) that’s left is to cool down with easy spinning of using that as a distinct interval intensity,
Above all, find a course that’s safe, without for 15 to 30 minutes. Record your CTS Field you may not have the power to complete high-
stop signs or traffic lights. For the sake of Test data, and use the charts on page 10 to quality intervals when the time comes. You’re
being able to compare one test to another, calculate your training intensities. better off keeping your power and/or heart
complete the test in weather conditions that rate in the middle portion of your EM range
are reasonably common for your area. Calculating Training and allowing it to fluctuate up and down from
Intensities for CTS Workouts there as the terrain and wind dictate. Use
Step 2: Begin Your First Effort Begin the ef- To calculate your individual training your gearing as you hit the hills to remain in
fort from a standing start. Resist the urge to intensities for CTS Workouts, you need to the saddle as you climb. Expect to keep your

 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

Instructions for Calculating CTS Training Intensities


1. F
 ind the higher of the two average power outputs, and/or the higher of the two average heart rates from your CTS Field Test.
2. Multiply this power output and/or heart rate by the percentages listed in the table below to establish the upper and lower limits of your
training ranges.

Percent of CTS
Workout Name Primary Training Goal Percent of CTS Field Test Power Field Test HearT rate

Endurance Miles Basic aerobic development 45–73% 50–91%

Tempo Improved aerobic endurance 80–85% 88–90%

Steady State Increased power at lactate threshold 86–90% 92–94%

Climbing Repeat Increased power at lactate threshold 95–100% 95–97%

Power Interval Increased power at VO2 max Max effort (101% at absolute minimum) 100%–max

sample: Training Intensities for Joe Athlete


Let’s say Joe Athlete completed the CTS Field Test and recorded average power outputs of 300 watts and 296 watts. During the same efforts, his
average heart rates were 172 and 175, respectively. He would use the 300 watts and the 175 heart rate to calculate his training intensities, even
though they came from different efforts during the CTS Field Test.
The lower limit of Joe’s SteadyState intensity ranges would come out to 300 x 0.86 = 258 watts. The upper limit of his SteadyState
intensity range would come out to 300 x 0.90 = 270 watts. So Joe should complete SteadyState intervals at a power output between 258 and
270 watts. The table below has been filled out with all of Joe Athlete’s intensity ranges.

cts heart rate


Percent of CTS Field CTS power intensity Percent of CTS Field intensity range
Workout Name Primary Training Goal Test Power range (watts) Test Heart rate (bpm)

Endurance Miles Basic aerobic development 45–73% 135-219 50–91% 88–159

Tempo Improved aerobic 80–85% 240–255 88–90% 154–158


endurance

Steady State Increased power at 86–90% 258–270 92–94% 161–165


lactate threshold

Climbing Repeat Increased power at 95–100% 285–300 95–97% 166–170


lactate threshold

Power Interval Increased power Max effort (101% at 300+ 100%–max 175–max
at VO2 max absolute minimum)

Your CTS Training Intensities:

cts heart rate


Percent of CTS Field CTS power intensity Percent of CTS Field intensity range
Workout Name Primary Training Goal Test Power range (watts) Test Heart rate (bpm)

Endurance Miles Basic aerobic development 45–73% 50–91%

Tempo Improved aerobic 80–85% 88–90%


endurance

Steady State Increased power at 86–90% 92–94%


lactate threshold

Climbing Repeat Increased power at 95–100% 95–97%


lactate threshold

Power Increased power Max effort (101% at 100%–max


Interval at VO2 max absolute minimum)

10 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

pedal speed up into the 85 to 95 RPM range. SteadyState Intervals (SS) These intervals and pedal cadence high (100 RPM or higher)
Note: When a workout calls for “60 minutes are great for increasing a cyclist’s maximum if you’re riding on flat ground or rolling hills.
EM with three 8-minute SteadyState Inter- sustainable power because the intensity is Pedal cadence should be above 85 RPM if
vals,” the 60 minutes is your total ride time. below lactate threshold but relatively close to you’re on a gradual climb.
Your warm-up, SteadyState Intervals, recov- it. As you accumulate time at this intensity, To complete the interval, bring your
ery periods between intervals and cooldown you are forcing your body to deal with a lot intensity up to your SteadyState range over
are all to be included within that 60 minutes. of lactate for a relatively prolonged period of the first 45 to 60 seconds. Maintain this
> Rate of Perceived Exertion (1=Easy, 10=As time. These intervals are best performed on intensity for the prescribed “Under” time and
hard as you can go): 5 HR: 50-91% of highest relatively flat roads and small rolling hills. If then increase your intensity to your “Over”
Field Test average Power: 45-73% of highest you end up doing them on a sustained climb, intensity for the prescribed time. At the end
Field Test average you should really bump the intensity up to of this “Over” time, return to your “Under”
ClimbingRepeat range, which reflects the intensity range and continue riding at this
FastPedal (FP) This workout should be grade’s added contribution to your effort. Do effort level until it’s once again time to return
performed on a relatively flat section of road. your best to complete these intervals without to your “Over” intensity. Continue alternating
The gearing should be light, with low pedal re- interruptions from stoplights, etc. and main- this way until the end of the interval.
sistance. Begin slowly and increase your pedal tain a cadence of 85 to 95 RPM. In this case, OverUnder Intervals always end with a period
speed, starting out with around 15 or 16 pedal maintaining the training zone intensity is at “Over” intensity. Recovery periods between
revolutions per 10-second count. This equates the most important factor, not pedal cadence. intervals are typically about half the length
to a cadence of 90 to 96 RPM. While stay- SteadyState intervals are meant to be slightly of the work interval. Note: A more advanced
ing in the saddle, increase your pedal speed, below your individual time trial pace, so don’t version of this interval would alternate
keeping your hips smooth with no rocking. make the mistake of riding at your time-trial between SteadyState and PowerInterval
Concentrate on pulling through the bottom pace during the SteadyState intervals. Re- intensities instead of SteadyState and
of the pedal stroke and over the top. After one covery time between SteadyState intervals is ClimbingRepeat intensities. > RPE: 9 HR: 92-
minute of FastPedal, you should be maintain- typically about half the length of the interval 94% of highest Field Test average (under)
ing 18 to 20 pedal revolutions per 10-second itself. > RPE: 7 HR: 92-94% of highest Field alternating with 95-97% (over) Power: 86-
count, or a cadence of 108 to 120 RPM for Test average Power: 86-90% of highest 90% of highest Field Test average (under)
the entire amount of time prescribed for the Field Test average alternating with 95-100% (over)
workout. Your heart rate will climb while do-
ing this workout, but don’t use it to judge your ClimbingRepeats (CR) This workout should PowerIntervals (PI) These short efforts are
training intensity. It is important that you be performed on a road with a long, steady the way you’re going to apply the concepts of
try to ride the entire length of the FastPedal climb. The training intensity is designed to be high-intensity training to your program in or-
workout with as few interruptions as possible, similar to that of a SteadyState interval but der to make bigger aerobic gains in less time.
because it should consist of consecutive riding reflect the additional workload necessary to These intervals are maximal efforts and can
at the prescribed training intensity. > RPE: 7 ride uphill. The intensity is just below your be performed on any terrain except sustained
HR: NA Power: NA lactate threshold power and/or heart rate and descents. Your gearing should be moderate so
it’s critical that you maintain this intensity you can maintain a relatively high pedal ca-
Tempo (T) Tempo is an excellent workout for the length of the CR. Pedal cadence for CR dence (100 or higher is best).
for developing aerobic power and endurance. intervals while climbing should be 70 to 85 During these intervals you should try to
The intensity is well below lactate threshold, RPM. Maintaining the training intensity is reach and maintain as high a power output
but hard enough so that you are generating a the most important factor, not pedal cadence. as possible for the duration of the interval.
significant amount of lactate and forcing your It is very important to avoid interruptions Ideally, these efforts should look like flat
body to buffer and process it. The intervals while doing these intervals. Recovery time plateaus when you view your power files. Take
are long (15 minutes at a minimum, and they between intervals is typically about half the the first 30 to 45 seconds to gradually bring
can last as long as two hours for pros), and length of the interval itself. > RPE: 8 HR: 95- your power up and then hold on for the rest of
you’ll want your gearing to be relatively large, 97% of highest Field Test Power: 95-100% of the interval. The point here is to accumulate
with a goal of having your cadence come down highest Field Test average as much time as possible at a relatively
to about 70 to 75 RPM. This helps increase constant and extremely high output.
pedal resistance and strengthen leg muscles. OverUnder Intervals (OU) OverUnder Inter- The rest periods between PowerIntervals
Also, be sure and try to stay in the saddle vals are a more advanced form of SteadyState are purposely too short to provide complete
when you hit hills during your Tempo work- Intervals. The “Under” intensity is your recovery, and completing subsequent
outs. It is important that you try to ride the SteadyState range, and the “Over” intensity intervals in a partially recovered state is a key
entire length of the Tempo workout with as is your ClimbingRepeat range. By alternating part of what makes these efforts effective.
few interruptions as possible—tempo work- between these two intensity levels during a Typically, recovery times are equal to the
outs should consist of consecutive riding at sustained interval, you develop the “agility” interval work time, which is sometimes
the prescribed intensity to achieve maximum to handle changes in pace. This workout can referred to as a 1:1 work-to-recovery ratio. >
benefit. > RPE: 6 HR: 88-91% of highest Field be performed on a flat road, rolling hills or a RPE: 10 HR: 100-max Power: 110+ of highest
Test average Power: 81-85% of highest Field sustained climb that’s relatively gradual (3 to Field Test average (some intervals may be
Test average 6% grade). Your gearing should be moderate higher than this range)

11 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

back in the saddle plan


If you’ve had a layoff, this program will get you back on track

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Week 1 60 min EM 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 75 minutes EM with Rest Day
3x3min FP, 5 minutes 3x3min FP, 5 minutes 15 min T
Rest Between RBI
Intervals (RBI)

Week 2 Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 75 minutes EM with Rest Day
20 min T 3x5min FP, 5 minutes 20 min T
RBI

Week 3 Rest Day 75 minutes EM 25 Rest Day 75 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM with Rest Day
min T 25 min T 25 min T

Week 4 Rest Day Rest Day or Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM with Rest Day
45 minutes easy 3x5min FP, 5 minutes 30 min T
spinning RBI

Week 5 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 90 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM with Rest Day
with 4x6min SS, 5min 45 min T 4x6min SS, 5min RBI
RBI

Week 6 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM in hilly Rest Day
with 3x8min SS, 5min 3x8min SS, 5min RBI terrain or Group Ride
RBI

Week 7 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM 60-90 min- Rest Day Rest Day 90-120 minutes EM Rest Day
with 3x10min SS, 6min utes EM with with 3x10min SS,
RBI 3x8min SS, 5 minutes RBI
5min RBI

Week 8 Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM Rest Day 120 minutes EM with Rest Day
5x3min FP, 3 minutes 3x12min SS, 8 minutes
RBI RBI

Week 9 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 90 minutes EM Rest Day 120 minutes EM with Rest Day
with 3x6min OU (2 4x6min OU (2 Under, 1
Under, 1 Over), 5min Over), 4 minutes RBI
RBI

Week 10 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM with Rest Day 150 minutes EM with Rest Day
with 3 sets of 3x2min 4x6min OU (1 Under, 1 4x6min OU (1 Under, 1
PI, 2min RBI, 5 min Over), 4min RBI Over), 4 minutes RBI
Rest Between Sets
(RBS)
Week 11 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM with Rest Day 120-150 minutes EM Rest Day
with 3 sets of 4x2min 3 sets of 3x2min PI, with 5x6min OU (1 Un-
PI, 2min RBI, 5 min 2min RBI, 5 min RBS der, 1 Over), 4 minutes
RBS RBI

Week 12 Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day Race, Century, Group Ride, Epic mountain bike
1x6min SS 5x3min FP, 3 minutes ride, you name it—you’re ready for it.
RBI

12 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Comeback Training Plan

performance plan
Don’t just finish your goal event—crush it

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Week 1 60 min EM 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM with 90-120 minutes EM in
3x3min FP, 5 minutes 3x3min FP, 5 minutes 15 min T hilly terrain
Rest Between RBI
Intervals (RBI)

Week 2 Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM with 90-120 minutes EM or
20 min T or 60-90 3x5min FP, 5 minutes 20 min T Group Ride
minutes EM RBI

Week 3 Rest Day 75 minutes EM with Rest Day 75 minutes EM with Rest Day 90-120 minutes EM 90-120 minutes EM
25 min T or 60-90 25 min T with 30 min T
minutes EM

Week 4 Rest Day Rest Day or Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 90-120 minutes EM 120-150 minutes EM or
45 minutes or 60-90 3x5min FP, 5 minutes with 40 min T Group Ride
easy spinning minutes EM RBI

Week 5 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 90 minutes EM with Rest Day 90-120 minutes EM 90-150 minutes EM or
with 4x6min SS, 5min or 60-90 45 min T with 3x8min SS, Group Ride
RBI minutes EM 6 minutes RBI

Week 6 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM with Rest Day 90-150 minutes EM in 90-150 minutes EM or
with 3x8min SS, 5min or 60-90 3x8min SS, 5min RBI hilly terrain Group Ride
RBI minutes EM

Week 7 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM 60-90 min- Rest Day Rest Day 90-150 minutes EM 90-150 minutes EM or
with 3x10min SS, 6min utes EM with with 3x12min SS, Group Ride
RBI 3x8min SS, 8 minutes RBI
5min RBI

Week 8 Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 90 minutes EM Rest Day 120-150 minutes EM 90-150 minutes EM or
5x3min FP, 3 minutes or 60-90 with 3x12min SS, Group Ride
RBI minutes EM 8 minutes RBI

Week 9 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 90 minutes EM Rest Day 120-150 minutes 90-150 minutes EM
with 3x6min OU (2 or 60-90 EM with 4x6min OU with 3x10min SS,
Under, 1 Over), 5min minutes EM (2 Under, 1 Over), 4 6 minutes RBI
RBI minutes RBI

Week 10 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM with Rest Day 120-150 minutes EM 90-150 minutes EM or
with 3 sets of 3x2min or 60-90 4x6min OU (1 Under, 1 with 5x6min OU Group Ride
PI, 2min RBI, 5 min minutes EM Over), 4min RBI (1 Under, 1 Over),
Rest Between Sets 4 minutes RBI
(RBS)

Week 11 Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM Rest Day 60-90 minutes EM with Rest Day 120-150 minutes EM 90-150 minutes EM or
with 3 sets of 4x2min or 60-90 3 sets of 3x2min PI, with 6x6min OU Group Ride
PI, 2min RBI, 5 min minutes EM 2min RBI, 5 min RBS (1 Under, 1 Over),
RBS 4 minutes RBI

Week 12 Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day 60 minutes EM with Rest Day Race, Century, Group Ride, Epic mountain bike
1x6min SS 5x3min FP, 3 minutes ride, you name it—you’re ready for it.
RBI

13 © 2009, Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.