My 2008 training schedule, v2.0

My friend, coach Mark Edwards, has been very helpful in designing a training program for me. It's pretty simple, way more simple than the complicated periodized program I set up for my 2007 season, but is pretty flexible and allows me to tailor each week for maximum effect. I just take the basic schedule shown below and make changes each week when needed.

For the off season I will pretty much follow exactly what I have here, and I will mostly just vary my "junk miles" (bike commuting, and all other non-specific rides) to prevent overtraining. In the real world I will sometimes shift the workouts around to fit into my real-world life, or skip them entirely when needed.

Dennis's 2008 Training Schedule

  • Mondays: Very easy bike-commute, or day off.
  • Tuesdays: "L5" workout with six 4- to 6-minute hill repeats or intervals. (In Santa Cruz somewhere.)
  • Wednesdays: "L4" workout with 2x20 or 1x40 FTP ride. (Likely on Page Mill Road or Old La Honda. Plus bike-commute some of the time, but really slow. Will skip this workout if I'm feeling fatigued.)
  • Thursdays: Very easy bike-commute, or day off.
  • Fridays: Very easy bike-commute, or day off. (Will do a second "L5" workout during the regular race season, unless there's a race the day after.)
  • Saturdays: "L4" workout with 2-3x20 or 1x40 FTP ride with Team Bicycle Trip. (Might occasionally join Crow's Nest ride for kicks, but make sure to ride Hazel Dell. Will just do an easy short ride if there's a Sunday race.)
  • Sundays: Day off. (Most of the time, unless it's going to rain on Monday or something. Might do that second "L5" workout during race season instead of Fridays, when there's a short Saturday race.)


2x20: Two 20-minute intervals. You ride for 20 minutes, usually at your "FTP" intensity or a little below it, then take a break, and repeat for another 20 minutes.

1x40: One 40-minute interval. You ride for 40 minutes, usually at your "FTP" intensity or a little below it.

FTP: Functional threshhold power. It's the fastest consistent "power" your body can produce for about 1 hour.

Power: For cyclists this is how much pressure you can apply to the pedals over time. Not the same thing as "strength" though.

Strength: The maximum force you can apply with your muscles for one brief moment. This really only applies to weight lifters, not cyclists. It's all about how heavy a weight you can lift (or press) one time. Cycling is all about applying force over a long period of time. It's sort of like the "horsepower versus torque" debate that auto racers have.

L4: Level 4. Kind of the same excercise intensity as you experience at your FTP, but expressed as a "zone." "L3" is a little slower, "L2" is a moderate endurance pace, and "L1" is an easier pace, but still not really slow.

L5: Level 5. This is faster than L4, and thus above FTP, so it's a pace you can only sustain for a few minutes. Many coaches express this as "L5a" and then add two higher zones, "L5b" and "L5c," which are higher yet (or call them "L6" and "L7" instead), up to your absolute maximum potential. L5c might be your fastest 8-second pace, I'd guess.