Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What is Big Gear Training?

This question comes up a lot...

Question: I saw a reference on your board about big gear ME sessions. Can you please elaborate?

Answer: It is pretty much as one might expect. Put your bike into a much larger gear than normal and grind it out. I have found it to be very effective to build my ability to push a solid gear in the flats. As well, I can get a lot of "work" done with a relatively lower heart rate.

Here's a range of variables that I use in my main sets:

  • 2-8 intervals of 3-20 min duration
  • goal is strength workout, not HR - don't leave your mod-hard zone
  • HR cap is AeT+15 bpm
  • RI is 25-33% of WI
  • Start with 20 min of total work, build to 60 mins
  • use a low cadence, stay in your TT position, push a big gear
  • Think circles


Question: Do you schedule these as BT sessions or within other base building or long rides? For what limiters would you prescribe this workout? I’m assuming Force and ME. Is this session preferred to more traditional, TT cadence ME work? If so, why?

Answer: This is typically a mid-week bike session. I will also include a big gear set within the long ride when laying out a series of main sets. I'll complement this work with hills and traditional endurance training.

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