A couple weekends ago in Colorado was the Wheels of Thunder Criterium. We saw Nate Taggatz or Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team make the break with Gage Hecht and Dan Holloway, lap the field, and then get in further moves to try and get away from the competition. Nate Taggatz ended up 3rd in a classic Colorado star studded yet relatively small field of racers.
Nate, a time trial or power rider at his core has been putting in some really hard work to change his physiology to be able to attack and adapt to quick snappy changes in power during races and crits. First we used the tools at hand to identify Nate’s weaknesses. With a great FTP and sustained power, we know that Nate needs help with his Functional Reserve Capacity and ability to recover from anaerobic work. These metrics are crucial in criteriums.
From WKO, we also know that there’s a weakness in Nate at 30 second powers in his PD curve. From these inferences we designed a 30 second HIIT set and aim to increase that 30 second power but also with short rest we can increase Nate’s FRC and ability to recover once adapted to this interval set. The workout after a 20-30 minute endurance warm up is 30 seconds 130-170% FTP, 30 seconds 50% FTP X 6 reps X 3 sets with 5 minutes rest between sets.
This is a pretty intense set so we make sure there’s enough time to recover. We also don’t have to start with 3 sets of 6. We can start this workout earlier in the year and start with 1 or 2 sets after FTP work and build into a larger amount of anaerobic work.
Another trick is giving Nate this workout just before the hard Wednesday group ride. Despite him hating me for it it really pushes his ability to do work fatigued and still ride a group ride providing more overall fatigue and overload stimulus.
Zack Allison’s affinity for cycling started when he was 14 racing on the East Coast and his enjoyment of the sport lead him to pursue his BSEd in Exercise Science from Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He currently races for Team Clif Bar and owns the Source Endurance Training Center of the Rockies. Growing up in the sport with many great mentors, he loves to pay it forward, using a combination of education and race experience. You can often find him zooming around on Fort Collin’s many gravel roads or on its countless mountain bike trails. Learn more about Zack.