Athlete Key Workout: Pablo Cruz

Sometimes, you just have to do some hard riding. In this week’s workout highlight, we’ll take a look at a late build phase workout done by Pablo Cruz of Midwestern State University in preparation for the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championship. Prior to this workout, Pablo had already done some 200+ hours this year, in addition to late winter training in 2016. He’d also been in race season for several months, with collegiate races occurring on 7 of the 10 weekends leading up to the national championships from the start of his season in February. His focus this year has been on the road race and the team time trial. Thank you Brooks Bixler for the photo above.
With Nationals in Grand Junction, Colorado, Pablo would be working at around 85-90% of his sea-level aerobic capacity for the TTT, road race, and crit.. With this in mind, this workout included riding at an effort corresponding to roughly VO2max power output. The goal is to increase Pablo’s ability to handle intensities above his functional threshold for significant stretches up to a few minutes, increase his VO2max and aerobic work ceiling, and prepare for repeated efforts at high intensities late into a race.
The prescription is a descending ladder until the last hour, which ramps the interval duration back up to 3 minutes at 120% FTP:

1 hour endurance
3x3min @120% FTP; rest between intervals 4min
20 minutes easy (55% FTP)
3×2.5min @120% FTP; RBI: 3min
20 minutes easy (55% FTP)
3x2min @120% FTP; RBI 3min
20 minutes easy (55% FTP)
2x3min @120% FTP; RBI 4min
40 minutes endurance (55% FTP)
The total duration is 3.5 hours, with the last intervals coming around the 3 hour mark, which is near the time it would take to complete the collegiate nationals road race.
Pablo Cruz ended up in the top 15 in the country for varsity cycling programs with a very strong ride, suffering a bit from the altitude compared with those who had more exposure in the weeks leading up to the race. In the TTT, Pablo’s team rode to a 5th place in Varsity cycling programs, just 14 seconds from 3rd place and the Bronze medal.
Check out other workouts from our Athlete Key Workout series.

As an Exercise Science student at the University of Texas, Mitchell Sides assisted coaching the university cycling and triathlon teams. Since graduating, he raced professionally for Elevate Pro Cycling and started his coaching career at Source Endurance.  Mitchell has been using TrainingPeaks and WKO4 analytical software to help optimize workouts for each athlete. His athletes range from masters to college freshmen in cycling and triathlon.
 He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Midwestern State University in Exercise Physiology, a program known for cycling performance.