quarantine project workouts

CTS Quarantine Project Daily Workouts

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“Endurance athletes are used to taking the long route, and with the accelerating COVID19 crisis we are all facing the most important endurance challenge of our lives. Like all endurance events, this one will have highs and lows, unforeseen challenges, opportunities to work together, and there will be a finish line. How long it takes to get there depends a lot on the choices we make as individuals, communities, and countries. We each play a role in determining our shared future, so my team and I created The CTS Quarantine Project as an effort to use our skills and resources to help people through a challenging time.” – Chris Carmichael, Founder and Head Coach of CTS

CTS Quarantine Project Daily Workouts

Introduction:
As the effort to reduce transmission of COVID19 starts to swiftly constrain outdoor training and events, endurance athletes are having to adapt to the reality we might be primarily training indoors through much of the spring. We know everyone has different goals, time limitations, available equipment, and priorities, so the CTS Coaching Staff is working together to create daily workouts for anyone to access.

Throughout the crisis, we are going to provide a series of daily workouts that feature intervals or activities that will support your fitness and aerobic conditioning. There will be cycling, running, and strength/stretching workouts available. The cycling workouts will be about 60-75 minutes long and available as text or downloadable files in .zwo, .erg, .mrc, and .fit formats.

The workouts in this series are designed to be stand-alone sessions, not a progressive training plan. If you are following a structured plan through this time period, they can be an alternative workout if you want something different. If you are exercising on your own, we encourage you to train 3-5 times a week and integrate workouts you find interesting.

The cycling workouts will follow a weekly pattern so harder sessions alternate with more moderate efforts. That way, if you do happen to complete several days in a row, they won’t all be hard interval sessions. Not only would that bad for your training, we want to encourage you to work hard enough to maintain or improve fitness, but not so hard that you get run down. The order you will see with the cycling workouts is:

Monday: Strength/Stretching
Tuesday: High intensity intervals
Wednesday: Strength/Stretching
Thursday: Climbing/Threshold/FTP
Friday: Aerobic/Drills
Saturday: High intensity intervals
Sunday: Endurance


The Workouts

Monday, March 30, 2020

Today we have a skills drill for cyclists, from CTS Coach Josh Whitmore. Although he is performing this drill on a mountain bike, this drill is just as effective and applicable to road, gravel, and cyclocross riders.

For today’s CTS Quarantine Project, here is a drill for your driveway: Split 8s or Rock Dodge. .

Skill level: Beginner

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Josh Whitmore (@iamjoshwhitmore) on

Why is it important: When turning, your rear wheel doesn’t track the same path as your front wheel. This drill helps with awareness of BOTH wheels when turning.

How to do it: Start with one object. Make your front wheel go on one side of the object while your rear wheel passes on the other side. Once you can do that every time, move to two objects. When you can do two, make a long line of objects. This is harder than it looks!

Ok, your turn. I Let’s see you do it. Make a video, Tag Josh and use the hashtags #mtbskillswithjosh and #ctsquarantineproject.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Cycling: Tempo Mix (1:15:00)

Download Files: .zwo, .erg, .mrc, .fit

Tempo is a moderately challenging aerobic intensity interval, meaning it is harder than your cruising endurance pace but not so hard you can’t speak in short sentences. The key to incorporating Tempo into your training is accumulating time-at-intensity. Because they are moderately challenging and below lactate threshold, Tempo intervals are often quite long. Sometimes these will be prescribed as an individual 30- or 45-minute interval. The time-at-intensity is broken into smaller intervals in this workout, with the longer (10-minute) intervals at the low end of the Tempo intensity range, and the shorter (5-minute) intervals at the high end of the Tempo range.

Instructions:

  1. Warm up: 5 min @ 40-50 % of FTP
    1. Ramp up in 4 steps
      1. EM: 2 min @ 55-65 % of FTP
      2. EM: 2 min @ 65-75 % of FTP
      3. Tempo: 2 min @ 75-85 % of FTP
      4. SS: 1 min @ 85-95 % of FTP
    2. Recovery: 3 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  2. Low Tempo
    1. 10 min @ 80-89 % of FTP and 70-75 rpm
  3. Recovery: 3 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  4. High Tempo
    1. 5 min @ 85-92 % of FTP and 90-100 rpm
  5. Recovery: 3 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  6. Low Tempo
    1. 10 min @ 80-89 % of FTP and 80-90 rpm
  7. Recovery: 3 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  8. High Tempo
    1. 5 min @ 85-92 % of FTP and 90-100 rpm
  9. Recovery: 3 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  10. Low Tempo
    1. 10 min @ 80-89 % of FTP and 90-100 rpm
  11. Recovery: 3 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  12. Cool Down: 5 min @ 40-50 % of FTP

Running: EnduranceRun (1:30:00)

The Endurance effort is where ultrarunners will spend a lot of time- since this is your “all day” pace. RPE is 5-6, so your breathing should be comfortable. This might mean dialing down your speed to a power hike when going uphill. Aim to keep your intensity level stable.

After you’ve warmed up, keep your intensity level at an RPE of 5-6. RPE 5-6= rhythmic breathing, not labored at any point. In a talk test, you could still have a comfortable conversation. This will feel slightly harder than your recovery run.

If you can only say 2-3 sentences, you are going too hard!


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Cycling: Max Effort Stepdowns: 3x5min, 4min RBI (1:08:00)

Following a good warmup, Max Effort Stepdowns are done from a standing start position. Sprint from a stop for 20-30s, then drop the intensity for each step in succession. These efforts are similar to fast starts in cyclocross, mountain bike races, and some criteriums. The key to success in those circumstances is the ability to start hard and notch your intensity back in steps instead of going out so hard you blow up and go backwards.

File Downloads: .zwo, .erg, .mrc, .fit

Instructions:

  1. Warmup
  2. Max Effort Stepdowns (repeat 3 times)
    1. 20-30s @ MAX
    2. 30-40s @ PI power
    3. 1min @ CR Power
    4. 5min @ SS power
  3. Recover 4 minutes between intervals
  4. Cooldown

Running: Fartlek Ladder (2, 3, 4, 3, 2min), 2:30min RBI (00:55:00)

Fartlek = Swedish word meaning “speed play”. In this workout, you will play around with your speed cycling through fast pace/easy pace. These fast intervals are for 2-3-4-3-2 minutes, with 2.5 min easy pace (think Endurance Run pace) in between. This will help you work on your foot turnover and speed in a different way from strides.  Check in with your breathing and effort level!

  1. Warm up: 15 min @ 3-5 RPE
  2. Fartlek 1: Hard, 2 min @ 8-10 RPE
  3. Easy, 2:30 @ 5-6 RPE
  4. Fartlek 2: Hard, 3 min @ 8-10 RPE
  5. Easy, 2:30 @ 5-6 RPE
  6. Fartlek 3: Hard, 4 min @ 8-10 RPE
  7. Easy, 2:30 @ 5-6 RPE
  8. Fartlek 4: Hard, 3 min @ 8-10 RPE
  9. Easy, 2:30 @ 5-6 RPE
  10. Fartlek 5: Hard, 2 min @ 8-10 RPE
  11. Easy, 2:30 @ 5-6 RPE
  12. Cool Down: 13:30 @ 3-5 RPE

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cycling: FastPedal Ladder Workout (1:15:00)

FastPedal intervals are a cadence drill designed to help you increase the range of cadences you find comfortable. There is no optimal cadence for everyone, but it is advantageous to have smooth pedal mechanics at a wider range of cadences. Though your heart rate and breathing rate will increase during the intervals, there’s no prescribed heart rate or power ranges. You just want you to shift into an easy gear and bring your cadence up to as fast as you can go without bouncing in the saddle. Focus on kicking over the top and pulling through the bottom of the pedal stroke, as this will help you stay smooth and help you keep you from bouncing.

Download Files: .zwo, .erg, .mrc, .fit

Instructions:
After a good warm up, the workout is structured like this:
2x3min with 3min RBI
5x2min with 2min RBI
5x1min with 2min RBI
Cool Down, and done.

The sets above should be completed one after the other, meaning that the first 2-minute FastPedal interval should start immediately after the final 3-minute recovery from the previous set of 3-minute intervals.

Running: Endurance Run with Strides (1:00:00)

There is an extra 5 min of strides at end of the warmup to help with leg speed. During the strides, pay attention to keeping a quick cadence (think of running on hot coals!), posture, and arm swing.

After the strides, settle into your comfortable Endurance pace (RPE 5-6).

If doing this on flat road, the strides will have you going faster than what you are used to- so good practice with foot turnover! Pay close attention to your effort level on the Endurance portion of the workout- don’t let yourself drift into a faster pace.

  1. Warm up
    1. 15 min @ 5 RPE
  2. Strides (Repeat 5 times)
    1. 45 sec @ 9 RPE
    2. Recovery: 1 min @ 6 RPE
  3. Endurance Run
    1. 36:15 @ 5-6 RPE

Thursday, March 26, 2020

 

Cycling: 3x12min Overunders (20,1U)

OverUnder Intervals are a great way to develop the “agility” to handle changes in pace during hard, sustained efforts. The “Under” intensity is your SS range, and the “Over” intensity is your CR range, and during the 12-minute interval you will alternate between these two intensity levels. The harder surges within the interval generate more lactate in your muscles, and then you force your body to process this lactate while you’re still riding at a relatively high intensity. This workout can be performed indoors on a trainer or outside on a flat road, rolling hills, or a sustained climb that’s relatively gradual (3 to 6 percent grade). It is difficult to accomplish this workout on a steep climb, because the pitch often makes it difficult to control your effort level. Your gearing should be moderate, and pedal cadence should be high (100 rpm or higher) if you’re riding on flat ground or small rollers. Pedal cadence should be above 85 rpm if you’re completing the intervals on a gradual climb.

To complete the interval, bring your intensity up to your SS range during the first 45 to 60 seconds. Maintain this heart rate intensity for the prescribed Under time and then increase your intensity to your Over intensity for the prescribed time. At the end of this Over time, return to your Under intensity range and continue riding at this level of effort until it’s once again time to return to your Over intensity. Continue alternating this way until the end of the interval. OverUnder Intervals always end with a period at Over intensity. This workout builds up high levels of lactic acid. Working in this way trains your body to dissipate and buffer lactate, also known as increasing your lactate tolerance. Recovery periods between intervals are typically about half the length of the work interval. Note: A more advanced version of this interval would alternate between SS and PI intensities instead of SS and CR intensities.

File Downloads: .zwo, .erg, .mrc, .fit

Instructions:

  1. Warm up
    1. 5 min @ 40-50 % of FTP
    2. Ramp up in 3 steps
      1. 1:30 @ 65-75 % of FTP
      2. 1 min @ 75-85 % of FTP
      3. 30 sec @ 85-95 % of FTP
    3. Recovery: 5 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
    4. Ramp up in 3 steps
      1. 1:30 @ 65-75 % of FTP
      2. 1 min @ 75-85 % of FTP
      3. 30 sec @ 85-95 % of FTP
    5. Recovery: 5 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  2. OverUnder Intervals (Repeat 4 times)
    1. 12-minute OverUnder:
      1. Under: 2 min @ 95-100 % of FTP
        80-95 rpm
      2. Over: 1 min @ 101-110 % of FTP
        80-95 rpm
    2. Recovery between intervals: 8 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  3. Cool Down
    1. 10 min @ 40-50 % of FTP

Running: 5x3min TempoRun

Running at your lactate threshold helps your body to better use and process lactate so that you can run harder for longer. Since your TempoRun effort is at RPE 8-9, these are not all out sprints! Accelerate into the interval until you reach the correct effort level that you can hold for the duration. At the end of 10 min warm up, you will do a few strides to get your body prepared for the faster work required in the intervals. Ease into your Tempo interval and it should feel like a 10K race pace- comfortably hard. Check in with yourself and do a talk test. You should be able to say 3-4 words (but not be reduced to only a 4-letter word!)

Instructions

  1. Warm up: 10 min @ 3-4 RPE
  2. Strides
    1. Repeat 5 times: 20 sec @ 8-10 RPE
    2. Recover: 1 min @ 5-7 RPE
  3. TempoRun Intervals:
    1. Repeat 5 times: 3 min @ 8-9 RPE
    2. Recovery: 3 min @ 4-5 RPE
  4. Cool Down: 13:20 @ 3-5 RPE

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Strength Training: All Sports

With so many people working at home this week, we’re having to adjust to spending lots of time at desks, tables, and chairs that might not be as ergonomically comfortable as your office setup. There are lots of sore shoulders and necks out there. Today’s strength/stretching workout isn’t tough. It’s more a series of exercises designed to stimulate upper-body muscle activation and improve shoulder mobility.

10 push-ups
(1 minutes rest)

Single Arm Circles (clockwise)
-10 right arm
-10 left arm
(30 second rest after completing both arms)

Single Arm Circles (counter-clockwise)
-10 right arm
-10 left arm
(1 minute rest after completing both arms)

20 Shoulder Shrugs
(1 minute rest)

10 Push-ups
(2 minutes rest)

20 Shoulder Shrugs
(1 minute rest)

5 Neck Rolls (clockwise)
(30 second rest)

5 Neck Rolls (counter-clockwise)
(30 seconds rest)

10 Triangle Push-ups
-Get into the traditional push-up position. The only alteration is that you should place both hands together forming a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs.
(3-5 minute rest)

Single Arm Circles (clockwise)
-20 right arm
-20 left arm
(30 second rest after completing both arms)

Single Arm Circles (counter-clockwise)
-20 right arm
-20 left arm
(1 minute rest after completing both arms)

20 Shoulder Shrugs
(2 minute rest)

5 Neck Rolls (clockwise)
(30 second rest)

5 Neck Rolls (counter-clockwise)
(30 seconds rest)

Push-ups until failure
-This is the final movement of the workout. Complete as many push-ups as you can until you are unable to lift yourself off of the ground with proper form.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Choose a Cycling or Running workout below

Cycling: PowerIntervals 7x 3min (Total time: 1:13:00)

Power intervals are maximal efforts that should be performed at a 10/10 on the RPE scale. The goal of power intervals is to increase your maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) and subsequently raise your ceiling of performance to allow for more growth as far as your sustainable power at lactate threshold. Power intervals should be approached in a “peak and fade” style. This means you attack at the beginning of the interval; accelerate hard to get to maximum effort/power/pace as quickly as you can. Because of the intensity of this acceleration, you will almost certainly slow down and/or see a decline in power output from about 30 seconds in all the way to the end of the interval. You generate a tremendous amount of lactate with your initial acceleration, and you’re riding through that lactate accumulation for the rest of the interval as your aerobic system tries to “catch up”. Keep your cadence above 100rpm for the entire 3-minute interval. Recovery between intervals is purposely short, just three minutes. You’ll start the next interval before you feel fully recovered, especially toward the end of the set.

File Downloads: .zwo, .erg, .mrc, .fit

Instructions:

  1. Warm up
    1. 5 min @ 40-50 % of FTP
    2. Ramp up in 3 steps
      1. 1:30 @ 65-75 % of FTP
      2. 1 min @ 80-90 % of FTP
      3. 30 sec @ 95-105 % of FTP
    3. Recovery
      5 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
    4. Ramp up in 3 steps
      1. 1:30 @ 65-75 % of FTP
      2. 1 min @ 80-90 % of FTP
      3. 30 sec @ 95-105 % of FTP
    5. Recovery
      5 min @ 50-60 % of FTP
  2. Power Intervals (Repeat 7 Times)
    1. Interval
      3 min @ 115-130 % of FTP
      95-110 rpm
    2. Recovery
      3 min @ 30-50 % of FTP
  3. Cool Down
    1. 10 min @ 40-50 % of FTP

Running: 30/20/10 x3 (Total time: 00:50:00)

After your warm up, you will cycle though intervals at easy, moderate, and hard efforts. Check in with your effort using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) cues below. Pay attention to how you are breathing to make sure you are making a distinction between the different paces.

Easy: RPE 4. Recovery effort, comfortable breathing. You could tell a great story here.

Moderate: RPE 6-7. Endurance to high end aerobic effort, moderate to deep breathing. Comfortable to short conversation 2-3 sentences.

Hard: RPE: 8-10. Lactate threshold to VO2max effort, deep and labored/rapid breathing. Short sentences to short words.

Instructions:

  1. Warm up
    1. 20 min @ 4 RPE
  2. Interval Set
    1. Set 1 – 3 Repeats
      1. Easy – 30 sec @ 4-5 RPE
      2. Moderate – 20 sec @ 6-7 RPE
      3. Hard – 10 sec @ 8-10 RPE
    2. Recovery
      1. 2 min @ 4 RPE
    3. Set 2 – 3 Repeats
      1. Easy – 30 sec @ 4-5 RPE
      2. Moderate – 20 sec @ 6-7 RPE
      3. Hard – 10 sec @ 8-10 RPE
    4. Recovery
      1. 2 min @ 4 RPE
    5. Set 3 – 3 Repeats
      1. Easy – 30 sec @ 4-5 RPE
      2. Moderate – 20 sec @ 6-7 RPE
      3. Hard – 10 sec @ 8-10 RPE
  3. Easy Pace
    1. 17 min @ 4-5 RPE

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sport: All

To start out, we’re going to reference a popular strength training article and workout from our library: 5 Great No-Equipment Strength Exercises for Cyclists, Triathletes, and Runners. Exercise instructions and videos are available in the article. Combine the exercises into a superset, moving straight from one exercise to the next. Take 1-2 minutes of rest between supersets and complete 3-4 times.

Bodyweight Squats: 20-25 repetitions
Divebomber Pushups: 10 repetitions
Single Leg Glute Bridge: 10 repetitions per leg
Reverse Snow Angels: 10 repetitions
Spider Plank: 10 repetitions


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Comments 10

  1. Just want to say thank you to CTS for making your expertise available to me during this period. I appreciate it very much!

  2. Hi, I’m fairly sure that the tags allow download to smart trainer software such as Zwift, but how do you do that? Would appreciate some information that would allow me to use the workouts on Zwift.

    and THANK you for helping us stay fit!

  3. Re the question about SS and CR. These refer to CTS training zones they call Steady State and Climbing Repeats. CTS uses a naming system for power / HR ranges that are different to a lot of others but once you get used to them are equally meaningful. They are really the CTS “Zones”. There are a bunch of different systems for computing and allocating ranges to train in; these are theirs. They work. (and disclosure: yes, I am a CTS coached person and believe in their system).

    By the way, Chris and everybody, this is a really generous and inspiring project. Thank you

  4. Thank you so much, but:

    Thursday, March 26, 2020

    Cycling: 3x12min Overunders
    ——-
    OverUnder Intervals (Repeat 4 times)
    ——-
    Is 3 or 4 cycling intervals?

    1. I think SS is Sweet Spot, under threshold, CR is over threshold but I don’t know the meaning of the acronym

  5. You guys (and gals) are great! I love your time crunched cyclist book and your Strava training plans. Thanks for all your efforts and these free resources. BTW can any of the files above be imported into Tacx TTS?

  6. Many thanks, I know that many athletes are struggling with finding alternative activities as group training and early races are suspended.

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