If you want to race fast, train fast and train strong. This is the phase that builds upon the lower three branches by adding your first Red Line workouts with short or endurance intervals. It’s the branch where you start time trials at specific heart rate points to test improvement. It’s the period of seeing big heart rate numbers, because you are pushing toward your maximum heart rate. It’s time to watch for the highest sustainable heart rate and to work at raising that value. For cyclists, it’s time to breathe hard and stare at the monitor as you push yourself and your monitor to new dimensions. This is interval training – specific interval training that matches your racing or performance goals. If you are a sprinter, then long intervals are not going to be of as much value. Use a variety of interval training regimens and workload ratios during this phase.
Frequency: 2-3 workouts plus endurance and strength workouts
Time: 20-60 minutes
Period: 3-4 weeks
Heart Zones: Z3 through Z5
Benefits: Improved speed, lactic acid removal and glucose fuel utilization.