Egan Bernal’s TdF Build

Things of note:

  • Over-under work
  • lots of sweet spot work
  • lots of threshold work
  • attack then maintain intervals
  • sprint work at the end of workouts
  • working at different cadences
  • lack of 5-8 min VO2 max intervals

I’m guessing his threshold is between 340-360 based on this data.

Super interesting!

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No Baxter?

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I know that’s a joke but if you pause the spreadsheet shots he does have some easy aerobic days and he also sometimes does aerobic work after his hard sets.

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wait does this mean I don’t have to do Old Rag +6 next week

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Yes, very interesting, particularly replicating all of the specific demands of the race in the weeks prior to it (and not just during earlier training blocks).

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LOL that was my takeaway too. I’m guessing that for those of us who are time-crunched relative to pro cyclists the 5-8 min intervals probably have greater value.

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Preparing for a 3 weeks stage race is all about building a huge diesel engine. Or in scientific lingo, lowering vlamax. Apparently pro teams consider plenty of tempo, sst, and threshold work with some intermittent short intervals as the best approach for this. EB’s training is pretty much in line with other GT riders’ training as could be shown in the pro thread.

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The new new polarized :wink:

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Correctum to my previous post: not a huge diesel engine but a huge turbo diesel engine

And yes, they all haven’t received the memo yet that you should avoid cogan zone 3 because “elites” don’t train in this zone. Science supposedly says so …

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Seems like it’s all about specificity.

The lack of 5-8min vo2 intervals is interesting. I suppose that’s not how climbers attack - if they just went at 105-110% FTP then the other riders would just sit on their wheel until they were done. Instead you need to surge hard to make the gap then go back to on or just below threshold to maintain it.

And also, 7 weeks out from the Tour, there’s probably not much they can do to increase FTP without creating excessive fatigue.

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If you are 8 weeks out from a grand tour and are at EB level then yes, you can skip it :smiley:.

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I wouldn’t expect to see long duration VO2 block work in a build up for grand tours. Those are probably more towards the early part of the season pre-Dauphine, especially since they require a good amount of recovery to reap the benefits.

Here are the relevant Strava extracts (weeks 20-27). As alluded to before, pros do more intermittent stuff for high intensity. That’s why we don’t see many 5-8min intervals. I guess you still get a benefit without taxing your system overly under this high workload.

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Mega interesting, thanks for sharing Nate.

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I personally think we may all reading too much into the lack of VO2 work into this training block. As we all know, VO2 work is seriously taxing. I would venture to guess that his coach thought time would be better spent in the lower zones and save the really hard efforts for the repeated sprints he did. A lot of bang for the buck in the SS/TH/LT zones relative to VO2. I thought EB’s TdF training was well analyzed and well explained by Lanterne Rouge.

I would say he’s doing VO2 work with all the hard starts then maintaining. You seriously get that maximum oxygen uptake quickly!

This other work he’s doing is super taxing too. I personally find long threshold stuff more taxing on my system than VO2 work.

Either way he can definitely handle a lot of hard work!

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Yep, that’s phenotype and experience driven. I am the opposite - can hold long SS, threshold and even O/U blocks (TTE generally 63-65), but relatively a beginner at VO2 (while I like RRs, profile is that of a TTer).

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I’ve seen VO2 workouts that start with 120% for a minute then 8 minutes at 100%. So the attack training will max his VO2 systems I believe. I like those a whole lot more then 5 minute block of 110-120%. 5 minute blocks just hurt my legs a ton but I’m never out of breath.

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My favourite vo2max work based on a pro session in my Strava-hacks-collection:

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5x1min intervals? :thinking: