Is Guard +1 workout killer for everyone?

I’m a pretty anaerobic athlete, I can do 15 second intervals till the cows come home no problem (well, sort of, you know what I mean…) 3 min efforts start getting harder, holding FTP is fine, hard but fine and I don’t have a great FTP. 10 seconds and under I’m pretty good though. SO, I did Guard today, 107% FTP for 4 mins with 150%-200% 10 second efforts every minute before getting straight back to 107%. Complete torture and by far the hardest workout I’ve done. I think I’ve really found a weakness or is it just the nature of this workout? I wonder if I should substitute some more of the anaerobic sessions on the Rolling road race plan I’m doing to try and work on this weakness? The IF of this session is only 0.83 which I’m usually fine with.

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Just taken a look at this (the one hour version), and it does look challenging. I don’t practice sprints on the trainer so I’ve done nothing comparable to this session.

Although you get those big recovery valleys, I’d say that you’ve got to be able to control your breathing really quickly and begin recovering whilst working for 30 seconds at 107%.

Out of interest, did you complete the session in ERG or resistance mode? I certainly wouldn’t shy away from doing more sessions like this. Train your weaknesses.

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Resistance mode and just changed gearing. I generally don’t train my sprint on the trainer either but the Watts on the sprint aren’t full sprints, just 200% ftp so still fine on the trainer.

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Sounds like you’re mixing up Guard and Guard+1? Guard is 0.84 intensity but the intervals are only 2 minutes long. Guard+1 has 4 minute intervals but 0.91 intensity.

If you did Guard +1, then don’t worry. If you click on “all rides”, you’ll see it has a very high failure / intensity reduction rate. Hardly anyone can match the TSS required.

Didn’t remember this workout - but I did Guard +1 earlier this year and survived only the first three intervals - I failed on the last four


Hahaha yeah that’s a tough one! I do a similar one, with the difference being that the sprints are all out sprints and you end up doing 30 of them.

Oh yes, it’s Guard +1 that I meant. Good to hear that I’m not the only one…


Mother. Of. God.


I was going to do Guard +1 tomorrow as I’m following Rolling Road Race, on and off.

On the strength of this (and with a B/C race on Saturday) I might tone that down a bit…

Just created custom workout “Guard +0.5” as a halfway-house between the two, simply by taking the first minute off each 4 minute interval. So it’s now 7x3 minutes with 8 second anaerobic efforts - but kept the rests the same length as I think I’ll need the recovery. 1:07 long with 0.88 IF.

Guard +0.5

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Yes, I’m on the same plan and should be doing it tomorrow but have work so needed to change to today, total killer for me. Let us know how you get on.

That could be a good one.

Click on All Rides? Don’t see that on my Trainer Road page. Using Macbook Pro

Go to the workout page for Guard +1 (or indeed any workout from the libary), then click on “all rides” like so:

Always useful if a workout seems difficult, as you can see how a sample of other users fared.


So, my Guard +0.5 report…

  • Interval 1 - wow this is hard, even at 3 minutes, let’s knock it back to 99%.
  • Interval 2 - HR reaches 94% max
  • Interval 3 - HR reaches 95% max, let’s knock it back to 97%
  • Interval 4 - HR still reaching 95% max, let’s knock it right down to 95%
  • Interval 5 - I can’t even bring myself to stand up for the final sprint
  • Give up on intervals 6&7 and skip straight to the cool down, extend it by 10 minutes and increase the intensity to ride zone 2 and burn the calories I owe

Here’s the grisly evidence.

Conclusion 1: I can’t even come close to imagining how hard Guard +1 must be at full intensity with all 7 intervals an extra minute each time
Conclusion 2: I don’t have much anaerobic capacity
Conclusion 3: Standing up really brings the HR soaring up, and it’s hard to get it back down
Conclusion 4: Allowing for differences in anaerobic capacity, not just differences in aerobic capacity (i.e. FTP), needs to be a priority for the Trainer Road team - especially when they’re offering plans like Crit and Rolling Road Race speciality which are full of these short intense intervals.

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Yes, I’m pretty much there with you on this workout. My issue isn’t anaerobic though, I can get through the anaerobic workouts of similar IF’s and similar TSS’s with completing the last interval as easily and as higher power as the first. My aerobic is average, not as strong as my anaerobic but combining the 2 is killer. It kills both my aerobic and anaerobic ability together. I guess this makes this workout really important for me because this is one big weakness. It’s actually the first time it’s come up in either the general build or my current rolling road race mid volume plan. I wonder why it doesn’t come up more often?

Maybe you should switch to a plan to work on your weakness in aerobic power? Sustained Power Build or Climbing Road Race, perhaps.

Yes, after I’ve finished this program I probably will.

I wonder how many sessions of Guard +1 will be attempted in the near future…? :skull: