My Weakness - Guard +1

I’ve always known a workout like Guard would expose my weaknesses, but I’ve never done one in a training plan until yesterday. I completed the workout, but my power was not near prescribed during the sprints (due to both fitness and erg mode).

What training plan would best account for this? I’m comfortable with steady state efforts and have been working on shorter efforts since starting the rolling road race specialty plan.

I’m thinking of going to short power build after this to close out the rest of the season. Does that make sense?

That does look scary.
Not really training related, but resistance mode might work better for the short sprints.

I’m in a similar situation - I get beaten up by workouts like Spanish Needle even if I reduce intensity. And I need to improve my anaerobic capacity and snap to become more competitive in road races.

My approach has been - sorry Chad, Nate, and the guys - to partially ditch Trainer Road and take my workouts outside. Instead of aiming for a number and failing and letting erg mode beat me up, I just do sessions outdoors that involve riding HARD without too much need for control. For example…

  • 8 x 1min intervals (full gas with a sprint to start each one off) with 5+ mins recovery in between.
  • 3 sets of 5x1min intervals at 140% with 1min recovery intervals and 5 mins between each set.
  • 5 sets of 3 40/20s (40 seconds full gas, 20 seconds easy), 5+ mins between each set.
  • 2 sets of 10 20/40s (20 seconds full gas sprints, 40 seconds coast) 5+ mins between each set.

It’s nearly summer - if the weather’s good, why not give it a go? You may be surprised how good the numbers are you put out when you give it a good push.

I don’t think those outdoor rides are at all inconsistent with what TR advocates. The rides are structured, and it’s often said that sprints are best done out doors. And especially since the pacing is mostly “full gas” there’s no need to stare at your head unit like you might if you tried to hit targets indoors.

And you said partially ditch, which to me sounds like you still have some TR time/structure in your weekly riding. That looks perfect to me.

Yeah, I still do some steady Z2 sessions and recovery rides. But at the moment it’s nice outside and hard to get motivated and get my cave cold enough for high intensity turbo.
Over winter I follow it pretty religiously.

There is an outside equivalent for Guard +1 I’ve just looked for as below:

I for one would do standing sprints outside as i just cannot get the full range of motion on a trainer. Looks very brutal though- good luck, may try it one day, not today as i’ve got a hilly 44 mile RR tomorrow in N Wales.

Warm Up:

  • Ride for 8 minutes gradually raising your power from RPE 4 to 7.
  • 1 minute easy.
  • 4x8 seconds at RPE 10, with 54 seconds rest.
  • 3 minutes easy.

Main Set:
7 sets of the following:

  • 52 seconds at RPE 8.
  • 8 seconds at RPE 10.
  • 52 seconds at RPE 8.
  • 8 seconds at RPE 10.
  • 52 seconds at RPE 8.
  • 8 seconds at RPE 10.
  • 52 seconds at RPE 8.
  • 8 seconds at RPE 10.
  • 5 minutes rest between sets.
  • After last set skip straight to cool down.

Cool Down:

  • Spin easy for 2 minutes.


These combination VO2max/Sprint intervals target improvements in aerobic power while addressing your ability to activate a lot of muscle mass quickly.

Imagine hammering up a short climb and being able to jump 2 bike lengths up the road while everyone behind you gasps for air.

It’s this sort of combination of abilities that can open gaps on other riders, rocket a mountain biker over a rut or root or help a cross racer leap out of every technical corner.

Try to keep your spin above 100rpm throughout the 2-minute intervals and shoot for 120rpm or higher during the bursts.