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Home Trainer Program - week 1 - Power Meter Based

The Covid-19 confinement does not allow us to cycle outdoors anymore, now that spring has arrived…

It looks like the only way of maintaining/building our bike fitness is taking out the turbo trainer. Some cyclists may have very sophisticated smart trainers giving them the illusion of cycling Alpe d'Huez on their balcony or living room.

If you use a less sophisticated home trainer or are new to it, the challenge is not to get bored and throw it into a corner (or over the balcony) after two sessions.
We'll try helping you not to do this…:)

Here is your home trainer program for the first week (7 to 10 days).

First of all, you need to know what your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is. This figure is needed for your future training sessions.

What is the FTP? It is the maximal average power in watts that the cyclist can maintain in a quasi-steady state without fatiguing for 60 minutes. You need a power meter on your bike.

How to establish your FTP

There are various methods to establish your FTP. The one we prefer, especially in the present situation, is the 20-Minute FTP Test.

The 20-Minute Critical Power test

The 20-Minute Critical Power test is conducted as follows:

  • On a turbo trainer warm-up easy for 15-20 minutes
  • Over the next 5 minutes, do five (5) hard 30-second efforts, followed by 30 seconds of soft-pedalling. The purpose of this drill is to open up the blood and oxygen flow and to increase the heart rate prior to the 20-Minute effort; so don't go too hard. Push a wattage you think you can sustain for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Pedal easy for 5-minutes and prepare yourself mentally for the 20-Minute test, as it's going to hurt!
  • Start a new interval on your power meter and immediately begin the test. Start the 20-Minute test by selecting a wattage you think you can sustain for the full 20 minutes. The cardinal rule of time trailing applies here: don't start out too hard. Keep in mind that the best cyclists in the world can only sustain 400-500 watts over a 1-hour period of time, so if you find yourself starting out at 500 watts, you know you are likely going much too hard. It's best to start out easy for the first two minutes, and then build progressively to a wattage level you think can sustain.
  • Hold that level for the first 15 minutes, and then give it your best effort during the final five minutes. (If you find yourself fading in the last five minutes instead of holding steady or building, then you may have gone out too hard. Keep this in mind for your next test).
  • After 20 minutes, immediately start a new interval to save the precious power data you just worked so hard for! Cool down completely for 5 to 10 minutes.

Your FTP will be 95% of your average power during the 20 minute effort.


Now that you know your FTP, you are ready for your training. Not the same day!! You need to recover first...

Examples of power based workouts based on your FTP

Endurance: 2.0-2.3 hours

Warm up 15 min @50-55% of FTP
1.3 to 2.0 hours @ 69 to 75% FTP Cadence 85 to 90 rpm
During the 1.3 to 2.0 hours effort do 2 short bursts seated for 8sec every 10 min taking the RPM to 130
Watts should be close to 85% FTP for the 8 sec efforts
Cool down for 15 min @48 to 51% FTP

Active Recovery: 1.0 to 1.3 hours

Warm up 15 min @48-51% of FTP
30min to 1 hour @62% of FTP Cadence 90-95 rpm
Cool down 15 min @ 48% of FTP

Workout example for one week:

  • Day 1 & 2: Endurance efforts (for example, Sunday & Monday)
  • Day 3: Active Recovery effort (for example, Tuesday)
  • Day 4 & 5: Endurance efforts (for example Wednesday & Thursday
  • Day 6: Active Recovery effort (for example, Friday)
  • Day 7: rest day (for example, Saturday)

The Endurance can be done 4 times per week.

SportActive home trainer guideSpring Home Trainer Program Week 1

Want to see/use Martin's home trainer programs based on power? Below are the links:

Submitted: 31/03/2020

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