How To Make It To The Podium With Less Training

Yesterday I published and commented on the results from Dave Simonson. Today, I will talk about Marc Moeller who is a category 3 rider with an ambition of promoting to category 2 this season. That goal sounds quite fair if Marc’s training wasn’t limited to only 8 hours per week. Thus, Marc gave me a challenge when he entered the project, but also a great chance to test how much progress you can achieve with training program with limited time available.

Wattage controlled intervals
I chose to push Marc’s intervals to the maximum capable amount. He was supposed to do intervals three times a week, but these days were not only like regular interval days, they were really tough workouts that required a dedicated effort to succeed. These intervals were monitored on his PowerTap Pro. There was a risk that this program could be a failure if the total training load was too heavy.

The three interval days were one session with anaerobic intervals (6 bursts of 40 seconds at 600-650W, recovery 6minutes), one training day with VO2 max intervals (3 times 3minutes 400W, 3min recovery or a couple of sets of 6 bursts of 40/20seconds at 410+ W) and finally one day with threshold power intervals in the range of 3 to 15minutes, normally with a total time of 24-30minutes. Two times a week there were sprint sessions with short power sprints and regular sprints.

Marc improved an all parameters and achieved a slightly weight loss, making his watts per kilogram even better. These results are really remarkable because Marc had a very good fitness before he entered this project and even more impressing when you look at the limited time he has spend on training. The threshold power did not improve as much as the other parameters, but that is not surprising. Even though the improvement is smaller in threshold power it’s still worth the effort because that skill is so important in road cycling.

Maximum power output, 1min.
Maximum Power output - 5sec.
5min maximum power (VO2max)
20min test results -

Critical Power Tests 5sec 1min 5min 20min Body Weight
Week 1 (Watt) 1110W 600W 395W 337W 82.6kg/182lbs
Week 1 (Watt/kg) 13.4W/kg 7.3W/kg 4.8W/kg 4.1W/kg  
Week 6 (Watt) 1184W 649W 417W 351W 80.4kg/177.2lbs
Week 6 (Watt/kg) 14.7W/kg 8.1W/kg 5.2W/kg 4.4W/kg  
Week 12 (Watt) 1286W 684W 436W 352W 79.8kg/176lbs
Week 12 (Watt/kg) 16.1W/kg 8.6W/kg 5.5W/kg 4.4W/kg  


Post script
These results have convinced me that you can reach a very high level of cycling with focused power meter training. Actually I decided to use a lot of the intervals Marc performed as a test pilot on one of my biggest U23 talents who also is limited in training time this spring due to school work. My own rider has had his most successful spring ever, indicating that there is a big potential in tough wattage controlled intervals. 

3 comments… add one
  • Dave Battan Link

    Very impressive results. Were the interval workouts (as described above) the same each week. I.e., were all 12 weeks exactly the same training plan?


  • None of the weeks were exactly the same, but there were several training sessions as described above.

  • where did he do the interval training? I live in New York City and have been doing the indoor training sessions to build aerobic and anaerobic capacity after a long time off the bike.

    I’ve been doing them on rollers indoors, but the neighbors recently complained of the noise and vibration (one of the many problems of living here).

    What the best way to do structured interval training outdoors? hills? find the emptiest road i can?

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