Lance Armstrong’s Training Program

Following on from my last post on Dr Ferrari’s training zones, this is a three day micro cycle Dr Ferrari would get Lance Armstrong to do while training for the Le Tour de France.

Please note that I am not positive what time of year Lance would be doing these training blocks. Like most cyclists, Lance was on a three day micro cycle that looked like

  • Day One: 4.5hrs done as 2hr @ Lento, 1hr @ Medio @ 30-40min @ Soglia
  • Day Two: 5.5hrs with 2.5hrs @ Medio
  • Day Three: 2.5hrs done @ Lento

This three day micro cycling was repeated over and over and over again. As you can see, Lance spent a lot of his training volume riding tempo and threshold.

Dr. Michele Ferrari’s lactate zones

It appears the most popular posts on this site is information regarding Dr. Ferrari and his training formula. In the past three posts I covered are

  • Dr Ferrari’s Coaching Philosophies – Click Here
  • Dr Ferrari’s Training Sessions – Click Here
  • Dr Ferrari’s Training Base training program – Click Here

Before I post the training cycle Lance Armstrong would do under Dr Ferrari, I thought I would post his Zone list using Lactate levels.

Dr Ferrari’s Zone List

  • Lento – Lactate level will be approximately 1-2 mmol/L
  • Medio – Lactate levels will be approximately 2-3 mmol/L
  • Soglia  – Lactate levels will be approximately 3-4 mmol/L
  • Super Soglia Lactate levels will be over 4 mmol/L

It is clear from everything I have read regarding Dr Ferrari’s Coaching methods is he regards spending a lot of time in the Medio zone for his athletes.

How much power do you need?

This is a mathematical equation that you can use to workout from past races how many watts needed for a set time. Please note that this only takes into account that everything is the same as the race info you input.

I will use myself for this example

Looking at my last Ironman bike of 5:14, if I want to take 14min off my time to have a bike split of 5hrs,

  • Normalized Power (NP): 193 watts
  • Bike Time: 5:14 (18,900 seconds)
  • 193 watts x 18,900 (5:14 in seconds) = 3647,700
  • 3647,700 ÷ 18,000 (5hr in seconds) = NP 202.65 watts giving a NP 9.65 watt difference (5.05% increase of NP)

So if I had rode that last Ironman at 203 watts instead of 193 watts, I would have got 5hrs bike split instead of 5:14.

Enjoy crunching numbers.


Dr. Michele Ferrari’s Base Training Program

Seeing as my last two articles on Dr. Michele Ferrari was so popular, I thought I would share his three training block base training program.

  • The First article I describe his coaching philosophies – Click Here
  • The Second article I go further into his training sessions – Click Here

Dr Michele Ferrari’s base training program looks likes

Block One:

Block Two:

Block Three:

Matt Hayman’s Paris-Roubaix Training

Back in 2016, pro cyclist Mathew Hayman won Paris-Roubaix only six weeks after crashing his bike breaking his right arm. Wasn’t willing to let his dream of Paris-Roubaix go, Mat set up a indoor training system and joined Zwift with the recommendation from former teammate Bobby Julich.

Mat would train twice a day riding Zwift with 90min in the morning and 90min in the afternoon. With a combination of intervals and group rides on Zwift, his training would be two days of intervals and one easy recovery day.

Some Data of Mat during Paris-Roubaix 2016

  • CTL for Paris-Roubaix – 131
  • ATL for Paris-Roubaix – 128
  • TSS weekly average in lead up – 850 (121 daily average)

In 2011 Mat finished 10th at Paris-Roubaix, His data for this race was

  • CTL for Paris-Roubaix – 145
  • ATL for Paris-Roubaix – 152
  • TSS weekly average in lead up: 1050 (150 daily average)

A session Mat would do was in his garage:

Warm Up:

  • 10min easy
  • 10sec hard @ 105 rpm
  • 1min easy @ 85 rpm
  • 10sec hard @ 105 rpm
  • 1min easy @ 85 rpm
  • 10sec hard @ 105 rpm
  • 3min easy @ 85 rpm

Main Set:

  • 4x 3min moderate effort (85% of FTP) @ 95 rpm, 2min same effort @ 65 rpm
  • 5min easy @ 85 rpm
  • 6x 2min hovering under threshold @ 85 rpm with 20sec surges between each 2min
  • 1min @ 95 rpm @ VO2
  • 5min easy @ 85 rpm
  • 6 x 2min hovering under threshold @ 85 rpm with 20sec surges between each 2min
  • 30sec @ 95 rpm @ VO2
  • 20sec anaerobic
  • 10sec MAX

Cool Down:

  • 10min easy

Kristian Blummenfelt & Gustav Iden Training Program

The Nnorwegian Triathlon Training System

  • Day One: Two threshold sessions + one easy session
  • Day Two: Long easy sessions (5-8 hours in total)
  • Day Three: Two threshold sessions + one easy session
  • Day Four: Very easy training, often around 2hrs of choice.

Threshold Training

They do a lot of double threshold training days. Because triathlon is swim, bike & run, they aim to hit a threshold session on each discipline a minimum of once per cycle. They will sometimes have all day swim, bike, run threshold day but this isn’t done too often.

The goal within these threshold sessions is to stay as close to threshold as possible so coaching staff will take lactate tests between each interval.

With these sessions, there is a lot of variations in the training sessions at threshold.

Craig Alexander’s Ironman Program

Craig Alexander who is talked about as one of the greatest Ironman athlete of all time who won the 2008, 2009 and 2011 Ironman World Championships would train over 40+ hours per week when leading into Kona. This is what a build week would look like for Crowie who would aim to repeat this week 4-5 times in a row.

Kona Build weeks.


  • Swim – Squad 3-7km
  • Bike – 4hrs
  • Gym


  • Swim – Squad 3-7km
  • Bike – 2hrs threshold session, this is often done on the indoor trainer (before Zwift and smart trainers)
  • Gym


  • Swim – Squad 3-7km
  • Either a race simulation or Bike 5-6hrs + 60-90min brick run (often mile repeats)


  • Swim – Squad 3-7km
  • Bike – 2hrs often motor pacing.
  • Run – Long normally around 100min


  • Swim – Squad 3-7km
  • Bike – 4hrs
  • Gym


  • Either a race simulation or Bike 5-6hrs + 60-90min brick run (often mile repeats)
  • Swim – Recovery session

Sunday: (Double run day)

  • Run – Long normally around 2:15hrs
  • Run – Tempo run

Jan Frodeno’s Training Program

Jan’s Program Olympic Program (February 2008)


  • Swim 5km (strength with sprints)
  • Bike – 120km with 3x (5x 8sec sprints / 1min rest) All aerobic
  • Run 8km aerobic + drills + 10x (2x 100 hill repeats)


  • Swim 5km aerobic
  • Bike 45km aerobic + 15km SE @ 60-70rpm
  • Run (Brick) 5km aerobic + 3km threshold + 2km easy
  • Run 10km easy


  • Bike 80km flat with 3km @ 120 rpm
  • Swim 5km anerobic
  • Run 25km aerobic + drills + 4x strides


  • Swim – 5km aerobic
  • Bike – 80km aerobic
  • Run – 8km easy


  • Run 8km aerobic + drills + sprints + 2km easy
  • Swim 5km strength + sprints
  • Run 3km + 10x 400 fast / 200 easy + 2km easy


  • Bike 100km with 3 (5x 8sec sprints)
  • Swim 4km different paces
  • Run 20km aerobic + drills + 4 strides


  • Swim 5km aerobic
  • Bike – 45km aerobic + 15km SE @ 60-70 rpm
  • Run (brick) 3x (2.5km aerobic to build to threshold) + 2km easy
  • Run – 8km aerobic

Maximilian Schwetz Load Week

Maximian Schwetz is a retired German pro triathlete that focus was being one of the worlds best Olympic distance triathletes. Below Maximian’s load week.

Load Week

Monday: Swim 5km + Gym 1hr

Tuesday: Swim 5.4km + Bike 90min + Run 1hr (9x 1km hard efforts)

Wednesday: Bike 3hrs (10x 6min) + Brick run 40min + swim 5km

Thursday: Bike 4hrs aerobic with low carbs + 1:10 easy run

Friday: Swim 4.6km + Gym 1hr

Saturday: Swim 4km + Bike 90min + Run 1hrs

Sunday: Run 90min + Bike 3hrs (7x 8min)

Weekly Summary

Total training hours: 30:24 hrs

Total TSS: 1424

Swim distance: 24400m

Bike duration: 13:22hr

Run duration: 5:37hr (75km)

Strength duration: 3:55 (this also included pre swim/bike/run activations)

Renato Canova

Renato Canova is classed as one of the greatest marathon coaches of all time with coaching more athletes running under 2:05 than any other coach in the world.

To give a quick glance on his training blocks, he structures his athlete’s season in four periods.

  1. Transition Period (4 weeks post Marathon)
  2. General Period (4 weeks duration)
  3. Fundamental Period (6 weeks duration)
  4. Specific Period (10 weeks duration)

To breakdown Conova’s coaching philosophies

• Conova’s training is extraordinarily hard
• It is speed and raw power work in the early phase and longer threshold/tempo running towards races.
• He progressively extends the distance you can run your goal pace over months and years.
• My favourite Canova quote is “What does a 2 hour easy run have to do with the marathon? Nothing”. – Conova doesn’t understand why anyone training to run a fast marathon would do a long easy runs. It is not specific to the marathon.
• You run at the right speed, not the right distance
• You do need a very good base to train his methods
• His fully body strength training is mostly circuit training.

The key elements to the specific phase
• Fast long runs start at around 25km and build to 40km at race pace or close to it. It is that simple.
• Hard long intervals like 4x 6km @ 110% of race pace with 1km floating at 80-90% of race pace.
• Special blocks will be hard race pace runs in the morning (10-16km) and hard threshold runs in the evening (10-16km)
• When it comes to marathon training, the base of everything is mileage, a 10km runner wouldn’t think twice about doing 10x 1km at race pace, for most runners, this hasn’t translated to marathon. This is one of the big issues according to Conova
• Pace is more important than distance
• Extensive workouts require long rest periods and no schedule
• Workouts get slower and not faster as race day approaches

The “Special Block”
The special block is every 3 to 4 weeks and consists of two sessions within the Specific Period. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. The athletes must be careful to arrive well rested.

Sometime Canova will instruct his athletes to drink only water and eat only vegetables between the two workouts in order to force the body to utilise fat as an efficient resource.

Typical Session
Morning: 10km @ 90% of marathon race pace + 20km @ marathon race pace
Afternoon: 10km @ 90% of marathon pace + 20km @ marathon pace

Another Special block day may look like:
Morning 10km @ 90% marathon pace + 10km @102% of marathon pace
Afternoon: 10km @ 90% of marathon pace + 12x 1km @ 105% of marathon pace +1:30 recovery

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