PUTB and P2PI intensity and timing?


I just bought both your programs, PUTB and PTPI. I’m doing the first week starting this January but with reading the information I’m a little unclear as to what effort I need to do the workout under Super D and Mixmaster. I do not have a power meter so I can not determine what the RPM is. Can you give me a little help in this?



Thanks for buying the programs, and for writing in.

Pump Up the Base is a 12-week off-season build. It focuses on aerobic fitness, sprint power and pedaling skills. For more info check out Build your base for a sweet 2014.

Prepare to Pin It is a 12-week in-season program that you can cycle for longer. It trains all energy systems to help you reach and maintain peak overall fitness.

I do PUTB religiously each winter. In spring I switch to P2PI. When coaching gets busy in summer, I focus on coaching, physical therapy, strength work and recovery, but I try to follow the spirit and rhythm of P2PI. This keeps me in decent shape all year. Heck, I’m hitting a peak right now in October.

PUTB has three intensities:

Easy. Use this to warm up and to recover between intervals. When I say easy, I mean easy: Level 2 in the above chart.

Sprint. Each interval begins with a few seconds as hard as you can. This teaches you to pedal faster and harder, and it improves your peak power. It’s fun too. Especially with a power meter.

Peak for this 2012 workout was 180 rpm and 1,445 watts. My best now is 220 rpm and 1,774 watts. If you keep this up over the years, you can see real improvements (even as you get older).

Sweet Spot. This intensity delivers maximum training benefit with minimum punishment, and it’s where most of the PUTB work happens. If you have a power meter, Sweet Spot is about 90-100 percent of your threshold power (as measured by a time trial).

Since you don’t have a power meter, Sweet Spot is as hard as you can work while speaking in short statements. If you can’t talk at all, you’re riding too hard. If you can say full sentences, that’s too easy. In my experience, Sweet Spot isn’t horribly hard, but you have to focus to stay there. AS soon as you break focus, you’ll drop tot low.

Cadence is simple. Just count your revolutions for 20 seconds then multiply by three. I do this all the time. It’s a great way to keep your mind busy.

Your timing seems perfect. After 12 weeks of PUTB you should have solid aerobic fitness, dialed pedaling skills and massive peak power. When you start P2PI you should see quick, huge improvements.

In my first five weeks of P2PI in 2013, I gained about 25% at all intensity levels.

Be sure not to overtrain! This is easy to do, especially if you’re also doing strength work (and you should). P2PI works extremely well, but those red intervals can burn you out. Be sure to take days(s) off each week and an easy week every month or so. Consider more than one easy week between PUTB and P2PI.

Here are the relative intensities for a week of P2PI. Two hard days, three medium days and two easy days!

Go hard on hard days. Take it easy on easy days. Keep us posted!


Know more. Have more fun!

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