Coach’s Corner: Julie Emmerman’s Blender workout

The Blender uses a mix of short Tabata-style efforts with longer steady threshold work.

Photo: Courtesy Julie Emmerman

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.


Companies like Sufferfest and TrainerRoad have created a popular form of workout that use a complex mix of intensities along with video, sounds, and on-screen stats that are often as much about the experience as the workout. “I just enjoy that it gives me a little bit of everything,” says pro Julie Emmerman. “I enjoy the cheeky humor. I enjoy the music. I enjoy the video footage. I enjoy the length of the video itself, which I think is about an hour and 40 minutes. And I enjoy that I feel worked afterwards.”


Emmerman’s favorite is a Sufferfest workout called The Blender. It uses a mix of short Tabata-style efforts with longer steady threshold work. As the name implies, it doesn’t target a specific energy system, because a race itself is a blend of everything giving this workout its own form of race specificity.


This type of workout should be an add-on to your primary training work. Emmerman’s coach gives it to her about once per month. Use it as an enjoyable periodic reward, or when you need something a little harder, longer, and more fun.


You don’t have to spend a lot of time memorizing workouts like The Blender or perfecting your efforts. Just install the app, connect it to your trainer, and let the app do the rest. “One thing I do have,” said Emmerman, “is the ability to just drop into the moment and immerse myself in what’s going on right there. And that’s the video I happen to enjoy. I perfect [my training] in the process of it.”

Trending on Velo

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.