Use intervals to learn how to pace the bike leg
Credit James Mitchell
Training > Bike

Bike interval training session: how to pace the bike leg

Push your limits with a set of block bike intervals and learn how to perfectly pace the bike leg part of your race

Holding a consistent pace is crucial to learning how to ride your bike split faster. While you need variation in pacing, you also need to be able to maintain consistency. The place to hit this is at 85-90% of your FTP pace to get the best adaptation. And the best way to do this is on either a long, gradual climb or on a flat course. 

The key to this type of workout is selecting your race cadence, finding the perfect body position and completing the effort without fighting the bike – everything needs to flow. You also need to focus on making sure you’re looking up the road rather than down at the floor, so I’d suggest you complete this workout on the road rather than
the turbo trainer and in the position you intend to race in. 

For the main set, we’ll be starting with a 4min ‘pre-activation’ before going into the 30min interval – this should make it feel a lot easier than just going straight into the main block. The second 30mins, however, is really going to burn, so this will require your total focus. 

THE SESSION

WARM-UP 

10mins easy

Cadence 80-90rpm  

MAIN SET

2mins moderate  

@100-110rpm

2mins max effort  

@50-60rpm 

30mins moderate  

@race pace 

12mins easy  

@100-110rpm 

2mins moderate  

@100-110rpm 

2mins max effort  

@50-60rpm 

30mins moderate  

@race pace 

COOL-DOWN

5mins easy,
@90-100rpm

Adapt for beginners

Start the moderate blocks at 15mins then over the course of the coming weeks, start to increase the duration by 2.5mins each week until you can sustain the full 30mins. 

Adapt for Ironman

If you’re feeling really good, do the 2 x 30mins block in one solid hour.
For a real Ironman focus, do 2 x 1hr. 

Matt's top 3 tips for the session

STAY HYDRATED

Keeping yourself hydrated is an essential part of recovery and hitting the next session strong, so make sure you stay on top of your hydration and use low-calorie electrolyte tablets. 

USE COMPRESSION WEAR 

Aid your recovery post-ride by using compression socks up to the knee – you’re more likely to hit the following day’s session well if you recover your muscles properly the day before. 

USE A CADENCE SENSOR

Going at a fast speed is also about using cadence, so by fully understanding how you pedal you’ll be able to get a better understanding of how to build on your speed.  


 
 

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