Indoor training: Dave Scott's favourite treadmill and turbo sessions

Dave Scott shares his two favourite indoor training sessions (one turbo and one treadmill) that increase in intensity every three weeks and elevate your economy at lactate threshold.

I’ve got two workouts – one bike, one run. Each one increases in intensity every three weeks. The benefit is that you’re trying to elevate your economy at lactate threshold (LT)*. The introduction of LT starts off with a light load but I’ve included a treadmill hill set for the run and variable gearing for the bike.

A while ago I also talked about Anaerobic Endurance (AE) workouts; those plus these LT workouts are two great sessions to do during your off-season. Do them once a week, in each of the disciplines, and watch your progress improve.

*LT Run – Record your 30min time trial outdoors or on the treadmill @ 1% gradient. Note speed and heart rate; LT Bike – Record 45mins at the highest speed possible. Note watts or heart rate.

Treadmill Run

8-12mins warm-up @ 1% gradient to closely replicate a flat run outside

Set 1 (for all weeks)

6 x 45secs @ 2%, 45 secs rest (RI) @ 0% after each rep. Build each 45secs to vigorous effort. 2min jog @ 1% after rep 6

 Weeks 1-3 Main Set

12 x 90secs @ LT @ 1%. Increase incline to 4% for final 20secs and work hard. 15secs rest after each rep, but increase rest to hold pace of the first interval 

Add up the total set time. E.g. intervals = 18mins; RI = 12mins; total time = 30mins. In every three-week block,
the goal is to hold the LT pace for a bit longer

Weeks 4-6 Main Set

12 x 90secs, reps 1, 2 & 4 @ LT pace and the final 25secs @ 4% gradient. RI same as above 

 Weeks 7-9 Main Set

6 x 3mins, reps 1,2 & 4 @ LT pace. Start each rep @ 5% for 30secs; the remainder @ 1%. RI same as above 

Weeks 10-12 Main Set

3 x 6 mins @ LT, reps 1,2 & 4 @ LT pace. RI – enough to recover! First and last 20secs @ 4%, hold intensity

10mins cool-down

Turbo bike

Big Gear (BG), approx. 76-82rpm; Low Gear (LG), 100+ rpms; Time Trial Gear (TTG), approx. 88-94rpm

8-12mins warm-up

Set 1 (for all weeks)

3 x 20secs LG @ 100 + RPMs; 20secs RI 

3 x 40secs LG for 20secs; stand for 20secs; 30secs RI

3 x 1min LG for 20secs; stand for 20secs; final 20secs seated in TTG

Weeks 1-3 Main Set

 8 x 4mins

Odd reps: stand for 30secs in TTG @ LT effort; sit for 30secs in TTG @ LT effort; max effort stand for 30secs in BG; 30secs RI

Even reps: aerobic, inc. 3 x 30mins standing in TTG  

Weeks 4-6 Main Set

8 x 4mins 

Odd reps: same as weeks 1-3

Even reps: 2mins aerobic, inc. 2 x 30secs standing; 2mins @ LT, inc. 2 x 15secs standing

Weeks 7-9 Main Set

 4 x 8mins 

All reps as: 4mins in TTG, inc. 3 x 20secs standing in TTG; 30secs LG; 30secs BG; 30secs BG seated; 1min aerobic; 1:30mins TTG, inc. 1 x 20secs standing

Weeks 9-12 Main Set 

4 x 8mins

All reps as: 4mins in TTG, inc. 3 x 20secs standing in TTG; 30secs LG; 30secs BG standing; 30secs BG seated; 2:30mins TTG, inc. 3 x 20secs standing

10mins cool-down

Dave Scott is the first 6x IRONMAN World Champion and a Master Coach of IRONMAN U.  As the founder of the Dave Scott Multisport Institute, he dedicates himself to making triathletes of all levels faster and more efficient.  Learn more at

Found this useful? Then try; 

Treadmill sessions for sprint, Olympic and middle distance triathlons

Treadmill tips for triathletes

The benefits of running indoors

Five turbo training sessions

How to choose a turbo trainer

Turbo Training for Triathletes

Turbo training: how to avoid making 9 common mistakes


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