How to build a solid cycling base in three easy steps

This session will improve your power transfer and overall fitness to set yourself up for a strong off-season

Credit: James Mitchell

Activating different ranges of pace and cadence at varying intensities is a great way to improve power transfer while boosting overall fitness. Producing power at the pedal will essentially improve your ability to respond to changes of pace, which will improve your overall bike leg during a triathlon. 


This session is all about control, and the turbo trainer is the perfect tool to harness this. In the session, we’re working in three blocks of 15mins, with changes of intensity every 5mins: 70-80% easy, 80-90% moderate and 90-100% vigorous of your threshold. You’ll soon adapt to this type of training, so after every second session add 2mins to each block. 

As your fitness improves, you can also reduce the recovery until you get to the stage where you’re able to sustain a full hour at this intensity. We call this the sweetspot of training. Include different cadences for each block, and as you start to get stronger, you can push these further and adapt to your changes in fitness.

Matt’s top 3 tips

Make goals 

Pin-point an aim for each session and have these in front of you. You’re more likely to be driven and complete the workout well if you have specific session goals and targets.

Avoid illness

Keep the germs at bay after training sessions by using hand sanitiser – a great way to kill the bugs and, in the long run, bring more consistency to training if you don’t fall ill.

Massage for recovery

Trigger-point massage is a great way to loosen tight and sore muscles. With a foam roller or massage ball, you can hold and release pressure to effectively alleviate those specific niggles and knots.  

The session


15mins easy


Main set

 Repeat x 3 

5mins easy 


5mins moderate


5mins hard


10mins recovery between each set


15mins easy


Adapt for beginners

Reduce to 2 x 15mins efforts and make the recovery 15mins easy between sets.

Adapt for Ironman


For the first session complete 4 x 15mins efforts but reduce the recovery to just 5mins.