Being able to sustain your max effort is a key race-day skill. So to get those pistons firing here’s Emma-Kate Lidbury with her progressive intervals for advanced athletes.
For this session you’ll need a bike, bike shoes, bike kit and helmet, water/electrolytes, bike computer/powermeter, and a turbo trainer (if indoors).
Be sure to approach this workout relatively fresh and avoid doing hard runs or rides the day before. Plan a lighter day the next day to allow your body time to recover and adapt.
10mins smooth, gently build effort.
2 x 15mins, progressing effort through each interval. On the first interval build to strong/max effort in the last 5mins, on the second build to strong/max effort over the final 8mins. Spin easy, high cadence, for 6-7mins between reps.
10mins high-cadence spin, flushing the legs.
Being able to build to your maximum and sustain it is a highly valuable and useful skill for race day. Learning to hit and hold top-end power will ultimately increase your ability to hold it for longer, making you a faster, more efficient rider.
Keep focused on smooth pedalling technique and breathing, especially as you begin to fatigue. Stay positive and think of people, mantras or past sessions that will help keep you ‘on task’.
This is a great way to tap into your top-end power and boost it. Building through each 15min interval should give your legs a chance to ‘open up’ and then hit and hold your maximum effort.
This enables you to train both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance and work to develop higher-intensity efforts. A short recovery window before repeating the effort with longer at your maximum is a great test of top-end power that will yield huge gains over time.
Adapt for Ironman
Increase the number of intervals (no more than four) and make each one up to 20mins, but don’t hold max effort for longer than 5-8mins.
(Main image: Jonny Gawler)