Improve your Ironman Bike Strength and Run Speed with these Two Workouts - fcendurance

Improve Your Bike Strength and Run Speed with these Two Workouts

If there is one area of training that will impact your overall race the most, it's your bike strength. In addition to allowing you to ride faster, bike strength will allow you to realize your run potential. If you have not addresses bike strength,  running more miles won't help you run faster off of the bike. Resiliency, durability and stamina on the bike is what will help you run well. This is achieved through purposeful training.  

Just logging bike miles will not fully develop bike strength. Here are two workouts that I love to incorporate in my own training as well as with the athletes I coach. I like to mix in one of these each week. Both workouts are great for a mid-week ride or even a weekend when you only have time for a short ride.

Big Gear Intervals - 2 minutes

  • Warm up - 20 minutes easy with a fe surges mixed in to help get the legs ready for the work ahead.
  • Main Set - 10 x 2 minutes @ a hard effort (this can be 110% of FTP or a level 8/10 if you are using Rate of Perceived Exertion) completed at 50-60 RPM in the aero position. Recover with 2 minutes of easy riding.
  • By dropping your RPM, you create more of a strength demand on the muscles. As you progress through this workout you will feel the deep fatigue build up in your legs. This is what you want. As you gain strength, you can add more intervals. This workout can be as short as 65 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Cool down - Finish the ride with easy riding at your normal cadence.

Big Gear Intervals - 10 minutes

  • Warm up - 20 minutes easy with a fe surges mixed in to help get the legs ready for the work ahead.
  • Main Set - 4 x 10 minutes @ a moderate effort (this can be 80% of FTP or a level 7/10 if you are using Rate of Perceived Exertion) completed at 55-60 RPM in the aero position. Recover with 2 minutes of easy riding.
  • The key is to make sure you are feeling this more in your leg than in your lungs. These are controlled efforts designed to help you develop the sustainable power needed for the second half or your Ironman or half Ironman. This set can be as short as 70 minutes and as long as 2 hours. Add intervals as you get stronger.
  • Cool down - Finish the ride with easy riding at your normal cadence.

Simple But Effective

These two workouts are the foundation of bike strength. I do some form of these sessions each week and all of my athletes from  are very familiar with these sessions. As you get stronger, you can add more load to each of the sets to increase the strength demand.

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