One-Hour Workout: Cadence Brick Builders

Even the best laid plans can fall to the wayside during the unpredictability of race day. Sometimes the weather is hotter than you’ve trained in, sometimes just the excitement of the race can cause you to go too fast, too early and suffer later on the bike.

Regardless of how race day actually plays out, this workout will prepare your running legs to get into a rhythm no matter what the swim and bike throws at them. This week’s workout is all about maintaining proper running form and cadence, even after a fatiguing bike leg.

This workout is best done on a trainer set up at a local track or similar running circuit. The idea is to get off the bike quickly—set up your T2 just like you would for race day—and quickly fall into your running race pace. If you don’t have a trainer, a moderate hill that takes no less than six minutes to climb at a solid pace will work as well. Park your car at the top, and toss it inside during your makeshift T2.

Shift into an increasingly harder gear on each interval to ensure that effort increases and cadence decreases. Particularly at the end of the workout, be sure that you’re still pedaling in circles—pushing down, pulling up—even when the cadences get very low. Try to check in with your running cadence as well to ensure that it’s consistent throughout, and not getting lower. Change into an easy gear during the rest to spin legs out while recovering.

This is a tough mid- to late-season workout, but done once every other week, it’ll prepare your body for almost anything race day can throw at it.

Warm-up
8 min easy spin on trainer
4 min of (30 sec right leg only/30 sec left leg only to cement good pedaling form)
3 min east both legs

Main Set
5 min at 6/10 effort, 80 rpm on bike, quick transition
3 min at race pace/cadence on run; 2 min EZ spin at 90+ rpm on bike
5 min at 7/10 effort, 70 rpm on bike, quick transition
3 min at race pace/cadence on run; 2 min EZ spin at 90+ rpm on bike
5 min at 8/10 effort, 60 rpm on bike, quick transition
3 min at race pace/cadence on run; 2 min EZ spin at 90+ rpm on bike
5 min at 9/10 effort, <60 rpm on bike, quick transition
3 min at race pace/cadence on run

Cool-down
5 min EZ spin at 90+ rpm on bike

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