One-Hour Workout: Time-Crunched, Mixed-Energy Systems Ride

This high-intensity trainer workout gives athletes a lot to do in only 60 minutes.

This week’s workout comes from Laura Henry, a New York-based coach working with Team MPI. Henry is a USA Triathlon Level I certified coach, Ironman certified coach, USA Cycling Level 3 coach, VFS certified bike fitter, NASM certified personal trainer, and is certified in RockTape Functional Movement Techniques. She is also an Ironman and half-Ironman finisher.

“This bike workout helps train both the aerobic and anaerobic systems,” Henry says. “No matter what distance of race an athlete is training to complete, both the aerobic and anaerobic systems must be trained if the athlete is going to perform optimally. Many athletes spend a lot of time in the ‘gray zone’ of Zone 3; this workout will force them out of that comfort zone.

“This workout also trains the athlete to really develop a feel for his/her own “range of gears” when it comes to perceived exertion*,” she says. “Being in tune with one’s sense of perceived exertion is a skill that all athletes can benefit from so that they can adjust accordingly for the conditions of race day—including if their technology (and therefore other metrics that they may monitor) fails them during the race.”

* RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) ranges from 1-10 with 1 being almost at rest and 10 being absolute maximum effort.

Warm-up
10 minutes RPE 3-4 easy (higher cadence, aim for 90+ rpm)
5x (30 sec build, 30 sec easy)

Main Set
5 minutes RPE 5-6 (tempo effort)
5 minutes easy RPE 3-4 (higher cadence, aim for 90+ rpm)
2x (5 min RPE 7-8 (threshold); 5 min RPE 3-4 at higher cadence, aim for 90+ rpm)
5 minutes easy RPE 3-4 (higher cadence, aim for 90+ rpm)
10x (20 sec RPE 10 max effort; 10 sec either RPE 1-2 recovery or full rest)

Cool-down
5 minutes RPE 3-4 easy, (higher cadence, aim for 90+ rpm)

More one-hour workouts