Use this solid set to lay a strong, race-season, brick foundation.

Use this solid set to lay a strong, race-season, brick foundation. 

This week’s workout focuses on creating the strength necessary to have a fast bike leg, run well off, and still have the power to push through the late stages of a long-course race or quickly attack any climbs on a short-course run. While your aerobic system will obviously be taxed, focus more on pedaling in strong, complete circles on the bike and maintaining excellent run form—leaning forward from your torso, pushing off from your forefoot, and keeping your posture in line. The efforts shouldn’t be so hard that your form breaks down on either the bike or run until the very end; if it is breaking down, back off the intensity.

Do this set with a day or two of leg recovery post-workout, but it’s ok to go into this brick slightly tired from the day before. Don’t do any high-intensity leg training prior, but a long ride or threshold work is fine. The best time for planning this set would be post-base-building, but not within two to three weeks of your goal race.

The ideal setup for this workout is a trainer/spin bike in a gym near a treadmill with an incline setting, but outdoors you can either use the trainer set next to a hill that’s at least 800m long (and a steady grade that’s not too steep, between 5-7 percent) or use a hill that takes at least 5 minutes to ride up, then swap out the bike for running shoes and run up another roughly 800m section.

Warm-up
5-minute easy jog
Dynamic stretching

Pre-Set
5 min riding at Rate of Perceived Exertion of 2/10
5 min riding at RPE of 3/10
5 min riding at RPE of 4/10 right into main set

Main Set
4 min riding at RPE of 5/10, cadence ~90 rpm
3 min riding at RPE of 6/10, cadence 80-90 rpm
2 min riding at RPE of 7/10, cadence 70-80 rpm immediately into
2 min running at RPE 6/10, uphill (5% treadmill incline)
1 min running at RPE 7/10, uphill (7% treadmill incline)
4-min easy spin, cadence > 90 rpm (if outside, jog downhill, then ride downhill and spin for approx. 4 min total)

4 min riding at RPE of 5/10, cadence ~90 rpm
3 min riding at RPE of 6/10, cadence 80-90 rpm
2 min riding at RPE of 7/10, cadence 70-80 rpm immediately into
2 min running at RPE 6/10, uphill (5% treadmill incline)
1 min running at RPE 7/10, uphill (7% treadmill incline)
2 min running at RPE 8/10, flat (2% treadmill incline)

Cool-down
10-minute easy spin ~90rpm

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