Use this workout to increase your threshold and get comfortable powering over climbs.

This week’s workout is meant to teach your body to perform at increasingly higher levels of power, even while fatigued. One of the most common complaints from triathletes is “plateauing” or hitting a ceiling where improvements becoming negligible or non-existent. This is usually because most workouts are done at a similar pace. It’s important to mix up steady-state riding—even at a difficult pace—with intervals that increase in difficulty well above race pace. Though tough, this workout will break your body out of its comfort zone and, if done properly, actually help you “smooth out” rolling hills in order to maintain your speed and momentum over short inclines.

Ideally, this workout should be done on an indoor trainer, but with a wide-open enough road—and few interruptions—it can also be completed outside. Because this is a difficult session, be sure to leave at least a day of leg recovery post-workout and an easier day before to prepare. A short recovery swim would do well to flush out the legs after, but don’t expect to be leading your masters lane the same day you climb this pyramid.

Warm-up

10 minutes easy spin
3 x 1:30 of 30 seconds right-leg only, 30 seconds left-leg only, 30 seconds both legs

Main Set

6 min of Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) at 4/10
4 min of RPE at 5/10
2 min of RPE at 6/10
30 sec of RPE at 9/10, shift into heavy gear, stand and climb
2 min easy spin, cadence > 90rpm

4 min of RPE at 6/10
2 min of RPE at 7/10
30 sec of RPE at 9/10, shift into heavy gear, stand and climb
2 min easy spin, cadence > 90rpm

2 min of RPE at 8/10
30 sec of RPE at 9/10, shift into heavy gear, stand and climb
2 min easy spin, cadence > 90rpm

30 sec of RPE at 10/10, shift into heavy gear, stand and climb

Cool-down

15 minutes easy spin, cadence >90rpm