Work both your strength and your form with this week’s unique cycling set.

As most triathletes in the Northern Hemisphere wind down their seasons, now is the best time to still maintain your cycling (and lower-body) strength while focusing on developing better form than you had last year. This week’s workout is an ideal off-season or early-season set that does both.

Like most focused cycling workouts, this one is best done on a trainer—particularly because it asks you to pay close attention to your form, so a controlled environment is best. This can be done out on the road, but be sure to pick a spot that is free of interruptions and very low in traffic as you’ll need to clip and unclip your pedals often—even while tired.

While doing the form sections of this workout, be sure to focus on pedaling in circles—not simply pulling up on the upstroke, but actually releasing the hip muscles and letting them relax as the stroke goes upward and the other leg begins to apply force downward. As the workout goes on, you’ll likely notice your pedal stroke smooths out, even as you fatigue. The whole main set should have you at a Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) between 6-8/10 as the cadence changes, the single-leg drill sections should be at a cadence of 80-100.

Warm-up:
10 minutes easy spin
2 x 3 minutes of (1 minute right leg only, 1 minute left leg only; 1 minute easy spin rest)

Main Set:
10 minutes at a cadence of >90 (RPE: 6)
2 x 3 minutes of (1 minute right leg only, 1 minute left leg only; 1 minute easy spin rest)
6 minutes at a cadence of 80-90 (RPE: 7)
2 x 3 minutes of (1 minute right leg only, 1 minute left leg only; 1 minute easy spin rest)
4 minutes at a cadence of 70-80 (RPE: 8)
2 x 3 minutes of (1 minute right leg only, 1 minute left leg only; 1 minute easy spin rest)
1 minute at a cadence under 70 (RPE: 8)

Cool-down:
5 minutes easy spin