Our multisport take on the classic “Michigan” track workout boosts strength on the bike and speed (and mental toughness!) on the run.

This week’s workout is loosely based off the infamous “Michigan” track workout that has been a staple of many pro, collegiate, and even high school track and cross-country programs. We’ve given it a tri twist and created a brick version that will still simulate the changes of speed required for the fast track sections combined with energy-sapping tempos in between and little recovery.

The goal of this workout is to teach the body to run quickly out of T2 with tired legs and settle into a manageable pace. The constant back-and-forth also helps simulate a bike leg where maybe you went a little too hard too early (sound familiar?). By learning how to adapt to a mispaced early bike leg, a workout like this gives you more “tools in the toolbox” for when things don’t go according to plan.

The secondary goal of this workout is to help with mental fortitude—knowing that there is little or no rest between each interval helps work on toughness and focus when approaching the end of a tough race. The pacing of this workout can be difficult the first time, so be sure to adjust if you push too hard or if you back off too much in the beginning. This workout should leave you almost completely spent and require a day or two of leg recovery afterward.

Also, due to the quick changes between bike and run, we recommend doing this workout on a track with a trainer set up, rather on the open road and putting your bike inside your car—minimizing the amount of time between bike and run is incredibly important.

Warm-Up
10 minutes easy spin
5 minutes easy jog
5 minutes of (30 seconds build to Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 8/10, 30 seconds easy)

Main Set
1600 at target half marathon pace (or RPE of 5/10, lower HR Zone 3), right into
7 minutes on the bike at RPE of 6/10 (HR Zone 3), right into
1200 at target 10K pace (or RPE of 7/10, upper Zone 4), right into
7 minutes on the bike at RPE of 6/10 (HR Zone 3), right into
800 at target 5K pace (or RPE of 8/10, lower Zone 5), right into
7 minutes on the bike at RPE of 6/10 (HR Zone 3), right into
400 at MAX effort

Cool-Down
10 minutes easy spin or jog