You should be running off of the bike at least once a week—here's how to do it.
With the 2019 race season now officially under way, when it comes to your training this means only one thing: You should be including at least one run off the bike each week. It doesn’t always have to be high intensity and it need not be long in duration, but it does need to happen. Getting accustomed to how it feels to transition from cycling to running is a key part of being ready to race. At this stage in the year, running off the bike can be short, sweet, and lower effort, because the value comes from just executing the workout and building adaptability.
This workout is best done on the trainer, but can be done on the road if you have a quieter stretch where you can ride for six minutes at a steady tempo effort without worrying about traffic or having to stop at intersections.
Before the session, line up your run kit alongside your bike so that you can extract maximum value from this workout by doing some transition practice, too. Have fun with it and time yourself in transition, seeing if you can get from being on the saddle to being out running in two minutes or less. For added fun factor, bring in some training buddies, set up your trainers in your garage and see who can nab the KOM for T2.
The six-minute steady tempo intervals should be smooth and controlled; this is not supposed to be a hard workout. Stay in the aerobars for all three intervals and be mindful of your cadence throughout, keeping it between 90 to 95 RPM. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) for the intervals should be no higher than 7-7.5 out of 10. Keep the easy two-minute pieces between each interval light and lower effort, no more than 4 out of 10 RPE. Ensure your cadence remains higher, 85-95 RPM ideally.
The 10-minute run off the bike should not be hard or fast. The benefit comes simply from executing it and building familiarity with running off the bike, not from pushing the run pace or smashing your legs.
15 minutes easy spin, building the pace every 5 minutes, up to a cadence of 90-95 RPM. If on the trainer, include 4-6 blocks of 30 seconds single leg drills, isolating left leg for 30 seconds, right leg for 30 seconds, and alternating like this for 4-6 blocks.
3 x 6 minutes at steady tempo effort, 7-7.5 RPE, maintaining 90-95 RPM throughout. Follow each interval with 2 minutes easy spin between.
6 minutes easy. Don’t just switch off here, though. Start thinking about transitioning to the run. Switch your brain into run mode!
Run off the bike:
10 minutes smooth and controlled, focusing on form and breathing. After 10 minutes, walk it out until you see your heart rate dropping and you’re breathing easily.