Day 3: Strength Endurance Bike

This 30 to 60 minute cycling workout is designed to build a strong foundation for triathletes.

Simply put, this strength endurance bike workout, designed by coach Marilyn Chychota, is the foundation to strong cycling. Use it at the beginning of the year to build a base, and again throughout the year to maintain strength. 

The Strength Endurance Bike Workout

Warm Up

15 minutes easy pedaling

5 x 30 seconds single-legged drills (30 seconds right leg / 30 seconds left leg)

2 x 1 minute: Build your effort each 20 seconds (easier the first 20, moderate the second 20, strong for the last 20 seconds) / 1min easy

Main Set

1-5 x 4.5 min Strength Endurance* / 90 seconds easy spin between 

*Think: Think: High tension, lower cadence (60-70 rpm), comfortable pace. Do this on a hill or with good tension on the trainer. Anchor your butt to the saddle, engage your core so it’s tight and stable, and grip the handlebars tightly. Keep your body still and drive through the pedals smooth and strong. While doing this workout, your muscle tension will be high and watts (if you have a power meter) will read high. But your heart rate will run slightly lower. 

Do as many rounds of this set as you’re comfortable with–or have time for!

Cool Down

Easy spin to total time including 5 x 15 seconds fast rpm spin ups in a light gear.

How to Integrate this Strength Endurance Bike Workout into a Training Plan

Place this on the day after a good, long aerobic swim-only day. You’ll have fresher legs so you’ll be able to drive the strength with purpose.

Meet Your Coach

Marilyn Chychota is a high-performance coach who’s been in the sport since 1999. She’s worked with a broad range of triathletes, from beginners to professionals—sending athletes to world championships in iron-distance, 70.3, USAT short-course, and XTERRA. Her own athletic resume includes professional competition in three different sports: equestrian show jumping, cycling, and triathlon. Chychota became a professional triathlete in 2003, racing to podium positions at Ironman events around the world, including a win at Ironman Malaysia in 2004. For more, check out