Day 7: Tempo Into Surges Bike Workout

This bike workout breaks up the monotony of indoor training sessions and helps with both aerobic strength and peak power outputs.

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Vance’s Formula Endurance Junior program also uses this tempo into surges bike workout to help increase peak power (something many age-group triathletes forget to focus on) and to work on handling a bike at high intensities when done outdoors.

The Tempo Into Surges Bike Workout

Warm Up

Five minutes easy spin, 5 minutes build to fast

Main Set

The main set of this workout can vary based on how much base you already have, but if you’re just getting started, focus on 3 rounds to begin:

3-5 rounds of (2:30 tempo effort, zone 4 to 5 power effort; 30 seconds recovery; 1-3 minutes of (10 seconds SURGE to peak power; 10 seconds easy); 1-2 minutes recovery.)

Novice cyclists should stay on the lower end of sets and higher end of recovery time.

Advanced cyclists should try to do five rounds with more surges and only one minute of recovery; also work on doing this workout on a difficult outdoor course to focus on handling skills while under power/fatigue.

Cool down

Easy 5 minutes spin

How to integrate this tempo into surges bike workout into a training plan

This is an intense ride, so use it for weekday sets during your base phase where you’re tight on time, but are still looking to make upper-end gains.  

Meet Your Coach

Jim Vance is a San Diego-based coach and author of Triathlon 2.0 and Run with Power. He’s the head coach for Formula Endurance, a USA Triathlon High Performance Team that focuses on junior development. He’s also the personal coach 2016 U.S. Olympian Ben Kanute, guiding him to wins at Escape from Alcatraz and Island House Triathlon in 2017 and a second-place finish at the 70.3 World Championships. Find more at

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