Hawaii From Home: Bike Workout #4

Get ready for a tough yet rewarding workout with this next bike session from Matt Bottrill.

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This workout from bike coach Matt Bottrill is the fourth of six cycling workouts that are designed to lead you to your best performance for our Hawaii From Home challenge, which involves a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run over the course of Oct. 5 to 11. (Find all of the workouts here.) Bottrill is one of a panel of expert coaches who will help guide you to race week in top shape. He’s a world-renowned bike guru, cyclist, and coach who works with pro triathletes such as Tim O’Donnell, Tim Don, Matt Hanson, and Justin Metzler. He also works with the Lotto-Soudal pro cycling team as time trial bike fitter and planner.

Throughout these workouts, Bottrill uses Levels 1 through 7 (listed as L1, L2, etc.) to determine effort or RPE. If you prefer to train by power or heart-rate then you can refer to those too. See below (beneath the workout) for a full explanation of levels and their respective heart-rates and wattages. You’ll see the workouts here involves some work around your sweetspot, which is the zone on the cusp of tempo and lactate threshold level (lower zone 4) based on the table below. It’s an area many athletes work heavily in, as it helps boost power without the heavy fatigue associated with higher intensity work.

This workout includes two options, one that is 3.5 hours in duration and targeted more at advanced athletes, while the second just over two hours in duration and aimed more at beginners/intermediates, but you’re obviously open to tackling whichever workout you prefer.


10 min. – get the legs ticking over

20 min. @ L2 – cadence 90-100 RPM

Prep. Set
15 min. in total as 30 sec. @ FTP/30 sec. @ L1-L2 – cadence to suit best power output (all efforts seated)

5 min. @ L1 recovery – get ready for the main set here and take some food and fluid on board

4 x 20 min. @ Race pace – aim for L3/Sweetspot – include 5 min. @ L1 recovery between sets depending on how you feel

40 min. @ L2, vary your effort within this zone and include 4 x 8 sec. sprints (out of the saddle) just to get your blood flowing

10-20 min. high cadence recovery

Beginner Workout

20 min. high cadence warm-up

Prep. Set
Complete 3x through: 

3 min. @ L3

1 min. @ FTP

1 min. Easy

10 min. @ L2 – high cadence

2 x 20 min. @ L3 – cadence to suit – with 10 min. high cadence recovery between. 

10 min. @ L2 – cadence to suit

15 min. continuous as 30 sec. max. effort with 1 min. @ L2 – cadence to suit 

10 min. high cadence recovery

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