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Hawaii From Home: Bike Workout #1

Kick off your Hawaii From Home bike training with this workout from cycling coach Matt Bottrill.

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This workout from bike coach Matt Bottrill is the first 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. 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. In the main set of the three-hour workout you’ll see a reference to sweetspot, which is the zone on the cusp of tempo and lactate threshold level (lower zone 4) based on Bottrill’s 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 three hours in duration and targeted more at intermediate/advanced athletes, while the second is two hours in duration and aimed more at beginners, but you’re obviously open to tackling whichever workout you prefer.

Bottrill said: “These workouts are great to get you started on your Hawaii From Home training and are designed around lots of variation in pacing. We will build on this in the following weeks.”

Hawaii From Home: Bike Workout #1

Three-hour workout

Warm-up
15 min. L1 – cadence @ 100-110 RPM

Main Set
10 min. @ L3- cadence @ 80-90 RPM

5 min. @ L2 – cadence @ 100-110 RPM

10 min. L3 – cadence @ 70-80 RPM

5 min. L2 – cadence @ 100-110 RPM

15 min. L3 – cadence @ 70-80 RPM

25 min. @ sweetspot (see note above) – cadence to suit

10 min. recovery between efforts @ L2 cadence

25 min. @ sweetspot – cadence to suit

10 min. L3 – cadence @ 80-90 RPM

5 min. L2 – cadence @100-110 RPM

10 min. L3 – cadence @ 70-80 RPM

5 min. L2 – cadence @ 100-110 RPM

15 min. L3 – cadence @ 70-80

Cool-down
15 min. high cadence cool down

Two-hour workout

Warm-up
5min. L1 – easy 

Main Set
Start with 12 min. @ L3 and then reduce each block by 1 min. until you reach 5 min. — so:

12 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

11 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

10 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

9 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

8 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

7 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

6 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

5 min. @ L3

5 min. @ L2 recovery

Cadence to suit on each repeat

Cool-down
7 min. active recovery

Matt Bottrill is a UK-based cycling coach and bike fit expert and runs Mattbottrillperformancecoaching.com — he appeared on Triathlete’s training podcast, Fitter and Faster, back in June.

Explanation of Exertion Levels

LEVEL/RPE PURPOSE EXERTION % OF THRESHOLD POWER % OF THRESHOLD HEART-RATE
1 ACTIVE RECOVERY (VERY LIGHT ACTIVITY) Hardly any exertion, but more than sitting down < 55% <68%
2 ENDURANCE (LIGHT ACTIVITY) Feels like you can maintain for hours. Easy to breath and carry conversation  56-75% 69-83%
3 TEMPO (MODERATE) Breathing more heavily. Still somewhat comfortable but slightly challenging 76-90% 84-94%
4 LACTATE THRESHOLD (FTP, Functional Threshold Power) Breathing more heavily. Still somewhat comfortable but notably more challenging 91-105% 95-105%
5 VO2 MAX (VIGOROUS) Borderline uncomfortable. Short of breath, can speak but not sentence 106-120% >106%
6 ANAEROBIC CAPACITY (VERY HARD ACTIVITY)  Very difficult to maintain exercise intensity, can barely breath and can only speak a few words   121-150% N/A
7 NEUROMUSCULAR POWER (MAXIMUM EFFORT) Feels almost impossible to keep going. Completely out of breath. Unable to talk. N/A N/A