One-Hour Workout: Cycling Tempo Ladder

Use this set to get in a quick, but tough, nonstop bike tempo session.

This week’s workout comes from USAT-certified coach Michael Gallagher of Rogue TRI Performance in Southern Oregon. Gallagher is also a triathlete and ultrarunner.

Best done in the middle of your training phase, this tempo workout requires you to continuously increase the intensity of the work section as the time spent working decreases. It’s a short, but challenging set where you start off relatively easy, but end up above your FTP (read here for more on FTP).

“Adding this workout to your training will help your body get used to performing negative splits (a good thing) and help increase your lactate threshold,” Gallagher says. “Higher intensity workouts help increase your performance in a multitude of ways, but make sure to slowly build up these workouts during your training phases.”

Best done on a trainer indoors to minimize distractions and interruptions, this set can also be done outdoors on an open road.

10 minutes easy, include 3×1 min at 100+ RPM

Main Set
5 minutes at 55­–65 percent FTP (Rate of Perceived Exertion: 4/10)
4 minutes at 85–90 percent FTP (RPE: 6+/10) 1 min endurance recovery
3 minutes at 95–105 percent FTP (RPE: 7+/10) 2 min endurance recovery
2 minutes at 105–110 percent FTP (RPE: 8+/10) 3 min endurance recovery
1 minutes at 115–120 percent FTP (RPE: 9/10) 4 min endurance recovery

Repeat complete set for your set distance or time.

5 min easy spin