For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Triathletes love all the gadgets and all the data—especially when it comes to bikes and riding—but learning to train by feel is just as important, particularly at this time of year. This intervals by feel workout from coach Marilyn Chychota helps you dial into your own efforts and forces you to listen to your body and rely on biofeedback.
Begin with a 10-minute easy warm-up, gently building effort toward the end and focusing on a higher cadence. Next, you’ll hit four sets of 10-second intervals at a high cadence (think 100 RPM+), with 90 seconds easy between each. These are short and sharp intervals, so be sure to concentrate on your pedaling and get your RPM (revolutions per minute) up quickly.
The next set involves six sets of one-minute hard efforts, followed by 90 seconds easy recovery. These are hard “by feel,” think 8-9/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion) and be sure to pace them well, so that the first one is just as strong as the last.
The final part of the workout involves two sets of five-minute intervals at moderate effort, around 7/10 RPE, with a cadence between 90 to 105 RPM. Take two minutes easy between each five minutes. Be sure to keep the effort moderate—not hard! After completing the intervals by feel section, cool down easy to one hour.
Intervals By Feel
10 minutes easy
4 x 10 seconds fast at high cadence, 90 seconds easy
6 x 1 minute hard, 90 seconds easy
2 x 5 minutes moderate effort at 90-105 RPM, 2 minutes easy
For more workouts from coach Marilyn Chychota check out her website.