One-Hour Workout: Kitchen Sink with Sprints and Sweetspot Work
This bike workout is brilliant for the time-crunched athlete looking to hit varying intensities in one session.
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The clue could be in the title, but this one-hour workout includes everything but the kitchen sink, with some aerobic base riding, some microburst maximal sprints and some “sweetspot” work (just below your FTP or functional threshold power). It is not an easy workout and will require physical effort and mental focus, so prepare accordingly.
The 10-minute warm-up should be approached as a gradual build, warming up the legs and the body, and gradually increasing effort to a 6 out of 10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion).
The first part of the main set is a 20-minute aerobic block that involves some 30-second sprints every 4 minutes. These 30 seconds should be your best effort, maximal sprints where you get out of the saddle and really go for it (safely, of course). You then return to 3.5 minutes of aerobic riding (think 6.5 – 7 out of 10 RPE), before hitting the next 30-second effort. Repeat this pattern until you’ve reached the 20-minute mark.
Next up: 10 minutes of easy recovery riding, where you’re spinning your legs at a slightly higher cadence than your regular cadence. This is aimed at flushing your legs before hitting the next block, which is a 10-minute interval at sweetspot effort. If you’re familiar with training with power, then you’ll know that sweetspot riding refers to that, err, sweetspot, just below threshold, where you get maximum bang for your training buck with less fatigue than riding at threshold. To find out more, check out this book: “Training and Racing with a Power Meter.” If you don’t ride with power and think that last sentence was all mumbo-jumbo, then think of sweetspot as a 7.5/10 effort. It should be just a notch shy of uncomfortable.
Once you’ve completed that 10-minute interval then spin on home easy for 10 minutes, flushing out your legs with higher cadence pedaling and gradually bringing your heart rate down. Congratulate yourself on executing a tough session!
Kitchen Sink Workout
10 minutes easy build
20 minutes aerobic riding (6.5/7 out of 1o effort) with 30-second maximal sprints every 4 minutes
10 minutes recovery, higher cadence
10 minutes at sweetspot (7.5/10 effort)
10 minutes easy pedaling