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One-Hour Workout: Meredith Kessler’s “60 Minutes to Glory” Bike Session

Build your bike-specific strength and power with this fun one-hour workout from a top pro.

This one-hour workout from pro triathlete and Ironman champion Meredith Kessler is a great way to build bike-specific strength and power, especially if you’re pushed for time. Kessler calls it her “60 minutes to glory” workout—and you’ll soon see why.

Kessler said: “This is a regular go-to bike set I often do on the trainer. Time definitely passes quickly as you work through the intervals and it’s a challenging strength set!”

This session is intended to be done indoors on the trainer (which is where Kessler is currently doing 100% of her bike training). To find out more about all things indoor riding-related, be sure to check out the next episode of our Fitter & Faster podcast, which drops this Friday, Feb. 26, and features an interview with Kessler.

You’ll begin this workout with a 12-minute easy build warm-up, gradually progressing the effort from Zone 1 (Z1) to Zone 4 (Z4) with the last two minutes at your choice of cadence. There’s then a three-minute spin at at Z1, cadence 80+ rpm, before you hit the main set.

The main set will see you increase effort from high Z3 to high Z4 and as the intensity increases the duration of the intervals comes down. The first round involves three sets of two minutes at high Z3, cadence of 70 rpm, with one-minute easy spin (choice rpm) between each two-minute block of work.

The second round involves four sets of 90 seconds at lower Z4, cadence of 75 rpm, with one-minute easy spin (choice rpm) between each 90-second block of work.

The third round involves five sets of 60 seconds at middle Z4, cadence of 80 rpm, with one-minute easy spin (choice rpm) between each 60-second block of work.

The final round involves six sets of 30 seconds at high Z4, cadence of 85+ rpm, with one-minute easy spin (choice rpm) between each 30-second block of work.

Wrap it all up with a cool-down of seven minutes and that’s your 60-minute workout.

This workout is prescribed using zones, so for those of you who don’t usually train using zones, here’s a quick guide:

Z1 = zone 1, easy effort
Z2 = zone 2, moderate effort or Ironman watts/pace
Z3 = zone 3, threshold effort or 70.3 watts/pace
Z4 = zone 4, hard effort or Olympic distance watts/pace
Z5 = zone 5, very strong effort or Sprint distance pace

One-Hour Workout: Meredith Kessler’s “60 minutes to Glory” Bike Session

Warm-up

12 min. easy build from Z1 to Z4 (by the last 2 min.) @ preferred cadence

3 min. Z1 @ 80+ rpm

Main Set

3 x (2 min. @ high Z3 @ 70 rpm; 1 min. Z1 easy spin, choice rpm) – 9 min. total

4 x (90 sec. @ low Z4 @ 75 rpm; 1 min. Z1 easy spin, choice rpm) – 10 min. total

5 x (1 min. @ mid Z4 @ 80 rpm; 1 min. Z1 easy spin, choice rpm) – 10 min. total

6 x (30 sec. @ high Z4 @ 85 rpm; 1 min. Z1 easy spin, choice rpm) – 9 min. total

Cool-down

7 min. easy spin