One-Hour Workout: Single Leg Spinning

Work on several elements of your cycling at once with this trainer session from legend Mark Allen.

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This week’s one-hour workout comes from triathlon coach and six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen. It is a 60-minute trainer workout with single leg spinning that covers almost all the bases when it comes to improving different elements of your cycling. Allen says: “It is best done without the trainer being plugged into your favorite online app and just using the basic features of the trainer to vary resistance.”

After a gradual 5-minute easy warm-up, begin a 30-minute steady interval where you increase your effort and gearing every 5 minutes. Make sure you stand for 30 to 60 seconds within each 5-minute segment.

Allen says: “Ride in the aero position a lot of the time if you are training for a flat race. If you are working towards a hilly race then sit up more often as if you are climbing.”

Once this steady 30-minute block is complete, spin easy in the small chainring to recover. And then the single leg fun begins! Aim for 5 minutes of single leg pedaling, stabilizing the other leg while you do this. Focus on smooth, controlled pedaling. If it’s hard to hold this for 5 minutes, start with whatever you can do, even if it’s only 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually increase this each time you repeat the session until 5 minutes is achievable. Concentrate on your form, and once this begins to break down then resume regular riding.

Spin easy before switching legs for the second single leg block.

For the high cadence work at the end of the session aim for 30 seconds of 100+ RPM (revolutions per minute) followed by 30 seconds of normal cadence, all in an easy gear.

Finish up with 5 minutes of easy spinning.


5-minutes gradually increasing your heart rate

Main Set: Single-Leg Spinning

30 minutes steady, increasing your effort and gear every 5 minutes with some standing for 30-60 seconds within each 5-minute segment

5 minutes small chainring easy spin to recover

5 minutes left leg pedaling (stabilize right leg on a box or a chair)

2.5 minutes easy spin both legs

5 minutes right leg pedaling

2.5 minutes easy spin both legs

5 minutes at high cadence ( 100+ RPM) for 30 seconds then 30 seconds normal cadence, repeat 5 times through for 5 minutes total, using an easy gear


5 minutes easy spin

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