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One-Hour Workout: Threshold Power Bike Intervals

Boost your threshold power with these efforts—but be ready to work for it.

What better way to end the most miserable of years than with a bike workout that raises your threshold power? This session covers a lot of work in a short space of time—so come prepared for it physically and mentally. It can be done on the trainer or outside on the road and is a great way to boost your threshold power and capacity. 

You’ll begin with a 20-minute warm-up, which includes three sets of 45-second building efforts, increasing your effort every 15 seconds, starting from a moderate effort (think 5-6 out of 10 on  RPE scale—rate of perceived exertion) and progressing to a hard effort (8-9/10 RPE), taking one minute easy between each of these 45-second repeats. 

It’s then time for the first part of the main set, which is four rounds of four minutes at your best sustainable effort. Go hard on these, but remember that four minutes is a long time when you’re working hard. Spend the first two minutes working comfortably hard, so think of it as a 7-8/10 RPE: you want to be able to hold the same consistent effort throughout the entire four minutes. That won’t happen if you go out too hard in the opening minute. Recover for four minutes between each effort. If riding outdoors, do these on a climb and stay seated; if doing indoors on the trainer, aim for a cadence of 72-90 RPM. 

You’ll then have a 10-minute recovery block, riding very easy (3/10 RPE) before hitting the second part of the main set, which is 20 minutes building every five minutes. Start at a tempo/moderate effort (6-7/10 RPE), building to hard (8-9/10 RPE) for the final five minutes. Do these riding at your ideal race cadence. 

Cool down with some easy, relaxed riding for 10-20 minutes. 

Threshold Power Bike Intervals

Warm-up:

20 min. to include 3 x 45-sec. building efforts, progressing every 15 sec. from 5-6/10 RPE to 8-9/10 RPE, within each 45-sec.

Main Set:

4 x 4 min. at best sustainable effort—try to hold a constant 8/10 RPE

Recover: 4 min. between 

10 min. recovery (3/10 RPE)

20 min. building every 5 min. from 6-7/10 to 8-9/10 RPE, riding at your preferred cadence. 

Cool-down:

Easy riding for 10-20 min.