One-Hour Workout: Trainer Speed Pyramid

The goal of this workout is to raise your lactic threshold in order to produce more power—without expending extra energy.

Every Tuesday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 mins (or less!).

This week’s bike workout comes from exercise physiologist, clinical/registered dietitian and USAT Level I coach Marni Sumbal of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition in Jacksonville, Fla. Sumbal says the goal of this workout is to raise your lactic threshold in order to produce more power—without expending extra energy—so that ultimately you can run strong with good form off the bike.

“No matter what distance triathlon you train for, the best training stress for the body is to get faster before you go longer,” Sumbal says. “The bike trainer provides the means for athletes who want to generate a heavy force load to the body, in a short amount of time, all while reaping quick performance gains with consistent training.”

“In order to increase your max sustainable power, here’s a 60-minute bike trainer workout that will keep you watching the clock—not because you are bored but because you are counting down the minutes until the (good) pain is over,” Sumbal says.

RELATED: A Long-Course Trainer Workout

Trainer Speed Pyramid

Focus is on higher cadence/speed intervals above lactic threshold.

Warm-up: 15 minutes
6 min easy spin

5×30 sec ON/30 sec OFF high cadence intervals in small chainring.
Cadence should be above 100 RPM without rocking on the saddle during the ON segments. Upper body should stay still, while the legs do the work. This will make the time pass quickly during warm-up and to also quickly elevate the heart rate. It will also set you up for the fun of the main set. OFF should be easy spin.

4 min easy spin, prep mind for main set.

RELATED – One-Hour Workout: Short-Course Trainer Session

Main set: 26 minutes
1 minute ON /1 minute OFF
2/2 minute, 4/4 minute, 3/3 minute, 2/2 minute, 1/1 minute (the same time ON and OFF).

All of the ON intervals are done slightly above the functional threshold (FT, the maximal pace you can sustain for an effort of approximately 60 min in duration). If you have a power meter, it’s recommended to perform a 20-minute (or similar) power test to determine zones and your FT.

On the perceived effort scale (1-10), the ON intervals would be ~9 out of 10. Heart rate should be monitored but it is not a precise tool to use for effort for this specific workout. However, it’s always recommended to analyze all training data after the workout for any pacing/effort modifications that may help with consistent training.

Use your gear of choice to maintain a cadence above 90 RPM for the ON intervals.

Cool-down: 5 minutes
If you have more time, it’s recommend to flush the legs for at least 10–15 minutes.

Additional post-workout exercises: hip flexor stretching and foam roller/trigger point for sore spots.

More one-hour workouts