Workouts

Triathlete Challenge: At Home Bike Workout #2

There’s a good mix of intensity and cadence to get you pedaling well in our second bike session from cycling coach and expert Matt Bottrill.

This 60-minute workout from bike coach Matt Bottrill is the second in our series of four cycling workouts that are designed to lead you to your best 40K time trial, which will be one part of the virtual Olympic distance “triathlon” challenge (a 15-minute strength circuit, 40K ride, 10K run) at the end of the month. 

Bottrill is a world-renowned bike guru, cyclist, and coach who works with pro triathletes such as Tim O’Donnell, Tim Don, Matt Hanson, and Justin Metzler. He also works with the Lotto-Soudal pro cycling team as time trial bike fitter and planner. 

Throughout these workouts, Bottrill uses Levels 1 through 7 (listed as L1, L2, etc.) to determine effort or RPE. If you prefer to train by power or heart-rate then he has those listed too. See below (beneath the workout) for a full explanation of levels and their respective heart-rates and wattages. 

This second workout is 60 minutes in duration and includes a variety of intervals that vary in intensity and cadence—it is not an easy workout!  

Bottrill says: “These intervals are designed to help maximize your 40K time trial performance. This is a solid session and you have to be mentally prepared to hurt yourself. Remember that the mind is stronger than the body—you just have to want it!”

Triathlete Challenge: At Home Bike Workout #2

Warm-Up

5 min. @ L1, high cadence of 90-100 RPM

10 min. @ L2, cadence of 80-90 RPM 

Main Set

10 min. @ L2, cadence 80-90 RPM


10 min. @ L2—cadence 70-80 RPM

5 min. @ L1, cadence 90-100 RPM

4×1 min. @ L5, cadence to suit, stay in aero position

30 sec. @ L1 recovery between efforts

10 min. @ L4, cadence to suit, stay in aero position

Straight into:
4 x 1 min. @ L5, cadence to suit, stay in aero position

30 sec. @ L1 recovery between efforts

Cool-Down

10-12 min. relaxed riding @ L1, high cadence recovery

Explanation of Exertion Levels

LEVEL/RPE  PURPOSE  EXERTION  % OF THRESHOLD POWER  % OF THRESHOLD HEART-RATE
1 ACTIVE RECOVERY (VERY LIGHT ACTIVITY)  Hardly any exertion, but more than sitting down < 55% <68%
2 ENDURANCE (LIGHT ACTIVITY) Feels like you can maintain for hours. Easy to breath and carry conversation  56-75% 69-83%
3 TEMPO (MODERATE)  Breathing more heavily. Still somewhat comfortable but slightly challenging  76-90% 84-94%
4 LACTATE THRESHOLD (FTP, Functional Threshold Power)  Breathing more heavily. Still somewhat comfortable but notably more challenging 91-105% 95-105%
5 VO2 MAX (VIGOROUS)  Borderline uncomfortable. Short of breath, can speak but not sentence   106-120% >106%
6 ANAEROBIC CAPACITY (VERY HARD ACTIVITY)  Very difficult to maintain exercise intensity, can barely breath and can only speak a few words   121-150% N/A
7 NEUROMUSCULAR POWER (MAXIMUM EFFORT)  Feels almost impossible to keep going. Completely out of breath. Unable to talk  N/A N/A