One of the many things my Zenners do better than other athletes is ride the bike. They get faster, quicker. By this I mean they improve faster over the time than other triathletes and cyclists. Why is this? I owe it all to specificity of the sessions and knowledge.
First and foremost every session has to have a purpose. When I decide what bike session to give them I look at the following:
- What races they have coming up
- What energy system they will use mostly in their KEY races
- What are their limiters on the bike
- How much time they have to train each day
- When are the KEY run sessions of the week
There are almost an unlimited number of bike workouts so this is where the creativity sets in. For the most part I like to make sure the athlete has a huge aerobic foundation so I like them to put in as many hours as their schedule allows. I also am a big proponent of doing Over Gear intervals. Boy, I like these a lot as they build great cycling specific strength. I also believe any good training programme will work every energy system so I program some sessions with 5-10 second sprints built into other intervals. These are especially good for the Sprint distance triathlete who will have to make frequent turns and accelerations in a short bike. But most of all I keep in mind the athletes Power at Lactate and Lactate Heart Rate and work just a bit below, at threshold and above threshold.
Here are some sample sessions: please keep in mind it is beneficial to warm up in a low heart rate at 90-100 rpm’s and then get into a bit higher heart rate for the meat of the workout and then have a 5-10 minute cooldown at a very low heart rate. New cyclists can also do the warm up and cool down in the small ring. The sessions below are just the intervals and not inclusive of the entire bike session.
BodyZen Simple Over Gear: 6 x 5:00 in heavy gear at 60-70 rpm with 3:00 easy (ri=rest interval) at 90-100 rpm between sets OPTIONAL- alternate seated one minute and standing one minute
BodyZen High RPM: 4 x 2:00 @ 100 rpm: 1:00 ri then 3 x 3:00 @ 110 rpm; 1:30 ri then 2 x 4:00 @ 110-120 rpm; 2:00 ri
BodyZen LT Buffering 4.0: 4 x 1:00 @ 90% effort; 4:00 ri then 5:00 easy then 4 x 6:00 @ hard pace (Olympic Distance or 40K TT pace) 3:00 ri optional: sprint for 10 seconds every other minute of the six minute pieces
As Eddy Merckx said, Ride Lots. Aim for two of these sessions per week with as many hours as you can on the bike. You’ll be riding as fast as a Zenner in no time.