Here is a selection of session examples that you can mix into the outdoor training. You’ll, of course, need a good warm-up and a warm tie on either side of all of these and feel free to incorporate these sessions into a longer ride as well.
1. Big Gear Sprints
6 X 10 sec sprint / 3 min rest. Repeat 2-3 times
The first session is big gear sprints, so six lots of 10 seconds of sprinting with just three minutes rest, and you need to reach maximum power. You hold on to that until 10 seconds have passed and repeat this twice or three more times.
But make sure you’re in a big gear, and this session will help to give you the potential to push up your threshold strength. And respect it! It might not sound like much, but if done properly, it will be harder than you expect.
2. Hill Reps
10 X 1 min above threshold effort, 60-70 rpm
Hill reps to start off. We’re going to do ten lots of one-minute working above a threshold effort with a 60 to 70 rpm, and this will work at leg strength more than your cardiovascular system. But don’t get us wrong – you’ll still fill your heart and your lungs working.
3. Sweet Spot Session
4 X 10 min / 84-94% of FTP / 75-85% of max HR / RPE 6-7
5 min Z2 recovery after each rep
Aerobic capacity is another aspect you need to address with your training, and a sweet spot session will help to bump up that threshold.
In this type of session will, in the long run, enable you to go harder for longer. For example, it’s for lots of 10 minutes at your sweet spot intensity, which is 84 to 94% of your FTP. Or if you’re going by heart rate than 75 to 85% of max and an effort level of about 6 to 7 out of 10. Between each of those 10 minutes have a five-minute recovery in zone 2 after each rep.
Now, don’t forget the long ride. We’ve touched on it already. You do need to get used to being on your bike in your desired various position for long periods of time. So doing this outside is preferable to help with boredom but also make it race-specific.
You can utilize reverse periodization for cycle training and doing your heart shorter intense style sessions in the preseason during the winter when you’re indoors on the turbo and then those longer miles as you head into the spring.
The largest chunk of your triathlon training is spent on your bike, so you want to make sure you keep it interesting and varied.