EPC Tips - Aerobic Strength Bike

Jul. 23, 2015

After your first peak of the season and your subsequent transition or rest period, you're ready to get back into training mode with your sights set squarely on your second peak of the year in September or October. The second half of the season's training is often built much like the first, only maybe over a little shorter period of time (which works because you're starting from higher level of fitness than when coming off your off-season). You will first want to re-build some aerobic fitness and aerobic strength, which were likely neglected a bit in your final push towards your first peak a few weeks ago.

The following bike session is one that is a staple, not only in my own training and coaching, but most cycling and triathlon training programs. 

It's a crucial session to build strength on the bike and improve your ability to produce force on the pedals and resist muscular fatigue when putting out more power in the coming weeks of training and racing. This session can be performed outside on hills (in larger gears up moderate grades, 5-7% ideal) on the road or even on your mountain bike for you off-road types. Cadences should hover around 50-60 rpm varying with the terrain. You can also make it a very effective trainer session if you are short on time or do not have long hills in your area. Done on the trainer you will want to elevate your front wheel on a block of wood to simulate an uphill position on the bike, shift into one of your largest gears (high resistance level) and pedal the "climbs" at around 50rpm to simulate grinding up a a long hill. Effort level on these strength intervals is moderate. HR and power output should be kept just under your threshold level.

Perform this session once or twice a week for a few weeks. Start with shorter climbs (3-5:00) and and gradually extend the length of the climbs every few sessions as you find yourself gaining strength (up to 20:00 climbs). 

After a few weeks of re-building your aerobic strength you'll be ready to add some turnover to the equation and ramping up the power output!


  • 10:00 easy spin
  • 20+ min additional aerobic riding as desired
  • 5:00 progressive build to threshold power
  • 3:00 easy


  • 4x[5:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 1-2 min recovery (alternate seated & standing)]
  • 10:00-20:00 easy gear spin (or downhill)
  • 4x[5:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 1-2 min recovery (alternate seated & standing)]


  • 10:00 easy gear spin (or downhill)
  • extra aerobic riding as desired
EPC Tips