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Bike - Endurance vs Interval

I have just finished my first triathlon season. I have mainly done super sprint triathlons and am finishing towards the front of the swim and recording the fastest run splits but I am really being let down by my bike times.

What ratio should my bike training consist of in terms of endurance : interval training. 

I am currently putting in 3 sessions per week with 1 endurance and 2 interval sessions.

Is this enough or should I be focusing more on endurance as I want to move up to sprint triathlons next season.

Tl;dr: What should I do more of, endurance work or interval training?


  • Matt 

    I am no where near your level, you are clearly a fit athlete. But you may have to define what endurance for you - I am training for IM 70.3 and my longest run is 8 miles in zone 3 or max to the top of zone 3. 

    Regarding bike I my endurance is Max 3 hours again in the upper part of zone 2 to zone 3 (but I find it hard to get my heart rate into 3/4 on the bike so go more off perceived effort - opting for intervals to keep concentration high).

    Having done a few sprints - I would say they're relatively short so you do not have to save yourself so much on the bike for the run as with IM and at times Olympic (for me anyway), as you have a short run too you can afford to really push yourself. 

    Try some reverse bricks - Run your 5k first then hammer the bike for 40mins - it means you'll be tired and have to concentrate to push it harder - also incorporate them at least once in your workouts as it means you know how much you've got in the tank for both disciplines....

    Duathlons helped me improve my bike leg, when I was racing in 92 - but take care as a lot of pressure on the joints and now I am older can't take it so much!

    Also join a club and maybe do some 10k time trials - this will certainly improve your overall stamina at race pace.... or at least a tri-club will enable you to ride with similar riders and you'll know where you are and can push each other to improve.... 


    Not sure if this answers your questions but some ideas - which you've probably already read - train hard all the best JH 



  • Hi Matt

    My opinion is that you'll be best served by using your training time on the bike concentrating on interval sessions.

    For your sprint triathlons next year, your bike leg will only be 20km long, so the key to get you performing faster and with more power over that distance is to work on your threshold power, and even above threshold power.

    I suggest you structure your training week so you have one session of intervals concentrating on longer, 5 -8 min intervals with 1-2 minutes recovery, and one session of  harder intervals of say, 1 minute, with 2 minutes recovery.

    I'd advise that your third ride each week is a longer, more relaxed outdoor ride where you can concentrate on building up the distance and duration as the weather allows. Don't neglect these rides or think that they are 'junk miles' - steady zone 2 training is very valuable aerobic development.

    Hope you don't mind the plug: there is a training zones calculator over on my website that might help you out: oxygenaddict triathlon coaching heart rate training zones

    Feel free to drop me a line through the site if you want more advice

    All the best!

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