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Workout Wednesday: Amélie Kretz’s favourite bike trainer session

Amelie Kretz wins ITU World Cup in Edmonton, Alberta June  23, 2013 - Photo by Arnold Lim / ITU.Amélie Kretz is back from ITU World Championships in Chicago, which she considers to be the hardest mental race of her career so far. While she didn’t finish where she wanted to, her strong cycling skills kept her in the front pack of about 25 athletes for the duration of the bike leg.

Kretz loves outdoor riding and escapes the harsh Canadian winters so that she can train outside longer. As an ITU athlete, she races in draft-legal events but believes that there’s a misconception about cycling in these events. “A lot of people think you don’t have to be strong on the bike. I personally think that to succeed in ITU races, you need to be a strong rider. A lot of races now have technical and hilly bike courses that will take a lot out of your legs. The stronger you are on the bike, the fresher your legs will be once you start running.”

In order to keep up as a strong cyclist, Kretz rides anywhere from 12 – 18 hours each week. She believes in the importance of some trainer sessions too, especially for harder riding when a controlled environment is ideal. Her coach (Craig Taylor) tailors her trainer sessions to be ITU-specific, but Kretz says her current go-to workout is adaptable for non-drafting races too.

Set your bike up indoors and train like a pro with Kretz’s favourite indoor workout.

Warmup: ThinkstockPhotos-72919725

15 min. easy spin

6 min. build from steady to tempo

1 min. easy

2 min. threshold

Ride easy for a few minutes until ready to start your main set.

Main Set (complete 4x through):

3 min. hard with some surges

4 min. 10 seconds on, 20 seconds steady

1 min. hard

3 – 4 min. recovery between rounds.

Cool down:

Easy riding anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes to flush out lactic acid.

Kretz recommends incorporating this workout into your training once a week. Each week you can add a round for up to eight rounds if you’re training specifically for an Olympic distance race. Triathletes racing in all distances will benefit from the power-based intervals in this session.

She also recommends that if you’re on a trainer, practice putting on your shoes during the first three minutes of the main set to simulate your race ride.