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Quality vs. Quantity on the Bike

An indoor bike session focused on hard efforts with lots of recovery from Challenge Family ambassador Pablo Dapena.

Spain’s Pablo Dapena won the ITU Long Distance World Championships in 2018 and took the silver medal the following year. Forced to train indoors thanks to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, he shares his favourite indoor bike session.

Pablo Dapena pushes hard on the bike at Challenge Daytona. Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade.

“During these times it’s important to focus on quality instead of quantity,” Dapena, a Challenge Family Ambassador, says.

He offers a couple of different options for his high-quality set posted on the Challenge Family website:

  • 20 minutes – Warm up
  • 4-6 times (30 seconds building + 1 minute rest)
  • 2 minutes easy (recovery)
  • 12 times (30 seconds hard + 1 minute easy)
    6 times (2 minutes hard + 2-3 minutes easy)
  • 5-6 minutes – Cool down

“It’s not about the numbers,” Dapena says of these sets. “It’s all you can do, all you can push. Try to hit your limit so your legs are on fire.”

These type of workouts have obviously done well for Dapena, who pushed Lionel Sanders to the limit at Challenge Daytona last year as the two ran stride for stride for much of the run before Sanders was finally able to pull away to take the win.

Lionel Sanders and Pablo Dapena Gonzalez run stride for stride at Challenge Daytona. Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade.