It doesn’t matter if you do a Sprint, Olympic or Ironman triathlon, these bike-run combinations are very beneficial. It’s a way of getting your body used to running with heavy legs. Also, these sessions can help you determine the power or speed at which you should pace the bike or run. For example, if you’re used to cycling too fast and have no energy running, these sessions will help you realize that by pushing 10-15 watts less on the bike you’re able to run much better.

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Photo: Antoine Desroches

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The duration of these sessions may vary depending on whether you are training for a sprint triathlon or an Ironman. For a sprint triathlon, it’s best to perform several short-duration sets, but at high-intensity. Generally, to prepare for an Ironman, the sequences will be much longer.

In the run-up to the first race of the ITU CAMTRI America Cup, Pascal Dufresne’s group of athletes did multiple bike-run sessions. Here is the description of the training:

Legend

CP5 = Critical power for 5 min (maximum power during a 5 min test)

Tempo = moderate effort

Session 1

Bike

  • 15 min bike easy
  • 5 min progressive bike
  • 6 x
    • 40 sec @ CP5
    • 40 sec Tempo
    • 30 sec @ CP5 +
    • 30 sec Tempo +
    • 20 sec @ CP5 ++
    • 20 sec Tempo ++
    • 10 sec Fast
    • 2 min easy

Run

  • 1 min @ pace 3000m
  • 1 min @ pace 5000m
  • 1 min rest
  • 30 sec @ pace 2000m
  • 1 min 30 @ pace 5000m
  • 5 min easy

Session 2

Bike

  • 2 x
    • 40 sec @ CP5
    • 40 sec Tempo
    • 30 sec @ CP5 +
    • 30 sec Tempo +
    • 20 sec @ CP5 ++
    • 20 sec tempo ++
    • 10 sec FAST
    • 2 min easy

Run

  • 1 min @ pace 3000 m
  • 1 min @ pace 5000m
  • 1 min rest
  • 30 sec @ pace 2000m
  • 1 min 30 @ pace 5000m
  • 10 min easy

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