Does this feeling sound familiar? Your quads burn like there’s a fire in every fiber. Your lungs struggle to rise and fall, as though someone were standing on your chest. The mind begs to stop, and wrestles with giving in – but doesn’t. Your eyes narrow on something – anything – as a focal point, until you can cross the finish line, until you can stop. Sounds like a Head race, doesn’t it? Close. But this is actually what can look forward to if you take on one of my favorite cycling workouts. Now, step onto the bike with me.

Cycling obviously uses the lower body and lungs, but it also works the core and upper body especially when climbing the hills or sprinting for the “line”.  My cycling group always feared the rowers I invited along for rides. Why? They knew rowers would have the legs, lungs and mindset to test their spandex entrenched egos on the road. But it works both ways. Quite a few cyclists have quickly become champion rowers due to their conditioning and “attack” mentality.  So whether you are looking to stand out on the next group bike ride, PR at your next race or just want to mix up your workout, take the below “prescription” for a spin on a mountain, road or stationary bicycle.



WARM-UP:  12 mins.

  • 4 mins. Easy,
  • 4 mins. Medium,
  • 2 mins. Easy,
  • 2 mins. Hard.

Break/Recovery riding 2 min.

THE BUILD:  10 mins.

  • 4 mins. Easy,
  • 3 mins. Medium,
  • 2 mins. Hard,
  • 1 min. ALL OUT.

Rest/Easy 2 mins.

Repeat the entire cycle 2-3 times depending on fitness and time.

Cool-down with easy riding for 5 mins. and then stretch or foam roll.

Tips for this ride:

  • Focus on form and pedal stroke here – think back and forth movement of the pedals, rather than “mashing” them up and down.
  • Really go to the feeling here of the prescribed intensity. Then settle into a nice smooth, rhythm.
  • Sit-up tall, hinging forward at the hips, while at the same time keeping it light on the handlebars.
  • Keep your pedal cadence between 80-100 RPM (if no monitor, count 1 side/pedal for 20 seconds and triple that number)