EpicAim of Session

An epic indoor workout to use when outdoor training isn’t possible

Session description

WARM UP: 15 minutes zone 2, included in session time


1) 3 x 1 min fast pedals, 1 min recovery

2) 5 min easy

3) Repeated 15s hard / 15s backpedal, best done on a turbo. 2 x 10 min block, 10 min spin between.

4) 5 min easy

5) 15 mins sweetspot

6) 10 mins easy, stretch some time off the bike maybe?

7) 3 x 1 min fast pedals, 1 min recovery

8) 5 min easy

9) 3 x 10 min sweetspot, 5 mins easy in between

10) 10 mins easy

11) Finish with 20 mins zone 3

COOL DOWN: 15 minutes zone 2, included in session time


You can read about the physiology for each of the individual segments in the sections on Fast Pedals; Tabata; and sweetspot training. By combining these training methods we are delivering a lot of stress within the low and mid ranges of zone 4. Therefore, carbohydrate delivery is a key issue.  Also, the Tabata and fast pedal sections are inducing changes in muscle fibre recruitment, so neuromuscular training effects are also being targeted.

Application for the Rider

This session can be a useful part of the rider’s armoury particularly in the winter months when long base and endurance rides are postponed due to weather conditions outside. The incorporation of discrete blocks within a longer ride help keep focus and will help exchange duration for some intensity. However, because of the intensity, the session needs to be used sparingly so that not too much work about LT is achieved in the overall programme.

Practicalities and tips!

  • Indoor riding is challenging at the best of times, but this session is not only long but has intense blocks too. This will mean you will need to consider not only fuelling (drinks, bars, gels) but also fluid requirements to offset heat production. Prepare plenty of bottles of drinks to cover both aspects of fuel and hydration.
  • Use a fan or train close to an outside door to maintain a lower core temperature. Have a towel at hand too!
  • If needs be, take time to get off the bike mid-session as a break
  • Ensure you use a good recovery drink post ride, and keep hydrating well – you probably have another training session the next day to keep in mind.
  • Be sure to pace your effort across the blocks, particularly the sweetspot work. Know your targets, and don’t be tempted to push on if feeling good early on. Your body will be unused to this intensity if using this session in the winter – in other words, you might feel the fatigue more here than when using sweetspot work during your season specific build.
  • You may feel better using heart rate as a target to guide intensity i.e. stress on the body rather than input to the system, power. However, you will experience heart rate drift because of heat, so be aware of that.

Evaluation of the session

  • Since the intensity in this session sits outside of the main emphasis of the training cycle (i.e. upper zone 3 / lower zone 4 workouts are rarely used in the off season when this session might be needed) don’t be too rigid with power or heart rate targets. The overall aim is still one of endurance i.e. duration trumps intensity!
  • Were you able to complete both blocks of Tabata work (15s on / 15s off) and the two sections of sweetspot work? Reflect on how different they may have felt
  • A key index is to look at the beginning and end blocks of zone 2 time – are you pushing the same power for a given heart rate? This will tell you how much fatigue you have gathered in the ride
More in this category: « Climbing repeats Power pyramid »