Trigirl’s High-Intensity Triathlon Training – Tabata Bike Session

If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly HITT training, see week one for more information on HITT, how it works and how to approach the sessions.

Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

Your HITT Session for the Week:

This week we’re getting on the bike for a super-fast, super-efficient leg burner!

You can perform this session indoors or out. However, if you are training indoors, it’s recommended that you ride on a turbo trainer, Wattbike or spin bike, with a typical gym bike being the least-recommended option. (The closer that you can train to your actual bike set-up, the better!)

We’re basing this session on Tabata, discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata.

Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level.

The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted just four minutes (20 seconds of hard training followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times).

The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle).

Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent!

In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

So yes, we’re going to give you a workout that will increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capabilities in minutes!!


Warm-up for 10 minutes:
– 5 minutes gentle spinning, making sure that you have enough resistance not to bounce in the saddle.
– 3 minutes – add a gear or two, then ride 3 x [30 seconds spinning your legs up to the fastest cadence you can spin without bouncing, followed by 30 seconds easy recovery]
– 2 minutes spin, determining your gearing for the Tabata set (see below).

Tabata set:
You should be in the most challenging gear in which it is still possible to maintain a cadence* of 100-110 RPMs (rotations per minute).
Ride as hard as you can for 20 seconds at 100-110 RPMs
Rest for 10 seconds
Repeat for a total of eight rounds
If you’re tempted to do a second Tabata set, you probably didn’t go hard enough, but if you must, ride five minutes recovery between sets.

Cool down, ride easy 5-10 minutes in an easy gear (still not bouncing!)

*If you don’t have a cadence monitor on your bike (which measures rotations per minute on your pedals), this article will show you how to measure your cadence.


Happy HITT training!

HITT Bike Session

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