Great article on big gear training from Active.com
Enjoy the read!
Big gear workouts for that extra edge come race day.by Marc Linsay, Active.com
Endurance isn't the problem for most triathletes. Long hours spent training for the swim, bike and run put your cardiovascular system in overdrive, which can sometimes leave the rest of your body struggling to keep up.
Building strength in your legs to match that big cardiovascular engine is the key to success on the bike. But, unfortunately, it's often not as easy as it sounds.
To produce the necessary watts on the bike and still have enough in the tank to power through the run, you'll need to focus a portion of your training on pedaling in big gears. Incorporate these intervals into two of your weekly rides to get started.
A word of caution
Since most of these workouts focus on pedaling in a cadence range that is designed to be uncomfortable, there are a few things you should be aware of. Before you begin to train using a lower cadence, follow these basic tips:
Maintain your form: Concentrate on pedaling in smooth circles, even when it becomes difficult.
Beware of pain: Low cadences can place more tension on your muscles and tendons-- especially in the knee. If you feel pain, it's always best to back off.
Be careful: You're going to be riding at greater speeds for short periods of time, so make sure you're on safe streets and following the rules of the road.
Recover properly: Always follow a low gear effort with easy spinning in a high cadence.
More: Ask A Coach: Why Do My Feet Fall Asleep?
Workout No. 1: Sprinter Starts
1. For this workout, you can use stop signs or red lights throughout your ride, or you can do these on a stretch of road that will allow you to sprint for at least 100 to 200 yards.
2. Ride for at least 20 minutes before your first interval.Begin by slowing as much as possible without unclipping from your pedals. Ideally, you'll come to a complete stop.
3. With the back in one of the larger gears, pedal as hard as you can out of the saddle for 6 to 8 seconds.
4. Concentrate on keeping your upper body still. Your power should come from the hips down through the legs.
5. At the end of the sprint, continue to pedal at a 100 revolutions per minute or more for two to three minutes.
6. Start with four or five of these efforts during the workout, no more than once per week. Some soreness should be expected. As it becomes easier, you can increase the number of intervals.
Workout No. 2: Big-Gear Endurance
You can incorporate this workout into a training ride on the road or indoor trainer
1. Warm up for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. For the main set, complete five sets of five-minute efforts at a pace just below your 40K time trial pace. Remember this is not your best 40K bike leg in a triathlon, but the fastest speed you could sustain for about an hour on the bike.
3. Keep your cadence between 60 and 75 rpms for the entire five minutes. Find a number you can comfortably maintain.
4. Follow each five-minute effort with a two-minute recovery, pedaling at 100 rpms or greater between sets. As these become easier, slowly increase the time of each set to a max of 10 minutes.
5. Cool down for 15 to 20 minutes to finish your ride.
More: 7 Equipment Choices That Guarantee A Faster Bike Split
Workout No. 3: Big-Gear Climbing*
This workout works best on a long climb of four to six miles. If you don't have access to any hills that are that long, find one that's at least a mile in length and do repeats.
1. Warm up for 15 to 20 minutes before you begin the set.
2. For the first mile, pedal uphill in your aerobars. Keep your cadence between 70 and 75 rpm. Your pace should not be all-out. Concentrate on an even effort for all four to six miles of climbing, keeping your heart rate or power just below your 40K time trial pace.
3. For the second mile, sit up from your aerobars and switch to a cadence that's between 90 and 100 rpm. Maintain the same heart rate and power output.
4. Alternate between these high and low cadences for each mile until you reach the top of the climb.
5. Remember to generate your power, particularly while in your aerobars, in the hips and down through the legs with minimal upper-body movement.
6. Spin easy in a cadence of 90 to 100 rpms on flat terrain for 15 to 20 minutes to cool down.
*Though you aren't likely to have long, sustained climbs during a triathlon, practicing climbs is a great way to build leg strength.
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Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2015/09/3-leg-strengthening-bike-intervals-for-triathletes.aspx#ixzz3mxbOC6pt