Having looked at all the readings you can get from PowerSense you might be thinking of mixing it up a bit to push your Winter training. I’m assuming you will have calculated your FTP and you have set up your Coggans table so you can assess the level you want to work at: If you haven’t already, grab your Periodization Calendar (Free download), and get your New Year exercise routine going.


First things to know are that both HIIT and LISS training programs are useful for burning fat without decreasing muscle mass. As well as building underlying fitness, they’ll improve the oxidation of fats and carbohydrates


How do they fit in with my cycling routine?

Let’s say you manage three Winter training rides a week, and two of those often have to be on the turbo trainer, which is ‘all good’ btw. What you want to do is tap into the energy systems that come into play when you are racing so that the muscle fibres adapt to what you need them to do. Over the years I have always worked on my stamina, so a three to five hour ride out has always been achievable; where I literally fall-down is sprint speed – I haven’t developed any cycle-specific, fast-twitch muscles.


So, over a week, what we are aiming for is: 

  1. A high-intensity ride, where you end up thinking ‘I’m probably gonna die!’
  2. A low intensity, so you’re there thinking, ‘it’s so easy’. 
  3. And finally, a ‘that feels just right’ ride.


Obviously, these have different recovery times, so take a peek at our blog post ‘Train hard to peak not burn out.


High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


For some of us, HIIT training on a bike is very new, in reality, it is just intervals. When I say just intervals….. It can take some sustaining on the first outing.

A very simple HIIT training session, for indoors or outdoors is:


  1. Warm-up 10 minutes
  2. Now pedal for 30 seconds full tilt. (There are apps that you can download for the timings.)
  3. Easy for 60 seconds.
  4. Repeat this three times, and allow a 4 minute break on the last go.
  5. Now repeat this whole set 3 times so you are looking at being busy for 45-60minutes.
  6. Remember to cool down after.


Low-Intensity Steady State Training (LISS)


Physiologically you are aiming to work at a level that allows the heart to fully fill between contractions, which doesn’t happen when you work harder. Over time, adaption of the heart muscle takes place meaning it increases its capacity to pump more blood per beat – thus lowering your heart rate. You should be able to cycle along having a chat at this pace.


Zone two work also improves the slow-twitch muscles ability to clear lactate. So when you’re in a race the slow-twitch fibres recycle the lactate from the fast-twitch ones.



Your final cycle ride of the week, is the ‘that feels just right’ one. This boosts stamina.


Start with:

  • 3 x 10 minutes at 85-90% Functional Threshold Power

When this starts to work, increase to:

  • 2 x 20 minutes at 85-90% Functional Threshold Power

This will give you the ability to sit comfortably with the fast folk at the front of the pack.