Watch "Hollywood actors" Tim & Steve explain how to use 3LC Sessions
Put simply, imagine you and your friend are riding a sportive together - last one to the finish gets the drinks in! Let’s say your maximum sustainable power output is 280 watts and your friend’s is 250 watts. You're on the last long climb of your ride and you're both riding next to each other at 260 watts. You will be riding under your threshold and still able to hold bit of a conversation. Your friend, however, will be over their threshold–legs burning, unable to chat, about to pop–and will soon get dropped. That’s when you ride away!
Anyone can produce impressive figures over a matter of seconds, but the person who has a high lactate threshold and can sustain high power figures over a period of time will be first over a climb, winner of a bunch sprint, destroy the field in a time trial or be first home after a tough sportive. Sadly you cannot ride above your threshold for very long, but the good news is that by using our sessions you can raise your threshold to new levels–making you faster on your bike.
Why does 3LC use cadence and not power or watts?
We use cadence for several reasons. Firstly, there is no need to do any complicated tests to work out your average heart rate and power zones. Many of you have busy lifestyles, so with cadence you can just jump straight on your trainer, knock out a session and feel the benefits right away.
Many of you will have experienced the following scenario before. Imagine arriving home from work after a busy day and you then jump on the turbo and ride a power-based or heart rate-based session. You get through your warm up without a problem. Then you are asked to ride at a given watt or heart rate output and you don’t get anywhere near the required numbers. Because you are mentally or physically fatigued (or both), you end up climbing off and end the session early feeling sorry for yourself.
With cadence-based training the situation is quite different. If you are a tad tired after a hard day at work you can make it through the session by simply dropping down a few gears. OK–you won’t be doing the optimal work out–but at least you will be completing a session and most importantly, you will feel better for it!
What if I don’t have a cadence computer?
Don’t worry there are many people out there who don’t have cadence on their turbo machine or bike computer. If this is the case, simply follow the riders in our DVD sessions and cycle at the same pedaling speed (cadence) as they do. You will soon learn how to recognise what RPM (revs per minute) rate you're pedaling at. All a computer will do is make the session more accurate and slightly easier to follow. If you want to get more serious, invest in a computer that will display your cadence.
You may also follow our RPE guides. This stands for rate of perceived exertion and it's measured on a scale of 1 to 10 - 1 being the easiest and 10 being very hard. Click to find out more about the RPE scale.
If riders such as Mark Cavendish and Pete Kennaugh are suffering like mad in the sessions, how will I cope?
Quite simple, this one - the pro riders are using bigger gears. You all ride at the same cadence but your fitness levels dictate the gears you use. The pro riders will be spinning away on a 53-tooth chain ring and say a 14-tooth sprocket on the rear wheel, while you may be using a 39-front chain ring and 16-tooth rear sprocket. Put more simply, our sessions are as hard as you make them!
It’s my first session, what gear should I use?
Firstly, you should watch the introduction video at the top of the page, then commence the session with the aim of getting through it in its entirety. We would suggest you use low gears to begin with–low enough to get to the end. Then next time you will be in a position to select the appropriate gears to achieve an optimal work out for your own fitness level.
I am new to cycling and not very fit. What if I run out of steam before the end?
Don’t worry about it, everyone has to start somewhere–including the professionals. Keep your gears low and aim to get as far through the session as possible. Then make a note of how far you got through the session, have a couple of days to recover, and jump back on your bike with the aim to improve in your next session. Keep using this method until you reach the end. Then give yourself a big pat on the back!
I have never ridden my bike at such high cadences. I usually ride big gears at a low cadence - why is riding at a higher cadence better for you?
Riding big gears at low cadence will put a lot of stress on the legs and result in a quicker build up of lactate acid, which in turn will slow you down abruptly. By riding with a high cadence the stress is put on your breathing and heart rate rather than your legs. This is less detrimental to your performance than a build up of lactate acid caused by using those bigger gears.
I found it too easy, even with big gears. Do you think I could be the next Mark Cavendish?
Yes, you may well be the next Mark Cavendish. However, it is more likely that the resistance on your turbo trainer is set too low or your wheel is not making good contact on the machine!
How should I ride the turbo when I'm climbing?
No–don’t put your turbo on the stairs! Say you are asked to ride at a cadence of 80 RPMs as you hit a climb in one of our sessions. All you have to do is click up a couple of gears so your legs feel more resistance–this will produce a good simulation of climbing.
Should I get out of the saddle when sprinting on a turbo?
No–you should always stay seated on the turbo during sprint efforts. Concentrate on getting the power though the legs.
Should I use my time trial bike on the turbo?
Yes–absolutely. This will help your body get used to the correct time trialing position and every little bit helps.
Why are the warm ups and warm downs so long?
It is important to warm up correctly to prepare your body for the increased energy demands that you are about to place it under. It is important to warm up for all activities as this will reduce the risk of injury, help stretch the muscles/ligaments/connective tissues, improve the body’s efficiency and it can also improve your performance levels in the early part of a workout. It is also said that a good warm up prepares you mentally and physically, which in turn improves your performance.
A warm down is just as important as a warm up. A good warm down consists of pedaling in a gentle or rhythmic fashion until the body returns to a near resting state. This will help to remove the excess fluids that build up in the muscles such as blood and lactate acid. By doing this you will reduce stiffness and soreness in the body, which will lead to a quicker recovery.
Why have a ladies specific session?
The ladies session is based on our road race session but has been specifically designed to compliment the needs of female riders. Do not be deterred though, ladies! You can also use any of our other sessions. Same goes for the men out there–you can still benefit from doing the ladies session.
How often should I use the sessions?
This depends on your situation and what your goals are. You could be a racing cyclist and use the sessions to boost your lactate threshold, improve your sprinting or time trialing, for example. You may wish to use the session to avoid riding on busy roads or simply to keep fit.
Watch the ‘experts’ explain how to use the 3LC training sessions.
Please watch the short video above with 'Hollywood actors' Tim and Bubs! They will explain how our sessions work.
Can I listen to my own music when using 3LC training sessions?
Of course you can–simply turn the volume down, tune into your favourite beat and follow the on-screen graphical instructions.
Where can I find out about your shipping and returns policy?
Click to view our shipping and returns policy.