Luke McKenzie’s Hardest Workout

  • By Bethany Mavis
  • Published Mar 19, 2014
  • Updated Apr 5, 2016 at 4:28 PM UTC
McKenzie at the 2013 GoPro Ironman World Championship. Photo: John David Becker

The 2013 Kona runner-up uses this cycling workout in his Ironman buildup.

Long-course pro Luke McKenzie completes this bike set two or three times during his preparation for an Ironman. “It is important to do it rested and to give yourself time to recover after, as it usually takes a lot out of you,” he says. The focus of the workout is on improving Ironman-specific power and cadence, and the first time you do this session is usually the hardest. “But the second and third time you will see great improvement,” he says, “and I can guarantee you will enter your next Ironman with confidence in your bike fitness.”

RELATED PHOTOS: Kona’s Leading Men

McKenzie’s Ironman Cycling Workout

• 30–45 min warm-up spin, 90–100 RPM
• 1x45K (28 miles) time trial at Ironman watts, 85-plus RPM
• 15 min recovery spin
• 5 min (max) food/drink break
• 15 min spin
• 1x45K (28 miles) TT at Ironman watts, 95-plus RPM
• 30–45 min warm-down spin

Total: 90K (56 miles) at Ironman pace plus two hours warm-up, cool-down and recovery

RELATED – Luke McKenzie On Kona: “I Can See How I Can Win”


After finishing ninth at the 2011 Ironman Hawaii, the long-course veteran became one to watch at the biggest race of the year. McKenzie followed that up with a disappointing 24th-place finish the following year, before he broke through at the 2013 Ironman World Championship. The six-time Ironman champion was second off the bike in Kona, posting a second-best bike split of 4:22:25. He held the lead from early in the marathon until 17 miles, when eventual winner Frederik Van Lierde passed him. His 2:57 run split led him to a runner-up finish on triathlon’s grandest stage.

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FILED UNDER: Bike / InsideTri / Training TAGS: /

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis is the managing editor of Triathlete magazine. She's a mom, rec soccer player, multiple half-marathon finisher and is learning daily how to become a better triathlete.

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