Thank you for your purchase with 3LC. We hope you enjoy training with us and watching your performance levels hit new heights over the coming weeks and months! Some of you will be 'old hands’—having used our workouts before—but if this is your first time with 3LC, please read the FAQs below to help get the most out of your training. For further information feel free to contact us. For a more structured approach, 3LC Training Plans are available at for only £4.99on our website.
Who are 3LC workouts aimed at?
Anyone and everyone can use these sessions. As long as you are reasonably fit you can benefit from all the sessions in our series. Please check with your doctor if in doubt.
Cycling is a multi-discipline sport with elements such as sprinting, time trialling, climbing and sportive riding. There is also mountain biking, cyclo-cross and track racing to consider. What we require to cover all these diverse elements is some kind of common denominator or a key training element that fits all. The common denominator is your lactate threshold or the power you produce at your lactate threshold or, put simply, the power you can sustain over a long period, say one hour.
Tell me more about threshold.
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 through using our sessions you can raise your threshold to new levels, making you faster on your bike.
Why cadence and not power and watts?
With cadence there is no need to do any complicated tests to work out your heart and watt (power) zones. You can just jump on your bike and knock out a session.
Busy lifestyles are another reason for cadence-based training. Many of you may have experienced this before: Imagine arriving home from work after a busy day and you then have to jump on the turbo and ride a power-based or heart rate-based session. You get through your warm up without a problem, but then you are requested to ride at a given watt or heart rate output. You don’t get anywhere near those requested numbers because you are mentally and/or physically fatigued and you end up climbing off and doing nothing.
With cadence the situation is quite different. If you are tired after a hard day at work, you can make it through our sessions simply by gearing down a couple of gears. Ok you won’t achieve the optimal work out, but at least you will achieve a work out and 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 or bike computer. Simply follow the riders in the session and pedal at the same speed (cadence) as they do. You will soon learn to recognise when you’re at 100 revs per minute or a cadence of 80. A computer just makes the session more accurate and easier to follow.
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 use 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, but you may be using a 39 front chain ring and 16-rear sprocket.
It’s my first session, what gear should I use?
Firstly you should watch the introductory “How to use 3LC” video. Then commence the session with the aim of getting through it. 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 appropriate gears to achieve an optimal work out
I can get through the session but I can't keep to the suggested cadence requirements?
If you find the cadence requirements to fast for you, just move the goal posts a bit. For example, when it says ride at a cadence of 95 rpm, adjust this to 85. Then during future workouts, increase your cadence by a couple of revolutions until you are hitting the numbers you need.
I am new to cycling and not very fit. What if I run out of steam before the end?
Don’t worry--everyone has to start somewhere, including the professionals. Keep your gears low and aim to get as far through the session as possible. Make a note of the amount of minutes you achieved, have a couple of days to recover, then aim to improve. Keep doing this 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. This, 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, making it less detrimental to your performance.
I found it too easy, even on 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 is set to low or your wheel is not making good contact on your turbo.
How do I ride the turbo on a climb?
No don’t put your turbo on the stairs! Say you are asked to ride at a cadence of 80 as you hit a climb, all you have to do is click up a couple of gears so your legs feel more under load. This will produce a good simulation of climbing.
Why is warm up and warm down so long?
It important to warm up correctly to prepare your body for the increased energy demands you are about to place it under during the session. It is important to warm up for all activities as this will reduce the risk of injury, help stretch the muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, improve the body’s efficiency and can also improve 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--such as blood and lactate acid-- and reduce stiffness and soreness in the body.
Why have a ladies specific session?
The ladies session is based on the Road Race session and is specifically designed to suit ladies and features a cast of all female riders including the Inter-Island Games gold medal-winning team. However, ladies can use any of our other sessions.
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 trialling. Or you may wish to simply keep fit in a way that does not use up too much of your valuable time. Some users just do a mid week turbo session and a couple of road rides at the weekend. A popular workout week with our customers is a turbo session on Tuesday and Thursday with a couple of 2-3 hour road rides at the weekend.
What is RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion)?
The Borg Scale is a simple method of rating perceived exertion (RPE) and can be used by coaches to gauge an athlete's level of intensity in training and competition. Perceived exertion is an individual's rating of exercise intensity, formed by assessing their body's physical signs such as heart rate, breathing rate and perspiration or sweating. With practise you will soon know your RPE's off by heart. In the meantime, please use the chart below as a guide.
RPE 1 = No effort--promotes recovery and training response
RPE 2 = Easy, can hold a full convo--establishes base endurance, more efficient use of energy, prepares body for harder training
RPE 3 = Breathing ok/bit harder on hills--improves efficiency, able to produce more power for the same level of effort
RPE 4 = Breathing heavier on hills
RPE 5 = More effort required, breathing heavier--improves sustainable power, good for all cycling events
RPE 6 = Conversation now down to short sentences--increases threshold & improves sustainable race pace
RPE 7 = Very deep breathing, difficult to speak--sustain high % max aerobic power, improves time trial ability & resistance to short term fatigue
RPE 8 = Very deep breathing, difficult to speak, unable to speak on hills
RPE 9 = Full concentration, unable to speak, only grunts and groans
RPE 10 = Off the scale--can only really hold this effort for seconds rather than minutes--Increases maximum power