Types of Anaerobic Workouts
What are the best kinds of anaerobic workouts? I feel that it doesn't really matter whether you do intervals, hill repeats, time trials, group rides, etc. When you establish a strong aerobic base and conduct your anaerobic workouts sensibly when you are energized and motivated, you will benefit by going fast any way you want.
In the old days before heart rate monitors, coaches and books about triathlon training, athletes did pretty well just getting out onto the roads and going fast.
You can collect a file of magazine articles or dog ear book pages to conduct inspiring and effective anaerobic workouts. One sensible idea is to conduct workouts that approximate the challenge you will face in the race.
In preparing for the Auburn World's Toughest Half event in May, consider sessions that reflect the competition distances and the hilly terrain.
One of my favorite half-Ironman workouts is an all-out 56-mile time trial on a course similar to the race course.
With a workout like this, you teach your body to complete the exact competitive distance at a pace superior to your race pace (because you are not saving anything for the 13.1-mile run).
With this workout under your belt you will feel comfortable and confident when you settle into your race-day pace.
A half-marathon road race at full effort is another excellent example, as are brick workouts that stack a bike and run together just like on race day. I favor bricks of a 10:1 bike to run ratio (Bike 80, run 8 miles; Bike 60, run 6 miles). For half-Ironman preparation, brick with at least the bike race distance and consider going all the way up to 100-mile bike, 10-mile run.
A long-distance brick such as 100/10 can be conducted during the base-building period (you aren't going to do too well if you exceed aerobic heart rates on a 100/10 brick anyway). As the race date nears, I suggest shortening the length of your workouts and increasing your intensity.
For example, a good, key workout two months out from the race might be an aggressive-pace 80-mile bike ride. One month out, the training should progress to the all-out 56-mile time trial.
Coming off of the base period and into fast-paced efforts can be a shock to the body. You can prepare your body for speed by throwing in some prelude sessions where you get leg/arm turnover or cadence going quickly without overstressing your system.