EPC Tips - Workout of the Week - Threshold Pace for Race Day

Sep. 27, 2013

By Cody Waite

As we draw closer to XTERRA Worlds  it's time to bring everything together and dial in the threshold pace for race day.

This weeks workout is on the bike, and it brings a little sub-threshold 'race pace' work from previous weeks into play and a little of the super-threshold 'vo2 max'  energy system into play. This is a great session my cycling coach had us do often in the weeks prior races to get a feel for your threshold pace and get you prepared for those harder efforts on race day. Instead of cruising along at the same threshold effort for each of these intervals, with this workout you 'build' or 'negative split' the interval by performing the first two-thirsd the interval just under threshold power/effort and then finish the last third of the interval just above threshold power/effort. An example of this power/effort with a 300w threshold would be 285w as the 'just under' and 315w as the 'just over' targets. This allows you to get a good feel for pacing on race day while also making the longer threshold intervals more tolerable (and maybe you can get an extra one or two done in a session than you would otherwise if you drilled it full throttle the entire time). Perform these intervals on terrain similar to your goal event. You'll find that a longer hill, low grade or steep, works best for maintaining even power/effort.

'Under-Over' Threshold Interval Session:

  • Warm-up, building from easy to threshold effort over duration of 10-30 minutes.
  • Intervals: [6 minutes just under threshold power/effort + 3 minutes just over threshold power/effort]*.
  • Recover between intervals by riding easy back down the hill for 5+ minutes.
  • Repeat 3-5 times in a session.
  • Warm-down as long as you like.

*You can increase or decrease the length of these intervals by sticking to the 2-1 ratio of 'under' and 'over' segments.

The XTERRA 'Workouts of the Week' are brought to you by XTERRA pro, Cody Waite. Also the head coach of EPC Multisport, Cody and his coaches work with XTERRA athletes from from first-timer to World Champion and help each one maximize their potential and make the most of their racing experience. You can purchase the 2013 XTERRA Championship Group Coaching plan and get all the specific training sessions that will have you at your best for XTERRA USA and XTERRA World Championships. Don't forget to follow EPC Multisport on Facebook!

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