How to Pass With Authority

The Workout

  • Begin with a 20-minute warm-up in Zone 1 or 2.
  • Then do three to five repeats of the following:
  • 3 minutes at lactate threshold heart rate or power. If you're using heart rate, note your miles per hour pace.
  • 1 minute at a pace that is roughly 1 mile per hour faster than your threshold pace. This pace should make your heart rate go up about five beats over your threshold heart rate by the end of 60 seconds. If you are using power, increase your output by 5 to 10 watts over threshold power.
  • 3 minutes at lactate threshold heart rate or power.
  • 3 minutes at Zone 2 intensity. (Notice this is not Zone 1, easy recovery.)
  • After you've repeated the 10-minute sequence three to five times, end with 10 to 20 minutes at Zone 1 intensity.

More: Descriptions of Training Intensities

Race-Day Application

Doing the described workout once per week, or every couple of weeks, in the four to eight weeks prior to the race gives you the extra gear needed to pass others on race day. If you are clearly faster than another racer that you're reeling in, there's no need to use this speed weapon. Remain at your steady threshold pace and simply cruise past that racer. A cheerful, "Have a great race" or "Nice job" comment as you pass is optional, but recommended.

When you are slowly reeling in a rider that is only slightly slower than you are, this is the time to use your one-minute speed weapon. Once you're into that three-bike length space behind the other rider, pick up your speed (or power) for 60 seconds. This should give you enough time to pass the other racer and put some distance between the two of you. Because you've trained for this kind of intensity, you should have the energy to give the rider you're passing an encouraging comment. Then you can settle back into your threshold race pace.

Enjoy passing with authority at your next race.

More: 5 Ways to Smoke Your Competition

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