Sub-1hr session: race-pace ride

Remind your legs what it should feel like


(Image: Jonny Gawler)


If you want to ride faster on race day, you need to get your legs used to race pace. Emma-Kate Lidbury shows you how…

Equipment needed: bike, bike shoes, bike kit/clothing, helmet, glasses, energy drink, speedometer/bike computer/power meter.

Timing: try to schedule this session on a day when you won’t be doing any other intense workouts. Approaching it with relatively fresh legs is always best.

It shouldn’t cause huge fatigue or soreness, but be prepared to adapt your training accordingly in the following days.

Building efforts


10min steady ride.

Main session

4 x (6mins building effort by 2mins so the final 2mins are at/slightly above race pace; 4mins easy spin).


10min steady ride.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

This session helps to wake up your body and to remind your legs exactly what riding at race pace should feel like, meaning that on race day you should be able to perform better for longer.

If done consistently, you’ll notice the benefits translate to your aerobic and anaerobic bike fitness with improved ability to ride for extended periods at race pace.

Mental benefits

Building to race pace (and riding at/above it) provides ample opportunities to acclimatise with how you’ll feel come race day – and, perhaps most importantly, how you’ll cope with this during the race.

Use this session to work out what helps keep you motivated and focused as your effort and intensity increase. Remember this for racing!

Physiological benefits

This is ideal for improving aerobic endurance. As each interval progresses, you’ll need to up the effort and intensity before recovering and beginning your next repeat. It’s not long enough to be hugely physically taxing, but helps to ‘open the engine’.

You should find your legs respond well, even though it might take at least one or two repeats to feel at your best. Progress steadily through each interval and this session will reward you with a boost to your bike endurance and race-day speed.

Adapt for Ironman

Do this session in the latter stages of a longer ride so that your legs already have a few miles in them when it comes to increasing the pace.

Alternatively, try a double-ride day – do a longer ride in the morning, before a shorter session like this one later on, perhaps with a longer warm-up and cool-down.


Like this sub-1hr session? There are lots more in our Training section!