Race-Pace Workout

Emma-Kate Lidbury provides a bike session to guarantee your legs are race ready as soon as your feet hit the pedals


15-20min steady ride, build the pace and include some 20-30sec pick-ups increasing to maximum effort, so you’re thoroughly warmed up.

Main session

3 x 60secs above race pace, 60secs easy between; 4 x 45secs 5% harder, 45secs easy between; 6 x 30secs 10% harder, 30secs easy between; 8 x 15secs best effort, 15secs easy between. 3mins easy spin, straight into 5mins at race pace.


10min easy spin, high cadence.

Equipment needed

Bike, bike shoes, bike kit/clothing, helmet, glasses, energy drink, speedometer/bike computer/power meter.

Performance benefits

This workout will help keep your legs firing so they’re ready for action from the first pedal stroke on race day. Be sure to warm up well and hit each interval at the correct intensity. Keep your cadence high on the cool down to flush your legs. If time permits, do some gentle stretching after the session too, to keep everything loose in the days leading up to the race.

Mental benefits

Use the time spent working at or above race pace during this session, to visualise your upcoming race. Make a mental checklist of things you will think about while riding and check these off during this session. These things should then spring to mind more readily come race day. Being prepared in this way breeds confidence, which in turn yields success.

Physiological benefits

This session will get you working at and above race pace for long enough to prepare your body for racing, yet the intervals are short enough not to tax your legs too greatly. This makes it the ideal session to do a few days out from a race, when you need to keep your body working at race intensity but not for too long. The initial 3 x 60sec intervals above race pace do not need to be significantly higher than your planned race pace, but don’t be afraid to work – and then increase the effort as the intervals get shorter.

How to fit it in

Depending on your schedule in the days leading up to the race, plan to do this session three to four days out from the event. It shouldn’t tax your legs too greatly, but avoid doing harder runs on the same day. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s best doing nothing in the days before the race: you need to keep some intensity.

Adapt for Ironman

You could easily make this session 90mins long and make the final race-pace interval 10-15mins. You could also add in 5 x 2min efforts, increasing the pace every 30secs, with the final 30secs at race pace.