Criterium Race Winner
Workout of the Week (WOW) March, week 2, 2013 (March.2.13)
Criterium Race Winner workout.
Often in Criteriums the race is relatively easy at the start, then gets harder and harder toward the end as the speed increases and more dangerous attacks get off the front. Some races end in field sprints, but many also end with a small group making it off the front and sticking it out until the end. This workout simulates a number of attacks and hard efforts which would be common during criterium racing in which you tried multiple moves, one stuck, and you sprint from that group for the win. Try it- make sure you go super hard (race pace) and the workout only lasts an hour or 1.5 hrs, so short, fast, and sweet.
This workout focuses on 5 minute efforts, or “matches” that are burned during efforts to break away and then sprint for the win. Try to keep the power above 106% FTP for the entire interval. Rest for 5-8 minutes between intervals. Complete 3-6 intervals depending on fitness, category, and time of year, or continue them until you cannot keep the power in the VO2 max power range for at least 4 minutes. Don’t worry if the last 1 or 2 efforts are very hard to get through, that is what it is supposed to feel like- racin’ ain’t easy!
• Warm up: At least 20 mins and then do a 5 minute interval at high tempo. Rest 5 mins. Do a 2 minute high cadence interval (110-120rpm), and then 1 minute all out with 3 min RBI.
• Main set: Ride in tempo zone until you are up to consistent speed (about 1 minute), then do an all-out sprint and breakaway attempt out of the saddle, followed by settling in to VO2 zone for 5 minutes. For the last 30 seconds, try to find a road marker at the end of about 200 meter and sprint for it. Complete 4-5 break and sprint efforts.
• Cool down: Cool down well for at least 15 minutes, and so some high cadence, low power spins.
Scot Ferguson is a USAC level 2 coach and certified in Power Based
Training (CPBT). Scot is a long time collegiate cyclist and raced for many
years with the UNR cycling team. He now coaches the UNR cycling team as well
as his own personal clients and strives to help them succeed. Additional
information about his coaching programs and contact with Scot can be found at