Last Pacing Post
Even though pacing is one of my favorite topics - as you can undoubtedly tell from my long string of posts on this subject - I promise that this is my last for some time. I want to share with you an interval workout that is great not only for improving your ability to negative split but also for building muscular endurance. ME is the key ability for steady state racing such as time trials, triathlons, and running road races. It should be the a primary focus of your training for such events during the Build training period.
Here is the bicycle version. It requires a power meter. A heart rate monitor simply won't work for this kind of session as it is not sensitive enough to give you good data about pacing.
1. After warm-up do a 10-minute work interval at just below functional threshold power (FTP). This is roughly the equivalent of your lactate or anaerobic threshold power. If you have done my CP30 self-test or know your actual CP60 from a race then that is what you would use for a power level on this first interval. So if your FTP (or self-test CP30 or CP60 or AT/LT power) is 250 watts try to make this first one 245-249w. You may find it very difficult to do this if you are not good at pacing. Watch your power meter very closely.
2. Recover for 2 minutes by spinning easily. Check your average power for the first interval.
3. Do an 8-minute work interval at a slightly higher power than the first. So let's say you averaged 248w on #1. For#2 try to average 250w.
4. Recover for 2 minutes and again check your average power for interval #2.
5. If the average power on #2 was higher than for #1 then repeat the 8-minute interval. If the power for #2 was lower than for #1 subtract 2 minutes and make this a 6-minute interval. Again, try to beat the power of the previous interval, but only slightly.
6. Recover 2 minutes and check power for the third interval the same as before.
7. If the power for #3 was higher than for #2 repeat the same duration as #3. If it was less subtract 2 minutes.
8. Recover. Check previous interval power.
9. Continue with this same process until your interval becomes 4 minutes. This is the last one regardless of what happens.
If you are poor at pacing your intervals will go 10-8-6-4 and you're done. 28 minutes of FTP work. That's a good session so your ME should be nicely challenged. But you also know you need to focus on pacing. The fact that you are fading as the workout progresses gives you a good idea of what also happens in a race. Learn to hold back at the start and you will maintain a much higher average power and produce a faster race.
If you are good at pacing (and have your FTP correct) then the work intervals may have totaled 36 or more minutes. That's excellent.
This same workout may be done running using a pacing device or on a track with a stopwatch but reduce the subsequent work intervals by 3 minutes. So the intervals may go something like this: 10-7-4 (21 minutes total) or 10-7-7-4 (28 minutes).
I guarantee you that this workout will improve your pacing ability and your ME fitness if done once a week throughout the Build period.
OK, that's my last negative splits/pacing post for a while. I promise.