BonderenkoAim of Session

This session is designed to practise hitting a target race pace work going more on feel than using defined target powers


Session description

WARM UP: Allow time for a 10 to 15 minute warm-up, included in session duration
MAIN SET: One set = 5 mins at 25 mile TT pace; 3 mins at 10 mile TT pace; 2 mins at 5 mile pace; 1 min at 3 km pace; 10 sec sprint. Equal recovery after each work rep; 5 mins between each set
COOL DOWN: 10 minutes in zone 1/2, high cadence, included in session duration


Working around the second threshold and Critical Power will challenge the body to balance lactic acid production / clearance, as well as provide energy at a high rate of delivery. More of the physiology of this session can be seen in the description of the power pyramid.

Application for the Rider

This session is a progression of the power pyramid – similar intensities are used i.e. around the second threshold, but the rider is asked to hit race pace on feel. The equal recovery time should allow near to complete recovery, ensuring quality work is achieved in each block. This makes it useful in the season build when preparing for the first races early season (more than one set); and / or an ideal ‘race tuning’ session in the pre race taper (one set)

Practicalities and tips!

  • As with most interval type sessions, the aim is to maximise the ability to hit (and sustain) the target pace / intensity. Either perform this session on a turbo, or on a route you know you can complete each block at the set time (i.e. recovery duration is important).
  • This is a race specific session, so perform on your race bike, in your race position.
  • Stay seated for the sprint, but make sure you are secure if on a turbo! Setting your bike up between a door can be a useful way to ensure safety.
  • Make a mental note of the best gear / cadence combination, particularly if doing more than one set. Choices close to race specific gear / cadence are ideal, as again they help you find the right race pace level.
  • Cover over your power meter display unit or change the fields available to view. Riding ‘blind’ means you are not tempted to use known race levels but attempt to tune in to how the bout FEELS.
  • This session is an ideal one to use mental strategies you wish to try in racing: visualisation of racing will help you tune in to the race pace required too.

Evaluation of the session

  • Have you completed all the blocks? Did you hit the anticipated powers? If not, where did you start to come off target?
  • What do you feel to be the hardest part of the session – recovering in time for the next block, or hitting the target power of the block?
  • Did your heart rate reach that expected for the power you were trying to reach? If yes, this shows two valuable things: your ability to hit a new steady state and reduce oxygen deficit; AND good responsivity shows you are on top of the training load generally (tiredness can make heart rate increases / decreases sluggish)
  • Did your heart rate recover before the next block i.e. return close to the baseline heart rate in the zone 2 at the beginning of the session? This is good to monitor your fitness improvement.
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