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One-Hour Workout: Changes in Pace Under Fatigue

This week’s workout focuses on changes in pace under fatigue and managing decreasing rest.

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This week’s workout focuses on changes in pace under fatigue and managing decreasing rest. Mentally this workout is fairly easy, because with each set you essentially remove the most difficult rep; but to keep it challenging (and effective!), be sure to attack the first rep of each set with the proper intensity, or risk settling into a lull. Physically, it’s a tough one that should be bookended by a recovery ride or run day.

It’s important to approach each set as if there are no sets that follow—this way you won’t hold back on the final short/fast rep of each set. Don’t be afraid to dig deep into this mid- to late-season workout—the idea is that any flaws in your fitness will be exposed here, well before race day.

Warm-up
Be sure to jog at least 10 minutes before beginning the main set. Because this is essentially a building fartlek, strides are unnecessary. However, halfway through your warm-up, find a few minutes to stretch out any nagging tightness—once the work begins, it’s best not to stop.

Main Set
4 min at 5/10 effort; 2 min easy
3 min at 6/10 effort; 1:30 min easy
2 min at 7/10 effort; 1 min easy
1 min at 8/10 effort; 1 min easy
2 x (30 sec at 9/10 effort; 30 sec easy)

Extra 30 sec easy

3 min at 6/10 effort; 1:30 easy
2 min at 7/10 effort; 1 min easy
1 min at 8/10 effort; 1 min easy
2 x (30 sec at 9/10 effort; 30 sec easy)

Extra 30 sec easy

2 min at 7/10 effort; 1 min easy
1 min at 8/10 effort; 1 min easy
2 x (30 sec at 9/10 effort; 30 sec easy)

[For an early-season version, add 30 sec to each recovery, and take away the first rep of the first set.]

Cool-down
10 min easy