Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Ever wonder what the top pros do in the days leading into a race? For this week’s one-hour workout, we have the bike session that former 70.3 world champion Holly Lawrence does the day before every race. We also did this workout with Lawrence yesterday in the first of our Triathlete monthly Zwift rides—stay tuned for details for the next Zwift ride, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 1, at 9 a.m. MDT.
Lawrence said: “I think people often wonder what’s best to do in the days before a race. I’ve been doing this same prep session for the last few years, so hopefully others can use it and find it helpful too.”
During yesterday’s Zwift ride, Lawrence answered questions from athletes who joined from all over the world, including the U.K., France, Switzerland, South Africa, and Germany, on topics as diverse as her recovery, her upcoming wedding, and her race day fueling.
The workout involves a 20-minute warm-up in Zone 1 (rate of perceived exertion, RPE 4 out of 10) followed by a 10-minute interval in Zone 3.5-4 (RPE 7-8/10) at a cadence of 75-85 RPM. You’ll then spin easy for five minutes in Zone 1 before the main work of the session: two rounds of four-minute intervals at Zone 5-6, ideally in the TT position, with four minutes recovery in Zone 1 between each. These will definitely raise your heartrate and, after the first four-minute interval, Lawrence typed on Zwift: “That was a climbing effort for me for sure after Saturday, but remember when you do this pre-race you’re fresh.” (Lawrence finished sixth at 70.3 St George this past Saturday).
Wrap up the workout with a 10- to 20-minute easy cooldown to bring your heartrate and breathing rate back down.
One-Hour Workout: Holly Lawrence’s Pre-Race Ride
20 min. @ Z1 or RPE 4/10
10 min. @ Z3.5-4 or RPE 7-8/10 @ 75-85 RPM
5 min. @ Z1 or RPE 4/10
2 x [4 min. @ Z5-6 or RPE 9-10/10 in TT position; 4 min. recovery @ Z1 or RPE 4/10]
10-20 min. @ Z2 or RPE 5/10