Whether it’s a stage of the Giro or a long gravel race, your ability to go hard after spending hours wearing down your legs is critical. And this is something you can train. EF Education–EasyPost rider Lachlan Morton has gained the reputation as the king of adventure and gravel riding alongside his World Tour career. One of his favorite workouts is perfect to do about a week to 10 days before a big race. It’s a great session for building confidence as you move into your taper or rest.
“[Do it] when you are confident enough of your condition that you know you can get through it and feel better having done it,” says Morton. “You’re trying to turn your endurance and whatever intensity work you’ve done into a more specific race form.” This workout is also good to do toward the end of the season when you’re tired of structured training and only need one hard session in the week to maintain your fitness.
There’s two parts. The first part is unstructured long climbing and sub-threshold work. The final hour involves more structured work with a race-specific finish. Morton considers this type of workout free training, meaning you get the benefits of a tough workout without the mental focus required from structured sessions.
Morton tries to make this workout feel like a race. He avoids looking at his power or heart rate often—every third minute at most. He wants to feel the effort. Focusing on average power and struggling to stay above that average on every little descent is not the purpose. Instead, rest on the descents and go a little harder on the climb, because that’s what you’d do in a race.
Workout of the Week: Lachlan Morton’s Race Prep
For Morton, this workout takes about four hours, but you can adjust it to match the length of your gravel or long race. If you’re a gravel racer or don’t have access to climbs, do a mountain bike ride instead and push hard over the steep stuff, touching on race-specific zones.
2-3 hrs. riding
- Include 3-4 climbs
- Spend half the time in Zone 3, climbing by perceived effort
1 hr. motor pacing or Zwift race
- 30 min. easy, focusing on leg speed
- 30 min. with 1 min. attacks, recovering at speed