Workout of the Week: Start Preparation

Practice gradually tapering your speed for events with fast starts.

Female cyclist accelerating through a wooded road

This workout is useful for specific start training to get accustomed to fast speeds that are common at many endurance events. By working well above threshold and gradually tapering your effort down, you can learn to find your rhythm and not panic after the first few minutes, knowing that you can gradually settle in and not experience a dramatic drop in speed.

RELATED WORKOUT: Short Stack Intervals with Over-Unders

You can customize the interval sessions to accommodate your own needs for racing, so this example is simply one way to do it. I use this start preparation mostly for gravel, mountain bike, and cyclocross events where start speeds are typically high.

Workout of the Week: Start Preparation


12 min. @ 85-95 rpm, ramping 55-70% FTP

2 × 1 min. @ 95-105 rpm, 100-105% FTP
2 min. rest @ 50-55% FTP

Main set

2-4 sets:

90 sec. @ 90-100 rpm, 115-130% FTP
2 min. @ 85-95 rpm, 105-110% FTP
3 min. @ 80-90 rpm, 95-100% FTP
6 min. @ 80-90 rpm, 85-89% FTP

7 min. set rest @ 50-60% FTP


10 min., ramping down 60-50% FTP