Trevor Raab Training at tempo pace is, in a word, confusing. It’s that pace that’s just above your endurance zone —the conversational, go-all-day pace—while staying below your threshold —the hard pace that takes a fair amount of effort and concentration. Tempo is the zone we accidentally fall into when we’re going too hard on easy days , or when we’re lagging during intervals .
In short, when it comes to the cycling zones, we often dismiss tempo workouts as in a zone known as “no man’s land” and therefore, we should avoid it. It’s been referred to as “comfortably hard,” making it seem like an oxymoron worth avoiding. But as many coaches and experts will tell you, if you use it right, it can play a valuable role in your training.
Here, we chatted with the experts to figure out exactly what tempo on the bike is, how to harness its powers for good, and the best ways to use it in training . Video player poster image What exactly is a tempo workout for cyclists?
You know those rides where you’re supposed to be riding at endurance pace, but another cyclist whizzes past you and you notice that you’ve suddenly increased your pace to just a bit harder in order to keep up with them? That pretty much sums up tempo efforts.
“It’s the hardest steady state you can ride in while staying entirely aerobic ,” says Lorri Lee Lown, founder of Velo Girls and longtime head coach at Savvy Bike […]
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