True or False: No threshold work I do today is going to help me at the race this weekend

True. I don’t think you can get material adaptation from a threshold workout in just a matter of days. It takes consistency and time to move that needle.

But I’d like to hear opposing opinions.

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I’d question what “help me” means in particular. What is the expected race performance improvement from the effort proposed?

  • But to your question: True, because broadly speaking, training adaptations won’t manifest in the course of 5-6 days. Aside from doing taper level workouts (similar intensity with shorter duration), a regular type of workout might only add fatigue vs yielding benefit in this short term case.

But there is definitely a voice in your head saying “do it anyway, just in case” isn’t there? Be careful with the voices my man. Some of them are crazy


What if I mentally need it, to boost confidence?


I would think if someone has not ridden at threshold in a long time, is unfamiliar with the effort, and/or not comfortable on the bike putting forth that effort it could certainly help.

When I first started racing I remember the friend that got me into cycing had us doing threshold efforts the day before the race, LMFAO. We were killing ourselves the day before. A series called Super Week. Bless his heart he was trying to help, but no clue what he was doing. This was Cat 5 racing in WI in 2006.

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It absolutely will help! In fact you should increase intensity to 120%, cut recoveries down and increase the PL of the workout to at least an 8 or higher. Anything else is sacrificing good training time and will cause detraining right before the race (a time when you want peak performance).

See you on the course!

Your Competition


does some 3-min pushes and bagging a KOM count? Asking for someone on Strava :wink:

its not racing, end of January I set an all-time 20-min TT (power). Starting 5 weeks out, the 4 weeks prior had ~1% zone4/threshold time-in-zone per week. Three days before the TT, went out and spontaneously did 64-minutes at 90%. Felt strong and easy recovery. On Tuesday with a somewhat fresh +4 TSB, I smashed the 20-min TT.

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Yeah, I think that’s a good use case.

Or if you wanted to…say…do 2x6min threshold in an effort just to keep blood volume up.


Totally ok.

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say, even if its a shallow downhill with some sketchy pavement at the end of a grove of Oaks? :wink:

Yes, my coach gives me short threshold efforts, most recent was 5x5(5), basically same same as 2x6. I suspect he does it as a form of maintenance. Most of the real interval work is harder.

Man… I can go the other way sometimes though. If I don’t nail a threshold workout just before a race it can really get to me.


note the word ‘spontaneously’ and keeping a lid on it at 90%. We can debate if 90% is threshold, but the key was going out and feeling my legs and spontaneously wanting to continue. There’s a lot of ‘know thyself’ in all that.


A legit threshold workout? no, that won’t do much other than fatigue you. A truncated workout with extremely reduced length intervals would be helpful by keeping that effort familiar.


If it’s a B or C race maybe you could do it if you favor training plan progression/consistency over the race result.

If you had proper training before, skip/replace/reduce it with a taper version as said above.

If you have already been tapering for too long before or even come from week(s) off of training then do it (or a reduced version) to get your body into the rhythm again.

So it depends (as always) on many other factors not mentioned in your post.


I think you are dead on in your post. Why do you want an opposing viewpoint? @WindWarrior mentioned the best argument that I can think of, but even then I’d say work on your mental game.

Assuming this is an A race, then you want to taper. You just want to hit your energy systems a little to keep your engine primed and to let your body know what the different power levels feel like without accumulating too much fatigue.

If it is a B or C race, then I don’t think you should worry about that and just continue training. That threshold workout won’t do much good for the race this weekend, but might impact the race after that.

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Well primarily because I really am interested in what forum participants think.

Secondarily, the taper is working and I feel like I have lightning coming out of my hands. The thought of doing some deadlifts sounds delightful. Just trying to keep myself distracted a little.


What is your A event? I’m in the same boat right now fighting off the zoomies on every ride waiting to uncork it Saturday!

False. Might help - fitness bumps and losses happen when they happen. threshold and recovery might give you a wee boost or help maintain. Might also make you less fresh…

Define material adaptation - you can’t really do that. We can’t quantify the benefit of a consistent plan over weeks nor an individual session.

If a workout on Tuesday stimulates an adaptation that you recover with optimal sleep and rebuild from the nutrition you eat by Saturday such that you gain the 0.01s that gets you on the podium…then your proposition is false.

In short: We Don’t Know.

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I don’t know - this far out is it going to do any harm? Is it your A race? I had threshold this morning, will be racing on Sunday - cumulative fatigue is my only minor concern. But it’s not my A event though.

Mentally, I think hitting my workouts during the week helps me not getting suckered into doing to much in races, as I treat them as a race and not a workout*.

*I’m up a grade this year, so faster and longer races, so we’ll see whether that holds!