What's the best way to pace for short segment KOM attempts?

I’m trying to devise a strategy for tackling short Strava segments that are within my reach. I’m currently doing low intensity training only on the bike, so at this point it’s a thought experiment to keep me stoked…

There’s a few of scenarios that I have in mind for segments 60 seconds long:

  1. Flat segment, unlimited run up
  2. Modest hill climb (5%), unlimited flat run up
  3. Flat segment, starting at a corner that you can take at x kph

I get that even power is ideal for maximum average power, but higher power when moving at lower speeds is better. What speed do you enter the segment at? How gradually do you build up to that?

You just need to forget to turn off your Garmin when you get in the car. :wink:
Just like half of the BS KOMs on Strava.


On short segments you have to ramp up the speed before the segment starts and hit it at full speed. I think it’s better to hit it at full speed even if you fade at the end.


Have a look at your PMC get your best power for the estimated time of the segment. Gives you a good starting point.

Then hit the segment flat stick(at that planned power)

1 Like

or e-bikes. flag it! flag it all! lol


Weather App > check wind direction > ride section only when the wind is in your favour

That’s how it’s done around this way :rofl:


30 knot tailwind gusting to 60 knots. What could possibly go wrong. :rofl:

I managed a top ten once during a night ride on one of my local trails. I was chasing my mate at top speed and forgot about the downhill section of the trail. 10th fastest of all time on a hard tail. I’ll take it.

1 Like


Melbourne, right now…

For the first 2 I’d ramp up to your power target coming into the start of the segment. For the last one, big dig to get up to speed and then ‘settle’ in to the effort.

Also in theory is different than in practice. You’re going to be fighting people on the KoM leaderboards who have more favorable wind and group lead outs.

I’m eyeing a 5 min uphill segment, totally within reach but will require an all time PR to get the KOM. I’ve estimated an average of just under 400w for approx 5 min. Largely VO2, with a need to pop into anaerobic often. I’m gonna get as nerdy as $ possible. I have some new 25c tubeless tires I’m hoping might save 1.3 w.

Good luck to your own virtual efforts.

:arrow_up: :arrow_up: :arrow_up: :arrow_up: … THIS !

Plus - take a look at you power curve to see what your 30s to 1m power is like.
If there is a steep drop off then you know you need to not go too hard too early as you’ll be outside of your optimum power band

Obviously - tailwind can be the differentiator in many KoM cases :grin:

For anything under a minute then you’ll need to practice to see what feels best - in most cases I’ve found getting out of the saddle but maintaining a hands on the drops ‘aero’ position and basically gutting myself is what works for me

Also experiment with cadence - I have found a higher band of cadence generally gives me better power results - by as much as 150w in some cases - but you need to find what works for you.

Good luck - but be safe and don’t take it all too seriously :grinning: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If its flat that’s different then a hill, but both cases you need to be carrying speed into the segment. BUT do it safely! Don’t run stop signs or cross the double yellow to cut a few feet off the segment.
Look at what your one min max power is, realize that aero plays a factor. Tight kit, fast tires and latex tubes. If its a hill, leave the bottles/bag/lights at the base, turn around and build some speed going into it. Don’t try and go into a headwind.

This is gonna sound strange, but…power is almost immaterial in short KOM segments. You are racing the clock, not power.

I would advise getting Strava Premium so you can track Strava segments live…then you will know during the effort where you stand vs. the KOM. Hit the segments at full speed and go as hard as you can and hope you can hold on for 60". Chasing the actual time you have to beat is like chasing another rider’s wheel in a race. You either hang on their wheel or you don’t…in this case, you either beat the time or you don’t.

1 Like