Workout that best simulates racing?

I am contemplating racing for the first time this upcoming season (Covid allowing…). What do you think are the best workouts in the library to simulate racing situations?

Depends entirely on the type of racing you are wanting to simulate.

One start is to look in the workouts library,

  • Use “simulation” as a search filter. You will find 32 by my count.
  • Try “race simulation” and you will get 13.
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If you look in the specialty plans, the biggest hardest workouts in the last few weeks (before the taper) are generally their attempt to simulate a race.

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I just had a quick look… I’m scared now :grin::grin:


+1 to depends on the racing.

You can go outside and simulate it yourself; one of my go-tos is to set up a short track XC course on some trails and go as hard as i can for 25 minutes, that incorporates fun stuff like handling skills as well.

Or you can do probably any of the simulation-filtered workouts. These are less realistic because you’re inside on a trainer but also in a way more realistic because you’re not in control of what happens (i.e. in a race if the move goes, you may have to go with it whether you want to or not).


Races in Belgium are like crits, but on a longer track, usually with a few short hills in them.

To that, if a person is looking to simulate a mass start event, I suggest largely NOT watching the workout steps too closely (note, this assumes ERG mode or at least Resistance and aiming to be “close” to the goal watts). It’s a bit like trying to read a race and not knowing exactly when people will punch it or let up. That “unknown” aspect is one key thing that is important to work on, from the mental side of things, IMO.


+1 on simulating it yourself… in 2020, during the 6-8 weeks before my target event, i went out to the same stretch of road and did hot-dogs on the rolling hills which were the closest thing to my event terrain that was close to where I live.
I did reps on that course nearly every week riding hard on the climbs, and recovering slightly on the downhills. I worked to improve two things:

  1. how fast I could do the course, and
  2. how many laps I could do on the course before feeling too exhausted to continue going hard. obviously the goal was to feel comfortable that i could do the entire event duration without getting exhausted.
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over unders and vo2max efforts are a great place to start!!

As brendan says, OU and VO2, will prepare your engine and physiology, but psychologically, in terms of enduring, or inflicting, the pain of unplanned, stochastic L7 efforts, nothing can. Just go do it! Is just like a really hard crit. Very very hard one to get through. I remember doing it after reading about it I’m favourite workouts thread but no ride history so maybe was a similar workout or I’m dreaming!