We all secretly crave the ability to say “I am the best in the state”, but how do you train for such a specific race like the state criterium championships?

Yes VO2 work is needed and you can do the classic workouts to get you part way there, but for our CO State Criterium Championship Training Plan we are going to go one step further and do exact race replication efforts. To do this you take an old race file and pull it apart effort by effort, from there you create a workout that replicates the most common efforts of the race.

For 2017, the Colorado State Criterium Championship is being held on the downtown Longmont course, a six corner decently open course. Due to the nature of the six corner course there is pretty much a guarantee of six efforts a lap and those efforts vary based off of position and how active you are. We wont touch on tactics in this tip because I’ve already written a tip on how to learn criterium tactics (includes video, so have a look!).

Here is a file from 2015 where you can clearly see the pattern of efforts per lap.

Broken down the efforts end up being:

5 seconds at 180% of FTP followed by 8 seconds rest

5 seconds at 175% of FTP followed by 10 seconds rest

5 seconds at 180% of FTP followed by 8 seconds rest

13 seconds at 170% of FTP followed by 13 seconds rest

15 seconds at 165% of FTP followed by 5 seconds rest

3 seconds at 175% of FTP followed by 10 seconds rest


This is obviously a pretty hard workout and for this particular race file the athlete did 1 hour ten minutes of racing, or 60+laps. Instead of attempting to replicate this and destroying yourself in the process we are going to do a build that’s focused on your tolerance of high intensity, with the end goal of being able to do one third of the race in a workout. Accomplishing this will be more than enough to get you ready for race day.

For the build we will start with doing the set twice, giving the body 5 minutes to recover, and then do it again for a total of 4 sets. Each set is 46 seconds of Vo2 and all above 160% of threshold so these should hurt, but over the course of the 6 week plan your body will get stronger and better able to handle the intensity.

Here is the workout built out in TrainingPeaks

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Isaiah is a FasCat Coach and Category 1 racer out of Boulder, CO. Buy his Colorado State Criterium Training Plan here.  To talk with Isaiah about how else to ramp up your criterium racing game please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire or call 720.406.7444 to set up a Coaching Consultation.