How To Pace A 20 KM Ride

How To Pace A 20 KM Ride In races lasting less than 4 minutes, research suggests that a self-selected continuous speed is the most effective pacing strategy. But cycling 20 kilometers (12.43 miles) is going to take quite a bit longer. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology examines several strategies for pacing an event of this duration.

It turns out that even pacing doesn't work very well. Of the 15 experienced cyclists who tried matching their best self-paced effort, nine didn't finish. They could only maintain the cadence for 51% to 83% of the distance. A parabolic distribution of effort allowed subjects to cycle at an average intensity greater than their maximum sustainable power output.

True Strength Moment: To apply this strategy, you'd either start off fast and end fast, decreasing your effort across the middle distance, or start and finish slower with the majority of your effort expended in the middle of the race. The study abstract didn't indicate which, but we're going with the quicker start and sprint to the finish.
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