A criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course often held on blocked-off city streets. The course is short, usually less than 5 km, and is a closed circuit, where riders complete multiple laps. Riders typically race for a given length of time, then complete a specified number of laps. An example would be a race of 60 minutes plus three laps.
In addition to the typical method of determining a winner -- first rider across the finish line -- many crits have prizes that can be won while the race is in progress. Called primes (pronounced "preems"), these are given for winning specific laps along the way and are frequently cash prizes or merchandise.
Criteriums are especially nice for watching in-person as the riders pass by a given point many times over the course of a race.
This Bicycling magazine, Hunter Allen Criterium Race training plan will help you get ready! Let me introduce myself, Hunter Allen, your coach! I have raced in hundreds of criterium races (and won a few too!) as an amateur and a pro, and coached even more athletes to successful criterium races.
This plan is for the road cyclist that wants to do a crit race and has between 7-12 hours a week to train. This is a beginner/intermediate plan and the workouts are difficult, challenging and fun and for certain will make sure you are ready.
My 4 week Crit training plan will prepare you ride in the pack, handle the speed and be ready for the corners and hard jumps out of them to get ready for the win! Make sure your following each days training, don't give up. This plan is hard but will make you faster!
To complete this plan you should have 4-6 weeks of "base" training totaling at least 500 miles of riding to ensure you are ready to complete this plan.
The plan consists of workouts at various effort levels. It offers wattage, heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) options so you can gauge yours effort whether you use a power meter, an HR monitor, or prefer to work out by feel.