How to ride an Interval Training session

How to ride an Interval Training session

December 12, 2021

In this blog and video we showcase a training class and the emerging results. 

A 15 second interval at 130% of FTP is hard enough, but repeated again and again really pushes your cardiac and pulmonary system more than any threshold or sweet spot style workout can. Intervals like the one in the video are highly effective, but also highly fatiguing. You MUST be fresh and recovered before you attempt them to get the full benefit. 

No matter how fit you think you are you must be rested. To get a gage on this, if you can complete the workout even remotely fatigued, you simply were not working hard enough. 

There are 3 Rules to riding short hard intervals. 

  1. Full Power + Full Duration
  2. Full Power + Some Duration 
  3. Rest

Do not turn the resistance down, or gind out a half hearted effort. That just turns the workout into another sweet spot workout, thats not why we are here. 

After a great warm up that fully saturates your working muscle with oxygen, dilates your capillaries, lubricates your joints and elevates your heart rate; you are ready. 

Now, anything between 125% and 150% of your FTP is going to be right for you. The only way to know is through testing or experience.  Be bold, start hard (ish) and build endurance on top of power. 

If you are using a smart trainer that controls the resistance this is what you should do:

Watch the timer, but do not launch your effort until you feel the turbo trainer bite. Do not try and predict the load increase and spin up your cadence. 

When that bite hits, use a tight core and stable body as your brace to execute a few forceful pedal strokes to get the cadence up from a nice 90 rpm to 100-110 rpm. Don't go mad, let the turbo trainer add the resistance.  Then spin it out until the resistance drops. Bear in mind that depending on your connection and interference that you might not get the load or the release exactly on the timer. 

If you are using a dumb trainer:

Start about 80 rpm cadence, and accelerate up to 90rpm, then start shifting gears as you accelerate up to 100 rpm to keep the power on. 

If you are only using heart rate:

There is no way your Heart rate is going to be a helpful guide here. The lag will be too long. Go by rider perceived effort of 8.5/10 and try and replicate the same cadence and gear ratio every time. 

The video really highlights the importance of warm up, rest and fuel. It also shows how our bodies all react differently to this type of training. 

It will be a huge calorie burn, so fuel well with simple carbs about 15 mins before and during the long rest.  Have a protein shake 



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