5 Interval Training Tips

Interval training is one of the most time efficient training methods you can use to improve your cycling performance. Despite the benefits they are one of the hardest sessions to perform – mainly because they hurt.

Below we’ll share 5 tips to help you get the most from your interval workouts:

1. Mentally Prepare

Most interval workouts hurt physically. It is crucial to prepare for your interval sessions mentally so you’re focussed enough to stay the course and complete each workout as planned. I always try to think beforehand about the goals i’m using intervals to help me achieve. I tend to think of a particular race, sportive or time trial I want to perform well in and remind myself that this interval workout is a tool to help me perform in that race.

Interval Training

2. Schedule Your Session

Write down on a post it note or piece of paper a quick schedule of exactly when in your workout your intervals will start and finish. Having a written schedule means you’ll be less likely to cut your intervals short or start them before you’re fully warmed up. I also sometimes pre-program interval sessions into my Garmin bike computer  to help keep me on track.


3. Keep an Eye on the Measurables

One of the benefits of intervals are that they allow you to pack a lot of benefit into relatively short sessions on the bike. In order to get the best out of them try to keep an eye any metrics you have. If you can measure things like cadence, heart rate or even power output you’ll be able to ensure you get the best from your sessions as well as measure your progress.

While it’s perfectly possible to perform intervals by just relying on your perceived effort, measuring things like heart rate will allow to add more structure to your workouts which will almost certainly help you get the best out of your efforts.


4. Focus on Active Recovery

In between intervals it can be tempting to stop pedaling and collapse on the bike. Aim to gear down and keep the legs moving during the recovery periods between intervals. Practicing this active recovery will help your body learn to recover quicker while also not letting you let your heart rate slip too low meaning you’ll get the most out of your next interval.


5. Cool Down & Recover

Intervals are tough sessions and place significant strain on your body. Always be sure to cool down with at least 10 minutes of easy pedaling afterwards. Once you get off the bike ensure you replace any lost fluids and eat a mix of protein and carbohydrates to ensure your body has the fuel to recover as quickly as possible.

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