Are we miss­ing the ben­e­fits if our first and last in­ter­vals vary?

Cycling Plus - - NEW KIT -

We ran this ad­vice past

PaulHough and Tim Ken­naugh of Tim Ken­naugh­Coach­ing, who largely dis­missed it.

“This isn’t true,” says Ken­naugh, “It de­pends on what your goal for the ses­sion is. If you are train­ing your VO sys­tem your last in­ter­val 2 might be worse than your first, but if you're still in your VO max zone 2 you’ll still be get­ting a ben­e­fit.”

“The type of in­ter­val pro­to­col has a pro­found ef­fect on the phys­i­o­log­i­cal adap­ta­tions that oc­cur,” adds Hough. “If the goal is to im­prove aer­o­bic fit­ness, in­ter­vals should be re­peated at a sim­i­lar in­ten­sity - around 88-95 per cent of your HR­max[ the high­est num­ber of beats per minute your heart can reach dur­ing max­i­mum phys­i­cal ex­er­tion]. These ses­sions should al­low suit­able re­cov­ery be­tween in­ter­vals so the ef­fort can be repli­cated. The Seiler study, us­ing a 4 x 8 minutes at 90 perc en tHR­max pro­to­col, pro­duced im­prove­ments in phys­i­o­log­i­cal per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors among cy­clists.

”Train­ing to im­prove max­i­mal power re­quires a qual­ity not quan­tity ap­proach. Each in­ter­val should last 5-20 sec­onds and be per­formed ‘all out’ with­out pac­ing. The re­cov­ery pe­riod should be 8-10 times as long as the work bout. Some drop in power is in­evitable on the fi­nal few sprints of this type of ses­sion.”

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