YOUR INTERVALS NEED TO BE THE SAME INTENSITY
Are we missing the benefits if our first and last intervals vary?
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.”