The Greater the Pain, the Greater the Gain
A minimal amount of time is spent training in the severe domain (Zones 4 and 5 – intervals), but this is where you achieve the most significant performance gains. Limited to around one or two sessions per week, these sets are extremely hard, but maximise your body’s ability to deal with pain. The more of them you complete, essentially, the more you can tolerate.
Typically, these interval sets comprise anything from 8 x 4min above 80% peak power output to 3 x 10 min at threshold power. And then there are my personal favourites (not!): under/overs, in which you spend 2:30 at 95% FTP and 30s at 110% FTP, which usually takes the form of 3 x
9 min sets.
“There are other variations, including Tabata intervals, but the aim of these sessions is to repeatedly stress the physiological systems that will be utilised during endurance-based exercise,” explains Salzwedel. “These repeated stresses cause supercompensation, which results in improved performance.”