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Effective cycling interval training

How you should train effective cycling intervals depends on your goals ahead of you and where you are on the season timeline according to those goals. Some studies have been made to show how to do effective cycling interval training.

Studies have shown that a training week at 500 km / 300 miles, the most effective cycling intervals you can do is 4-6 intervals of 6-10 minutes with heart rate of 93-95%.

Both when training in groups and training alone these studies shows that effective cycling interval should be trained close to your maximum performance. At the same time the studies shows that effective cycling intervals is achieved when you build a set of intervals on a given day.

Jens Voigt from Team CSC setting a hard pace in a Team Time TrialOn a 10 min. interval range run around. 93% of max pulse and sometimes you may be so fresh that you actually have to run 95% of max pulse, it entirely depends on how your body works on the day. Ranges of 5-10 min and run with a pulse you can hold throughout the interval, are those which increase your oxygen uptake and therefore also the ones who really improves your performance.

Your body is a living organism and do not work equally every day. You are affected by your thoughts and extraneous things, physically as mentally. To achieve an effective cycling interval you must adjust your intervals to the exact day you are training.

You should start your first interval after aprox 1 hour of your training. In between the intervals, you should not get a high pulse. Stay on yor bike in a very easy pace in about 60 % of your max heart rate until you have to run the next interval. Typically, the delay is about 10 min between each interval.

But if you are not fresh on the day and you find it hard to get the pulse up in that area you should prefer not to practice interval training at all. Not beeing able to the puls up in the 90-95 % area of your max pulse indicates that your body is not completely rested. In exact those situations it is good to have a coach who regularly can help you get adapted to these trainingdays.

Optimum will be to train 2-3 intervals, beginning after approximately. 1 hour of warmup / training, which run consecutive with approximately 10 min. resting on your bike with easy pace in about 60 % of your max heart rate until you have to do the next interval. At a day of training with effective cycling interval your 2-3 intervals hould be finished when you reach the half of the training distance.

If you feel realy good after 2-3 intervals you can add a 20 min interval in which to run in pulse Zone 4 - 84-90% of max pulse or maybe some hill sprints. Doing this you must have your next trainingdays in mind, and assess whether you can recover till this day of training.

You need to push hard to improve cycling performanceIf  you are feeling tired or exorsted one day do not train interval training. It only makes sense to train cycling intervals by 90 % or more when you are fresh and fully recovered. Interval training is really hard training so if you are tired one day where you have scheduled interval training then relax and wait till another day so you have the power to do effective cycling interval training.


Practice max two days in a row and never interval training two days in a row. That is a good rule to remember for all cyclists under the elite level when you have to rescedule you training days sometimes.

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