Cycling Week 2: Interval Training

February is here and TriDu is less than 5 weeks away! Unfortunately, February also means midterms looming over my head, so I have been struggling to balance my crazy workload and training schedule lately. Right now, the only real free time I have to work out is before class, so I am trying my best to become a morning exerciser (which, if you know me at all, might be more of a challenge than the triathlon itself!).

I feel like Bradley Wiggins whenever I survive my Tabata intervals.
Image courtesy of Google Images

This week I am starting to ramp up my bike training with some interval training. Here are some intervals that I have been using from to help increase my endurance, power, and threshold pace on the bike. The number of sets can be increased or reduced depending on which distance you are training for, and can be done inside on a bike trainer or outside on your road bike (or in my case, rusty hybrid).
Increase endurance: Flying 40s
This workout allows you to build lots of power so you can deal with multiple surges (like when you’re climbing the hills around campus on race day!) On a medium to high gear, alternate between 40 seconds of pushing hard and 20 seconds of recover. Repeat 10 times per set for a total of 10 minutes. Rest for five minutes, and then do it again for up to 4 sets.
Increase power: Tabata Intervals
Japanese exercise scientist Izumi Tabata’s method involves extremely short bursts of intense effort followed by a short recovery period over 4 minutes. Four minutes might not seem like much, but he found that those who did this exercise regularly along with steady-state training showed significant improvements over those who did steady state only. Sprint as quickly as possible for 20 seconds, and then coast for 10 seconds. Repeat this six to eight times.
Increase threshold pace: Attack Intervals
These intervals will help you sustain your attack efforts over a longer period of time. Ride as hard as you can for two minutes and then recover for two minutes per set. Repeat for up to three sets.
Enjoy the intervals and your training this week! Don’t forget to share your training experiences with us on Twitter using the #TriHard hashtag.

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