Eastern Bloc Cycling Club
Not much action in this forum so I'll throw out a topic... Interval training
It is well known that interval training can be very beneficial to cycling performance and overall fitness. I do interval training in the winter as part of a structured training plan that usually has me pretty fit come springtime. However, I tend to not do any structured interval training during the riding season. Ad-hoc intervals, like trying to hang on during a fast section of a group ride or doing a hill at high intensity, yes but anything that looks like an actual structured workout, no.
Question: assuming doing structured interval training during the season would be beneficial, how much and which type do any of you do? Do you feel like this helps you maintain or even improve during the year?
It all comes down to your season goals. Interval training happens all year round but at different levels of intensity. Intervals should be structured to get the most out of the effort. The recovery interval in between hard efforts is as important to the training. Very difficult to accomplish on a group ride.
Group rides can be OK for open ended workouts like endurance rides, or race pace intensity rides. Intervals are a solitary endeavor because you are aiming at your limits, not those of the people around you.
Here is a decent article on interval training, I feel that increasing your VO2 max (the maximum volume of oxygen an athlete can use) is so important and is very much over looked. As a track coach we train VO2 max in the last 1/3 of all our seasons (X/C, indoor and outdoor track) with the distance runners I coach. I personally have seen so many gains on the track at peak times due to the increase in stroke volume and oxygen consumption increases. I feel there is a time and place for this type of training and is accomplished much better on a solo ride.
Article with examples... http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/fitness/interval-training-%E2%80%A8the-long-short-121219