Block Intervals

Robert Cole putting his block intervals to good use
on the White Horse Challenge

When & Why?
This deceptively challenging block of intervals can be used in the pre-competition phase or anytime in the mid-season to give a boost to your hill climbing, time trialling, or just plain ability to suffer at the end of a race in the lead up to the sprint.

Obviously ideal for a turbo session but can be built in to longer mid-week rides on the road.  No real risks on the road other than avoiding hills, junctions, and traffic lights.  Much easier to pace indoors!

This is a four week interval session, to be undertaken once a week, starting and finishing with Session A.

In week one you carry out Session A, with four, one minute efforts, starting with a low-ish gear, increasing the gear each minute and finishing in a medium gear.  At the end of four minutes you take a three minute, small ring recovery, then go again from the beginning to complete three sets.

Each week you increase the starting gear, until you're starting in a medium gear and finishing in a high-ish gear.  You're also adding an extra set each week to help bring on the fitness.

In the fourth, recovery week, you drop back to Session A to be amazed at how easy it all seems.  Whereas three weeks earlier it had you begging for the end!

The Warm Up Warning
All interval sessions require a thorough and proper warm up...

Once thoroughly warmed up and at "race pace" readiness, undertake the following session.

Session Description  A B C
Ten minute warm up    
One minute in  53 x  18 17 16
One minute in  53 x  17 16 15
One minute in  53 x  16 15 14
One minute in  53 x  15 14 13
Recovery Time (minutes) 3 3 3
Repeat this many times 3 4 5
Ten minute cool down      

Session Timings

Warm Up 10  
Interval Effort ~ up to 20  
Interval Recovery 12  
Cool Down 10  
Total Session Time 52 mins max

Session Schematic


  Duration in seconds shown up the side