10:20 Aerobic Development Intervals

Speed Endurance paying off in the Ronde Sable sur Sarthe

When & Why?
There is nothing deceptively challenging about these intervals.  They are challenging, very challenging and should be tackled only once a week after you've put a solid endurance base in your legs.

Good for nudging back the boundaries of speed endurance, high speed cruising, lactate tolerance and of course developing your aerobic system.

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

So if you live in Jersey it's the Five Mile Road; for our non-island readers it's our longest, flattest road but it's not five miles long.  Unless you turn around at the end and come back.  The whole islands only 9 miles by 5!  Where were we?

This is a four week interval block to be undertaken once a week, when fully recovered from previous exertions.  Use a gear, just one higher than you think you need but don't be over-geared.  You'll soon know which is the right gear to use.

As you end your warm-up, cruise up to a high tempo pace.  Then, hit the interval (and your stopwatch) with full commitment and build up to your full-on lead out pace after five seconds, and hold it for a further five.  Don't sprint, don't "jump" in to the interval, just take five seconds to get up to a sustainable speed.  Back off for twenty seconds. 

You won't actually bleed off that much speed, so subsequent intervals starts from a higher speed and should lessen the "heavy legs" by trying to get on top of the gear.  This is a forty minute speed session, not a strength session.

Repeat the intervals until ten minutes have passed and you've done twenty, ten second intervals.

Take a five minute recovery at "taking your bike for a walk" pace.  Then repeat the first bit for another ten minutes!  If you're really, really, really on your game, you might be able to squeeze out three ten minute sessions. 

Whatever the number you attempt, as soon as the quality of the effort begins to drop, STOP the session immediately and go straight to recovery mode. 

Don't think you can take a rest and go again.  Take the hint, finish the session there and then, recover and cool down and attack it with commitment the following week.  There is NOTHING to be gained from knocking out sub-100% intervals.

In the fourth, recovery week, just do one ten minute session but with the same intensity. 

When you can get to the end of three sessions comfortably, your work is done.  Go and try something else.

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

Start Stopwatch  
10 seconds on ~ 20 seconds off  
10 seconds on ~ 20 seconds off  
Repeat until 10 minutes are up  
5 minute Recovery  
10 seconds on ~ 20 seconds off  
10 seconds on ~ 20 seconds off  
Repeat until 10 minutes are up  
Stop Stopwatch  
Cool Down  

Session Timings

Warm Up 10  
Interval Effort 20  
Interval Recovery 5  
Cool Down 5  
Total Session Time 40 mins

Session Schematic



  Duration in seconds shown up the side