Interval training: makes your session go faster…

… and slower and faster and slower and … you get the picture.

I did some high cadence intervals today “and I liked it“. Years ago, I would work sprint training into the programme and liked that too for general strength building and busting through plateaux.

When “just riding” it’s easy to forget about doing any “maximum effort”, which seems to be where improvements can come. Today was not about turning huge gears but about turning small gears as fast as possible – 1 km on, 1 km easy for 10 times. (I don’t actually have a km counter on any bike at the moment – and quite like the freedom. For days like this, it does mean a lot of mental arithmetic, which is not very handy – but probably keeps the mind younger longer).

10 reasons I think I will keep doing these:

  1. leg speed. cyclefucius say: What can be bad about that?
  2. speed 2: Sherlock moment: if you can’t turn a small gear fast then you won’t be able to turn a large gear fast.
  3. keeps you warm: about 3ºC but didn’t feel it (probably too busy doing arithmetic).
  4. shorter racier session: which means feeling tired but not jaded. Being keen to do more is better than dreading the next one.
  5. reality: keeping under threshholds and measuring heart rates has never been my thing. In reality, you are going to go into the red and blow up and have to recover. It’s inevitable. Especially in mountain biking (which is what this training is for).  Intervals helps with this.
  6. variety: nuff said.
  7. time: intervals seem to crop up often in those “how to do cycling training and not get divorced” books. So seems like an efficient use of time.
  8. antedote to hills: I live at the top of a hill. So often coming home I am reduced to grinding and plodding. While mentally and physically toughening, this probably undoes some of the good training. Raising the cadence with intervals leaves your legs wanting more and I suspect raises average cadence in general.
  9. antedote to weights: see nunber 8.
  10. there is no number 10 (perhaps I’ll adopt “also good for mental arithmetic”).

So hurrah for intervals! (But you wait until we start with power and hill intervals which may be another story…)


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