How to Incorporate Long Intervals, Part 3: Progressive Programming Over 6–8 Weeks

We’ve been discussing why longer intervals should be an integral part of your indoor cycling workouts. By now, you should recognize that intervals of 5 minutes or longer are extremely beneficial from both a physical and mental perspective, whether you have bikes with power or not, and whether you have riders who are cyclists or are simply enthusiasts who haven’t ridden a bike since their first tricycle.

Everyone can and will benefit.

While I know there are many instructors who still are not sure of longer intervals, I’m still surprised at how many only do super-short ones. Just as I was preparing this post, in one of the online forums, an instructor was surprised about 4-minute intervals and said her riders are only used to 1-minute ones. I’m so glad she asked that question—she’s NOT alone—and she has some really excellent questions about how to go about teaching longer intervals. She got the best answer possible by ICA contributor Bill Pierce. 

In this chapter, I will cover her question about the intensity your intervals should be performed (whether there should be “variation”), and provide a sample time table and programming ideas for gradually increasing the length of the intervals and teaching riders to understand pacing. In the next chapter, I’ll dive deeper into the visualization and coaching techniques Bill touches on to help you inspire your riders to stay committed for these longer efforts.

How to prepare your riders for the 20-minute field test with progressively longer intervals

Be sure to check out How to Incorporate Long Intervals, Part 4: Music for Longer Intervals

2 Responses to “How to Incorporate Long Intervals, Part 3: Progressive Programming Over 6–8 Weeks”

  1. Ellen Chan says:

    Thanks for wonderful article, learn a lots from Bill too

  2. CarolineGayton says:

    This is just what I’ve been looking for, a progression over 6 weeks, thank you very much.

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