High Intensity Interval Training For Cycling: Should You Try It?

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, is a training method which combines short bursts of high intensity, with rest periods in between.

HIIT has become a popular in recent years, with the rise of the time crunched cyclist, looking for time efficient ways to fit training around other commitments. However, some studies have shown that it’s not any more effective than the traditional steady state training we’re used to doing over winter.

With lots of arguments for and against HIIT training, how do you decide if you’ll benefit?

Step one is take a look at your overall cycling goals for 2017. If you’re looking to improve your sprinting, leg speed or power output then adding a couple of HIIT sessions to your training could help you get closer to your goals.

Working in Zone 5 during intervals develops your cardio system and VO2 max which will enhance your overall power output. Whilst aiming for an RPM of 110 or above will give you an opportunity to practise and improve your leg speed.

Step two is to take a look at your lifestyle and how you currently train. If you work full time, have a family, or other commitments, it’s likely that your training time will be severely squeezed. This is where a HIIT session can help, you can maintain fitness and meet your goals in a fraction of the time compared to other training methods. However, it’s best to integrate HIIT sessions in the week, with longer base training at the weekends, to ensure you keep training enjoyable, stay motivated and have the opportunity to build up other aspects of cycling fitness, like technique.

We’ve developed some leg speed sprint power workouts for you to follow. These deliver all the benefits of HIIT training, but in a more measured and structured way.

Session 1: 28 minutes

Time Zone RPE RPM
   
Warm up 3 minutes @ 80/85/90 rpm
2 minutes @ 85/90/95 rpm
1 minute 30 seconds @ 90/95/100 rpm
1 minute 30 seconds @ 95/100/105 rpm
1 minute @ 100/105/110 rpm
1 minute @ 80/85/90 rpm
MAIN SET
30 Z5 9 110
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110
Warm down 10 min

 

 

Session 2: 31 minutes

Time Zone RPE RPM
Warm up 3 minutes @ 80/85/90 rpm
2 minutes @ 85/90/95 rpm
1 minute 30 seconds @ 90/95/100 rpm
1 minute 30 seconds @ 95/100/105 rpm
1 minute @ 100/105/110 rpm
1 minute @ 80/85/90 rpm
MAIN SET  
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
1 min at warm-up resistance Z1 2 85 - 90
30 sec Z5 9 110 - 115
Warm down 10 min

Want more training advice? Visit our training page for more sessions and training plans.


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