Explanation of Interval Types

AnT I.T.1 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min: 1min rest between intervals (at E1). Increase speed over each interval aiming for a HR during the last 5 seconds at AnT HR.
AnT I.T.2 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min: 1min rest between intervals. Increase the speed as above.
AnT I.T.3a 10min @ 80%, 15min @85%, 20min @AnT HR. No rest period. Refer to map: I.T.3 route suggestion
AnT I.T.3b Perform 40-45min @ AnT HR in intervals. Minimum of 2, max of 9 int’s.  Work rest ratio: 3:2
V02max I.T.4 1min @ maximum: 2min rest x4; 10min rest between intervals (at E1).  repeat 2-3 times
V02max I.T.5 2min @ (maximum) 120RPM: 3min rest x4, 10min rest (E1); 1min @ (maximum) 125RPM: 2min rest x12, 10min rest (E1)Wind-trainer only.
V02max I.T.6 2min @ (maximum) 120RPM: 3min rest x4, 10min rest (E1); 1min @ (maximum) 125RPM: 1min rest x7, 10min rest (E1). .  Wind-trainer only.
Power I.T.7 Sprint 10-15seconds (maximum speed): 1-2min rest (until HR has returned to 75% or below) x6, repeat 2-3 times
Strength-Power I.T.8 Same as above but use same gear as strength intervals except longer sprint (15-20seconds) and longer rest period (1:30-2min).
Strength n/a Perform at given intensity and cadence, which determines gear selection.  Interval time is given as work rest ratio.

Guidelines for performing these intervals:

Warm-up (for all interval types): around half an hour should be performed at an increasing intensity, beginning at 6/10 rising to 8/10 ratings of perceived exertion (R.P.E.).  1 is no effort, 10 is maximal.  Consider longer warm-ups on colder days, shorter warm-ups when performed on a wind-trainer.  Note – during the winter months expect to have lower heart rates in most training zones (e.g. maximum and AnT), due to colder temperatures.

Wind-trainer use: is beneficial for interval training because the focus is quality rather than quantity (of kilometres).  Shorter periods of time cycling can be performed as you don’t need to bike out to a suitable area for interval practice and warm-up can be performed in a shorter time.  However, it is important to also practice ‘hard miles/training’ in specific conditions to racing (i.e. on the road).

Frequency of intervals (per week): generally you are to do interval training twice weekly.  For example on a week focussing on Power, “x2” will be written next to I.T.7.  On a week with a mixed focus, one interval session from both types will be used.

Choice of area for interval practice: should be somewhere devoid of traffic and intersections (preferably).  The Halswell Downs are good because they provide undulating terrain.  A block circuit can be used (repeating in an anti-clockwise direction, as to avoid traffic by making left hand turns), at the Downs and elsewhere, as to experience all different wind directions (important for flat racing simulation).  Use a block circuit particularly when it is windy.  If hill work is required then a circuit/hill repeat can be used to achieve all of the types of intervals.  A list below outlines rough times for some of the climbs (and circuits) in the Canterbury region:

Location/name of roads or hill/circuit Time Dist.
Cashmere Road to Hackthorne/Dyers Pass Road (first) junction. Either up Dyers Pass or Hackthorne Road and down the alternate 5mins
Cashmere Road to Takahe 8mins
Cashmere Road to Kiwi

Mt Pleasant Road to Summit and down Evans (or reverse) 16mins (25mins reverse)

V02max intervals up hills can be performed anywhere, with the return journey down the way you go up.

Specifics for strength and power based intervals

I.T.7: select the gear which you would normally sprint in at the end of the race (or higher).  Begin to ‘wind up’ your speed in the 10 seconds before the start of the interval.  Stand and sprint until you’ve reached maximum speed then stop.  Do with a tailwind or slight false flat downhill.

I.T.8: is from a standing or slow rolling start in the same gear you use for strength intervals, with the emphasis on straining (the legs) to get up to maximal speed.  Therefore these intervals will be longer in time and have a longer recovery period.

I.T.7 and 8 are performed on the flat.

Strength intervals are performed in a gear, which elicits 80-90% intensity of maximum heart rate, and a cadence as specifically prescribed.  Generally the older and more experienced in cycling you are, the slower the cadence you (your knees) can tolerate.

These can be performed on the flat or hills, road or time trial position – essentially in whichever mode that you want to improve, is used.  Special care needs to be taken to progressively overload (but not overload) the musculo-skeletal structures during these intervals, hence an introductory week and varying cadence determined by experience and age.


AnT: acronym for ‘Anaerobic Threshold.’  This is at the point (marked by a heart rate range determined in the lactate profile laboratory test) of exercise when you begin to use predominantly anaerobic metabolism (i.e. not aerobic metabolism or use of heart and lungs) as a means to fuel energy requirements.

I.T: acronym for ‘Interval Type.’

HR: Heart Rate

V02max: maximum oxygen consumption.