If you teach with power and either regularly conduct 20-minute FTP tests or want to be able to bring your riders to the point of participating in a field test, it’s essential that you train them to tolerate longer intervals. Shorter HIT intervals are great, but longer intervals should also be a pillar of your training program.
ICA contributor and power coach Izabela Ruprick prefers to gradually progress her riders to the commitment required to sustain a 20-minute FTP test at the correct intensity. This interval profile is what she uses to train her riders over the course of a few weeks prior to their first (or next) FTP test.
In addition to this profile, I’ll be providing you shortly with an in-depth explanation of why longer intervals are so important—not just for cyclists, but for anyone desiring to improve basic fitness, improve performance, and to lose weight. We’ll discuss the whys, hows, and challenges of longer intervals. Some of those challenges include coaching and finding suitable music.
Cyclists call these longer efforts “cruise intervals.” They are aerobic in nature and are conducted at a sustainable pace in Zone 3 and Zone 4.