Incorporating longer intervals of 5 to 20 minutes can be the key to a higher level of fitness, regardless of what your specific goals are. For some reason, however, there is a reticence to the idea of longer intervals. Here are six reasons why you should teach your riders to love longer intervals in high Zone 3 to Zone 4.
Here is everything you need to perform two FTP tests with confidence: the ramp (MAP) test and the 20-minute test, including how to coach and motivate your riders to stay committed and how to add the most motivating and energetic music possible. You’ll learn not just the theory but also the practical skills to leading these two important functional assessments. If you have a bike, you can ride along with the two videos and test your own FTP. If you don’t have a bike, that’s OK; just imagine yourself at a conference session and view them with pen and paper in hand.
This profile uses the concept of negative-split training to assist riders in developing aerobic and muscular endurance while targeting threshold training. The structure of this ride also gives fitness enthusiasts an opportunity to master body awareness skills and practice managing their efforts. It is an excellent way to teach new riders and those used to short intervals the concept of pacing. It also prepares riders for FTP testing in the future.
You’ve coached your riders to understand the benefits of establishing a benchmark metric known as functional threshold power, or FTP, a number around which they can set their intensity. You’ve used one of the recommended methods to determine FTP. Now what do you do? How do you provide each rider with their zones?
Training with power is the best way to set benchmarks, determine workout intensities, and measure improvement. When you are ready to start leading 20-minute FTP tests, we’ve got everything you need in this Coaching Play by Play. It contains information on how to prepare your riders for FTP tests, what elements you should control during the test so it is reliably repeatable, the protocol to follow, and minute-by-minute motivational cues to coach your riders through this challenging event.
By now, I am hoping you recognize the physical and mental benefits of incorporating longer intervals into your repertoire of classes, whether you plan on doing FTP testing or not. The question remains, how do I keep my riders interested? Won’t they be bored? What if I get bored? Here are nine tips (linking to numerous drills and over a hundred cues) to make your long intervals more interesting so you can keep your riders engaged and happy.
In part 1 of our continuing series on how to incorporate longer intervals, I discussed why these intervals are so important and gave six reasons you should teach your class to love these longer efforts, especially if they are used to high-intensity intervals of less than 3 minutes. In part 2 we’ll look at one of the prime reasons longer intervals are so crucial—preparing for FTP testing. I discuss the different kinds of FTP testing, who should and should not take part in the 20-minute test, and what to do instead.
If you are teaching 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. This “cruise” interval profile (i.e., longer aerobic intervals) is the perfect template for creating your own intervals of this nature.