One Nasty Interval-Try It



Ah, Intervals.... Truly the Core of Training to Race Your Bike.

As riders we have endured many, many types of the interval death. More than most of us would care to admit. More than most of us would care to repeat. EVER.

And yet, we all know if we want to go fast, if we want to be strong, if we want to succeed, we do intervals. You can cry and moan about them, you can desperately try and avoid them, but in the end, if you want to succeed, you clip in and you get with it.

I believe the best intervals replicate the demands placed upon you in a race. We all know sometimes those demands can be unspeakable in their agony. Sometimes, we live up to the demand. Sometimes, we fail. But we can always train for those demands, and then hope for the best, come race day.

Here is a good one-
'Somebody Else's Interval'

What you need:

Each group-3-4 riders of peer ability(This is very important, riding with someone you can nuke does you little good, particularly here)

Terrain-You could do this anywhere, but what works best is a hill, not too steep, just enough to dig the life out of your legs under stress, about 1km in length.

The Details-On the surface, this does not sound any tougher than any other hill repeat. Do it then tell me. I designed it, then did it and almost lost a lung. Several times. Here is how it goes:

Your interval time frame is about 2-3 minutes. The group rotates lead riders. Each interval is led by a different rider. The rider that leads sets the pace. All the other riders follow, no passing, no drafting. The KEY is that the lead rider sets not only the pace, but the positions, standing or seated, as well as the hand positions, brake hoods, drops, tops. What this does is let the lead rider play to his strengths. I used to torture my friend who hated to climb seated. I would stand the entire way in the drops, he suffered like a pig. The, when he led, he would sit and spin the whole way, and OMG did I want to stand up!. But you can't. You follow the lead riders every move. It hurts a lot. Hence, the point.

The Object: To torture the other riders in your group, much like a real race. If you take your lead interval to easy, the other guys get rested, and then they may pound you into submission, using their strengths. And round and round it goes, until you legs are shaking and you all say, 'no mas'.

Rest Period: To make it a true torturous race sim, keep the time between intervals short, say 2-4 minutes.

Tidbits: remember, no drafting, no passing, and getting dropped is way too embarrassing. So dig very deep. You can see how it is vital to ride in a small group that is all of roughly equal ability. Also, you must copy the lead rider's hand positions. This small detail seems innocuous, but it makes a difference, believe me.

Conclusion: these intervals, if done properly are so much harder than you think they will be. Make them as competitive as possible, try and break the other guys in your group, and now you have a REAL interval!!

Good luck!
Sounds like real torture!
Difinitely gonna give it a try! To make it even worse, chose a day with some head wind!
Sounds like real torture!
Difinitely gonna give it a try! To make it even worse, chose a day with some head wind!

Headwinds! Please don't even say the word! I hate headwinds! nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo :mad:
I like the sound of it i will have a go, another form of interval training that i find tough and exciting is sitting behind trucks!!!! your intervals consist of excelerating up to the truck as it changes gears then finally you can if your good enough sit on about 80 -90 km/h its great people should try it
:eek: 8)

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