Why do long and monotonous workouts when you can get the same results (in terms of performance, but also physical fitness, athletic conditioning and weight loss) in less time? It is the secret of interval training: 2.5-minute intervals at or near VO2max intensity, each followed by a 5-minute active recovery. These intervals are long enough to induce significantly greater cardiac strain, the 5-minute active recoveries between intervals mean less total time at VO2max, but athletes still get the benefit of 20 to 30 seconds of lag coming off each interval. In this way the anaerobic Intervals offer the best of both worlds.
Benefits to athletes
The specific benefits of Anaerobic Intervals are several. For starters, they increase aerobic capacity, or maximal oxygen consumption. At the same time, they increase the velocity or power output at which VO2max occurs. Intervals performed at an intensity that elicits VO2max are also proven to be more effective at improving overall movement economy than are either slower or faster intervals. And finally, because they are quite challenging, our Anaerobic Intervals enhance effort tolerance, an underappreciated contributor to endurance performance. Because they are not highly specific to race intensity, anaerobic Intervals should be emphasized in the middle portion of the training cycle, when you’re fit enough to handle them but before your focus shifts toward more race-specific work. Short-course cyclists can and should rely on them a bit more than long-course racers.