Session of the Month: July – 30s/30s Interval Sessions

Some of my favorite interval sessions are the ones with 30s/30s combinations, which basically means 30 seconds on, with 30 seconds off.  Although it is a demanding combination, if planned properly it can be done by athletes of all fitness levels. This is a great high-intensity interval session that will help you improve your fatigue resistance, recovery time, and your functional threshold power (FTP).

You can start with as low as a combination of 3- or 5-minute blocks or (personally) up to 40-minute blocks. I will show you an example of an intermediate/advanced athlete progression during a 30s/30s interval session block. Normally this will be done at the maximum power or intensity level possible (which will be different for all cyclists) during the on section and at a minimum effort during the off section.

  • First Week
    • 20 x 30s/30s (20 min total)
  • Second Week
    • 30 x 30s/30s (30 min total)
  • Third Week
    • 2 x { 20 x 30s/30s } (40 min total)
  • Fourth Week
    • 10 x 30s/30s (10 min total)
    • Recovery Week

This is a hard block and it should be customized to each athlete abilities. There are times where smaller blocks have to be implemented, or at times the progression has to be slower to accommodate to those abilities. This means that maybe the plan should progress in smaller increments on the number of intervals or via a longer time adaptation time (maybe one increment per cycle), or whatever you think it is best to allow for proper adaptation. As well plan for proper rest cycles and proper nutrition so that the cyclist does not hit the red line for too long or too often.

An important note to make is that progression has to be made in order for the fitness increase to persist. There are times where one believes that the next step is too hard or that the sessions you complete are already hard enough, but you should always strive for progression. At a very minimum, you can increase one more interval per every other session, and with even this small step you will be making progress. The big problem for cyclists commonly arises when the session does not change, and improvements that were seen initially stop after a couple of mesocycles. Do not make this mistake, make your training efficient by making it progressive.

Let me know what you think about this progressive interval session cycle template in the comment section below or send me a message online. As well if you need help customizing your interval session, take a look at the coaching services that I offer. With over 20 years of racing experience and multiple of my athletes winning state series and championships, you can be sure that I will help you reach your goals in an efficient and progressive way.

Written by:

Gilberto Cortez - USA Cycling, TrainingPeaks & NICA Certified Coach

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