Cycle interval training produces the best results for the time spent . A short sharp session causes the body to quickly adapt to the the extra demands placed on it. These sessions can be scheduled into a training ride or as a session on its own. They are especially great for a day when the weather forces you indoors onto the stationery trainer. A high intensity training,( HIIT), session often comprises a warm up period of exercise, followed a series repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery. Finally a low intensity cool down period of about 5 minutes is included at the end of the session. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the training you are doing but a session of only three or four intensity intervals of 20 seconds each have shown to produce beneficial results.
Plan your interval sessions before your training ride. If you are riding with others let them know what your plans are. Make them an essential part of your training. Make sure you write down a goal of what you want to achieve.
Warming up before an interval session is essential. If you are doing an interval session on its own make sure you warm up for at least ten minutes before doing a high intensity interval.
Ride your intervals according to your plan. Remember not to start with your maximum intensity but work up to it after several intervals. Look at my article on indoor spin training here.
During the recovery intervals keep pedaling at low intensity rather than be tempted to free wheel.This will help the body recover more efficiently.You will be less likely to develop stiff and sore muscles from your training if you follow this.
A cool down session is an essential part of your interval training. Low intensity, low cadence for at least ten minutes helps rid the muscles of lactic acid build up and ensures the maximum benefit from your session.
Have a recovery drink within 30 minutes of the session. Ideally this should be a protein/carbohydrate drink with a ratio of about 2:1 or 3:1 if you are a seasoned rider or doing a hard session. Chocolate milk is a good choice if you can like milk.
Remember to review your session and record how it went. This will help you plan other sessions more efficiently.
If bad weather keeps you indoors get on an indoor trainer and do a high intensity session. When thinking about planning your cycle training, interval training should be an important part of your program.
Check this out HIT 40 minute interval training work-out-hill intervals