Over/under threshold intervals: 35-minute HIIT indoor cycling workout
Join Manon Lloyd for this tough over/under threshold workout which replicates race efforts and improves endurance
GCN’s Manon Lloyd is back in the pain cave for a tough 35-minute over/under threshold cycling session for anyone who wants to replicate race efforts and improve their endurance. Each interval consists of 90 seconds at a 9/10 effort before a further 90 seconds of recovery at 7/10. The intensity levels are based on perceived effort.
What is threshold (FTP)?
Threshold, commonly referred to as FTP (functional threshold power), is the maximum power a cyclist can sustain for an extended period of time, usually one hour.
The threshold training zone is around 95% to 105% of a rider’s FTP and many cycling workouts target this zone, like this HIIT over/under threshold session.
Read more: How to do an FTP test
The benefits of over/under threshold intervals
While riding close to or above FTP, the body generates lactate. At a certain point, known as the lactate threshold, lactate is produced quicker than it can be removed.
Training in and around threshold increases a rider’s lactate threshold, improving the body’s ability to remove the lactate, meaning you can ride at a higher intensity for longer.
Training at this intensity also helps to improve your aerobic capacity, improving endurance.
Warm up on your indoor trainer
It’s important to warm up before any indoor session, especially for a high-intensity effort like this. For this session there is a six-minute warm-up, starting with one minute at 3/10, then two minutes at 4/10, a further one minute at 6/10, before finishing with two minutes at 4/10.
Take the final two minutes of the warm up to mentally prepare and find the right gearing as you’re about to jump straight into a high-intensity effort.
Main interval session: three-minute blocks at threshold
With the warm-up completed, it’s time to jump straight into the threshold intervals. Each of the three-minute blocks is the same, starting with 90 seconds at 9/10, followed by 90 seconds at 7/10. Complete four sets, then take two minutes of recovery riding at 3/10. Then finish the main session with four more sets.
Cool down on your indoor trainer for three minutes
Your legs will be burning after the session, so it’s time to cool down and try to remove some of the lactate that has built up. This cool-down should be easy at around 3/10 for at least three minutes, but you can ride for longer if you have the time. Don’t forget, there are plenty of documentaries available over on GCN+ to keep you entertained while you keep your legs spinning.
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