Interval Duration

Just wondering if there are any good rules of thumb for intervals to use with the interval targets Or template structures?

Obviously for base it’s more that’s the ideal ‘tempo’ and I like an idea I read here of treating it as ceiling. However, what about once the ride duration is much longer than the interval target.

Asking because In my mind something like a 1 hour ride of 1 min on 1 min off would be very different for a 5 min MP target than 15 min MP target.

Thanks for the thought.

For me, it varies, but if I am doing an on-off type interval, as a starter I use the MMP equivalent to the work done in the interval. For example, if you do one hour solid of 1 min on 1 min off, you are doing 30 minutes of work, so when designing the workout I would start with power target being 30MMP, and see where the difficulty score ends up. For 3 sets of 9x40/20, you would have 360s or 6 minutes of work, so when designing the workout I would start with a power target of 6MMP, and see where the difficulty score ends up.

This is anecdotal, but I hope this helps. I would be interested to hear what others do.

I assume you are talking about building your own workouts rather than free riding? But the logic is similar either way

I think within Xert it’s about designing the workout for the focus you want… 1MMP is a much shorter focus than 5MMP. XATA gives you interval targets based in your goals, program phase, freshness. You may need to go a bit shorter focus duration than target, to offset the recoveries, warm-up etc.

Then each interval duration has to be quite a bit shorter than the focus duration, otherwise difficulty will be too high (you can’t normally breakthrough each interval)… you could base this on a target MPA eg 80% or trial and error e.g. 80% of focus duration (eg 4 min intervals at your 5min power)

Then you need enough recovery to be able to do it again. You can define the recovery duration based on an MPA target to do that eg recover until MPA is back 99.5%, or just make it long enough by trial and error. This is unless you are intentionally using short recoveries to ramp up strain eg a series of micros, in which case it’s a bit of trial and error to make sure MPA doesn’t end up too close to power by the end of the series.

Final check is resulting difficulty, and whether you can achieve it. Xert suggests difficulty (diamonds) shouldn’t be too much above training load (stars) but personally I don’t find it too hard to go above that for more overload (though it of course needs recovery / endurance riding the next day or so)

Thanks for the responses. Was thinking about it from a ‘free ride’ sense of if I go out for a 2 hour ride, target focus 20:00 therefore interval target of 220 w I can’t hold 220 for the whole 2 hours so should I aim for 5, 10, 15 or 19:59, rest for how long and do it again.

~80% sounds like a good starting point so I’ll see how that feels. Still getting used to using MPA but good point it could be used to define it.

Yeah, can be really useful to play around with the workout builder to see what happens to MPA and difficulty for the different durations, intensities, and recoveries… no need to even save the workout or use it (though of course you can)

RPE is another option, hold it till you feel ‘fatigued enough’ but not so fatigued that you couldn’t do it again for as many reps as you have in mind… with the last one being enough to call it a day. That’s actually one thing Xert / XATA doesn’t give you as part of the guidance, but which could be useful e.g. it tells your XSS and focus goal, but not how much time to accumulate in total at your target focus (assuming you aim for pure specificity, as I know there are many ways to hit a target focus) to keep progressing… e.g. should you target 10 or 15 or 20 minutes at your 5MMP today…