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Why does coach give us intervals?

30 June - 2018
Hello Peeps!

Being an online coach means I don’t get to spend much face to face time just chatting training with my athletes. My head is full of dirty jokes, quite a few addresses of people I hate, some tips on Bitcoin purchasing and of course, a wee bit of triathlon knowledge (all googled and parrot fashion studied).

Hopefully through a series of emails (Im hoping for weekly - don’t laugh) discussing topics around everything
Wingman and TrainingPeaks and Training and Motivation, you will get a feel for how I think, where training
expectations lie and first prize, an open a channel for us to ‘chat training’ so we leave no grey areas... and red
blocks!

So right into it... Why intervals??? And why so many of them???

Whether you swim, paddle, ride, run or gym, at some point in a session on TrainingPeaks, I’ve asked you to go
harder for a certain time or distance - an INTERVAL. That interval probably burnt the legs and lungs and
probably spiked the heart rate. YES! It was meant to!

Your program has endurance sessions and quality sessions. The endurance sessions are usually low heart rate
sessions there for active recovery while progressively loading the body with fatigue. The quality training sessions are the polarised sessions, alternating between easy and hard (we use the area between easy and hard when we racing or simulating racing). The easy parts are the warm-ups, the recoveries between intervals and the cool-downs. The hard parts are the intervals. The degrees of hardare:Ouchies - OUCH - ExhalingProfanties- WTF - 'Im giving up this sport!’.

There are many physiological benefits to intervals and you will have to dig very hard to find a program without
intervals in it. Science is science and we can’t argue with it. Your training needs intervals.

Some of the benefits of intervals:

- Reduced boredom in your sessions (everyone loves going harder)
- More calories burned post session (more muscles worked so body works harder to repair)
- Increased VO2 max (improves your capacity to use oxygen)
- Increased fat burning (need I actually say more???)
- Time efficiency (one can compress longer endurance sessions into shorter quality sessions)
- Hurt tolerance (okay the ‘pain’ of a hard interval never goes away but one gets used to the pain and we all want
to learn to suffer for longer - Personal Bests on STRAVA!)

The biggest benefit for intervals (and the main reason for this mail) is for you and your coach to identify training overload or excessive fatigue earlier!!!

If you cannot hit the pace prescribed.
If you cannot hit the heart rate prescribed.
If you cannot hit the power prescribed.
TEXT YOUR COACH.

Data allows us to investigate everything. If you can’t hit your prescribed interval but feel you gave the same effort you usually do to hitthe the interval, there could be a bit of fatigue not allowing the body to respond as normal. Figure it out sooner so that your coach can adjust your program accordingly if needed!

That is all. Bye.

DS
WM