Lindsay, F. H., Hawley, J. A., Myburgh, K. H., Schomer, H. H., Noakes, T. D., & Dennis, S. C. (1996). Improved athletic performance in highly trained cyclists after interval training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28, 1427-1434.

Trained cyclists (N = 8) who had a moderate degree of base training were subjected to four weeks of high-intensity interval training to see if simulated 40 km time trial performances could be improved.

High-intensity interval training consisted of six to eight 5-min repetitions at 80% of peak power output. The recovery interval consisted of one minute pedaling at a low intensity.

The interval training experience increased peak power output and fatigue resistance as well as improving simulated 40 km time trial performances.

Implication. Performances improve if performance quality is increased on a daily basis over less-than-performance-specific base training. It is likely that the rate of improvement will be relatively quick but such improvements should not be expected to occur continually over longer durations.

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