Stepto, N. K., Hopkins, W. G., Hawley, J. A., & Dennis, S. (1998). Lack of specificity in the effect of interval training on endurance cycling performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 202.

Male endurance cyclists (N = 20) performed a 40-km time trial, were assessed on a maximal sprint test, and an incremental peak power (PP) test using a cycle ergometer. Ss were then randomly assigned to one of five interval-training groups; 12 x 30 s at 175% PP, 12 x 60 s at 100% PP, 12 x 2 min at 90% PP, 8 x 4 min at 85% PP, and 4 x 8 min at 80% PP. Six sessions over three weeks were completed while undergoing usual aerobic-base training.

Upon testing after the training period there were no significant differences between the groups.

It was concluded that there was no specific effect of the training. However, it would seem that an equally plausible explanation for these results would be that the amount of interval training was so little over the three week period that any noticeable training effect on a primarily endurance task (40-km time-trial) should not be expected.

Implication. A small amount of interval training will not affect endurance time trial performances in cyclists.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.