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How to Perform VO2 Intervals

Bicycle Training Series Articles: All ABC Handouts ] 12 Beginners' Questions About Exercise ] ACE Tips ] Altitude Tents: How High the Risk? ] Aerobic Training ] Altitude Training for Sea-Level Competition ] Balance Training for Bicyclists ] Century Training ] Climbing & Descending ] Dealing With High Altitude ] Death Ride: Just-Made-It Schedule ] Economy & Efficiency ] Fitness Elements ] Heart-Rate-Based Training ] HIT Tips ] [ How to Perform VO2 Intervals ] How to Push Riders Uphill ] Isolated Leg Training ] Measuring Training Stress ] Overtraining ] Pacing ] Power-Based Training ] Recovery ] Road Racing Basics ] Six Climbing Positions ] Skills Training Principles ] Small Gears ] Sprint Weak? ] Stationary Training ] Stretching ] Tapering for Events ] Thresholds ] Time Trialing ] Torque-Based Training ] Training & Fitness Standards for Excellence ] Training Myths ] Warm Ups for Racing ] Weight Training ] Work of Breathing ] Workout Too Hard ]

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How to Perform VO2 Intervals (Introduction)

Athletes and coaches commonly think of intervals as 3- to 5-minute efforts.

Three to 5-minute intervals are also called VO2 intervals because they are thought to specifically train the physiologic systems that result in improving the body’s ability to maximize oxygen uptake.

Maximum oxygen uptake occurs at levels below maximum workload. Said differently: Although you will be working and breathing hard, you do not need to work “as hard as possible” to work at you aerobic maximum.

Shorter intervals may also train VO2 max if recoveries are relatively short. Such intervals are harder to perform correctly.

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