Road cyclists or mountain bikers rarely do very strenuous anaerobic endurance training. For beginners such training is even more rare. But for top athletes looking to maximize performance, this type of training helps develop the very skills needed for winning races.
Anaerobic training maximizes cardiovascular capacity & oxygen uptake. The body is trained to perform in high intensity at maximum output. Training occurs over the anaerobic threshold, or at 90-100% of maximal heart rate, and in intervals.
An interval lasts typically between 30 seconds and 5 minutes, with recovery lasting at least as long as the interval. In fact, recovery should last longer, especially when the interval is of longer duration, and the activity is at maximum intensity. Most cyclists bike uphill to reach maximum effect (especially for intervals lasting more than 2 minutes). This way the workload is easily controlled, and the desired intensity zone is reached very quickly.
On even terrain, intervals are usually shorter sprints of, for example, 30 seconds at maximal output, followed by a 30 second recovery before another 30 second maximal sprint. Heart rate usually increases at the end of bouts, and the use of a heart rate monitor is, therefore, highly recommended. Monitoring the workload your body is subjected to without an instrument is difficult.
While doing intervals, keep in mind that an athlete’s heart rate reacts with a 30 second delay during maximal exertion. Heart rate corresponding to the workload will only be visible after a while. Using the Polar Power Output Sensor, you can avoid the complications resulting from such a delay, because the Power Sensor registers pedalling efficiency during training.
Allowing time for proper recovery is of great importance when doing anaerobic endurance training. This type of high-intensity training places a large amount of stress on the body, and several days is required for full recovery to occur.