How hard do you go on 30-30 intervals?

I was listening to a cycling podcast a couple weeks ago (forgot which one), the coach said you shouldn’t assign a zone for anaerobic efforts like 30-30’s and these are “all out, balls-to-the-wall” efforts. Well I have 30-30’s coming up tomorrow and I’m wondering if that’s actually a good idea.

My workout is 3x10 reps of 30-30’s with 5 minute rests in between, stop if power goes below zone 5. If I go max effort I probably won’t even get through the first set. What’s everyone’s take on how hard to go on these efforts and why?

Seems similar to Taylor -4 (but it has shorter rest between sets).

Probably varies with each rider and their abilities in these short efforts, but seems a “conservative” start would be wise. Better to knock out at least half the first set with something below “max” effort. We know fatigue builds and it’s likely better to get more completed kicks at a slightly lower level than to blow up and not finish one or more sets from too much kick.


30/30s are about repeatability, and they drain your anaerobic capacity and turn the efforts into more of max aerobic power workout. Going to something like 13x30/15 push even harder on your aerobic system.

Anaerobic capacity (and max aerobic capacity) is different for everyone, and therefore as you mention the power target and the number of intervals will vary. My personal belief is that a workout like this requires finding your max repeatable power/effort (its not all out like the workout below).

One coaching consideration - increasing anaerobic capacity before working on repeatability. A capacity workout would look like a (near) max effort 30-60 second effort, followed by a full recovery which might be something like 6-8 minutes, and then repeating for a total of 6-8 efforts.


As earlier responders have said - this will be different for everyone. However, I feel pretty strongly that if you’re doing 10 reps of 30x30s in a set you should probably start at 130% or so and work your way up from there.

The 120% that the Taylor variations start at is fairly mild and if you look at workout history you’ll see extremely few failures when you have equal work:rest ratios and 120% intervals



Do whatever it takes to finish. “all out, balls-to-the-wall,” I hate that type of description. 30 seconds all out would mean unable to recover in 30s for the next 30s. I would take the first set @ 130% and go from there, up or down. You may fade, which I think it’s OK. Just keep pushing though, that’s what I do. Over time you’ll hit them better, and probably increase the target power.

And don’t use ERG. This is one for resistance/standard mode. Not only will ERG not respond fast enough, but if you fade, you’ll pretty much have to stop as resistance increases as you fade.


Put it on resistance and just go as hard as you can. You don’t need perfectly matched power in each interval. Just try your best each one.

This. For me, power is irrelevant on these. Just crush yourself each time and hang on. I thought that was the whole point of the workout! Basically I try to get to that place where I’m struggling for air and wanting to vomit or pass out, then I’m good. :slight_smile:

Agree - I don’t like descriptions like this.

This implies each interval is a Wingate test, which isn’t practical :rofl:

1 Like

I would not call 30-30s anaerobic. Are you sure this coach wasn’t talking about “anaerobic efforts like 30s sprints” (ie the Wingate test that @DaveWh mentioned?)

The way I approach them if go hard enough that each repeat is lower/same than the last and each set has a lower/same average power. So… hard but maybe not all out.

I just follow guidance from Seiler in YouTube videos. He notes when people do 30-30’s based on feel they end up doing a threshold equivalent workout when you look at heart rate. Seiler and Ronnestad do a good job of NOT disregarding RPE and how it affects workouts.

2:1 as in 30/15 and 40/20, do a better job of stressing the aerobic system with reduced recovery and higher wattages during the work interval.

Instead of FTP, he usually refers to a percentage of 6 min max power as a proxy of wattage at VO2 max.

I used the 25w/min ramp protocol in the Ronnestad 2020 paper to come up with my “WMax” or MAP as a starting point. Since this is a faster ramp, the resulting MAP is higher than TR’s outcome.

If you do the TR ramp test, you could use that 1 min max or Ramp FTP/0.75 as a starting place. This is 133% of the Ramp FTP. 120-133% FTP might work.

I also seek to build cumulative time above 90% HR max. The goal is 30 mins per session, but it’s tricky. Too easy and you’ll spend a lot of time below 90%. Too hard and you’ll fail quickly.

Looking at the TR options, you could also just do Rattlesnake and it would probably get the job done.

I personally do these workouts in ERG but always do them until exhaustion.

“All out” but not “max” with respect to the duration

In other words, seek to deliver maximum average power of the “on” across the time span of the interval

1 Like

These are 15/15s instead of 30/30s but the concept holds. I didn’t have a power target for these just ‘hard’. Do it a couple of times and you get a pretty good sense of how hard is hard enough for you to be able to settle into that steady state.

1 Like

I prefer ERG-mode for these shorter intervals. No thinking, just pedal.

1 Like

Depends on how you structure them really. With a lower amplitude of power variation, long sets, and AVG power near threshold, I use these as uneven threshold type workouts (fartlek, over-under, variation pace, younameit). With a higher amplitude and perhaps a bit lower AVG power and set length, they are more of sharpening excercises where you just go hard for the on part.