Tabata 20/10 Intervals on a Smart Trainer


I am trying to do sets of 20/10 Tabata intervals. These are unpaced, 20sec max efforts followed by 10secs easy. Repeat until you feel sick.

I use a Wahoo Kickr and pedal power meter but I am struggling to perform these with the trainer modes available. ERG mode is not an option as they are unpaced.

Has anyone succesfully performed Tabata style workouts using resistance or standard modes within TrainerRoad? Ideally with the recovery being so short I wouldn’t want to be reaching over and manually adjusting modes/resistance settings.

Interested in other peoples experience of this!


Easy - big rig for 20 sec/small ring for 10 sec


Yup, Resistance mode and Big-Small ring swaps work well for me.


What if our only option is a bike with single ring? Any suggestions?

Assuming you already have a wide-range cassette (likely if you are on a 1X), there aren’t a ton of options.

Shift fast on the rear, and be able to operate within a wider cadence range. That is an ineherrent limitation of that design.

As @mcneese.chad wrote, large range cassette and slow/fast cad. Undoubtedly harder, but can be done

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What the benefits of Tabata training ?

Try them and see :grin:

They boost VO2max and anaerobic capacity. They are very time efficient, and also pretty brutal.

I do them occasionally on my airdyne bike - which is a perfect machine for short intervals.

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so what does the workout look like in TR? I created a 20/10 with workout creator that starts at 100% FTP and ramps to 180% over 20 seconds, drops to 50% for 10 seconds and repeats 8 times. then that set can be repeated. I didn’t love the outcome… so do i just do a flat wattage and then switch big/small rings? I guess i have never used resistance mode and should just try…

Think of Resistance like any dumb trainer you’ve used. They just get harder the bigger gear you use and faster you pedal. Swapping big to small rung is just a quick way to alter the rear wheel speed, that is what sets your Resistance.

I haven’t but would suggest connecting TR app to Kickr (direct-drive?) via Bluetooth and then use Standard mode. Standard mode works better than resistance mode IMHO because it gets a lot harder the faster (more power or cadence) you go.

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These 30/15s (120% for 30-sec, 40% for 15-sec) in Erg using a Kickr direct-drive were “pretty clean”

But I believe Standard (or resistance) mode would be better for 20/10s.

And standard mode feels more natural to riding outside in my opinion.

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Those are 15/15s I did. I just leave it in the big ring and slow spin in the off intervals. Less faffing around that way.



thanks everyone. will give it a shotski

Out of curiosity, what Standard mode setting do you use, 3?

usually 2 or 3

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Why not use erg mode, start at 150% (or whatever you think you’re capable of) and reduce percentage as necessary to complete all desired sets?