What do you do during long intervals

Thanks a lot for all the replies. .

Its nice to see that I’m not alone. I think I’ll try to find youtube races and give that a chance, and if the doesn’t work, just bend over and pay for zwift as well :slight_smile:

Ive never bothered to set them up but Indie Velo and MyWhoosh are free (at least currently) alternatives to Zwift.


Agree… you need a playlist that has a loud beat, and runs at your cadence (if it is too slow, your legs will slow). Just tune into the beat and spin. It meditative. I personally find anything on the screen a distraction (never got on with Zwift for this reason). No way I could concentrate on anything during training, other than the longer, deep recovery periods. Totally agree re. breaking the intervals down mentally. And tell yourself that you will just finish ‘this one’ while you are in it (of course once you have recovered, tell yourself ‘just one more’

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This is a short duration interval. I though you were talking 30min+

All is relative – after couple winters of TR Traditional Base HV, I consider 2h ride short :slight_smile:
Gibbs is new Pettit.

Same with interval length. When starting, 12min can feel long. After reaching 30min+ intervals, it becomes new norm.


NOT TrainerRoad Approved :rofl:

I actually consider my ability to watch a movie while doing the entire workout for the post-workout survey. If I stop watching the movie, drop my head and just plough through, I’m probably rating that workout at least “hard.” If I can watch and completely follow the movie the whole way through the workout, it is likely getting rated “easy” or “moderate.”


Whole different world! I just did 4x20. It’s long and I don’t enjoy nearly two hours on the trainer. I think I watched 3 episodes of For All Mankind.

I don’t find these tough at all especially the originally mentioned 2x12. The mental part is harder, definitely. I don’t look forward to 30 minute intervals but 10-15 minutes feels pretty short now. The OP will be feeling it at the end of his 5th interval.


For me, when things get harder (basically anything FTP and below) I can still watch things but I start to struggle with plot lines. I can pay attention but will have lapses where I lose conversations and such. I usually move to go pro race videos or videos of pro racing for these. It’s entertaining and distracting but not a complex enough plot line to really lose it.

5x12 at SS is much harder than 2x12 but you still should probably be able to complete it with a bit more headroom than just ‘surviving’.

Your FTP is set too high. As others have said, sweet spot intervals should be a 6/7 out of 10; legs feeling a bit of a burn, lungs are breathing relatively deep but controlled and far from ragged.

After 2x12’, you should feel like you could do another set with relatively the same effort.

I like to put full races on the tv with music on the speakers for workouts where I’m not able to focus on TV shows or movies. I’ll look up recent CX races or will put on a full crit race gopro from someone on youtube. Then crank the music.

In no particular order:

Loud music (either just audio or sometimes video too)




Plenty of sugary drink


Cadence and/or position changes

Those are sufficient to get me through pretty much anything.


I turn on closed captioning! It seems to help immensely.


I curse the sadist who came up with 2 x 20 min @ FTP as a workout in the first place.


Never watch TR progress for intervals and pray for the beeps to come before I die.

Yeah … that guy! :roll_eyes:


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I generally put Youtube on, which is what I watch most of the time anyway. I’ve also watched a few TV series that I might have not watched otherwise, so I’m not too fussed about concentration dropping.

If I have 2hrs Z2 on the trainer, I’ll find a movie.

Occasionally, if a workout feels heavy with little recovery, I’ll pop heavy music on loud.

I have no idea how people watch other people cycling while on the trainer - makes me dizzy :woozy_face:

Yeah, there’s a lot of comments saying “your FTP is too high” or “it shouldn’t be that hard” or “this is a 6/7 out of 10”, but the body and brain don’t work identically for all people. Some folks just really need to work up to longer duration SS or Threshold stuff, as the mental portion can really hit harder than what the body is physically capable of handling.

It is entirely possible that their FTP is set just right, but longer intervals are especially taxing on the psyche. I can’t remember the last time I went outside and rode straight SS for an uninterrupted 20 minutes, I just don’t have the roads around me that lend to that sort of training. So when I see Galena on the schedule, I get that feeling of mild worry, because that’s not the sort of intensity and duration that I ever do, in the wild – I’m either working harder for shorter durations, or easier for longer.

Threshold is the same way. I haven’t done a Threshold workout since they introduced progression levels; it’s just psychologically miserable for me. And, yet, I just did a 45 minute Zwift race, yesterday, with my weighted average power at 100% of FTP. It’s all about motivation and distraction.

Follow svens’ advice. Work up to it, and realize that whatever progression level you’re on is probably going to feel “tough”, it’s just that when you go back to a previous level, you’ll suddenly think “oh, how did I ever find this hard?” If you can use some sort of Zwift / RGT / whatever analogue to keep you from getting buried in TR’s Hell of Blue Bars, all the better.


Also, there’s no shame in doing 12x5min with shorter rest intervals - 30 seconds, whatever works. People always talk like it’s some significant badge of course to do a 1x60 but my guess would be that adaptations (other than mental :slight_smile: ) would be essentially the same.


Those are so important, though.


Important for indoor training or riding in real life? I’ve been riding all my life including 7 years of racing and I’ve never done these kinds of efforts in real life.