What's an "Interval"?

I’m finding the interval counter really annoying on some workouts. Maybe if I understood what Trainerroad’s definition of “Interval” is when setting up timing cues it would help. I think of an interval as a relatively steady-state effort or a long-term ramp transitioning thru multiple zones (>30 sec, ramp for example from recovery to SS). So according to my definition, Monitor is made up of 16 intervals, but TR counts 34 intervals. On the other hand, I count 31 intervals in Keeler Needle, but TR counts 21. Any insight?

And I see monitor as 6 intervals :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

The timer count is based on a change in power (unless it’s a slow ramp in the same direction, such as monitor). For me, if I am in an interval and realize I have quite a bit of time left in the entire interval (such as Donner at threshold) it’s so much more daunting than seeing the countdown timer to the next small change in power. I can always tell myself, “Just 1 more minute until the power ramps down a tiny bit”, vs “Just 8 more minutes at or near threshold”.

@Hewie If what you’re saying is that the timer corresponds to power changes then yes, that seems to be the way it works. As to your question of “what is an interval”, there are work intervals and rest intervals. The power changes that occur within a work interval I would not consider intervals. In some cases (like Monitor), they are trying to simulate the natural power fluctuations that occur on the road. Within something like an over-under interval, the power fluctuations within the work interval are very intentional, and are not separate intervals.

If you include the rest intervals I would consider it 11. 11 intervals (6 work, 5 rest) with a warmup and cool down. But admittedly I’m being a bit pedantic here. The reason is that the purpose of each (warmup, cool down, work interval, rest interval) are different. However, the purpose of a small power fluctuation within a work interval is still the same as the previous block of time in that same interval.


Psychologically I find great benefit in (for example) seeing the four 10 minute threshold intervals of Darwin each broken up into 5 x 2 minute chunks. It seems easier when it’s twenty short intervals for some reason!


@tshortt I totally see your thought process in each interval having its purpose. I just like to know how many times I need to work hard!!

@Darkgerbil yes! Biting off tiny chunks is easier to swallow :smirk:

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Totally. I mean, those are the intervals I actually care about haahaha…To @Hewie original point though, I do find myself going: “cool, one minute left…wait, that looks like only half way through the whole thing…shit”

A quantity qualifier might not work for everyone…for example, I was supposed to do Hunter -1 – 6x10min SS intervals – which means you’re working hard 6 times. I did a 1x60min interval and worked hard once. :wink:

Well, within each one of them, I, of course, want to know how long I have to work hard as well :yum:

Exactly my thought on Monitor yesterday and my impetus for my post!