Sub-1hr bike session: All-out intervals

Get your body used to working at its max on two wheels with Emma-Kate Lidbury’s latest 60min workout. Be warned, this drill requires mental toughness...

Joe Beer cycling flat-out

In our latest 60min session, we show you how to get your bike legs used to working at their max with Emma-Kate Lidbury’s all-out intervals.

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Plus, if you’re planning on going long this season, take a look at the ‘Adapt for Ironman’ tips below. Be warned though – it takes mental toughness to perform this session well..

Equipment needed: bike, bike shoes, bike kit/clothing, helmet, glasses, electrolyte/energy drink, speedometer/bike computer/powermeter.

How to fit it in: try to schedule this on a day when your legs/body will be relatively fresh so you can give it 100%. Prepare yourself for the fact your legs might be sore the following day. If this is the case, just swim, spin or do a recovery run the day after. Done consistently, this workout will become easier and more fruitful.

All-out intervals


10-12mins steady ride then 4 x 2mins, build by 30secs from easy to strong throughout each 2mins (do as continuous 8mins, smooth pedalling throughout).

Main session

4 x 4mins best effort with 4mins easy spin between each. Strong, sustained effort throughout each interval.


8mins steady ride.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

This session is ideal for getting your body used to working at its maximum. It’s also great for learning to tolerate top-end efforts, which will always prove useful for racing. You’ll notice the benefits translate to your aerobic and anaerobic bike fitness, with improved ability to ride for extended periods at race pace. This should mean one thing on race day: faster bike splits!

Mental benefits

It takes mental toughness to perform this session well. It’s great practice for racing when you need to have tested yourself in training. Hone your mental coping strategies in training so you’re ready to deal with pushing through the pain in racing. It might be that concentrating on pedalling technique or smooth breathing helps get you through.

Physiological benefits

Best effort intervals should be exactly that: your strongest, maximum-pace effort for every repeat. Working at your maximum helps boost your aerobic endurance and anaerobic threshold, ultimately enabling you to ride harder for longer. Be sure to warm up smoothly and hit the 4 x 2mins well so your legs are ready for the all-out efforts. Maintain strong, consistent effort throughout sets 1-4 or the final one could be painful!

Adapt for Ironman

Give yourself a 30-40min warm-up before hitting the 4 x 2mins build. Then perform 6 or 8 x 4min intervals, with 4mins easy between each. Consistent pacing will be key to surviving this session.

(Main image: Jonny Gawler)

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For lots more sub-1hr sessions, head to our Training section