Do Sprints Within Endurance Rides Improve Adaptations?

Dr. Stephen Cheung attempts to answer the question of whether it’s productive to incorporate intensity into an endurance ride.

In this workshop. Dr. Stephen Cheung attempts to answer the question of whether it’s productive to incorporate intensity into an endurance ride.

Counter to what you may have heard Coach Trevor Connor emphasize—that an athlete is best served by focusing on a single energy system per workout session—Dr. Cheung presents evidence from several studies that comprehensively address this question, from multiple angles. Is there a response after a single workout? If so, what is it? What effect would these intense efforts with endurance rides have on an overall training program?

The purpose of the workshop is not to advocate for a particular set of intervals (i.e., these studies do not suggest that three sets of 30-second sprints are the best intervals), but rather that it’s okay and perhaps even beneficial to incorporate intensity into endurance sessions.

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