I have decided to write this piece because not only because indoor cycling class attendance drops dramatically once the weather becomes nice, but also to educate you on how critical this one component of training is important to maintain year-round. Of course, there’s no training like racing. That said, in pre and early race season phases, look for those group rides (or group runs) out there that are actually a weekly race amongst those who show. Many of you out there know the ones I speak of, but they are literally races, and great preparation for the intensity, level of suffering, and adaptations required to successful race performances. Endurance miles on the bike outdoors are also critical to establishing, building, and maintaining a solid foundation of what we refer to as your aerobic base. After the end of the race season and a good physical and mental break for a couple of weeks (or more if needed), we re-establish our aerobic base, and thus spend lots of time at endurance pacing, or much time in Zones 2-3 for those who train with me. In late Winter we continue to build upon this aerobic foundation and begin to increase the intensity and volume of our interval work; interval work done most effectively on a trainer. Whether in a class such as mine or in your basement, these interval sessions become more and more important. There is a structure to them, but never performed better than in a group/class environment with a coach or trained instructor guiding and providing feedback throughout the session. No matter what, neither I nor you will ever perform as intensely or “suffer” as long in such interval workouts on a trainer in our home than in the group session. This is just a dynamic of human nature – our competitiveness and the effect of others being in our presence, observing us…etc. Alright, so continuing on with interval work for us cyclists, triathletes, and runners…, the interval work we need to maintain our cardiovascular and muscular power throughout the year, is (a training component) critical to perform 1x per week (at least) year-round. The others aside, Runners must do the same on the track and treadmill, but again, not as effective alone as with a group track session. Why should you work so hard in January – April (many of you performing interval sessions or classes 2x per week) building up a very strong, resilient, and economical Lactate Threshold – only to have it wane in May – October (prime race season for most of these sports). To maintain your cardiovascular and muscular power 1 interval session per week will significantly compliment what you’re doing outside. For those of you who continue attending my classes once a week throughout the Summer know exactly what I’m talking about, and can certainly attest to their annual race performance outcome improvements by incorporating interval work. Therefore, I’ll summarize that the bottom line to successful performance improvements and maintenance is via interval work. Whether you perform it in a class or at home, you must do it if you want to continue to maintain and build upon your cardiovascular and muscular strength. Best of luck with all of your endeavors, and if you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to ask – that’s what your coach is there for.