WILT Pro Intervals
Ventoux 100 minutes at WILT Champ Pace
(in my UCI Golden Bike Jersey)
When & Why?
The WILT intervals (Williams'; Intensity Level ~ Threshold) are aptly named because WILT is the acronym that describes the interval and wilted is what you will be at the end. This is the Pro version, there's a slightlier easier one, the Elite, and a harder one, the Champ!
In the first minutes you'll be wondering what it's all about, at the end you'll be begging for the finish. In between you'll get bored, hot and your legs will hurt. It's death by a thousand cuts, but boy does it work. I used them exclusively for my 24 hour Ventoux Masters event. For an added challenge, try doing them twice a day!
This deceptively challenging block of intervals can be used in the pre-competition phase or anytime in the mid-season to give a boost to your hill climbing, time trialing, or just plain ability to suffer on a lone breakaway.
You won't like it but once again, it brings results. And if it was easy, everyone would be doing them.
Try it once a week in a four week build up to a 25 mile or 50 mile TT. Or use it in the early season to build FTP endurance. You can even do a session once a week throughout the season, if you have the mental fortitude and physical constitution.
It's especially good for those day's when it's raining outside and you need a good workout.
You don't absolutely need power to do this interval, it can be adapted, please see the end of the page.
Really only suited to a turbo, which will become obvious once you've done one!
Find your Functional Threshold Power then add a 5% watts premium. Say you have 275 watts FTP; add 5% and you get a 288 watts interval target.
Start by getting to your FTP + premium wattage as soon as you can within the interval but without "sprinting to it". No shocks to the system, just a concentrated increase in wattage from recovery to effort in one long linear fashion.
Once the warm up is over; start with one minute at your target wattage. Take a one minute recovery.
Then move to two minutes at target then another minute recovery. At his point you'll be wondering what all the fuss is about and "When's it going to start?" Patience, my little champions, patience.
Four minutes, comes next (have you worked it out yet?) followed by a one minute recovery. In to eight minutes on, one minute off, then sixteen minutes on. Now, we've got your attention!
At the end of sixteen minutes you will be very hot, very bothered and on the verge of wilting. You now have one minute to recover before you head in to the "thirty-two minute tunnel of darkness."
You may not come out the other end. At some point you will either die of boredom, heat exhaustion, drown in your own sweat or just plain run out of puff. When you do, make a note of the time. That's what you need to beat next time.
On the glorious day that you do get to the end, (after treating yourself to a Chinese and a Vienetta (that's food by the way!)) you can ramp up the wattage another 5% and enjoy the experience all over again. Feel free to email me with your thoughts...
The Warm Up Warning
All interval sessions require a thorough and proper warm up...
Once thoroughly warmed up and at "race pace" readiness, undertake the following session.
Obviously this is a long session if you manage to get to the end. But you should only get to the end once! Because when you do, you start again, with increased wattage targets.
Most session times will be 60-70 minutes. Just taking the session to 16 minutes, still gives 31 minutes of Threshold effort.
If you're stuck for time or just need a "top-up" you can stop the session at the end of sixteen minutes.
If you don't have a power meter, or a power based turbo, just adapt your session to kilometres or miles an hour until you find you can only get around 10 minutes in to the 32 minute interval. Heart rate isn't really appropriate as you get cardiac drift and the early intervals can't be paced by heart rate.
Here's a WKO+ screenshot of a session...
The Self Coach Manual...
Contains over 60 pages of drills, sessions, information and everything you need to get you race ready and higher up the finishing order than you now are. For the price of a training tub you can transform your season, winter or just bike riding pleasure, by taking your fitness to new levels.
The pages here, contain quite a few of our world famous drills, but only a "vanilla" version of them. Your own, personalised Self Coach Manual contains much more than all the drills, all their variants. All you have to do is decide which ones you want to use, and in what order. It's that simple.