• Intelligent Cycling®

How to Recover Between Efforts



When programming for power you need to respect that training is not just about intensity – it is also about recovery between efforts and between workouts. The following is guidelines on how to add recovery between efforts. In this perspective "the effort" is intervals with the aim to challenge a specific target in a specific zone. Let´s take a look at the minimum time spend to gain enough stress to make a difference and the maximum time spend in the 7 power zones:


Zone 7

5-15 seconds


Zone 6

30 seconds - 2 minutes


Zone 5

3-8 minutes


Zone 4

10-60 minutes


Zone 3

2,5-8 hours


Zone 2

2,5 hours - 14 days


Zone 1

60-70 years


The following guidelines are based on intervals in zone 4 to 7 that are higher in intensity (ie high end of the aerobic system and the anaerobic system) with the objective to maximize the efforts!


Intervals less than 5 minutes

Intervals less than 5 minutes will be done in Power Zone 5, 6 or 7. In general recovery time should be double the interval time if you are trying to maximize the effort. So if you do a 30 seconds interval i zone 6, you should aim for 60 seconds recovery between efforts. If you do a 5 minute interval i zone 5, you should aim for 10 minutes recovery between efforts. You can do a one to one ratio if you are trying to improve repeatability.


Intervals more than 5 minutes

If the Intervals are more than 5 minutes and performed in power zone 4, you should aim for a recovery half the interval time to make sure you recover sufficiently. Intervals in Power zone 4 is more aerobic, so they don’t need a ton of recovery time.


What is recovery

With recovery we mean "Zone 1 - Active Recovery" - remember that training was not just about intensity - if you want to get succes, you need to respect the time needed to recovery for the next interval. If you do "mixed interval" classes with intervals shorter than the individual times in each zone above, you can worry less about recovery times, but you still need to keep the overall impact of your workout in mind.

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