Earn the right for mixed work...

Earn the right for mixed work...

Aerobic Intervals and how to use them

The theory…

Creating awareness of our own capacity, how to pace, how to breathe during aerobic work and of course making physiological adaptations within our bodies are just some of the basic benefits of hitting consistent cyclical aerobic intervals.

Earning mixed work…

When we do this, consistently and show excellent pacing and awareness, we build intrinsic ability to pace and be sustainable, which is essential if we want to do the same in mixed modal aerobic work. Which is key to improvements in the sport of fitness.

In the attached pictures we see client Ben hitting consistent 500m rowing splits (cyclical repeats). These are high-er end aerobic pieces and are based off his 2km row time trial score (you must always have something to base your pacing off – without assessing we are just guessing). We slowly modulate volume and/or intensity over long periods of time that will see him make real changes to his work capacity that can then be tested again in a 2km time trial.


The key here is – CONSISTENCY! Look at how close all his splits are…in my mind, as a coach, he is earning the right to move onto more complex conditioning pieces here by showing me excellent pacing at a high effort in cyclical work.

The reality…

The reality is however that this is pretty mentally challenging and takes TIME, EFFORT and BELIEF. Whether it is 500m repeats, or 15 minute efforts.


These repeats can be continued for months and months. If basic lifestyle factors are in place and recovery is on point, the progress can be long term.


They are hard. Not that exciting. Certainly not the sexy stuff. It takes effort to commit and give everything to them.


You have to trust your coach and his prescription in what you are doing. Without this, the effect of the programme is severely reduced in my experience.


These rowing repeats as an example can also be used as a litmus tester to see where someone is physiologically, a great tool within peaking or pre competition.

Aerobic and Absolute Strength CAN be increased at the same time. If you start failing on what would normally be solid aerobic work for you, it is a great indication that you are overreaching…exactly what we want pre competition.


If you want to learn more about programme design and how to reach your athletic potential, please email us at theathletesystem@gmail.com

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