Day in the Life 4; Professional Cyclist Cara Gillis, Part Two: Intervals

Last week, in part of one of our episode with pro cyclist Cara Gillis we learned about her background in veganism, philosophy and pro cycling. Today, we ride! And boy do we ride. One thing that immediately impresses you about Cara is her diligence in following a training plan and her intelligent use of intervals. It has shown me the importance of having a good plan and following it closely.
In Part 2 we head to Mt Washington, a famed climb in Northeast Los Angeles as I try to keep up with Cara on 1-minute intervals. One minute, that’s all, but it’s easier said than done!  We also speak with her coach Jeff Lawler about the importance of intervals and the most common mistake new cyclists make.
Enjoy!

How amazing is Cara? I’m almost embarrassed at how quickly she dropped me. Almost. But not, because she is such a bad-ass.  Though I now know that I need to start doing better intervals! To recap Jeff, here are some tips to smartly introduce intervals.

Smart Intervals

-Hold the same pace for the entire length of the interval. A one-minute interval is not a 20 second sprint with 40 seconds of barely holding on…

-Give yourself a proper recovery time. Today we had a 3-minute rest for a 1-minute interval. You need enough time for your cardiovascular system and muscles to recover in order for them to push as hard in the subsequent intervals.

-Do at least four. If you are totally spent after two, you may need to adjust your pace or analyze if you are ready for intervals.

-Include a variety of lengths and intensities of intervals. Cara calls 20-minutes intervals the bread and (vegan) butter workout for fast cyclists. It’s a skill to figure out your pace and hold it for 20 minutes in itself. But learning that skill has huge payoffs.

-Intervals should happen a few times per week, max.

Thank you Cara and Jeff for spending your day with us. Cara would like to thank her team Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized, especially the directors who go out of their way to make sure she gets vegan food at races. That’s super cool. Even though she is not sponsored by them,  she wants me to mention Hammer Nutrition products because most of their stuff is vegan. When her team has sponsors that don’t make anything vegan she buys Hammer stuff on her own.

What did you learn from today’s episode? As always, thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time!

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10 Comments

Filed under Day in the Life, road, vegan

10 responses to “Day in the Life 4; Professional Cyclist Cara Gillis, Part Two: Intervals

  1. helen

    Thanks for these two videos on Cara. It is wonderful finding out about pro women cyclists.

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  3. Heehee!!! I thoroughly enjoyed this series and even had to chuckle a little (out loud), all in good fun… WITH Matt, NOT at him! ;-) Very informative all around – thanks to everyone involved!! Keep em’ coming please!

  4. anushka

    good to see she can be nice when there’s a video camera pointed at her. hahahah.

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  6. edenbak

    Definately enjoyed this! Thank for making these.

    What is the name of the song played during the interval workout?

    Thanks again!

  7. Educational and inspirational. I will try the recipes for sure! Trying to get vegan for health reasons mostly. I have an auto immune disease called Lupus that when eating raw or veggie/vegan food I feel way better then cooked crap. I am a cyclist myself and it is good to see Cara, her husband and yes you Matt cycle and maintain the protein off of a vegan diet. I would like to finish the 508 one day as well. My hat is off to you Matt for finishing that!

  8. nadja

    “Broccoli and quinoa everywhere…” lol!

    This series is awesome!!! :D

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