Most interval workouts feature intervals of a designated duration. This one doesn’t. Instead, the wattage hold workout requires that you select a certain wattage number and hold it as long as you can, or at least longer than you did the last time you did the workout. As fitness improves, the capacity to sustain very high submaximal intensities increases more than the speed that can be sustained for any given period of time, so the wattage hold is a better way to observe your progress and gain the confidence boost that comes with evidence of progress. And because it always terminates with a cry of “Mercy!” the wattage hold is also a great way to build mental toughness.
To do this workout, select a wattage that you believe you could sustain for a maximum duration of approximately five minutes. Ride easy for 30 to 60 minutes and then increase your intensity to the designated level. Hold it until you are pretty sure you could not sustain it for another full minute and then stop at a round minute number. For example, if after sustaining your target wattage for five minutes you are pretty certain you could not reach six minutes, stop at five. Wait two to three weeks to do the workout again and aim for six minutes at the same wattage, and so forth.