Sir Chris Hoy, Revolution 36, January 2012

Cycling is hard; it attracts people who can take pain. In fact many top racers seem to relish it. We spoke to a cross section of successful racers from different disciplines and different generations, and they all came up with something that hurt them. Try one, if you think you're hard enough.

Seriously though, even a toned down version of these sessions will make a great breakthrough workout. Just pick one that suits the sort of cycling you are into. Treat them with respect, though. Take a couple of easy days before, with the same after, use good nutrition before during and after each one, add a pinch of good quality rest, and they will give you a good fitness boost.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.