Whether its swim, bike or run, training comes down to doing intervals, a lot of intervals. Below is a typical bike trainer assignment from my coach, Jamie Church.
“After a nice and relaxed warm up of at least 10 minutes, do 4 x 2:00 Zone 5/Hard intervals with a full 2:00 easy recovery b/w intervals. After the last Zone 5/Hard interval and recovery, do a 1 x 8:00 Zone 4/Tempo interval.”
For several weeks the small tray table beside my bike trainer had a kitchen timer and pad of paper. I on the other hand had a near certainty that I had missed an interval somewhere and a dull pain between my eyes. Then realizing there had to be a better way, I went online, found and downloaded Seconds Pro for my iPhone. The app is also available for Android devices.
I found app’s interface to be quite intuitive. I quickly mastered set up for circuit timer and compound timers. The compound timer easily handles the above example. I set a warm up of 10 minutes, then a circuit timer for the 4 x 2:00 minute intervals with 2:00 minute rest, and a 2:00 minute cool down to cover the last interval. Then I set up the second circuit timer for the 8:00 minute Zone 4 interval with a cool down long enough to make the workout last the required 60 minutes.
I have the app set up to announce each interval and use a 3,2,1 countdown. It says what you type in for interval names. So for the example above: warm up, zone 5, recover, zone 4 and cool down. I also set it to change colors on the display between work and rest intervals to help me stay on track. I have used it running carrying the phone in my hand or with the phone in my Amphipod waistpack using Bluetooth earbuds. I have used on my trainer and on my bike in a jersey pocket. I have had no problems with the app, and it is updated regularly.
The Bottom Line: Seconds Pro is highly recommended.
App Name: Seconds Pro
Current Version: 3.5.1
Price: $4.99 (There is a free version but you’re really going to want to upgrade to Seconds Pro.)
Developer: Runloop Ltd