Recent Posts



No tags yet.

The world's worst playlist for intervals

Guaranteed to add at least 20 watts.

It's getting to be that time of year. Unless you think snow-bikepacking is the best thing ever, or you snowbird to Phoenix for the winter, you may find yourself riding indoors soon. In what could be this year's most eccentric playlist to do intervals, I've decided to share some of my favorite music to listen to while riding indoors. Enjoy!


While learning about Trinidad and Tobago culture before I went there, I learned about Soca music. If you like uptempo, dancehall music that you would listen to on a beach, give this a try. This is also the only non-classical music on this playlist, so get your fill in now! It's catchy!

A small tangent.

For those of you who don't know, my wife and I are both classically trained musicians. She still plays the flute, and I play accordion to piss off the neighbors. Since I spent a good four years studying and listening to classical music, a lot of the rest of this list is classically oriented.

2. Organ Music

To start off, one of my favorite organ albums. Since organ music has a lot of parts (performer, composer, instrument), you can find many recordings of the same piece. Enjoy a few recordings of Carillon de Westminster, composed by Louis Verne. This piece is a fantasie on the classic westminster chimes (what every clock every plays on the hour) You'll recognize that theme throughout, plus the ending is EPIC.

Same piece, different organ, different performer.

3. Wagner

If organ music isn't your jam, maybe try some Wagner. This is truly the most epic and grand of orchestral music, and Tannhauser overture is my go to jam for 20 min FTP tests. (spoiler alert, it's almost exactly 20 minutes) With each overture clocking in at least 10 minutes, it's easy to make the minutes fly by.

Another great recording, but no venusburg music makes it a bit short. Don't yell at me when it doesn't go for your whole 20 minutes, I warned you.

4. Beethoven No. 3

This symphony is literally titled "Heroic Symphony." Do you really need more of an explanation than that? It's about 40 minutes long, and easy to listen to. Get that work done.

5. Rossini Clarinet Concerto

One of the tactics I use for individual pursuit is to settle into a pace, and let the first 2k just come to you. If you feel like you aren't fighting the bike or the pace for the first half of the race, it's probably a decent pace. You only need to fight the last 2 laps, or maybe the last kilo. Rossini seems to make the themes just keep flowing in this piece. I always have a soft spot for theme and variations, and this piece has been my jam for the last year or so. I listen to it during my warmup, and several times through the week. This recording is excellent; the soloist isn't showy, sets the mood, and lets the piece come to him. He knows the place for every note, and puts every note in its place. Overall, an absolutely sublime recording and performance.

6. Bach Goldberg Variations

If you've seen Silence of the Lambs, you've heard the goldberg variations. My all-time favorite theme and variations, the Goldberg variations are a standard for many aspiring pianists. There are dozens of amazing recordings to study, and you can discover something new on each listening. Glenn Gould is one of the standard recordings to start with. One of my favorites for longer tempo intervals.

7. David Maslanka, Give us this day

Another EPIC piece of classical music. Although I may be slightly biased since I performed the mallet percussion part on a few occasions, this piece is incredibly gratifying to listen to. It gives you a theme, and not variations, but developments on that idea. Maslanka incorporates many religious musical themes into his works; Give us this Day is a lengthy, epic poem. Without getting too intellectual, the first movement is deep and searching, and the second half is incredibly vast and energetic, just like most intervals. Best applied to longer intervals for sure.

Good luck with your workouts! Feel free to discuss, recommend, or berate any music in the comments.