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  1. #1
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    Here's the interval workout I came up with today; Please review and tweak

    First of all, I want to say thanks to eveyone who has taken the time to write about my ignorance on intervals and racing in a crit. Even though it's only a little amateur celebrity support race, I want to do it right. I respect the hell out of all you guys who do it on a regular basis.

    Now, keeping in mind that I am new to all this...and that #1 here is keeping my hip replacement as safe as possible in this situation....I'm adding practicing with one interval training ride per week. Here's what I found today:

    --A nice flat section of parkway road, little or no traffic.

    --I rode about six miles to this location, then started my series of intervals which went like this--

    From a mailbox to a mailbox, it took me a minute or just over that on the clock.
    I go hard, but in the saddle the whole time (out of the saddle has been causing my hip some soreness after the ride recently)

    One minute on the gas and the numbers are this:
    --24's to 25 mph
    --100 to 105 rpm
    --1:00 or just over
    There was a slight cross to tail wind helping somewhat on the fast parts.

    I turn around and head back to where I started the interval, using a nice easy gear going 15's...take a drink, catch my breath....repeat.

    7X today.

    About halfway through the interval my HR jumps into the red zone for me, meaning 160+

    For some reason the 5th one was the hardest.
    I finished strong, but my legs were already getting rubber-like.

    Question about breathing too.
    I try to be a stickler for proper breathing...in deep through nose, out through mouth. That didn't last very long...I went to the huff and puff in a hurry. Is that something that just happens or do I need to work on that?

    So...end of the workout shows:
    19.8 miles total
    1:12 saddle time
    Ave. speed (means nothing in a workout like this I guess) 16.4
    Max. speed 25.5
    7X intervals of a minute at 24's mph, 160+BPM

    Okay...please tweak away on my setup. All advise gladly welcomed.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  2. #2
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    the only real comment I have is you shouldnt do intervals based on speed since to many things can vary that would affect your speed. Just go by time and effort/heart rate.

    You have the right idea.

  3. #3
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    In the drops, on the hoods, or on the tops? I'm guessing you weren't in the drops. You need to get down there!

    If your cardio/lungs give out before your legs, then push a harder gear (lower cadence). I find these work best when everything maxes out at the same time.

    You might also try doing a set of 5, then do a (nearly) complete recovery, and follow that with a second set of five if you have the time.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

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    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riskus
    the only real comment I have is you shouldnt do intervals based on speed since to many things can vary that would affect your speed. Just go by time and effort/heart rate.

    You have the right idea.
    I agree. Set your HR monitor to beep if you drop below a certain HR level during the interval. That way you'll always be working hard enough.

    Also, you might want to alternate days of those intervals with hill intervals.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk
    In the drops, on the hoods, or on the tops? I'm guessing you weren't in the drops. You need to get down there!

    If your cardio/lungs give out before your legs, then push a harder gear (lower cadence). I find these work best when everything maxes out at the same time.

    You might also try doing a set of 5, then do a (nearly) complete recovery, and follow that with a second set of five if you have the time.
    I mixed it up, but most on the hoods...a couple in the drops. My breathing seems more labored in the drops.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

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    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipcycler
    I mixed it up, but most on the hoods...a couple in the drops. My breathing seems more labored in the drops.
    Yeah, but you are going to be in the drops when you "drope the hamer". Might as well get used to it.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

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    I know, I know...

    It's frustrating to me now though because I realize that I could drope the hamer so much betterly if I just had bigger guads.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I think you got the right idea. Don't worry about the speed so much, but keep a constant effort (equals speed if all other variables don't change, like wind, grade). HR SHOULD steadily climb to maximum. If you don't hit max by the end of the interval, you didn't go hard enough. You should have absolutely zero, zip, nada to give at the end of the 1-minute time.

    Aside from the power improvements, you also learn to pace yourself. You'll know exactly how hard to you can keep it up for 1-minute, 2, 3, 5, etc. Really helpful to do breaks or to chase down breaks, lead-outs and setting up sprints. A lot of sprints are basically a long 2-3 minute interval while you're jockeying for position followed by an all-out 100% sprint. You learn to pace yourself during this interval to have enough leftover for the sprint.

    By definition, when I'm talking about "intervals", these are all anaerobic efforts above LT.

    One minute on the gas and the numbers are this:
    --24's to 25 mph
    --100 to 105 rpm
    --1:00 or just over
    Try this one the next time:

    --25 to 26 mph
    --105 to 110 rpm (same gear)
    --1:00 exactly and hit max-HR

  9. #9
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Since when is breathing in through the nose the correct way? There is absolutely no way I could do that. I have my mouth hanging open gasping for breath when I'm riding hard.
    Bring the pain.

  10. #10
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    do your self a favor and do these workouts entirely in the drops so that by race day you are totally comfortable in that position. Racing can be so much easier when you are in a more aero position like that.

  11. #11
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DannoXYZ] HR SHOULD steadily climb to maximum.

    ...but does this depend where you start? Say for working on jumps from zone 2-3, is 1 min too short to hit MHR?
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    I think you got the right idea. Don't worry about the speed so much, but keep a constant effort (equals speed if all other variables don't change, like wind, grade). HR SHOULD steadily climb to maximum. If you don't hit max by the end of the interval, you didn't go hard enough. You should have absolutely zero, zip, nada to give at the end of the 1-minute time.

    Aside from the power improvements, you also learn to pace yourself. You'll know exactly how hard to you can keep it up for 1-minute, 2, 3, 5, etc. Really helpful to do breaks or to chase down breaks, lead-outs and setting up sprints. A lot of sprints are basically a long 2-3 minute interval while you're jockeying for position followed by an all-out 100% sprint. You learn to pace yourself during this interval to have enough leftover for the sprint.


    By definition, when I'm talking about "intervals", these are all anaerobic efforts above LT.

    Try this one the next time:

    --25 to 26 mph
    --105 to 110 rpm (same gear)
    --1:00 exactly and hit max-HR
    As always, what sounds like some good advice. Thank you. I will try that. So you are saying do what I did, but pick up the rpm enough to increase the speed from 24's to 25's. Hitting max HR is not a problem....it happened every one of the seven I did today. That's not an all-out max though....I should clarify....My MHR is the upper 170's, per that goffy formula....never actually been tested)

    My top-end for usual rides is set at 160....that's when I get the double beeps, which I got on every interval today. Perhaps I should set that higher for interval day then huh?

    I'm trying to use the HR to measure the effort more than the speed next time around.

    EDIT....By the way....I'm going to be in Santa Barbara for a wedding the last weekend in June! Hmmmm...riding?
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

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    Quote Originally Posted by recursive
    Since when is breathing in through the nose the correct way? There is absolutely no way I could do that. I have my mouth hanging open gasping for breath when I'm riding hard.
    Well, when we were in Girona, Spain for the Tour de Phil a few years ago training for a week, that's what the pro there taught us anyway....and that's what I've tried to do ever since then. But when going really hard like in a sprint or these intervals, I can't do it....it's in and out the mouth....not as efficient, but perhaps necessary.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  14. #14
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Sounds pretty good to me. You might experiment with the recovery time -- 3 minutes will get your hr down a little further, but it won't react as fast during the interval.

    Going hard for a minute like that, it's tough to screw it up an not end up improving your fitness, so don't overthink it too much unless you plateau in a few months or something.

    You can also play with the cadence some. Try it at a slightly higher cadence (maybe 2 cogs to the left of normal). Change it up.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipcycler
    Well, when we were in Girona, Spain for the Tour de Phil a few years ago training for a week, that's what the pro there taught us anyway....and that's what I've tried to do ever since then. But when going really hard like in a sprint or these intervals, I can't do it....it's in and out the mouth....not as efficient, but perhaps necessary.
    Hmmm, both the nostrils and mouth join a common tube before entering the lungs. The lungs have absolutely zero idea which opening the air came through. What does matter is how much volume you're sucking in per second. As long as the tube can push as much air as the lungs are trying to extract, that's all that matters. No need to restrict the volume flowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by slim_77
    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    HR SHOULD steadily climb to maximum.
    ...but does this depend where you start? Say for working on jumps from zone 2-3, is 1 min too short to hit MHR?
    Any effort above LT, will cause HR to steadily rise to max. If you start at z2-3, doing a sprint/interval jump immediately puts muscular efforts into z5+ (HR indicator will lag). If you start at z2-3 you just have to push a little harder than if you started in z4. If you can't hit max-HR in less than 1-minute, you didn't push hard enough (or pushed too big a gear and muscles gave up 1st). I find that muscular efforts at about 95-98% of maximum sprint-effort is the most I can hold for 1-minute.

    A power-meter is more helpful than HRM for intervals since it's hard to interpret HR data when you're anaerobic. You can use the rate-of-change (acceleration) of HR data. So if you know for sure your max-HR is 200-bpm and you're starting an interval at 140bpm, then you can aim for a 15-bpm increase every 15-seconds. So 15-seconds into the interval, your HR is 155-bpm, 30-seconds is 170bpm, 45-seconds is 185-bpm, 60-seconds is 200-bpm. But that's idealistic as HR increase isn't linear. It'll probably jump up to 170-180bpm pretty quickly, then gradually increase to 200bpm.

    My top-end for usual rides is set at 160....that's when I get the double beeps, which I got on every interval today. Perhaps I should set that higher for interval day then huh?
    Sounds like you've still got some more to push on those intervals. The best way to reach max-HR is to test it yourself and the test I like is a steadily accelerating sprint. Push at 90% for about 5-10 seconds, 95% for 5-10 seconds, 98% for 5-10 seconds, 100% for 5-10 seconds. Certainly possible to hit max-HR in about 30-seconds or so... Use that new number you find as your real max-HR, it's typically +/-20% from the forumlae.

    EDIT....By the way....I'm going to be in Santa Barbara for a wedding the last weekend in June! Hmmmm...riding?
    I'll be around for sure. Looks like our Tour de Santa Barbara Century III might be on the 30th. I'll be up for a Sunday recovery ride with some intervals though.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 05-16-07 at 02:11 PM.

  16. #16
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    So if you know for sure your max-HR is 200-bpm and you're starting an interval at 140bpm, then you can aim for a 15-bpm increase every 15-seconds. So 15-seconds into the interval, your HR is 155-bpm, 30-seconds is 170bpm, 45-seconds is 185-bpm, 60-seconds is 200-bpm. But that's idealistic as HR increase isn't linear. It'll probably jump up to 170-180bpm pretty quickly, then gradually increase to 200bpm.
    This reminds me of another point: don't ride your intervals efficiently -- instead, ride them all-out. If you take your HR up too slowly, you can cover more ground during the interval, but the interval is about stressing your body, not going far or fast. Going all-out would be a terrible way to do a kilo race, but it is the right way to do these intervals.

    I fell into my own trap a few months ago doing intervals with a friend every time. We got to the point that we were more interested in being ahead at the end of the interval, and ended up pacing ourselves as such. Better to throw yourself against the wall like a wet sock, then slide down it bleeding from the eyes for the next 40 seconds -- keep pushing. You won't get as far, but you're getting a better workout.

  17. #17
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    It sure is pretty there.
    I visited a year ago March.

    Anyway....

    Beach rehersal dinner Friday...
    Saturday afternoon wedding at Fess Parker's....
    Sunday gift opening party in Valencia....

    Monday/Tuesday, sightseeing I guess.

    As for the air thing....breathing.....
    It had more to do with controling HR than anything else as I recall...plus...the air is swept cleaner by pasing through the nose hairs....blah blah blah....but you know....they always have explainations for everything.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  18. #18
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Did you puke? I get the impression from other threads that interval workouts are worthless until you are throwing up.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyLowe97
    Did you puke? I get the impression from other threads that interval workouts are worthless until you are throwing up.
    Funny you should mention that (not even close by the way) because I've been thinking about how many times I have read that funny line here...."I threw up a little in my mouth"....

    It's just funny to me every time I read it.

    I have yet to throw up a little in my mouth....I guess I'm a racing-wannabe wuss.
    Hip, "Halffast Celebrity Fashionista"

  20. #20
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipcycler
    Funny you should mention that (not even close by the way) because I've been thinking about how many times I have read that funny line here...."I threw up a little in my mouth"....

    It's just funny to me every time I read it.

    I have yet to throw up a little in my mouth....I guess I'm a racing-wannabe wuss.
    I actually did that last Tuesday after taking second in the Bs practice crit. And a huge belch.
    Bring the pain.

  21. #21
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    I've only actually thrown up during a ride once. Unfortunately, my mouth was wide open at the time so it splattered on my arms, legs, and skinsuit. Feeling like you are going to puke is generally thought to be caused by lactic acid buildup and is a sign that your heart rate is well above lactate threshold.

    Hip, the advice you got about breathing only works if you're well below your aerobic limits. I would ignore it and just let your subconscious take care of the breathing.

    If your HRM records max heart rate (or, even better, lets you upload the data to a computer to see HR over time), then you should do a test to find your max. It's important for a couple of reasons: (1) you'll know whether or not your subsequent intervals are being done at sufficient effort and (2) you'll be better equipped to deal with the discomfort of it when it happens during training/racing.

    I did a time trial in which my average heart rate for the last 20 minutes was 189 out of a lab-measured-maximum of 196. It was not at all fun, but at least now I know that I can sustain that type of agony for 20 minutes.

    --Steve

  22. #22
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I seem to puke about once every two years. Sprints last week filled my quota for a while. +1 to being caused by the lactic acid.

    Nausea, on the other thing is a weekly thing for me. Every sprint workout, and sometimes 1-minute intervals.

  23. #23
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Any effort above LT, will cause HR to steadily rise to max. If you start at z2-3, doing a sprint/interval jump immediately puts muscular efforts into z5+ (HR indicator will lag). If you start at z2-3 you just have to push a little harder than if you started in z4. If you can't hit max-HR in less than 1-minute, you didn't push hard enough (or pushed too big a gear and muscles gave up 1st). I find that muscular efforts at about 95-98% of maximum sprint-effort is the most I can hold for 1-minute.

    A power-meter is more helpful than HRM for intervals since it's hard to interpret HR data when you're anaerobic. You can use the rate-of-change (acceleration) of HR data. So if you know for sure your max-HR is 200-bpm and you're starting an interval at 140bpm, then you can aim for a 15-bpm increase every 15-seconds. So 15-seconds into the interval, your HR is 155-bpm, 30-seconds is 170bpm, 45-seconds is 185-bpm, 60-seconds is 200-bpm. But that's idealistic as HR increase isn't linear. It'll probably jump up to 170-180bpm pretty quickly, then gradually increase to 200bpm.
    very helpful, thanks!
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  24. #24
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    If you didn't feel like you wanted to die at the end of the interval, you didn't go hard enough .
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  25. #25
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    I did a lot of investigation a few years ago about what science had to say about the “perfect interval workout” for endurance athletes.

    All things pointed towards spending the most amount of time at high intensities, duh. But how one picks interval duration, intensity and number of replicates is much harder.

    What I found was you want to first do an incremental exercise test to determine the maximal aerobic power (MAP) you can produce. Use a testing protocol like Conconi or the MAP. This stepwise test is just like a VO2max test but the step lengths are longer to reduce the contribution from the anaerobic systems.

    Then the next day when recovered test how long you can hold the MAP. We will call this sustainable duration of MAP (SDMAP).

    For the next month do intervals at MAP for 60% of SDMAP, recover until HR hits ~65%MHR and repeat until you can no longer hold the power for the prescribed duration.

    That is the key, because the whole program is based at maximizing high intensity volume you must repeat these until you really can’t perform up to snuff. Otherwise do all intervals to failure (get sick, hit maxhr, crash).

    The nice thing with these is that it’s not really the hardest you can go, and it’s only 60% of how long you can go, so they don’t hurt right? LOL

    Once you are able to do more reps, retest.

    You can do this without a power meter, just not as well.

    Too complicated?

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