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Old 01-31-08, 05:44 PM   #1
nafun
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Interval intensity

Yesterday i set my bike up on the trainer for some intervals. My planned workout was:

15 min warmup
1x10
5 recovery
4x(3+3)
5 recovery
1x10
warm down

For these intervals, i was using my speedometer to hold constant power, as my trainer has a reasonably consistent resistance curve.

On the first of the 3 minute intervals i hit my observed Max HR, and held it for the last 15 seconds of the interval. On the second interval, i again hit my Max HR, but this time for the last 30 seconds of the interval. I was able to maintain target speed on both. On the third, my form was noticeably deteriorating, and my speed would drift down every time i took my eyes off my cyclocomputer. I finished the interval, kicking the speed back up every time i noticed it decreasing, but i guess the average power suffered as my HR did not get quite as high.

I called it quits for the 3x3's after the third, and when i tried to do the last 10min, i had nothing left and aborted after 2 mins.

So, my question is:
Was this too hard, unnecessarily fatiguing myself preventing the completion of the workout?
Or was this just good training / overreaching?
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Old 01-31-08, 06:12 PM   #2
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sounds like a few things. First, your 3 minute intervals sound like VO2max intervals. IF you were holding constant speed throughout, then you were holding constant power throughout. If, holding a constant power for three minutes you were able to see your "Max HR" for the final 15 and final 30 seconds, your estimation of MAX HR is quite off (no one is likely to see a Max HR response on a wattage they can hold for 3 minutes nor will a person be able to sustain a true Max HR for 30 seconds).

To answer if the workout was too hard? Depends on what you were trying to do. You went to failure. That forces adaptation. What was the failure caused by? Was it mental? I mean, after all, it wasn't like you could not have completed the second ten minute interval at a lower speed (wattage). You chose not to proceed at a lower wattage and quit. Not saying its bad, because I have done it, but don't think that it is a physical quit you did.

So what were you trying to do? were the 10 minute efforts supposed to be tempo efforts? If so, then, no, it was not good training. A person will be able to do 10 minutes of tempo after some VO2 work. Maybe you were trying to see what your limits were? Congrats. You succeeded.

Not really sure what you are asking, but in my mind, if I had to guess, I would say both yes and no (yes great intensity, no poor pacing)
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Old 01-31-08, 06:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nafun View Post
Yesterday i set my bike up on the trainer for some intervals. My planned workout was:

15 min warmup
1x10
5 recovery
4x(3+3)
5 recovery
1x10
warm down

For these intervals, i was using my speedometer to hold constant power, as my trainer has a reasonably consistent resistance curve.

On the first of the 3 minute intervals i hit my observed Max HR, and held it for the last 15 seconds of the interval. On the second interval, i again hit my Max HR, but this time for the last 30 seconds of the interval. I was able to maintain target speed on both. On the third, my form was noticeably deteriorating, and my speed would drift down every time i took my eyes off my cyclocomputer. I finished the interval, kicking the speed back up every time i noticed it decreasing, but i guess the average power suffered as my HR did not get quite as high.

I called it quits for the 3x3's after the third, and when i tried to do the last 10min, i had nothing left and aborted after 2 mins.

So, my question is:
Was this too hard, unnecessarily fatiguing myself preventing the completion of the workout?
Or was this just good training / overreaching?
I'd say you went too hard. Sounds like an attempted L5 workout. You may try lowering the intensity a tad, so that you don't hit your max HR, or at least not in the early intervals. This should allow you to complete more reps. Ideally, try for about 20-30' total for the work intervals. You can break it into sets, for example: 2 sets of 4x3' on, 3' off w/10 min easy spinning between sets.

Also, I would lose the 10' chunks so that you can give your full effort to the VO2Max intervals.

These are way easier to pace with a PM.
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Old 01-31-08, 06:17 PM   #4
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Not to go on a tangent, but taking a step back, what was the criteria you used to design your workout? How did you design this workout compared to your last and next workout? What are you looking for in a week, month? What is your reference? Do you work with a coach or a book?
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Old 01-31-08, 06:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
sounds like a few things. First, your 3 minute intervals sound like VO2max intervals. IF you were holding constant speed throughout, then you were holding constant power throughout. If, holding a constant power for three minutes you were able to see your "Max HR" for the final 15 and final 30 seconds, your estimation of MAX HR is quite off (no one is likely to see a Max HR response on a wattage they can hold for 3 minutes nor will a person be able to sustain a true Max HR for 30 seconds).

To answer if the workout was too hard? Depends on what you were trying to do. You went to failure. That forces adaptation. What was the failure caused by? Was it mental? I mean, after all, it wasn't like you could not have completed the second ten minute interval at a lower speed (wattage). You chose not to proceed at a lower wattage and quit. Not saying its bad, because I have done it, but don't think that it is a physical quit you did.

So what were you trying to do? were the 10 minute efforts supposed to be tempo efforts? If so, then, no, it was not good training. A person will be able to do 10 minutes of tempo after some VO2 work. Maybe you were trying to see what your limits were? Congrats. You succeeded.

Not really sure what you are asking, but in my mind, if I had to guess, I would say both yes and no (yes great intensity, no poor pacing)
What i am calling my observed Max HR is the highest i have ever seen. The last time i saw this HR was on a group ride two years ago on a steep hill just before i blew up.
The 10 mins were suppossed to be about at threashold. I stopped because i was unable to hold threashold. Would it have been better to continue at lower intensity?

I have heard reference to VO2 Max intervals being supposed to be done at the highest intensity you can sustain for the duration of the interval, so this is what i was trying to do on the 3 mins.
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Old 01-31-08, 07:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nafun View Post
What i am calling my observed Max HR is the highest i have ever seen. The last time i saw this HR was on a group ride two years ago on a steep hill just before i blew up.
The 10 mins were suppossed to be about at threashold. I stopped because i was unable to hold threashold. Would it have been better to continue at lower intensity?

I have heard reference to VO2 Max intervals being supposed to be done at the highest intensity you can sustain for the duration of the interval, so this is what i was trying to do on the 3 mins.
Thanks with more info I can say that Yes, you went too hard...sorta. My opinion is that you probably just needed more rest between your last VO2 interval and the second threshold interval. Having said that, you probably also overestimate your threshold, because ten threshold minutes should not really be difficult due to the fact that in theory you can sustain it for 60 minutes.

Should you have continued with the threshold interval? My opinion is yes because you want to train your body to adapt to stresses and so while you would have had to back down from say 20 to 18mph, you still should have finished as best as you could with your HR around LTHR. Of course, I believe in periodization too, and so I don't think this workout is appropriate without a solid base to back it up.

I would say back down the wattage (speed) requirements for the "threshold" and maybe put a little extra rest in between the VO2 and the second threshold.

Oh, and another thing. For most people, VO2 is best stimulated at 108-115% of threshold. This is usually a CP12 value (roughly) so using a CP3 might be a bit much to elicit an appropriate VO2 response.
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Old 01-31-08, 07:17 PM   #7
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Dont think you are hitting your Max HR. I can hit max maybe a few times a month in peak season form and thats about it.

Time for you to do more testing.
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Old 01-31-08, 07:55 PM   #8
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Not to oversimplify but get a bigger fan? My experience at high intensities indoors has been I overheat, can't generate the power, can't raise the HR. (Don't have to deal with that anymore )
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Old 01-31-08, 07:56 PM   #9
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Too hard and interval in the same sentence?

hmm...
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