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Thread: 2x20s

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    2x20s

    So I tried to do 2x20s for the first time (at least on my own) yesterday, and I failed it!

    I had to use the gym bikes, since our team doesn't have access to the spinning room until October, and my trainer sucks. I warmed my legs up for ten minutes, and then got going. I turned the resistance up until I was having a hard time spinning at sub 80 rpm, and then adjusted it so that I can still feel that at 80rpm. I forgot my heart rate monitor, but the machine had one (that was pretty accurate).

    I couldn't go past 10 minutes. By that point, my HR was at 175 (which is about 95% of my HRmax, so far as I'm aware right now), and I was spinning between 77 and 80 rpm. I recovered for 8 minutes, and went at it again. I had a much more difficult time getting my heart rate up than the first, predominately because my legs were really tired (or I may have spent too much time in recovery). It took about five minutes for me to get to 170, and even at that point, I couldn't hold it sustainably. After that, I recovered for a minute or so, and then I did five 10 second sprint efforts (each included a minute of recovery). I tried to just "disconnect" my legs from my head, so that I can deal with the pain a little better. I think I pushed my heart rate to at least 182, possibly 185, and I hit a max cadence of 146 rpm at that resistance level.

    I couldn't measure my power output, since the machine only had METs, which seems to be the amount of oxygen I'm moving. If it counts for anything, I held it between 14 and 18 METs. I reached somewhere around 31 METs in the sprints. I wish I had a power meter, since that seems to be more useful for cycling.

    I know now that I have the potential to do better, so what I'm planning on doing is increasing each interval by either 30 seconds or a minute each time I do it. I want to slowly build up to being able to do 2x20s, since I know that can help me immensely in doing better in the time trials. I'm thinking of doing this every Monday (and possibly on Sundays, though this Sunday is out) until I hit my intensity training, which I will do this twice a week consistently with other strength-building workouts.

    What do you guys think? I talked this over with one of my team members, and he suggested that I find a resistance level that lets me spin this at 90 rpm instead of 80. The thing is that I feel that in my informal TT efforts, I feel most powerful when spinning between 85 and 90, while using 53x17 or so. When I spin faster, I don't transfer power as well. Should I concentrate on improving this?
    Ride more.

    Code:
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  2. #2
    I'm that guy that I am.
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    Do you already know your lactate threhold heart rate? If not, that's the first thing you need to determine.

    And I've always been a fan of stopping a interval workout if my heart rate isn't responding normally as a bad workout can do more harm than good.

    Why not start with three sixes then migrate to two 10s then three 10s then 2x20s? It's all about progression.

  3. #3
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
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    Work up to them. They aren't friendly if done correctly.

  4. #4
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Crassic, slow down!
    The idea for the workout you are trying to accomplish is not going all-out.
    While doing the effort, you should be asking yourself, "can I hold this for pace for 60-90 minutes?
    If not, then ease back to a point that you feel like you could.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I'll do that. I was afraid of going too easy, especially since I've been told that for time trials, you are pretty much going all out.
    Ride more.

    Code:
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     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  6. #6
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    In a time trial you are going all out, but that all out is spread over the entire distance, which could be anywhere from 4 minutes to an hour.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    So it's better to just pick a pace that I can do for a long time? If so, what should I look for with my HR? I haven't run any of the tests yet to find my lactate threshold (though I think my anaerobic threshold is around 164, since that's when I start going into oxygen debt) and I don't think I've found my right max heart rate.

    I am pretty sure that I can sustain a pace at a HR b/w 160-165 for a good while, though I'm not sure if I can sustain that for an hour.
    Ride more.

    Code:
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     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  8. #8
    Killing Rabbits
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    I you are really intent on using the exercise bike at the gym, do a progressive exercise test to determine which “level” to do the intervals at. Use “manual” mode to control workload.

    After a 10min warmup turn the machine down to level 1. Every 2minutes increase the level by one (no rest between levels). Continue increasing the level every 2min until you can no longer continue -record the highest level completed.

    The next time you attempt 2x20min intervals try doing the first one two levels below what you reached during the test. For example if you reached level 16 try doing 20min at level 14 and see if you can pull that off. If too easy or too hard go up or down one level and try again.

    For 5min intervals do them at the highest level achieved during the test (eg level 16)

    Do one minute intervals 1 or 2 levels higher than what you reached during the PExT, if the machine goes that high (when I was in university I could ‘beat” the crappy exercise bike at the gym).

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    I'm that guy that I am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
    So it's better to just pick a pace that I can do for a long time? If so, what should I look for with my HR? I haven't run any of the tests yet to find my lactate threshold (though I think my anaerobic threshold is around 164, since that's when I start going into oxygen debt) and I don't think I've found my right max heart rate.

    I am pretty sure that I can sustain a pace at a HR b/w 160-165 for a good while, though I'm not sure if I can sustain that for an hour.
    The typical way to determine lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) is to ride 30 minutes all-out on your road bike over a flat course. Use a heart rate meter that does averages and laps. At the end of the first ten minutes, hit the lap button and record the average heart rate over the last 20 minutes of the ride. That's a good approximation of your LTHR. I'm not sure of the way to do this indoors but it's still warm out and there's plenty of light, why are yo riding indoors?

  10. #10
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Monday was my day to bring clothes to work, so I didn't ride.

    If that's the case, then my LTHR is somewhere in the lower 170s.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  11. #11
    Senior Member dmb2786's Avatar
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    i only read a few sentences, but spin faster and ride a real bike

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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
    I couldn't go past 10 minutes. By that point, my HR was at 175 (which is about 95% of my HRmax, so far as I'm aware right now), and I was spinning between 77 and 80 rpm.......

    What do you guys think? I talked this over with one of my team members, and he suggested that I find a resistance level that lets me spin this at 90 rpm instead of 80. The thing is that I feel that in my informal TT efforts, I feel most powerful when spinning between 85 and 90, while using 53x17 or so. When I spin faster, I don't transfer power as well. Should I concentrate on improving this?
    I don't know what you're using for max heart rate. If it's the box-stock 220-age, then it could be pretty seriously different than that. You'd be better off seeing what it is during a race or a hard group ride during a sprint by downloading your HR monitor afterwards.

    As far as your cadence, that's probably one problem. Don't be afraid to bring it up. You might be marginally stronger at 80 rpm, but as you found out, you can't sustain that type of load for as long as you need to. I stay between 95-100 when doing this type of workout. Remember, you're trying to control your heart rate and keep it on a single number (say, +/- 2 bpm initally, but +/-1 when you get more experience). You'll have to keep shifting up or down to keep your HR in it's happy spot. When you start to overshoot, downshift to make it easier. When your HR drops, upshift to make it harder. If you're outside, then you'll constantly be shifting to compensate for elevation and wind changes. The thing is that when you need to get your HR up, the only way to do it is to push the pedals harder. I know it sounds a little trite to say, but it's just how it is. Sometimes that means gritting your teeth, standing up and getting real mean. It just is what it is.

    These aren't easy to do. The take a **lot** of want-to to do them. Honestly, they suck. They also do wonders for making your stronger physically and mentally. It's cool to take a flyer and look down at your heart rate, which is through the roof, and know....and I mean _know_.....that you can hold it for the next 15 or 20 minutes. Ya, it'll hurt, but you can do it.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  13. #13
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Don't read too mush into all the advice here on the correct cadence. Some folks do better closer to 100 rpm and others do better around 80 rpm. Just look at some coverage of "pro" time trials and you will see a pretty wide range, even among the best of the best. You will need to find out what works best for you.

    All 2x20's are not the same as well. Sometimes you do them "all out" and totally trash yourself. You shouldn't make a steady diet of these. Even when you do a more civilized set they do hurt like hell, especially the last few minutes of the second set.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

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    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    I agree with YMCA. "All-out" is a bad way to describe an effort you must sustain for 20 min X2. Sub is correct, it will hurt, but not drain you--I mean, you are going for repetition. It should be the most hurt you can sustain for 20min.

    I worked up to them over my frist few "serious" training sessions: 10 min at or just above threshold, then 15 min. then 20...ouch.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  15. #15
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    2x20min hurts more indoors. At least outside you get to go fast.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

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    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    I dunno, I get to look at the wall and that is sooo relaxing. But I've got pics of racers making all kinds of painful faces as they are en route to winning a race. My favorite is Philippe Gilbert in the '08 Het Volk. He looks like he is in more pain I am capable of putting myself through...great motivation.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  17. #17
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
    Everything hurts more indoors. At least outside you get to go fast.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member barryflht's Avatar
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    Use a HR monitor and do them in Zone 3 hr..... They will make you stronger. I'm just a beginner, but have done a lot of these on the trainer this summer and it has made a surprising difference.
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  19. #19
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    Classic: By looking at your profile "collecting Base Miles" and seeing the ECCC Cat D number on your back, you should be spending more time building base miles then doing anything close to lactate threshold… you won’t be racing till March so no use burning yourself out before Christmas.

    If you are going to ride in the gym due to schedule, just work on getting a smooth spin and increasing your cadence to improve efficiency. You could also use this time to build leg muscle by doing low weight high repetitions on fitness machines.

    I too race in the ECCC and work my schedule like this: I start training in mid Sept. (I take summer off) and I like to do a lot of base miles gradually increasing my miles and time in the saddle in increments of 10-15% every week. I alternate these workouts from high cadence drills in a low gear to low cadence drills in a large gear for strength.

    Around Nov. I start doing more tempo rides and mix in a couple long endurance rides to get the body trained to using fat as an energy source. I usually take it easy over December and when I come back from winter break I start working in hill repeats and THEN start doing more anaerobic workouts,

    But like others posted find your lactate threshold this week! Find a nice flat stretch of road or mild hill where effort is constant for a full 30 min. Start riding at a pace that is the fastest you can go for that duration of time and after 10 min. start recording your heart rate. The last 20 minutes of your average will be your lactate threshold. Don't worry about your max heart rate. Everyone is different and it fluctuates depending on your diet, stress etc. For example I can see mine anywhere from 199-207 BPM… I have a much higher heart rate then most of my teammates and I have gotten my Lactate Threshold up to 184 BPM.

    Also, you may want to invest in Joe Friel’s Training Bible. I has a lot of good information on developing a training schedule as well as details on what types of intervals you should be doing.

    Cheers, and maybe I will see you next season!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmb2786 View Post
    i only read a few sentences, but spin faster and ride a real bike
    My Trek 1000 is as real as they come, homeslice.
    Ride more.

    Code:
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     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  21. #21
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    I don't know what you're using for max heart rate. If it's the box-stock 220-age, then it could be pretty seriously different than that. You'd be better off seeing what it is during a race or a hard group ride during a sprint by downloading your HR monitor afterwards.

    As far as your cadence, that's probably one problem. Don't be afraid to bring it up. You might be marginally stronger at 80 rpm, but as you found out, you can't sustain that type of load for as long as you need to. I stay between 95-100 when doing this type of workout. Remember, you're trying to control your heart rate and keep it on a single number (say, +/- 2 bpm initally, but +/-1 when you get more experience). You'll have to keep shifting up or down to keep your HR in it's happy spot. When you start to overshoot, downshift to make it easier. When your HR drops, upshift to make it harder. If you're outside, then you'll constantly be shifting to compensate for elevation and wind changes. The thing is that when you need to get your HR up, the only way to do it is to push the pedals harder. I know it sounds a little trite to say, but it's just how it is. Sometimes that means gritting your teeth, standing up and getting real mean. It just is what it is.

    These aren't easy to do. The take a **lot** of want-to to do them. Honestly, they suck. They also do wonders for making your stronger physically and mentally. It's cool to take a flyer and look down at your heart rate, which is through the roof, and know....and I mean _know_.....that you can hold it for the next 15 or 20 minutes. Ya, it'll hurt, but you can do it.
    Thanks for your response.

    That exercise WASN'T easy. I was really pushing it the second time around to get my HR back to where it was. On top of that, it was hard to put up my cadence without dropping a few levels. I sometimes had to get off of the saddle to try and jumpstart myself.

    BTW, I am NOT intent on doing this with a gym bike. Personally, I hate gym bikes. They aren't designed for the kinds of workouts we as racers (or hacks) need. If I had better form, I could have probably increased my cadence and had an effective workout. All I know is that I did it this time around, was really hard, but I felt great afterwards.
    Ride more.

    Code:
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     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  22. #22
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by domestique View Post
    Classic: By looking at your profile "collecting Base Miles" and seeing the ECCC Cat D number on your back, you should be spending more time building base miles then doing anything close to lactate threshold… you won’t be racing till March so no use burning yourself out before Christmas.

    If you are going to ride in the gym due to schedule, just work on getting a smooth spin and increasing your cadence to improve efficiency. You could also use this time to build leg muscle by doing low weight high repetitions on fitness machines.

    I too race in the ECCC and work my schedule like this: I start training in mid Sept. (I take summer off) and I like to do a lot of base miles gradually increasing my miles and time in the saddle in increments of 10-15% every week. I alternate these workouts from high cadence drills in a low gear to low cadence drills in a large gear for strength.

    Around Nov. I start doing more tempo rides and mix in a couple long endurance rides to get the body trained to using fat as an energy source. I usually take it easy over December and when I come back from winter break I start working in hill repeats and THEN start doing more anaerobic workouts,

    But like others posted find your lactate threshold this week! Find a nice flat stretch of road or mild hill where effort is constant for a full 30 min. Start riding at a pace that is the fastest you can go for that duration of time and after 10 min. start recording your heart rate. The last 20 minutes of your average will be your lactate threshold. Don't worry about your max heart rate. Everyone is different and it fluctuates depending on your diet, stress etc. For example I can see mine anywhere from 199-207 BPM… I have a much higher heart rate then most of my teammates and I have gotten my Lactate Threshold up to 184 BPM.

    Also, you may want to invest in Joe Friel’s Training Bible. I has a lot of good information on developing a training schedule as well as details on what types of intervals you should be doing.

    Cheers, and maybe I will see you next season!
    Thanks for your detailed response as well. I hadn't checked this thread because I thought it was mostly ignored.

    A) It's Crassic, not Classic. Though some of my accidents are definitely 'classic'

    B) The reason why I wanted to start incorporating some intervals is because I want to seriously improve my time trialing skills. I thought of my performance at my first time trial, and it was pretty bad. I don't want to average 19 mph on a time trial when I KNOW that I can do better than that. I'm not going crazy with them; I'm planning on doing them in the tail ends of my week.

    Right now, I am concentrating mostly on accruing lots of base miles. My goal is to try and do more than 130 miles a week, even though I'm hovering around 200+ miles/week right now with the centuries I've been doing (and NO, I don't do them at a relaxed pace). I'm also taking up machka's Century-A-Week challenge and trying to get myself to do a century every week until the end of January. After that, I'm focusing on intensity.

    NOTE. The highest I've gotten my HR at so far is 185. Coupled with a RHR of about 60 or so, I feel that my range isn't really that great. I can, however, recover pretty fast.
    Ride more.

    Code:
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     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  23. #23
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    2x20s are to develop the aerobic system. If you're taxing your muscles and not your heart/lungs, you're not getting the most out of your time. Conversely, there are other workouts that's better for your muscles than 2x20s.

  24. #24
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    what's with the 2x20s? I always do three. Am I doing it wrong?

  25. #25
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    what's with the 2x20s? I always do three. Am I doing it wrong?
    If they're all three done at LT heartrate and/or power output, then no, you're just an animal.

    When doing LT work I generally do an interval pyramid with 4:1 on/off ratio.

    For instance,

    20 minutes on
    5 minutes easy
    16 minutes on
    4 min easy
    12 min on
    3 min easy
    8 min on
    keel over and die.

    When doing LT work, the minimum time 'on' should be at least 5 minutes. Any less than that and you aren't really getting everything to reach a steady state and get the muscles to start having to convert stored fuel (as opposed to using the 'quick fuel' that it stores naturally for sprints type outputs). The trick is making your body to figure out how to clear out all the by-products of a big output. You muscles get loaded with the waste of burning the converted fuel and that is what makes everything burn. A lot of these are mental, too. It's just something you have to learn to deal with. The really good guys can deal with it for so long it's spooky.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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