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Old 05-06-09, 02:04 PM   #1
bravo106
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Merging short, sprint efforts into 2x20s?

As a way to better prepare for the surges in crits, has anyone combined short sprints with 2x20s?

With limited time (hrs/day & days/wk), I've been trying to get more bang for the buck. Once last week and once this week I did a workout of 2x20s at LT/Z4 (using hrm) with a brief, standing sprint lasting 10" every 3 minutes. With shorter, intense intervals, the rest period is usually longer (5 minutes or so) and done at a recovery pace. These rest periods end up being 2' 50" and my hr doesn't drop lower than Z4. That works out to 6 10-second sprints during each 20'. Doesn't quite hurt as much as Tabata, but I've been glad when the interval(s) end. One hour, incl warmup & cool down, and I'm done.

I guess the only sure way to see if they're effective is to see if I suck less than normal in my races. Just wanted to see if anyone has done something like these, and if so, how did they work (or not work) out for you? Or ... at 50 y.o., are they a sure-fire recipe for cardiac arrest?!
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Old 05-06-09, 02:30 PM   #2
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I've done those before. I find them very hard. Not sure if physiologically it's better to separate the 2 workouts into a 2x20s intended to target threshold development and doing a more traditional "microburst" workout of X minutes of 15s on @ 150% ftp, 15" off at 50% ftp. Either way, they're stressing your system and keeping training interesting.
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Old 05-06-09, 02:36 PM   #3
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I just got done with a microburst workout, fun stuff.
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Old 05-06-09, 02:58 PM   #4
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Done it. It hurts, and it helps. Can't say if it helps more than other training methods.
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Old 05-06-09, 03:21 PM   #5
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From everything I've read it seems like it would be better from a training adaptation standpoint to separate the workouts that target different systems. However from a psychological standpoint and as far as "train like you race" it could be beneficial. However, I would question whether your races really go from straight threshold to sprint... seems like races are usually more surging than that unless you've been pulling the whole pack around and are trying to sprint from the front.
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Old 05-06-09, 05:40 PM   #6
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Over/Unders are somewhat similar to what you're talking about. 8 minutes at or just below threshold followed immediately by 2 minutes at 120rpm, maximal effort.

Set of 6 will put the hurt on you.

For crit racing, more typical intervals are something like 30 sseconds on 30 seconds off, 5-10 times for a set.
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Old 05-06-09, 07:36 PM   #7
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For crits, my best results have come from training the hell out of my FTP. Nothing fancy. That will give you the recovery strength you need from surges and accordion corners, as well as allowing your talents to show when the time is right.
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Old 05-06-09, 08:24 PM   #8
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From everything I've read it seems like it would be better from a training adaptation standpoint to separate the workouts that target different systems. However from a psychological standpoint and as far as "train like you race" it could be beneficial. However, I would question whether your races really go from straight threshold to sprint... seems like races are usually more surging than that unless you've been pulling the whole pack around and are trying to sprint from the front.
I find that this is a big difference for me between Cat 3 and P12 races. In Cat 3 I could usually come into the final sprint sub-FTP. In P12 races, I am generally anaerobic for the last few k heading into the sprint. It really saps some of the 15" power out of you. It might be that training to raise FTP is the best solution for this, but I still try to work some 'sprints when I'm about to die' into training.
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Old 05-06-09, 08:32 PM   #9
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For crits, my best results have come from training the hell out of my FTP. Nothing fancy. That will give you the recovery strength you need from surges and accordion corners, as well as allowing your talents to show when the time is right.
I've started to see the effects of this already.

I've been getting stronger, and today I tried sprints while riding. Grants my power wasn't as high as it used to be (5 sec down about 150 watts), but after that effort, I was able to keep going close to threshold and actually recover there instead of completely blowing like I would have in the past.
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Old 05-06-09, 09:10 PM   #10
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Hunter Allen has a similar workout in the Training/Racing with Power book. He says to ride tempo in between bursts though, and I think that makes sense. If you're training neuromuscular power you probably want to have decent recovery between efforts.
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Old 05-06-09, 09:44 PM   #11
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For crits, my best results have come from training the hell out of my FTP. Nothing fancy. That will give you the recovery strength you need from surges and accordion corners, as well as allowing your talents to show when the time is right.
Shhh! Don't let the secret out!
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Old 05-06-09, 11:16 PM   #12
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For crits, my best results have come from training the hell out of my FTP. Nothing fancy. That will give you the recovery strength you need from surges and accordion corners, as well as allowing your talents to show when the time is right.
I use heart rate but could you suggest some training routines for FTP?
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Old 05-07-09, 06:21 AM   #13
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I use heart rate but could you suggest some training routines for FTP?
search SST and pacing workout

also search

2x20'/5'
3x20'/5'
2x30'/5'
1x60'

substitute LTHR for FTP
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Old 05-07-09, 08:31 AM   #14
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search SST and pacing workout

also search

2x20'/5'
3x20'/5'
2x30'/5'
1x60'

substitute LTHR for FTP
Interestingly, Friel, aka "mr. heart rate training" (ok I just made that up) said in his blog that you needed to use power to do the pacing workout: "Here is the bicycle version. It requires a power meter. A heart rate monitor simply won't work for this kind of session as it is not sensitive enough to give you good data about pacing."
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Old 05-07-09, 08:47 AM   #15
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Interestingly, Friel, aka "mr. heart rate training" (ok I just made that up) said in his blog that you needed to use power to do the pacing workout: "Here is the bicycle version. It requires a power meter. A heart rate monitor simply won't work for this kind of session as it is not sensitive enough to give you good data about pacing."
sure, the PM is the gold standard for this type of workout, but it can be done by just riding hard, harder, harder, etc. HR *should* respond similarly each effort, and based on one's knowledge of their own body, they *should* be able to conclude when they're going backward (although that's the trickiest part of doing a workout such as the pacing workout on PE or with LTHR as the guide). BUT, that doesnt mean that one couldnt benefit from it - maybe not so much the pacing benefit, but the time working at or near ftp/lthr.
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Old 05-07-09, 08:58 AM   #16
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For crits, my best results have come from training the hell out of my FTP. Nothing fancy. That will give you the recovery strength you need from surges and accordion corners, as well as allowing your talents to show when the time is right.
IIRC, this has probably been discussed in the past. What's the Clif Notes version: is it better to "push up" from below or "pull up" from above? Using hr, I'll do threshold intervals (anywhere from 15-30' blocks) from 8 bpm below to 5-6 bpm above what I base my LTHR off of.
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Old 05-07-09, 09:02 AM   #17
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IIRC, this has probably been discussed in the past. What's the Clif Notes version: is it better to "push up" from below or "pull up" from above? Using hr, I'll do threshold intervals (anywhere from 15-30' blocks) from 8 bpm below to 5-6 bpm above what I base my LTHR off of.
IME:

push up - takes longer, adaptations last longer. i.e. ftp increase is more sustainable

pull up - much more rapid response in fitness (weeks as opposed to months *for me), but adaptations (might be poor word choice) are not sustainable for more than a few weeks.
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Old 05-07-09, 09:04 AM   #18
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sure, the PM is the gold standard for this type of workout, but it can be done by just riding hard, harder, harder, etc. HR *should* respond similarly each effort, and based on one's knowledge of their own body, they *should* be able to conclude when they're going backward (although that's the trickiest part of doing a workout such as the pacing workout on PE or with LTHR as the guide). BUT, that doesnt mean that one couldnt benefit from it - maybe not so much the pacing benefit, but the time working at or near ftp/lthr.
Fair enough... I would agree that you would still get a good threshold workout you would just not get the pacing benefit from it.

Here is mine from a few days ago. Because the HR starts lower for each interval and drifts up as it goes, if you tried to hold a steady HR you would probably go to hard at the start and fade near the end.

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Old 05-07-09, 10:11 AM   #19
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if you tried to hold a steady HR you would probably go to hard at the start and fade near the end.
Which summarizes my training in a few words. I need a PM! It's more like I go hard and the start and I'm working like hell to hold it at the end, but same idea.
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Old 05-07-09, 10:24 AM   #20
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It's interesting if you look at the average W compared to average HR. My last 8' interval (fail) was way lower than the previous in power but almost the same HR. The subsequent intervals continued to increase in power but drop in HR. And that was pacing by power, pacing by HR surely would have screwed me up although pacing by RPE probably would not have been too bad.

10' 283W 171bpm
8' 290W 172bpm
8' 292W 176bpm
8' 293W 177bpm
8' 258W 174bpm
6' 264W 170bpm
6' 268W 169bpm
4' 299W 167bpm
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Old 05-07-09, 10:53 AM   #21
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On my 20' intervals I push hard enough so that my legs are at the breaking point between being completely on fire and failing. I think they are designed to be more of a 'pull' than a 'push' in terms of building FTP. Doing 10" microbursts during that would cause me to fail prematurely for sure.

You could probably do them during SST or tempo though without too much problem.
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Old 05-07-09, 11:49 AM   #22
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IME:

push up - takes longer, adaptations last longer. i.e. ftp increase is more sustainable

pull up - much more rapid response in fitness (weeks as opposed to months *for me), but adaptations (might be poor word choice) are not sustainable for more than a few weeks.
So a mixture is probably best, and pushing up is probably best for the 'off season' where you don't want to even come close to risking burnout.
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Old 05-07-09, 11:53 AM   #23
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It's interesting if you look at the average W compared to average HR. My last 8' interval (fail) was way lower than the previous in power but almost the same HR. The subsequent intervals continued to increase in power but drop in HR. And that was pacing by power, pacing by HR surely would have screwed me up although pacing by RPE probably would not have been too bad.

10' 283W 171bpm
8' 290W 172bpm
8' 292W 176bpm
8' 293W 177bpm
8' 258W 174bpm
6' 264W 170bpm
6' 268W 169bpm
4' 299W 167bpm
Yeah, without a power meter, you'll get just about the same workout by just doing something like 10, 8, 8, 6, 6, 4 (EDIT: with 2' between) and going home. I wouldn't bother pacing them with an HRM. If you're on a known course, you might be able to use landmarks if the wind isn't changing much during the workout.

Last edited by waterrockets; 05-07-09 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 05-07-09, 12:08 PM   #24
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Yeah, without a power meter, you'll get just about the same workout by just doing something like 10, 8, 8, 6, 6, 4 (EDIT: with 2' between) and going home. I wouldn't bother pacing them with an HRM. If you're on a known course, you might be able to use landmarks if the wind isn't changing much during the workout.
This would be done at LTHR, correct? I am a little confused about the "pull up" or "push down" that is being mentioned.
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Old 05-07-09, 12:22 PM   #25
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I find it difficult to get my HR to respond to efforts like that, especially if I'm in the middle of a heavy training block. It can be difficult to get my HR above 185 (my LT is 189). waterrockets is probably right that using an HRM for pacing isn't worth it.
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