Two questions regarding training intensity
The past few months i have encorporated a more strcutured training program with emphasis on intensity. I have a few questions...
During my interval sessions I typically do somehting like this: 15 min warmup, 5 min @ 80% MHR, 10 min @ 87-90% MHR, 7 intervals to 93% MHR (recover to 73%), 5 min @ 85% MHR, 15 min cooldown
It takes me about a minute and a half to work up to 93% of my MHR. It takes about the same for me to recover. Am I wimping out by not going 100%? The 5 min @ 85% MHR is spinning medium/high gears in order to stall my recovery. I am putting out a lot less watts than I would have had to if I put it in before the intervals. That said, is me being able to do this a sign that I did not push hard enough during intervals?`
Dannyo has stated in several of his posts that intervals should be done to 100% of max. I am not sure if all other sources (some below) suggest the same, so perhaps I have misunderstood?
By 100%, does that indicate that you should be totally shot at the end of the last interval (100% tired, but never hitting 100% MHR), or does it mean you should literally hit 100% MHR each time? Quite honestly I am not sure if I could do that on the later intervals. I feel too tired to spin the pedals around fast enough to hit that HR.
2. Easy days:
My weekly program is something like 1-2 intervals (or hill climb), 1 endurance day, 2 days of no training and the remaining days I do different types of workout for about an hour at low/medium intensity. This could be jogging, walking up mountains at brisk pace, raquetball, squash, biking.. Whatever, as long as it is aerobic. I am not talking weights etc. This is partly because I am not only interested in becoming a solid rider, I also want some cross training and being able to hold my own while playing tennis etc.
I try to put in a day of rest following the really intense workouts. If I still feel tired I might put in an easy workout the day after that as well (say 65 - 70% MHR). But when I am feeling good and I only have one hour (somewhat limited time on time), should I still limit myself to say 70% or would it be OK to do an hour @ 80% MHR and at least feel like I get a workout (as long as I am careful not to end up in the 80-85% range). I have read so much about going too hard on the easy days I am afraid of overdoing it...