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Thread: Interval's

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    Member MarinRodie's Avatar
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    Interval's

    I was wondering ao you really need a Hrm to do interval's. Or can you just do them for time? Also can anyone give me a simple interval program to follow. Thank you

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    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Intervals aren't effective unless you have an objective measure of your level of intensity. You can measure intensity without a HRM - count the number of beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 - but that's a hassle and it's probably not very accurate either (because as you're counting, your HR is slowing down).

    No one can suggest an effective interval program until you let us know what your base of fitness is and what you hope to accomplish. You really shouldn't attempt any intervals until you've established a good base. I'd suggest Joel Friel's "The Cyclists Training Bible"

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    Intervals can be done without HRMs. Swimmers do it all the time. Most all decent swimmer workouts are interval based.

    Intervals can be time-based or distance-based.
    Maybe start with shorter spans of time, 20 seconds on, 40 off, 10 times. Then spinning for 20 minutes. Then do it again, then spin, then do it again. Maybe after a month, jack it up to 30 on, 30 off, etc. Start by doing what you can barely tolerate at the end of the set.
    Or start out on a hiway with regularly spaced telephone poles. You're on for one pole to the next, off for 3 poles, on for one pole, off for three poles, etc. Same kind of thing as the timed intervals. It gives you some variety.
    You can vary the length of the time or distance depending on what kind of racing you do, track, crits, road, etc.

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    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    We used to do intervals all the time years ago before cycle computers and HRMs. (Holy crap, am I that old?)

    We called them wind sprints and there were two kinds... uphill or flat. For flat, we would go as fast as we could for as long as we could, turn around and ride slowly back to the start point and do it again. Hills were similar, but we paced ourselves so as to blow up right at the top. Usually 3-5 reps and then go for a 10+ mile ride. Sometimes we'd do it 2 or 3 times a day.

    Were these as effective? As far as time spent doing them vs. results I'd say you can be more efficient with a computer and a HRM. But you will get results. You can do a lot with perceived exertion levels.

    Az

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarinRodie
    I was wondering ao you really need a Hrm to do interval's. Or can you just do them for time? Also can anyone give me a simple interval program to follow. Thank you
    It depends on the kind of intervals that you're doing.

    If you are doing intervals that are all-out, then it's all about exertion level, not heart rate.

    But there are other intervals that are dependent on heart rate. I might have climbing repeats (4 minutes on, 4 minutes recovery, repeat 4 times) that are done at 152-156 BPM.
    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothra
    Sounds like these are more like tempo workouts rather than intervals. What is 152-156bpm relative to your max and LT?

    By definition, intervals are pretty much all over LT and tempo is below or at LT. Whenever you're above LT, HR cannot remain constant and will always increase until you hit max. If you're able to hold some steady-state HR above what you thought was LT, then that new HR is your real LT.
    152-156 is straddling the line of LT for me. I chose the word "intervals" rather than tempo because my tempo workouts are typically 10-20 minutes at a range rather than repeats, but I agree it's a matter of semantics.
    Eric

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    Member MarinRodie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I have been doing some racing this year. I was really just more interested in the hrm thing. I want to buy one but I also am the kind of guy who could get "hung up" on a number. If you get what I mean. I will just keep doing them for time and see where it takes me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothra
    Interesting workout, your 4x4. Seems to fit in between anaerobic intervals and longer aerobic tempos. What is it's main benefit compared to shorter intervals or longer tempos?
    Well, the *theory* is that you do those intervals close to your LT, and that improves your ability to deal with the lactate acid buildup. Above the lactate threshold just a bit, and then during recovery you drop down below, but you really don't have enough time to get way below, and then you go back up again.

    Sometimes done as a climbing repeat.

    Compared to the tempo rides I do, it's 5-8 (ish) BPM faster. Tempo rides I can sustain for the 15-20 minutes (though it may be a bit uncomfortable), these ones I couldn't keep going.

    Or, to put it another way, the focus is more on making the legs hurt a little than getting all out of breath and stuff...
    Eric

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    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothra
    By definition, intervals are pretty much all over LT and tempo is below or at LT. Whenever you're above LT, HR cannot remain constant and will always increase until you hit max.
    +1

    It's not an interval unless you're over LT.

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    Senior Member park's Avatar
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    Regular bouts of high intensity, even poorly structured and monitored will probably yield results, but I think the best way to do intervals now is with a trainer that has what is called ergometer mode. Computrainer is one such trainer and there are others, but with this feature you set the watts for the interval and pedal away. Without ergometer mode you can generate a certain wattage but likely won't be able to hold the same wattage through the entire interval and when your cadence slows the wattage will drop. With ergometer mode the watts stays the same regardless of your cadence. I do intervals of 4 to 5 minutes in length, 4 to 6 repetitions trying to keep cadence above 90. I don't really care what my heart rate is because it's always above my threshold. These are very intense and done just once per week. Like adding weights to the bar you increase the watts each week until you reach a plateau where you can't do all repetitions or when cadence drops significantly. I do 6 week blocks then ratchet down the wattage to just above my initial wattage and then increase again hopefully able to do greater wattages toward the end of the next 6 week block. I think this is about as objective as you can get. When doing intervals based on HR alone you never really know what kind of work you did last time or how to adjust so that you do more the next time.

  11. #11
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i don't use a hrm for my intervals. i just try to go all out.

    i like the pyramid interval workout -

    1 minute on, 1 minute off
    2 minute on, 2 minute off
    3 minute on, 3 minute off
    4 minute on, 4 minute off

    then go from 4 mintues back to 1.

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