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  1. #1
    cars are fun
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    Jul 2006
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    What are "intervals" & where do I buy them?

    Joking thread title of course, but seriously... from my understanding, intervals stress your cardio by keeping a certain heart rate for a certain period of time. Where do I start if I do not have a HRM but I do have speed+cadence computer?

    I've only been in the saddle about a month from a several year break. I never really trained, but now I'm wanting to start. I commute everyday that I can, and I basically just put myself against total travel time, avg speed, and current speed during a certain flat portion. I've found that my loaded mess. bag has really helped improve my climbing, but its really difficult to get in the drops and really work on form and technique. This has caused me to really hit the hills when I'm loaded down, and I tend to take longer flatter routes when I'm with no bag.

    My question is, where should I start doing interval training? Like I said, I have no HRM, so should I work with just a set MPH & cadance for X amount of time, or should I not worry about MPH and stick to only cadance, or should I not worry about time and just go distance? I'm really confused on the structure of interval training, ESPECIALLY starting off. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
    the lion from within must guard his palace, because everybody's going to try to take a sip from his chalice

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2006
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    yeah ok. find a smooth road with about 5 telephone poles along it

    make sure there is light to no traffic. find a quiet area

    now roll slowly to the first pole, then pedal as hard as you possibly
    can to the 5th pole...unwind for 2 more and
    then roll back to the start. do this 10 times in a row

    that is a type of sprint interval
    now for the road...long intervals....give yourself 10 minutes
    and then pick a speed which is pretty stinking hard, and maintain
    that speed/power level for 10 solid minutes. you should
    about die...then roll for easy for 3 minutes, then repeat this
    stuff 5 more times. that is a type of time-trial practice.

    hill intervals. find a hill. get up it. now go back and do it again,
    same speed, but near the top, jump and try to sprint over the top,
    and sprint across the top as far as least 5 telephone poles

    do not kill yourself getting up the hill, just on the last percent. try to sprint
    earlier next time you go out to the same hill

    that is all there is to it.

    intervals for duration and pain over short time/distance...sprints

    intervals for longer time...endurance/time trial

    intervals up hills...kung-fu power

    they all should really burn the lungs except the long 10 minute ones,
    those should hurt the legs mostly. (all will actually)
    Last edited by edzo; 08-25-06 at 01:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Saratoga, CA
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    edzo's plan of sprint/long/hill intervals will work without needing a HRM. You can do them based upon perceived effort and exertion. As you get stronger and more fit, that same exertion-level will have you going faster that's all, but you're still working as hard relative to your max. While the distances and efforts will vary, you pretty much want to be completely maxed out by the end of them. No need for a HRM to tell you that you're completely 100% spent! If you have anything left to give, you didn't do the interval hard enough.

    Be careful with cadence though, you should be spinning fast, faster than you normally use for a steady pace endurance ride. Aim for 95-115 rpms, maybe calibrate with someone else who's got cadence on their computer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Topanga, but I'm not a hippy
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    You won't really need the HR monitor for the interval training. When you're breathing hard and it hurts, you're in the right place :-)

    The heart rate will be more useful during recovery to make sure you're not going too hard on those days. On recovery days, just make sure you can easily converse, and that it feels way too easy. If it doesn't feel too easy, I can almost guarantee you're going too hard to recover.

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