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Old 07-20-07, 05:56 AM   #1
rodrigaj
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What part of your ride do you do intervals?

A recent article in the NYT quoted Andy Hampsten saying that recovery takes longer as we age and that he does long warm ups (2 to 3 hours) to help with recovery.

This got me thinking...

I normally do intervals during a 50 mile ride. I have been doing the intervals during the first half of the ride, rewarding myself with a lesurely zone 2 ride back home. Yesterday, I tried the intervals in the second half of the ride, while riding a zone 2 - 3 during the first half, essentially reversing my usual routine. I found that I was able to push higher speeds and longer intervals than before.

Comments? What are your preferences, if any?
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Old 07-20-07, 10:34 AM   #2
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2-3 hours is not a warmup by any logical person's definition.

Do a real warmup of 15min (eg pyramid: increase intensity every 2min until 100% for 2min, recover last 4-5min), or ride around for 30-45min with a couple 1-2 min intervals.

Usually my rides are either intervals or just long rides. If you combine both, usually you do not do one of them properly. If you do intervals right away and zone2 back home, you probably aren't doing enough z2, as z2 should be more than a few hours long. These are basically "junk miles." If you do a regular ride and then intervals at the end, you aren't doing the intervals as hard as you could while fresh, and therefore making them almost pointless.

Choose one or the other: LSD or intervals...but don't do both in the same ride if you want to maximize your gains. But, if you absolutely have to, then do intervals first.
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Old 07-20-07, 11:15 AM   #3
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Perhaps I should clarify.

I don't race. I don't do time trials. The ability to sprint to a finish line is unimportant.

My goal is to be able to cycle distances in the neighborhood of 100 miles at a decent pace. As a 58yr old that would be about 18mph.

I would consider the types of intervals I do as pacing intervals not speed intervals. I push up to my LT/VO2 limit and hold it for the duration of the interval. I strive for 15 min intervals with 5 min recoveries.
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Old 07-21-07, 09:54 AM   #4
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why bother with ontervals if you don't race???

If you want to average 18mph just ride your bike. You don't need to have structured intervals or anything. Just at some points in the ride go harder than at other points. As you improve you will be able to go harder for longer.
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Old 07-21-07, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodrigaj View Post
Perhaps I should clarify.

I don't race. I don't do time trials. The ability to sprint to a finish line is unimportant.

My goal is to be able to cycle distances in the neighborhood of 100 miles at a decent pace. As a 58yr old that would be about 18mph.

I would consider the types of intervals I do as pacing intervals not speed intervals. I push up to my LT/VO2 limit and hold it for the duration of the interval. I strive for 15 min intervals with 5 min recoveries.
I would call what you are doing "tempo" work rather than intervals. Intervals generally involve all-out effort.

Tempo work is a good idea to improve average speed, but it's important to get near LT and hold it there for extended periods without a break - I generally try for around 30 minutes. It's important to know what your LT threshold is (I go by heartrate or the feeling in my legs) as it's easy to ride to fast.

As for warmup, I generally find it takes me a good 30 minutes before I start feeling really good.

You might also consider some more traditional intervals - most centuries have a lot of rollers and hills and you need power and good recovery to do them well.
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Old 07-21-07, 12:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jonathan15 View Post
why bother with ontervals if you don't race???

If you want to average 18mph just ride your bike. You don't need to have structured intervals or anything. Just at some points in the ride go harder than at other points. As you improve you will be able to go harder for longer.
I suppose it's a form of self discipline. If I don't have goals programed into my polar 720i I tend to lollygog about and I never get better. This all started about 3 years ago when I realized I was not able to go the distances that I wanted.
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Old 07-21-07, 10:31 PM   #7
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Old 07-22-07, 04:27 AM   #8
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18mph, now that's fast for a non racer. but is that including stoplights/signs?
Yes it includes stoplights and signs and yes it is fast, but my routes can go 20 - 30 miles without stops, and the stops that I do hit are one second stops. The roads are hilly, which adds variety.

An 18mph unsupported century is only a goal at this point. My fastest time has been 17mph for 67 miles, so I think it's an attainable goal with the proper training. I'm a teacher, so I have the summer off.
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Old 07-22-07, 05:57 PM   #9
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I have much better luck doing my surges/intervals/sprints - whatever the geeks on here want to call them - during the last half of my rides. Up to about 100 miles. On rides over that, I don't do them at all, just save my strength and try for even effort. I takes me about 2 hours of riding before my HR will come up. I led the group up a long hill today, about 40 miles into a 50 mile ride, holding a steady HR 5 beats below my max. No one came around me. Heh. But I got dropped by two people on the first climb of the day - aerobic system wasn't ready yet. My theory is that it's hormone production. It takes that long for my system to get saturated with go juice, whatever that is. I did do short hard efforts during the first half of the ride. That helps me to prepare for the harder efforts in the second half.
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Old 07-23-07, 10:00 AM   #10
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A local team does their team/group rides (50+) and the first 27miles are "no drop" so everyone rides at a moderate pace (17/18mph+). Lots of the guys do their "workout" in the second half of the leg (most of the racers in the group will go well beyond the standard 50 miles...For others that first leg is the workout...
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Old 07-23-07, 11:57 AM   #11
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I've been experimenting the last several days and I've come to the conclusion that at least for me, I am able to push harder and longer in the second half of a 50 mile ride. Also...if I gradually increase the pace, I can maintain the LT/VO2 HR for longer periods of time.
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Old 07-23-07, 11:19 PM   #12
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