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Old 01-16-09, 07:46 AM   #1
slynkie
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5x5's = utter fail. how often?

After an august thru mid-november of virtually 0 miles, i've been sporadically riding base since the end of november through now. The with the last 4 weeks or so, I finally was able to workout steadily, and, I thought, had found my legs. All of this was basically SST or recovery.

Last night, I decided to try some 5x5' VO2Max intervals. My target was 115%; first interval I made it fine (well, it hurt, of course) at 116%. Recover for 5', then my second interval - I made it through 3', which turned out to be at 114%, but those last 30" I just couldn't turn the pedals. I had no power, and yes, I wussied out. But the thing is, my legs weren't actually spent, because I was able to recover for another 5', then do 5' @ 101%. THEN I felt spent...with cool-down, total workout was 40'...ugh...

So I have a few questions. First, since this is my first attempt at these intervals, is it reasonable to expect my body just isn't used to these efforts, and so the RPE is much higher than it should be? My second question is - this reallllllly pisses me off. I want to try these again as soon as possible (especially since I have races starting in March..), but I don't want to be stupid about it. What's the most times a week it's OK to do VO2Max work? I need some recovery, but I feel like I'd want to try them again tomorrow morning..

Do I just not worry about it for this week, HTFU, keep steady, and try them again mid next week?

Thanks
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Old 01-16-09, 09:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by slynkie View Post
After an august thru mid-november of virtually 0 miles, i've been sporadically riding base since the end of november through now. The with the last 4 weeks or so, I finally was able to workout steadily, and, I thought, had found my legs. All of this was basically SST or recovery.

Last night, I decided to try some 5x5' VO2Max intervals. My target was 115%; first interval I made it fine (well, it hurt, of course) at 116%. Recover for 5', then my second interval - I made it through 3', which turned out to be at 114%, but those last 30" I just couldn't turn the pedals. I had no power, and yes, I wussied out. But the thing is, my legs weren't actually spent, because I was able to recover for another 5', then do 5' @ 101%. THEN I felt spent...with cool-down, total workout was 40'...ugh...

So I have a few questions. First, since this is my first attempt at these intervals, is it reasonable to expect my body just isn't used to these efforts, and so the RPE is much higher than it should be? My second question is - this reallllllly pisses me off. I want to try these again as soon as possible (especially since I have races starting in March..), but I don't want to be stupid about it. What's the most times a week it's OK to do VO2Max work? I need some recovery, but I feel like I'd want to try them again tomorrow morning..

Do I just not worry about it for this week, HTFU, keep steady, and try them again mid next week?

Thanks
You could try starting out with 3' intervals at ~113% FTP. Work your way up to eight reps in total, i.e. 2 sets of 4 x 3' on/3-5' off, with 10' easy spinning between sets. Make the intervals longer as you progress - 3' this week, 3.5' next week, 2 sets of 3 x 4' the following week, etc. Once you can do ~25' of work intervals at this intensity, you can try to bump up the power by 5-10 watts.

You may want to post this in the racing sub-forum, if you haven't already.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:28 AM   #3
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You could try starting out with 3' intervals at ~113% FTP. Work your way up to eight reps in total, i.e. 2 sets of 4 x 3' on/3-5' off, with 10' easy spinning between sets. Make the intervals longer as you progress - 3' this week, 3.5' next week, 2 sets of 3 x 4' the following week, etc. Once you can do ~25' of work intervals at this intensity, you can try to bump up the power by 5-10 watts.
Thanks, that sounds like a good plan - just once a week though? I'm eager to not suck, but obviously I don't want to overdo it either. I need to read the Allen/Coggan book again..

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Originally Posted by fuzzthebee View Post
You may want to post this in the racing sub-forum, if you haven't already.
Between your answer and realizing I need to read up a bit, I think I've got it covered now..thanks again!

Last edited by slynkie; 01-16-09 at 01:01 PM. Reason: messed up quote
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Old 01-16-09, 12:26 PM   #4
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Yeah I seriously think you're RPE is something that needs to be trained, just like anything else.

I think of it as at least 2 facets: the ability to put out "effort" and the ability to tolerate pain.

Fortunately, it comes back fast.
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Old 01-16-09, 09:25 PM   #5
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For what it's worth, my 3rd in a 5x5 is always the hardest for me. If I can get past the first minute of the 3rd than the last 2 aren't so bad, although today I waaaaaaaaaay overcooked the first one @ 125% and my last one I only got out about 107% (I was targeting 110%). My first set of the season so it will take a while to dial in my RPE. Like Creakyknees said, a lot of it is just about tolerating the pain.
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Old 01-16-09, 09:48 PM   #6
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thanks everyone, i'm gonna give it another shot on monday with some shorter intervals and see what happens...RPE be damned, i'll finish what i start if i can't do this, no way i'll hang in the spring crits..

umd - interesting that the hardest is the 3rd; i guess it's a Wednesday/hump-day type thing.
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