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  1. #1
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    Very basic intervals question

    So, I'm not sure I'm yet ready to do intervals - only been on the bike for 1000 miles so far. But every time I read about them, there's always one question that pops into my mind:

    Where the heck do you DO intervals at?

    For those with power, I can't imagine the terrain matters that much, because you'll still be able to see your power regardless of whether you're goin uphill or downhill. But I dont have power and I certainly cant afford it anytime so, so I would simply be doing them based off of my RPE.

    Because of that, I think terrain is going to matter quite a bit. So - given that I live in a very hilly location, where should I be doing intervals? Should I find the longest stretch of flattish road I can get? Or should I just go and throw myself at whatever monster hills are nearby?

  2. #2
    Pat
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    Well, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. I live in Central FL so I gotta go drive to find a decent hill.

    I think with 1000 miles in your legs, you can do intervals. You warm up. You get yourself up to your top cruising speed and then you go pretty much as hard as you can. You can hold that for 1 minute up to three minutes. You back off, recover and repeat.

    People also do hill intervals. Probably the best way to do those is to go and find a nice steep rather short hill and climb it until you are done.

    If you do these things right, your legs will be cooked. So your next day's ride might be a recovery ride or a long slow distance (LSD).

    Muscles can be very specific in function. If you do hill intervals, they probably will not help your flat ground power so much and vice versa. You might alternate them.

    Also, if you are doing intervals intensely enough, you should probably only do them once per week.

    Intervals are good for increasing your top end power.

  3. #3
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    Some people prefer to do structured intervals on the indoor trainer for this reason.

    But, outside, you just have to do the best you can. You just have to find some road/trail/whatever that works well enough with the interval sets. It's pretty much impossible to find someplace to do a true 2x20 workout in the suburbs, but for most shorter intervals, I can get close enough.

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    I have a road near my house that has 2 stop signs and is 9 miles one way. It works perfectly for around an hour of intervals.
    For my LT tests and hard intervals in winter I use a trainer. Then go out and ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack Monkey View Post
    Some people prefer to do structured intervals on the indoor trainer for this reason.
    Thaaaats what I was afraid of. Makes sense though, doin 'em anywhere near my house would be rough.

  6. #6
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    There's a 5 km triangle loop near my house. I sprint the long leg of the triangle then easy spin the other two legs for cool down. I do 5 laps of that and I'm spent.

  7. #7
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    If you have hills with a reasonably steady grade then the simplest thing is to just go up the hill for whatever duration you're working on. If you want 5 min intervals, go up for 5 min turn around and repeat. This will also give you a close approximation to your power if you can measure how much you are climbing in a given interval. As you improve you'll go a little further up the hill in the alloted time period.

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I've got miles and miles of flat country roads a 20 minute ride from my house. On a calm day no problem, but if it's windy, especially if it's gusty, it screws up my HR.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Check out the workouts in this set of exercises (the BF workout list).

    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0A...bmprbmQ2&hl=en

    Some of them will fit into your terrain just fine.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  10. #10
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    +1 for varying it up. Do some intervals for speed and others for power. It'll help keep your body "surprised" and build up both aspects.

    Pat, do you make it out to the west orange trail at all? I live out by Winter Garden

  11. #11
    Senior Member tallmantim's Avatar
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    I have a velodrome and a "circular training track" (velodrome without proper banks) close to home - the second is on my way to/from work on the bike so is perfect.

    What do you want to get out of your training? Or (as said above) are you looking at mixing it up.

    To stress your aerobic capacity and fitness, VO2Max intervals are very good - requiring 3-6 minutes or so at the highest intensity you can. I have a power meter which makes it easier, but equates to sitting on approximate 40km/h while on the hoods for me if I didn't have one. If you are doing them right you should need to bail on the last one or unable to start after 5-6.

    Shorter will affect your neuromuscular and anaerobic systems more.

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