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  1. #1
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    Steady State Interval training - too easy?

    I've just read the Carmichael Book "Time Crunched Cyclist" and I am giving the plan a try to prepare for a late august century ride. Before starting this program I would do my own version of intervals (1-mile really hard followed by 1-mile pretty easy then repeat 3-4 times).

    I did the field test with 168 and 169 avg heart rate over 8 minutes. I'm 35 years old so I think that sounds about right. So my SS intervals should be at 155-160 BPM. But this seems too easy. It isnt a lot harder than I usually ride.

    Anyone else experience this? Should I go harder? Should I redo the field test?

  2. #2
    Senior Member slims_s's Avatar
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    Go harder.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by slims_s View Post
    Go harder.
    Thats helpful... I think?
    Care to elaborate on why? Am I doing something wrong or do you just think the harder the better?
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  4. #4
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    1 mile is probably about 8 minutes anyway, did you not work as hard as you could have on the field test? or perhaps another factor was involved bringing your number down?

  5. #5
    Faster than yesterday
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box View Post
    1 mile is probably about 8 minutes anyway
    I doubt he's that slow.

  6. #6
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
    I doubt he's that slow.
    Oops, i was thinking of my usual laps but those are closer to 3 miles.

  7. #7
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Please refresh our memory about the test protocol. IIRC, one is to start mounted and stopped, with someone holding the bike. One then accelerates to as fast as one can maintain for 8 minutes and takes the average HR. Is this correct? If so, I usually figure that average HR for my LTHR, for intervals up to 15-20 minutes. However, one doesn't need to train right at LT. There is a well-known sweet spot for training below LT. Most folks call these sub-LT intervals. So if we say that your probable LT is about your test HR, then Carmichael is recommending that you do your SS intervals at 92%-95% of LTHR, which is right in that sweet spot. You get almost the same improvement at a much smaller training load than you would if you trained right at LT. The biggest problem for the self-coached athlete is always overdoing it. However if you're trying to keep someone from busting your chops on a long climb, you'll pick it right up to that LTHR and try to hold their wheel. Hopefully that sub-LT work will have prepared you to do that.

  8. #8
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    What Carbonfiberboy described is basically what the field test is but I did mine on a trainer. I went as hard as I could and really don't think I left anything on the table. My exact test sequence is below...
    20 minutes warm up that consists of fast pedal, easy spinning, and a 1 minutes full out interval.
    8-minutes at a pace you can barely maintain.
    10-minutes of easy spin recovery.
    another 8-minutes at a pace you can barely maintain.

    I think for now I will just try to do my intervals at the higher end of the range suggested then in a couple weeks re-do the field test. Maybe not on the trainer next time.

    I guess the big question is, are these "just below LT intervals" supposed to be really hard or just a little above your normal pace? I'd rate the effort on the field test a 9of10 and the SS efforts a 7of10. Does this sound about right?
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  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr DW View Post
    What Carbonfiberboy described is basically what the field test is but I did mine on a trainer. I went as hard as I could and really don't think I left anything on the table. My exact test sequence is below...
    20 minutes warm up that consists of fast pedal, easy spinning, and a 1 minutes full out interval.
    8-minutes at a pace you can barely maintain.
    10-minutes of easy spin recovery.
    another 8-minutes at a pace you can barely maintain.

    I think for now I will just try to do my intervals at the higher end of the range suggested then in a couple weeks re-do the field test. Maybe not on the trainer next time.

    I guess the big question is, are these "just below LT intervals" supposed to be really hard or just a little above your normal pace? I'd rate the effort on the field test a 9of10 and the SS efforts a 7of10. Does this sound about right?
    Sounds good to me. Yes, try the higher end of the range, but be prepared to cut back a bit if you aren't recovering well before the next workout.

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