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Newbie question about intervals

Old 08-24-06, 08:16 AM
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rtb1208
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Newbie question about intervals

Is the goal of doing intervals to increase your heart rate to near your MHR ? Every time I go all out, my legs seem to die down before I reach near my MHR. Should I be going at high speeds and at high cadence too ? Thanks.
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Old 08-24-06, 09:11 AM
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timmhaan
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Originally Posted by rtb1208
Is the goal of doing intervals to increase your heart rate to near your MHR ? Every time I go all out, my legs seem to die down before I reach near my MHR. Should I be going at high speeds and at high cadence too ? Thanks.
how do you know what your max heart rate is? if you're using the 220-age forumla then it's just not accurate.

there are different goals for different intervals. most people tend to go all out for the duration of the interval and then rest until their heart rate reaches the recovery zone. that's probably what you should do for now. do shorter intervals of only a minute or two and wait until you're fully recovered before you go again. don't worry too much about max heart rate for now.
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Old 08-24-06, 09:15 AM
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It's a little bit more complicated. Different intervals are for different purposes. Some are pretty short and maximal efforts. Some are longer at a targeted HR. Best to buy a book that can help explain this. Joel Friel, or Chris Carmichael have several that would be helpful
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Old 08-24-06, 09:16 AM
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merlin, I think Joe and Chris owe us a cut of the profits at this point.
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Old 08-24-06, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
how do you know what your max heart rate is? if you're using the 220-age forumla then it's just not accurate.

there are different goals for different intervals. most people tend to go all out for the duration of the interval and then rest until their heart rate reaches the recovery zone. that's probably what you should do for now. do shorter intervals of only a minute or two and wait until you're fully recovered before you go again. don't worry too much about max heart rate for now.
I tried racing in a crit once and immediatly got dropped. Thats when I realized that riding a lot of miles is not enough training for such races and some interval training is needed. When you say go all out, does that mean going as fast as you can until you legs start to burn that you are unable to continue OR that you are almost out of breath ?
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Old 08-24-06, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rtb1208
I tried racing in a crit once and immediatly got dropped. Thats when I realized that riding a lot of miles is not enough training for such races and some interval training is needed. When you say go all out, does that mean going as fast as you can until you legs start to burn that you are unable to continue OR that you are almost out of breath ?
"go all out" as is: ride as fast as possible but concentrate on keeping good form. you would typically set a time for the interval. for 30 seconds, 1 minute, whatever. just ride as fast as you can for that time and then softpedal until your heart rate goes down. if you can't finish the interval then just shorten them up. that's the basic idea behind a "max effort interval".

as mentioned above though, it gets a little more involved when you have a good training program in place. for example you might do longer less intense intervals earlier in the year and then change toward shorter more intense intervals as the races come up. depends greatly on what type of racing you'll be doing and what your particular strengths are.

personally i think the biggest bang for the buck are pyramid intervals:

1 minute on, 1 mintue off
2 minutes on, 2 minutes off
3 minutes on, 3 minutes off
4 mintues on, 4 minutes off

then go backwards from 4 minutes back to 1.

you can cover a lot of interval ground in one workout but you may have to build up to it first. whatever you do - start adding intervals slowly to your schedule! just once a week for a while and then twice a week. no more than that is needed. good luck and really do consider getting a book on the subject. you'll benefit greatly.
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Old 08-24-06, 12:01 PM
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In general, intervals are to work on short, near max effort, followed by recovery and then repeating. The goal is to be able to maximize your effort and minimize your recovery time. You are simulating what happens in a race.

Don't concentrate on killing your legs and lungs when you are on, you will do that anyway. Work on keeping your form and getting the highest speed possible. They hurt and its hard to motivate yourself to do it, but it is probably the best thing you can do to get you ready to race. Try doing them with someone else, gets you motivated.

Intervals make you strong, motorpacing makes you fast. So in addition to intervals, motorpace or ride in a big group thats going fast so you get used to maintaining a high speed.
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Old 08-24-06, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
In general, intervals are to work on short, near max effort, followed by recovery and then repeating. The goal is to be able to maximize your effort and minimize your recovery time. You are simulating what happens in a race.

Don't concentrate on killing your legs and lungs when you are on, you will do that anyway. Work on keeping your form and getting the highest speed possible. They hurt and its hard to motivate yourself to do it, but it is probably the best thing you can do to get you ready to race. Try doing them with someone else, gets you motivated.

Intervals make you strong, motorpacing makes you fast. So in addition to intervals, motorpace or ride in a big group thats going fast so you get used to maintaining a high speed.
the way you've described it here, what is the difference between being "strong" vs. "fast". I would have thought strong= fast in this context. What is it about motorpacing that makes people fast? I thought doing intervals would help with that enough
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Old 08-24-06, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for all your responses and useful information. It seems that for starters, when doing intervals, keep it simple, maximize your effort and then recover and do it again. Forget about max heart rate, training zones etc for now.

I have been riding for about 5 years and averaged about 2000 miles a year. Until my first race about a month ago, I did not realize that I need some real work. Looking back, I may have wasted a lot of miles riding. Now everytime I go for a ride, I should have a purpose like doing sprints, intervals etc instead of just riding. I am quite comfortable riding in a pack and pacelines but the group rides I go on has a moderate and leisure of pace 15-18 mph. Solo, I average 18+ in various terrains.

I am planning on a Cat 5 road race in about 6 weeks. Not sure that I can get enough interval training done to completeley train for it but regardless, I would go for it and hope to do better than my first crit (I got dropped in the first lap and got lapped after 5 laps !). My son who saw me race that day said "Dad, its now official. You suck ! " (-:. No more crits for me for now !
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Old 08-24-06, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rtb1208
My son who saw me race that day said "Dad, its now official. You suck ! " (-:. No more crits for me for now !
ha! that's some brutal honesty. i made the mistake of inviting people to watch my first race (finished 5 mintues down...yikes!). it took me a few more races before i felt ready to have people come out and watch.
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