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Modified pyramid interval question

Old 04-25-07, 05:45 PM
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Modified pyramid interval question

So I'd like to try something a little more painful. I'm thinking about doing pyramid intervals, except only taking 1 min rest between each interval instead of the length of the previous interval. I figure something that masochistic will make me strong like Vino (pro tour vino and bf vino). What say you all, is this a good idea or would the lack of recovery make it a less than ideal workout?
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Old 04-25-07, 06:02 PM
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I had a saying when I was a personal trainer in college. Everything works, nothing works for ever. Our bodies are amazing vehicles of recovery. With that said, our bodies are also very resistant to change. Every so often though you need to throw a wrench in the works. Meaning, you need to change things up a bit in your training. If your body is not getting the stimulus it needs to improve, it won't. Try the shorter interval, you'll be able to tell if you're pushing too hard. If anything, it just might force your body to improve slightly.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
So I'd like to try something a little more painful. I'm thinking about doing pyramid intervals, except only taking 1 min rest between each interval instead of the length of the previous interval. I figure something that masochistic will make me strong like Vino (pro tour vino and bf vino). What say you all, is this a good idea or would the lack of recovery make it a less than ideal workout?
Did you see my entry in the "Training Status" thread? Try something like that, but if you want, add in the 4 and 5 minute intervals to the pyramid (I just did 1 through 3). If you do the 3x5 minute "power intervals" (balls-out for 5 minutes), then 1-5 minute pyramids, plus the 2 all-out 1 minute sprints in the warmup....that's 42 minutes (total) of pure pain. Then just throw in the steady-states afterwards for a little fun and variety.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad's Colnago
I had a saying when I was a personal trainer in college. Everything works, nothing works for ever. Our bodies are amazing vehicles of recovery. With that said, our bodies are also very resistant to change. Every so often though you need to throw a wrench in the works. Meaning, you need to change things up a bit in your training. If your body is not getting the stimulus it needs to improve, it won't. Try the shorter interval, you'll be able to tell if you're pushing too hard. If anything, it just might force your body to improve slightly.
Thanks, i'll give it a try then. I just want to make sure I'm not wasting my time by not letting myself recover. I know there's a fine line between forcing adaptation and driving yourself into the ground.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:11 PM
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Yeah, it's all good. Most people avoid stuff like that because they end up losing focus and the quality goes down. If you've got the motivation (bloody nose boy), then hit it. Just make sure to recover after the ride before the next teardown.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:29 PM
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indeed. I'm at the point in my fitness now where it feels "good" to be in pain, if you get what I'm saying...weird to say but that's how it works for me when i'm feeling strong. So like I said earlier, I very well may ride myself into the ground if I'm not careful, which is why I asked before going out to try this.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:41 PM
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Wouldn't just depend on what systems you're trying to develop? Decreasing your rest should put you into more anaerobic work, increasing rest more aerobic, I'd imagine doing longer intervals would probably work as well. But that's merely a guess.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:49 PM
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I guess I want to improve aerobic and anaerobic capability. I want to be able to recovery quickly and want to be able to lay down attack after attack which requires a bit of aerobic and anaerobic ability, which is why I want to try the shorter rest period thing, as I think that in theory pyramid intervals with short rest periods would work both systems. I'm just wondering if it may be too little rest to accomplish what I'm wanting to do. I'm wondering if I might be better served trying to work each system on seperate days.

I'm a firm believer in pain = good for you, but I know that's a bit less than scientific, and can work against me sometimes.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:54 PM
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Give it a go and see how it works out, I suspect the quality of the longer intervals is going to be lower than if you did the traditional = recovery, but so what, if quality remains good, maybe you're on to something.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:05 PM
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I wouldn't worry so much about the science behind it. We build by suffering, there's nothing wrong with developing your strengths, nor with developing your weaknesses. The best thing is that if you feel really good about your training, your morale is higher, and crushing souls becomes the hunger. You'll be more fit somewhere, and you'll know how your body feels at its limits, so you'll know where to push and where to hold back.

I'm totally the same way about suffering. For me, it's the endorphines. One minute intervals are perfect suffering for me -- pace myself for 50 seconds start to die at 48 seconds, then stand and sprint all out for the last ten, and pedal out the other side.

Same thing with spicy food -- I like it hot enough to nearly make me cry. I need the endorphines however I can generate them.

Hey, I need some chips and salsa... (I make my own )
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Old 04-25-07, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Same thing with spicy food -- I like it hot enough to nearly make me cry.
Really spicy food and intervals both hurt twice - at the time and the next day.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad's Colnago
Everything works, nothing works for ever.
Nice.. +1
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Old 04-25-07, 09:12 PM
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I've tried the same thing, but I couldn't hold it and settled on doing 2 minute rests between the efforts and a 15 minute rest between sets. After 2 sets, I'm cooked...no bloodshed, but I feel like I'm going to black out and I can't feel my legs. I prefer to do this on my trainer for everyone's safety...though I have to watch out for the pool of sweat when I'm getting of my Mistress of Pain.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:32 PM
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I personally would only modify slightly. If you notice, going up, you only have the previous interval's length prior to a larger interval (a two minute rest before a three minute interval), but going down, you have a larger rest period (three minute rest goes into two minute interval). If I would modify it, I would do it one of two ways. a) going down, make sure that you give yourself one minute less than the interval (after doing a five, allow three rest, then hit four on with two minutes rest, etc) so that you have as much pain on the descent as you did the ascent, or b) double each interval up (one min on, one min rest, one min on, one min rest, two on, two rest, two on, two rest, three on, three rest and so forth). The reason I would not shorten the rest too much is because you WANT the muscle to recover enough to be able to do the next interval. Pain is nice, but if you decrease the amount of recovery, you are not allowing the muscles to "fill up" and be able to put forth a great effort. If you want more pain, put out more watts.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:36 PM
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^ That sounds amazing. Next day I've got intervals on the schedule I'm trying that.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:27 AM
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have you considered criss cross intervals? going above your LT for a period of time, then dipping only slightly below, and then going back up? the "rest" period is only a few beats below your LT. it's like doing a time trial but hitting hard intervals as you go on.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
have you considered criss cross intervals? going above your LT for a period of time, then dipping only slightly below, and then going back up? the "rest" period is only a few beats below your LT. it's like doing a time trial but hitting hard intervals as you go on.
cruise intervals great for training the cramps away too

all these people dong short intervals, ever considered doing much longer ones?
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Old 04-26-07, 07:42 AM
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Short intervals have their place. Long intervals have their place too. I try to keep em seperate, as they're for different purposes.

Criss Cross intervals sound good too, I'll have to try that sometime as well. How long are you supposed to do em?
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Old 04-26-07, 01:14 PM
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I did 30 mins of over-under (or criss cross or whatever) intervals yesterday. Was at 5 beats below LT the whole time except for 10 hard 30 second accelerations spaced out throughout the interval. Felt like a terrific workout.

I find doing longer 2-4 min super-LT intervals during a criss cross session hurts a lot. Its really hard to recover from a 4 min V02 effort at LT, for me at least.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
have you considered criss cross intervals? going above your LT for a period of time, then dipping only slightly below, and then going back up? the "rest" period is only a few beats below your LT. it's like doing a time trial but hitting hard intervals as you go on.
This sounds to me like riding in a really hard 2 or 3 man break - above LT on the front, just below LT while in the back. I keep meaning to try these intervals, but I haven't figured out yet where to fit them in my schedule.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cmh
This sounds to me like riding in a really hard 2 or 3 man break - above LT on the front, just below LT while in the back. I keep meaning to try these intervals, but I haven't figured out yet where to fit them in my schedule.
Since these are essentially threshold intervals (they're certainly not VO2max, anaerobic, or maximum power), I'd use them in place of any currently schedule workout targeted to increasing threshold power or aerobic fitness.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:32 PM
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I suppose I do an unstructured version of that in practice races. I'll stay at the front as much as possible and launch as many attacks as I can muster, and then see how long I can stay off the front with each one.
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Old 04-26-07, 04:10 PM
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Don't shorter intervals make the session more aerobic - you are getting closer to continous pain which is obviously mainly aerobic. Less rest means less power in the work interval. All depends what you want to do though.
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Old 05-15-07, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
I personally would only modify slightly. If you notice, going up, you only have the previous interval's length prior to a larger interval (a two minute rest before a three minute interval), but going down, you have a larger rest period (three minute rest goes into two minute interval). If I would modify it, I would do it one of two ways. a) going down, make sure that you give yourself one minute less than the interval (after doing a five, allow three rest, then hit four on with two minutes rest, etc) so that you have as much pain on the descent as you did the ascent, or b) double each interval up (one min on, one min rest, one min on, one min rest, two on, two rest, two on, two rest, three on, three rest and so forth). The reason I would not shorten the rest too much is because you WANT the muscle to recover enough to be able to do the next interval. Pain is nice, but if you decrease the amount of recovery, you are not allowing the muscles to "fill up" and be able to put forth a great effort. If you want more pain, put out more watts.
I did that tonight, and on the way down the pyramid I rested for the duration of the following interval rather than a minute more than the length of the following interval. It wasn't too painful, until I got to the second 5 minute effort, then it was just a long ass block of pure pain.

Good suggestion Doc, thanks!
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Old 05-16-07, 09:31 AM
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There are two interval sets that I like the best. The 5 min on 5 min off + sets of 30 sec on 30 sec off.
Those hurt lots!
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