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Sprints / Intervals - They Work

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Sprints / Intervals - They Work

Old 08-05-14, 02:08 PM
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Sprints / Intervals - They Work

People have opinions on doing sprints and/or intervals. Right now I do a sprint workout twice a week. Aside from the speed, power, etc. benefits it really helps to raise my resting metabolism. My uber-scientific evidence of this is how warm my body is for hours afterward. Not just my legs and other muscles most directly involved but my entire body. I feel my body temperature is raised significantly (what is significant? Not sure but I can feel it) and to me that means an increased metabolism. This happens each time I have a really good sprint or interval workout.

Thoughts? In my head or real?
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Old 08-05-14, 02:50 PM
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I don't know how real your feelings of warmth are, but I don't think there's any doubt that incorporating HIIT into your regimen makes a big impact on various metabolic markers. Most recently I read some abstracts of research in the UK into a small cohort of elderly people who did 6 seconds of all-out effort on an exercise bike, then recovered completely, then repeated, up to a maximum of ten reps per day. On a total of one minute of sprints several times a week (can't remember how many days, sorry) without any extensive cardio or other workouts, they all saw reductions in blood pressure, increases in flexibility and mobility, and various other benefits.
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Old 08-05-14, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
I don't know how real your feelings of warmth are, but I don't think there's any doubt that incorporating HIIT into your regimen makes a big impact on various metabolic markers. Most recently I read some abstracts of research in the UK into a small cohort of elderly people who did 6 seconds of all-out effort on an exercise bike, then recovered completely, then repeated, up to a maximum of ten reps per day. On a total of one minute of sprints several times a week (can't remember how many days, sorry) without any extensive cardio or other workouts, they all saw reductions in blood pressure, increases in flexibility and mobility, and various other benefits.
At the beginning of this year I did a bunch of reading about intervals, what they do to the body during and after the event, etc. I've used them in sports (my players, not me) for performance but never for me in regards to fitness. This Spring (before fastpitch season) I came out of the gate using intervals and I really noticed a difference. I knew then that I would find ways to incorporate them, or even sprints, whenever I was able to get on the bike consistently. If I was able to just get out one Saturday here or there then I would just enjoy that ride.

Since I'm actually able to ride during lunches I can come closer to training. One day it is just an elevated speed ride for about 15 miles, the next day I incorporate sprints and the next I may rest or just do a recovery ride.
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Old 08-05-14, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
I don't know how real your feelings of warmth are, but I don't think there's any doubt that incorporating HIIT into your regimen makes a big impact on various metabolic markers. Most recently I read some abstracts of research in the UK into a small cohort of elderly people who did 6 seconds of all-out effort on an exercise bike, then recovered completely, then repeated, up to a maximum of ten reps per day. On a total of one minute of sprints several times a week (can't remember how many days, sorry) without any extensive cardio or other workouts, they all saw reductions in blood pressure, increases in flexibility and mobility, and various other benefits.
Amazing that even a short burst like 6 seconds had an impact.
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Old 08-05-14, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
Amazing that even a short burst like 6 seconds had an impact.
Well, they were on the bike for longer than 6 seconds - they did 10 reps with recovery in between, so that was probably a couple minutes recovery per sprint. Even at 90 seconds per recovery, that puts them on the bike for 15-20 min, which is significant compared to no exercise at all.

So even a little bit helps. Who knew?
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Old 08-05-14, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Well, they were on the bike for longer than 6 seconds - they did 10 reps with recovery in between, so that was probably a couple minutes recovery per sprint. Even at 90 seconds per recovery, that puts them on the bike for 15-20 min, which is significant compared to no exercise at all.

So even a little bit helps. Who knew?
Ah. Makes more sense but still quite an impact with little time. ... Which is what I'm trying to do with my lunches. Here and there I'll ride just for the fun of it but USUALLY for me fun means high effort. That hurts when I want to do a longer distance as I want to hammer out the whole thing. Doesn't always work out.
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Old 08-05-14, 03:44 PM
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Check this guy out - https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...xperiment.html

I think you guys are on the same page. Note that he used to ride a TON of miles but so far this year it's all short commutes. Interesting nonetheless.
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Old 08-05-14, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Well, they were on the bike for longer than 6 seconds - they did 10 reps with recovery in between, so that was probably a couple minutes recovery per sprint. Even at 90 seconds per recovery, that puts them on the bike for 15-20 min, which is significant compared to no exercise at all.

So even a little bit helps. Who knew?
Not quite true. They went with complete recovery between intervals, so effectively they were off the bike between the six second bursts.

Anyway, the story seems to be that very short bursts of very intense activity is very good for you. My conclusion is that I should be spending less time on long, sub-threshold workouts, and instead spend a lot of time going very easily, and a little time going very hard indeed.

And this does accord with my touring experience. When I'm touring I spend a lot of time in zone 1, and occasional hard effortsin the hills. And I never feel stronger than I do after a long tour.
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Old 08-05-14, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Check this guy out - https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...xperiment.html

I think you guys are on the same page. Note that he used to ride a TON of miles but so far this year it's all short commutes. Interesting nonetheless.
When I get back from Texas I'll be doing some longer rides. Last year I did a bunch of 30, 40, etc. milers during the week (I ride at night) but more at a consistent pace. This year it will be a shorter more intense week and a single long ride. I should be able to do some comparisons to last year and see how I feel.

The only difference is my rump. Will it be in shape for the longer rides? Nothing gets the rump in shape like TIME in the saddle so we shall see how that goes. Maybe my more consistent outings will helps. Also... in about one weeks I plan on switching from my good bike shorts to my crappy ones and then to none. If I can do that I think when I do my longer rides and wear my good shorts I should be good.

Also.... I have the option of doing commutes and last year I did that. 21.5 miles one way at this new location. If I feel I need some time in the saddle I'll do that but as it stands right now I may do that just as a change of pace. I don't want to put too much time in the saddle and get tired of it. I've got a good thing going and I want to keep it that way.
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Old 08-05-14, 05:19 PM
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I don't know about the metabolism aspect but it sure makes me faster! I do 4 one min max efforts twice a week and it works. I also just feel really good afterwards.
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Old 08-05-14, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Not quite true. They went with complete recovery between intervals, so effectively they were off the bike between the six second bursts.

Anyway, the story seems to be that very short bursts of very intense activity is very good for you. My conclusion is that I should be spending less time on long, sub-threshold workouts, and instead spend a lot of time going very easily, and a little time going very hard indeed.

And this does accord with my touring experience. When I'm touring I spend a lot of time in zone 1, and occasional hard efforts in the hills. And I never feel stronger than I do after a long tour.
This is a better thread to pirate to talk about intervals & training methods I think, so I'll shift my piracy efforts over here since WM is already talking about intervals.

I don't know for a fact, but I KNOW I train wrong. Too much hard but not super hard efforts. I do get easy rides in when I go with the family (hit the road with my wife for 2 hours the other day and spent the vast majority of it in zone 2 with a surprising amount in zone 1.) So except for that, I ride the same all the time... which is where the time crunched cylist comes in. I'm hoping I can glean some of the ideas from there about mixing in some intervals and maybe even (shock) periodicity. I'm never going to race... ever, but I'd love to break 6 hours on a century and 5 would be spectacular on a flat century.

Hills are about the only intervals I do now, and only when they show up on my route. It's reasonably hilly here and I always hit the hills hard. I have to, or I'd tip over from going so slow. Le Sigh. I mean... I have a power meter, I should make better use of it. I do use it to goad myself into harder efforts though, so it's not totally worthless.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:25 PM
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The most common training mistake, imo, is to default to "medium hard" rides. The coaches all say that most people make the easy rides too hard, and the hard rides too easy.

It's easy to see why. Going really, really hard is tough and unpleasant, and most people would rather go just a bit hard and persuade themselves they're really working. And going really easily makes one feel as if one isn't really working, so people just step on the gas a little to tell themselves they're doing enough.

Hills are good. But if you have a power meter, you really have little excuse for not mixng it up and making the most of your time. Lurk in the racers forum and look at the workout sticky in the 33. There are great intervals there. Make one of your rides an FTP session - say 2x20 minutes at 95% of ftp - and another a sprint session, maybe 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, repeat until failure, and ride easy the rest of the time, and I'll bet you feel a difference.

Incidentally, the sprint session may make you puke. Warm up first.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
This is a better thread to pirate to talk about intervals & training methods I think, so I'll shift my piracy efforts over here since WM is already talking about intervals.

I don't know for a fact, but I KNOW I train wrong. Too much hard but not super hard efforts. I do get easy rides in when I go with the family (hit the road with my wife for 2 hours the other day and spent the vast majority of it in zone 2 with a surprising amount in zone 1.) So except for that, I ride the same all the time... which is where the time crunched cylist comes in. I'm hoping I can glean some of the ideas from there about mixing in some intervals and maybe even (shock) periodicity. I'm never going to race... ever, but I'd love to break 6 hours on a century and 5 would be spectacular on a flat century.

Hills are about the only intervals I do now, and only when they show up on my route. It's reasonably hilly here and I always hit the hills hard. I have to, or I'd tip over from going so slow. Le Sigh. I mean... I have a power meter, I should make better use of it. I do use it to goad myself into harder efforts though, so it's not totally worthless.
I need to get a power meter with a cadence meter, if those exist. I want to get the most out of my weekday training rides and if I can do something that helps my increase by 5% then I'm happy.

I'll probably picked up the Time Crunched Cyclist that was mentioned in the other thread.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
The most common training mistake, imo, is to default to "medium hard" rides. The coaches all say that most people make the easy rides too hard, and the hard rides too easy.

It's easy to see why. Going really, really hard is tough and unpleasant, and most people would rather go just a bit hard and persuade themselves they're really working. And going really easily makes one feel as if one isn't really working, so people just step on the gas a little to tell themselves they're doing enough.

Hills are good. But if you have a power meter, you really have little excuse for not mixng it up and making the most of your time. Lurk in the racers forum and look at the workout sticky in the 33. There are great intervals there. Make one of your rides an FTP session - say 2x20 minutes at 95% of ftp - and another a sprint session, maybe 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, repeat until failure, and ride easy the rest of the time, and I'll bet you feel a difference.

Incidentally, the sprint session may make you puke. Warm up first.
When I'm pushing on a Sprint or increasing my effort on the other day I'm training my mind as well. Enduring the pain of sucking wind and your whole body burning is something you have to be willing to go through. I kind of like it.

When I am talking to my ball teams I challenge them to establish a "New Normal". That means increasing your effort consistently until that becomes "Normal" and then work towards increasing THAT. In the bike world I use Strava to track segments and to establish other baselines for distance, times, etc. I enjoy that sort of thing.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
I need to get a power meter with a cadence meter, if those exist. I want to get the most out of my weekday training rides and if I can do something that helps my increase by 5% then I'm happy.

I'll probably picked up the Time Crunched Cyclist that was mentioned in the other thread.
Of course they exist... whether they're cheap enough for you to want to purchase is a whole different story. I believe most crank based power meters will report cadence. Of course, you could also just get a garmin with a cadence sensor. Honestly, I don't really get much out of a cadence sensor anymore. but $2,000 for a crank power meter is mighty precious. Stages run about $700 I think but I don't know if they do cadence. Powertaps are also available at a *more* reasonable price... i got a used set of PT wheels for about $650 or so, I forget. Pretty heavy aluminum training wheels but really, they're not slowing me down at all.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Of course they exist... whether they're cheap enough for you to want to purchase is a whole different story. I believe most crank based power meters will report cadence. Of course, you could also just get a garmin with a cadence sensor. Honestly, I don't really get much out of a cadence sensor anymore. but $2,000 for a crank power meter is mighty precious. Stages run about $700 I think but I don't know if they do cadence. Powertaps are also available at a *more* reasonable price... i got a used set of PT wheels for about $650 or so, I forget. Pretty heavy aluminum training wheels but really, they're not slowing me down at all.
All those prices are more than I can bring myself to spend on that combo. I could, but can't bring myself to do it. Probably a cadence meter will get me some value.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
All those prices are more than I can bring myself to spend on that combo. I could, but can't bring myself to do it. Probably a cadence meter will get me some value.
You can approximate some of the benefits with an HR Monitor. The main problem is that your HR lags your effort and of course, it's not always the same HR for the same effort (if you're tired, hot, dehydrated etc). Power tells you much more accurately what your output is. Still, for non-racers it's probably not that big of a deal.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
People have opinions on doing sprints and/or intervals. Right now I do a sprint workout twice a week. Aside from the speed, power, etc. benefits it really helps to raise my resting metabolism. My uber-scientific evidence of this is how warm my body is for hours afterward. Not just my legs and other muscles most directly involved but my entire body. I feel my body temperature is raised significantly (what is significant? Not sure but I can feel it) and to me that means an increased metabolism. This happens each time I have a really good sprint or interval workout.

Thoughts? In my head or real?
I guess I will offer my opinion from just a few sessions with an HRM, it is amazing how much more of a workout it is to do 3x3 of a Zone 2/ Zone 3 workout, than it is to just ride for 18 minutes in zone 3. So my vote is indeed that it "works".

I set my zones up so that the top of my Zone 4 is just under my [TABLE]
[TR]
[TD]LTHR[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
as close as I can discern it.

As to long term benefits, we will see about that :-).

Bill
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Old 08-05-14, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
You can approximate some of the benefits with an HR Monitor. The main problem is that your HR lags your effort and of course, it's not always the same HR for the same effort (if you're tired, hot, dehydrated etc). Power tells you much more accurately what your output is. Still, for non-racers it's probably not that big of a deal.
I wasn't sure what I was going to DO with it but I figured I'd learn. I'm doing pretty well without any meter but I figure I can do better WITH one. A cadence and HR Monitor is probably what I will get. If the leap in price (get ready for the humor) isn't too much more I'll get one that can hook into my phone and couple up with Strava or Endomondo. I may have to get two devices. Heck I don't know I'm just now starting to look into it.

The reason why I'm thinking of them is there is a third type of workout I'd like to add and that is a cadence workout. Higher spin rate. Use it to teach my legs to go faster and to stay in "whatever" zone and build some cardiovascular. Although I will say my sprints temporarily drive EVERYTHING through the roof but I'd like to stay in a proper zone that I can maintain for longer.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Willbird
I guess I will offer my opinion from just a few sessions with an HRM, it is amazing how much more of a workout it is to do 3x3 of a Zone 2/ Zone 3 workout, than it is to just ride for 18 minutes in zone 3. So my vote is indeed that it "works".

I set my zones up so that the top of my Zone 4 is just under my [TABLE]
[TR]
[TD]LTHR[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
as close as I can discern it.

As to long term benefits, we will see about that :-).

Bill
Yes something like this. My first workout is just "increased speed for the entire outing" and may be what you referenced in your 18 minutes in zone 3. I may be reading it wrong. If I can take that day and figure out how to get the most out of it using an HRM I'm all for it.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:24 PM
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I'm reading this about HRM training.....

Heart rate monitor training for cyclists - BikeRadar
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Old 08-05-14, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
Yes something like this. My first workout is just "increased speed for the entire outing" and may be what you referenced in your 18 minutes in zone 3. I may be reading it wrong. If I can take that day and figure out how to get the most out of it using an HRM I'm all for it.
Well a friend here spoke of how to find your LTHR, you ride hard for 30 minutes at a HR you can sustain for that long, then take the average HR for the last 20 minutes as your theoretical LTHR (lactate Threshold Heart Rate). Then take percentages of that LTHR for your zones, zone 4 tops out just under the LTHR.

30 minutes in Zone 4 honestly felt less strenuous than 3 minutes in zone 3, 3 in zone 2, 3 in zone 3, 3 in zone 2, then 3 more in zone 3.

Not sure why exactly, must be some science stuff hehe :-).

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Old 08-05-14, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Willbird
Well a friend here spoke of how to find your LTHR, you ride hard for 30 minutes at a HR you can sustain for that long, then take the average HR for the last 20 minutes as your theoretical LTHR (lactate Threshold Heart Rate). Then take percentages of that LTHR for your zones, zone 4 tops out just under the LTHR.

30 minutes in Zone 4 honestly felt less strenuous than 3 minutes in zone 3, 3 in zone 2, 3 in zone 3, 3 in zone 2, then 3 more in zone 3.

Not sure why exactly, must be some science stuff hehe :-).

Bill
Stupid science!

I'm going to look at HRM's and cadence, etc. and see what is out there for a reasonable price. I've got a Plan B business that is doing well but I'm trying not to allow that to give me license to just spend money. Got to make sure I'm getting what I need and not what I want, which is my general urge.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:45 PM
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Looks like an Edge 500 (and accessories) is the first Garmin that gives me everything I need. I'll have to look for competitors and do some comparisons.
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Old 08-05-14, 10:47 PM
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I've heard people crowing about the new magellan bike computers, and they're priced MUCH cheaper than the equivalent garmin variety (they tend to be pretty high end). The 500 is a good little computer though. You can get them bare for 150-200 if you look around. Add in a cadence and HR sensor and they go up another hundred or so.
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