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My first attempt at intervals.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

My first attempt at intervals.

Old 10-21-08, 11:41 AM
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startedspyder05
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My first attempt at intervals.

I only have around 3500 miles into my legs but I figured it would be a good time to start some interval training. After a bit of research(It was actually tricky to find very much information at all) I had a go with it this morning.

My ride: ~16 min warm up
30 sec sprint, 2-3 easy riding x 7
~another 16-17min cool down until I got back home

I didn't have a number of sets in mind when I started. I wanted to go for 5 but I was feeling pretty good, so I just ended up finishing 7 of them.

Should I try pushing harder on the sprints so I am unable to finish 7 whole sets? That seems like too many but I don't know.

I'm planning on doing interval sets twice a week(ex. tues and fri), but changing my second day's sets to
1min. intervals with more time in between(instead of 30 second sprints).

How is my game plan for starters? Anything to flame about? What kind of intervals do you guys do in your riding?
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Old 10-21-08, 11:48 AM
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http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=6205

Great indoor interval workout. I do all of my intervals in the dirt, on my cross bike. You intervals should mimic your efforts (and conditions) in racing as much as possible.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:09 PM
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For 1m intervals, I always do WRI™. Sprint all-out, then keep the pressure on 100% until the last second. I take about 5 minutes of just easy low-cadence rolling between them. I do best if I have a bit of an uphill for these. Do each one as absolutely hard as you can. I've done seven before, but most of the time I'm done at five or six.

I don't do any intervals shorter than 1m. In other words, I don't train sprints at all. Sprinting and 1m power are my natural strong points, and I find that the front end of a WRI™ gets me enough sprint training.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:16 PM
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Perfect information, thanks a ton guys.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:18 PM
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i would keep to the shorter 30 second sprints until you have a better idea of what you want to achieve.

What are you training for ? sprints ?? top end ?
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Old 10-21-08, 12:20 PM
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I mainly did 5x5 and 2x20 intervals this year, and improved a great deal in those areas. Next year I'm going to add in more shorter intervals, and especially sprints because that's where I suck.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclingvirtual View Post
What are you training for ? sprints ?? top end ?
That's an issue also. I really need to improve both, but if I had to chose I'd go for overall strength.

Would it work to do one day of 30 sprints and another day of 1m efforts like WaterR is saying in one week?
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Old 10-21-08, 12:32 PM
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Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in here on this subject, but I am trying intervals to in increase endurance on long climbs. I'll do 6 sets of 6 minutes at level 5 at about 85% of my max with only 2 minutes of rest in between. Would longer intervals be best for what I am trying to accomplish?
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Old 10-21-08, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by startedspyder05 View Post
That's an issue also. I really need to improve both, but if I had to chose I'd go for overall strength.

Would it work to do one day of 30 sprints and another day of 1m efforts like WaterR is saying in one week?
I wouldn't recommend both of those in the same week unless you're training for short track events. Focus on threshold development (sweet-spot training and longer intervals). Bringin

Originally Posted by spoke50 View Post
Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in here on this subject, but I am trying intervals to in increase endurance on long climbs. I'll do 6 sets of 6 minutes at level 5 at about 85% of my max with only 2 minutes of rest in between. Would longer intervals be best for what I am trying to accomplish?
This will be helpful to both of you. Read this article, and don't worry about the power stuff if you don't have a meter. You can do this on perceived exertion (explained in article) and/or with an HRM: http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp

6-minute intervals will focus on your VO2Max, which can be helpful in handling surges and attacks on long climbs. Again though, threshold should be the focus, as it's the biggest determining factor in road cycling performance.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:53 PM
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Cool, thanks for taking your time on that man. Very helpful info.
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Old 10-21-08, 01:21 PM
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As WR said threshold power is the starting point for everything. Longer intervals, i.e. 10-20 minutes at or just below threshold power (or Lactate threshold heart rate, or 8/10ths perceived exertion) should be a major part of your program.

Personally, I think 30 second intervals are neither here nor there. 30 seconds is really too long to be a sprint, and too short to be a good interval. (unless you're doing something like 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off)
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Old 10-21-08, 01:40 PM
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I did a couple of TTs this year that were like 20-30 minute intervals. Avg. HR about 176. My max is roughly 185. That's 95% of max for a long time.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
That's 95% of max for a long time.
That would be freakin' tough. My max is a little higher than yours, but I can't hold 95% for a 1/2 hour. Actually, I did a crit with a big climb in it last summer that was super tough. Average there was about 91% for 45 minutes. UGH!

When I do sprint days, I generally go to the park where we do Tuesday night races. I have a place were I go and I run it all the way to our normal finish line. It's a psychological thing. My 'go' point is pretty early and I want to have it in my head that I can do it over and over and be strong the entire way. It's right at 1 minute, and it is pretty damn hard. The rest of the lap I take real leisurely, so a full lap takes about 7 minutes (including the sprint). I do sets of 3, and then take a complete 'off' lap in between sets. When I get to the point where my sprint sucks, I quit. I've never gotten to 3 complete sets.

I have the big break between sprints because I want to be as fresh as possible for each one. Giving your muscles some time to recover is the only way I know to do this. I also think when you get to the point where you're losing form and pooping out before the end of the interval, then you're doing more harm than good. I wish I had power data, but you can feel when your power starts really dropping off. You start feeling like hell and speeds really drop. The accelerations start to really feel awful.

I don't have any hard data as far as what this has done for me over the year, but as the year went on, I started placing a little better. I'm really not a sprinter type of guy, but that's what the races always came to, so ya gotta get better at it even if you can't get really good.
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Old 10-21-08, 10:18 PM
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I mostly do 3x10s; couldn't finish the 2x20 the last time I tried them, but I'm working on it.

Good start!
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Old 10-21-08, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by startedspyder05 View Post
I only have around 3500 miles into my legs but I figured it would be a good time to start some interval training.
Um, why? Because everyone talks about them? If you have a base from other sports, great, but if not, that seems a bit early.

Who am I kidding? I'm probably going to be doing WRI and 2x20's come next spring, myself. Knock yourself out!
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Old 10-21-08, 10:46 PM
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If you do a 2x20 or 3x10 for example is that an effort of 20 min/10 min with rest periods in between of your chosen length?
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Old 10-21-08, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
That would be freakin' tough. My max is a little higher than yours, but I can't hold 95% for a 1/2 hour. Actually, I did a crit with a big climb in it last summer that was super tough. Average there was about 91% for 45 minutes. UGH!

When I do sprint days, I generally go to the park where we do Tuesday night races. I have a place were I go and I run it all the way to our normal finish line. It's a psychological thing. My 'go' point is pretty early and I want to have it in my head that I can do it over and over and be strong the entire way. It's right at 1 minute, and it is pretty damn hard. The rest of the lap I take real leisurely, so a full lap takes about 7 minutes (including the sprint). I do sets of 3, and then take a complete 'off' lap in between sets. When I get to the point where my sprint sucks, I quit. I've never gotten to 3 complete sets.

I have the big break between sprints because I want to be as fresh as possible for each one. Giving your muscles some time to recover is the only way I know to do this. I also think when you get to the point where you're losing form and pooping out before the end of the interval, then you're doing more harm than good. I wish I had power data, but you can feel when your power starts really dropping off. You start feeling like hell and speeds really drop. The accelerations start to really feel awful.

I don't have any hard data as far as what this has done for me over the year, but as the year went on, I started placing a little better. I'm really not a sprinter type of guy, but that's what the races always came to, so ya gotta get better at it even if you can't get really good.
This brings up a good point. One thing I've noticed about 1-minute intervals is that riders who are not able to lay down a really high 1m power may not be able to even fully tax themselves in a 1m interval. I am able to absolutely destroy myself with just 2 or three 1m intervals. My tests always burn 50 kJ (~55 Calories)... in one minute. That's gonna do some damage. I have training partners who can't get w/in 200W of my 1m power, and they aren't nearly as tired from them.

So, the number you can do will vary due to a lot of factors...
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Old 10-22-08, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
This brings up a good point. One thing I've noticed about 1-minute intervals is that riders who are not able to lay down a really high 1m power may not be able to even fully tax themselves in a 1m interval. I am able to absolutely destroy myself with just 2 or three 1m intervals. My tests always burn 50 kJ (~55 Calories)... in one minute. That's gonna do some damage. I have training partners who can't get w/in 200W of my 1m power, and they aren't nearly as tired from them.

So, the number you can do will vary due to a lot of factors...

Glad to have you around waterrockets, you're always willing to help and provide lots of great info for those of us not as well versed in the specifics of structured training.

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Old 10-22-08, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by startedspyder05 View Post
If you do a 2x20 or 3x10 for example is that an effort of 20 min/10 min with rest periods in between of your chosen length?
I normally keep the rest period at half the time of the interval or slightly less.
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Old 10-22-08, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
I normally keep the rest period at half the time of the interval or slightly less.
It depends what you're trying to do as far as how long the rest period should be. When doing sprints like WR is talking about, you want to be able to turn out max power. Now, his max power makes mine look pretty lame, but it's all relative. With this workout you are trying to recruit as much muscles mass as you can and tax it as hard as you can. If you're fatigued at the beginning of the sprint, you won't get the type2 A&B muscles working, and they are what will be the determining factor in your sprint. I did these when a little tired a couple weeks ago, and only got 2 in before calling it a day. When fresh I have done 6-7. They aren't easy and doing them poorly is probably worse than not doing them at all.

When training yourself to put up with surges, accelerations, and general crit activity, you need to work more on the your ablility to clear metabolized fuels (lactate, H ions, whatever it actually is). This is a completely different type of workout. With these a 15go/15off or 30go/15off is really effective.

I also do a workout I call 'rev-outs'. I ride in the small ring and a big cog. Starting from about 8mph, I accelerate absolutely as hard as I can for 12 seconds. I spin up to about 140-150 rpm in each gear before shifting up and can get through probably 4-5 gears. Then I take the rest of 2 minutes off. This is done specifically to recruit type2B fast twitch muscles. The big off period is to give them time to get ready to go again. If you do them closer together, it doesn't have the same effect. The good thing about these is that you can do maybe 10 of them, take a 5 minute recovery, and then do a 15s/15s or 30s/15s and get 2 completely different workouts on the same day. You're taxing different muscles groups, so the workouts compliment each other.

It's a matter of different horses for different courses.
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Old 10-22-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
I mostly do 3x10s; couldn't finish the 2x20 the last time I tried them, but I'm working on it.

Good start!
If you can't finish the 2x20's you're doing them too hard. They aren't maximal efforts, and should be done just a bit below FTP, or LTHR, if you're trianing by HR.

With the long steady state intervals, the adaptation you're training is raising your FTP, and increasing the time you can work at threshold. Doing them at or a touch below FTP gives you practically as much benefit as doing them above threshold, and without tearing yourself up as much physically or mentally.

I'm betting if you're struggling to complete 20 minutes you're riding well above your actual FTP.
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Old 10-22-08, 04:34 PM
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What intervals will help you not get killed on those long no so steep hills? I get dropped like a rock on those because my legs are on fire!
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Old 10-22-08, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by C_Heath View Post
What intervals will help you not get killed on those long no so steep hills? I get dropped like a rock on those because my legs are on fire!
2x20 and lose weight fatty
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Old 10-22-08, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
2x20 and lose weight fatty
heheheheheheheheheh I swear! I am A Lardass when it comes to this damn bike !!!!!!!!! 184 is freaking Morbese Obese!

I hate it!!!!

at 70" tall, I need to weigh about 140.

What about crack? That get it done? lol
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Old 10-22-08, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by C_Heath View Post
at 70" tall, I need to weigh about 140.

What about crack? That get it done? lol
Not on it's own, but it's a start.
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