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Getting the mojo back....intervals

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Getting the mojo back....intervals

Old 04-26-23, 05:13 PM
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Getting the mojo back....intervals

I had kind of a fallow winter. I was riding (or zwifting), but there were persistent interruptions, mostly from travel, some from covid. A week off, some riding for 10 days, another trip, time off while sick, a little riding, more travel, repeat, etc. Finally, in late February to mid-March I was in India for nearly 3 weeks and did no riding at all. When I was able to ride, I was managing only 5-8 hours/week, and very little of that was at high intensity. And so I lost a lot of my fitness.

Since mid-March, I've been riding steadily, though still not putting in the time/mileage that I would prefer. Say, 10 hours a week whereas I'd really prefer 12- 14. And from late March, I added 1 interval torture session/week. Whether the intervals are the reason I've been improving or if they are just a measure of the improvement, I can't say, but they do give a nice quantitative measure of my path back to decent shape.

The interval sessions are always the same. 3 sets of 5 X 1 minute intervals, with 1 minute between each interval and 10 minutes between each set. I don't know if that's what a knowledgeable coach would suggest, but that's what I started doing some years ago and I find it both agonizing and beneficial.

So here are the average power of the 1 minute intervals, by session. That first session, in late March, really was at my limit at that point- I felt awful- I couldn't finish the intervals in the last set at the same power I had managed in the first two. This got me down because those numbers were pathetic. In previous years when I've been in fairly good shape, I reach a maximum of maybe 370-380 watt averages. So getting the mojo back took about a month. I'm pleased.
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Old 04-26-23, 09:33 PM
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Welcome back. One minute is probably as good as any.
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Old 04-29-23, 04:17 PM
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1 min is actually out of style at the moment, but hey: what Hermes says.
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Old 04-30-23, 01:54 AM
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Yeah, 1 minute may not be optimal for everybody, but they do work for me. The key is that the 1 minute between intervals is not enough time for me to fully recover, so each effort gets harder.

My heart rate recovery is weird. After a hard effort, I get almost no recovery in the first 10 or even 20 seconds. I don't know what this means physiologically, but it means that my 1 minute HRR can be fairly poor. - i.e., in the first weeks of this program, it was around 25 bpm. But this week it was as high as 40 bpm and in one case, it was actually 50.
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Old 04-30-23, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
Yeah, 1 minute may not be optimal for everybody, but they do work for me.
1 minute at full gas? Gad, those are brutal! Chapeau to you for doing those willingly.

The closest I come to structured intervals is hill repeats: climb the hill, turn around and descend, recover on the downhill, repeat. About 5 minutes on the climb, 2 minutes on the descent.
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Old 05-02-23, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
1 minute at full gas? Gad, those are brutal! Chapeau to you for doing those willingly..
I guess it depends on the definition of full gas, but it's 1 minute at the power I can maintain for 1 minute. Generally, the last 10 seconds of each minute are just awful.
I do dread doing them, but every time I complete them, I write in my notes "I need to keep doing these". So I do.

Originally Posted by terrymorse
The closest I come to structured intervals is hill repeats: climb the hill, turn around and descend, recover on the downhill, repeat. About 5 minutes on the climb, 2 minutes on the descent.
Hill repeats are good if you have the right hill that is easily accessible. I have a hard time finding any outside environment where I can fully concentrate on power and time to keep my effort up and steady.

Two minutes between climbs sounds really good. The key, I think, is that it shouldn't be enough time to recover 100% between each effort.
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Old 05-02-23, 06:53 AM
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it looks kind of like you're doing anaerobic if you're having a hard time last 10 seconds. Of course there's a time and place for anaerobic work, but those aren't actually all that useful for aerobic stuff. Personally I'd recommend 3ish min efforts at whatever you can sustain and do more vo2 work
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