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Interval question(15 posts)

Interval questionbigdave
Jun 5, 2001 8:51 PM
I have a few interval questions...

After a warmup, I did some descending intervals tonight... 2 min on/off, 1:30 on/off, 1 on/off, 30 on/off. Did 2 sets... had 3 in mind but my legs were trashed.

My questions are these: Is it normal in the latter (shorter) intervals not to hit the same speeds as the first one? Although the 2 min was longer, I was steaming along pretty good and held it well... after that, my speeds declined although it was still d@mn hard.

Is that simply the way it should be? Or does it mean I still have a ways to go?

Intervals are the Root of all Evil--blue bayou
Jun 5, 2001 9:51 PM
Judging your performance against speed is a bit vague for me. Comparing against a know distance is more concrete. Evenly spaced light poles, marked lines on your route, whatever you can create...comparing your performance against a fixed distance is key. Call the first one 1 mile, second .5 and the third .25. Interval against time for the given distance. Rest time=expended time. Managing this event(and all intervals) requires you to be rider, coach and timer. Have a mini interval/TT route in mind. Compare your performance. A fun interval without time is to play the game of "catch the guy in front of you". Out on a route, bust A** and "catch" the rider in the distance. Race imaginary foe to a street light or other fixed object. Work on your technique and sprint when you are tired, not just when rested. This rambles I know, but you can get the idea.
I guess what I meant wasbigdave
Jun 5, 2001 10:27 PM
that my ability to really push it declined (along with speed) as the intervals wore on.

The given distance and time thing is a good suggestion. Thanks,

--Dave bayou
Jun 5, 2001 10:38 PM
Your ability to "push it" is going to decline. It qualifies you to be human. Feeling weak when going for it is part of training. Ignore it.

Hard but within reach.
Jun 5, 2001 10:44 PM
I did the same workout today. I really didn't concentrate on speed, but on max effort and cadence. I'm sure i was slower on the latter intervals, i was fatigued. Also, unless terain is completely flat, I think its hard to judge.
re: Interval questionfredmark
Jun 5, 2001 11:24 PM
This is why wattage is the best way to measure power output. A computrainer or SRM is the best investment you can make if you're truly serious about increasing your anaerobic power/endurance. At the very least, you should be utilizing your heart rate monitor to determine/challenge your levels of exertion over LT - and just as important, when you're riding for recovery.
re: Interval questionPingPong
Jun 6, 2001 2:39 AM
If you have a good base of fitness you can avoid the effect of fatigue by taking more recovery between intervals. eg 1 mins on : 5 mins off, or 5 mins on : 15 mins off.

This approach obviously requires a lot of time on the bike but ensures the quality of the intervals. However a lot of us throw our interval sessions into our workouts when we don't have so much time.

In the case of 1 minute on 1 minute off type intervals you are really training your ability to recover quickly between efforts. If you are not acheiving a similar quality of effort in the last few intervals you clearly have not recovered.

My advice would be to lessen your pace during the first 2 minute interval and focus on really burying yourself for the 30 second interval, then take a good 10 - 20 minute spin between sets.
Good suggestionbigdave
Jun 6, 2001 6:24 AM
on the mellow 2 min and cranking out the 30 second set. Seems kinda obvious, but I guess I didn't think of that when snot was streaming from my nose in the middle of those sets. :-)


Re: Interval QuestionJon Billheimer
Jun 6, 2001 8:46 AM
DI's are a lactate tolerance workout. In other words you're creating huge amounts of lactic acid but not allowing enough time for clearance. So, yes, power output is going to decline in subsequent sets. If you want to do a power workout allow 5to 10 min. for recovery. Different workouts achieve different objectives.
Yep, repeatabilitybigdave
Jun 6, 2001 1:04 PM
that is what I am trying to improve. So, it's good to know what I experienced is normal for that workout. Thanks.

Two other interval workoutsMass Biker
Jun 6, 2001 8:52 AM
The first - a 60 minute workout. 3 minutes, 2 minutes off. 12 sets. Use the first minute to get up to steam and then try to hold it for the last two minutes. You will find your recovery HR rising on the "off" sections as you head towards the end of this workout. The key to this workout is starting "on the 5" regardless each time around. Complete recovery between sets is not possible. Good race simulation (putting in attacks, having to respond etc.)

The second - a 30+ minute workout. A stretch of road that takes 2 minutes to complete "at race speed". Accelerate gradually along the stretch of road and sprint the last 200-300M all out. The key to this workout is complete recovery between sets. Take however long you need to bring your HR down to recovery levels before starting another set. Aim to do 5 of these. Good sprint/end of race simulation.

Yeah, # 1 is a killerbigdave
Jun 6, 2001 1:14 PM
I did some of those with a more experienced and very strong teammate. Actually, more of a 3x3 pursuit, which differs in this way: we did 5 3 on 3 offs, followed by doing the same, except the "off" periods consisted of drafting the guy who was in the "on" phase, not shutting it down and spinning like might otherwise be the case. Trust me, it does not feel like an "off" phase. Those were followed by 5 more traditional 3x3. Like you say, good simulation.

The second one sounds good for being able to sprint when you are gassed... again good practice.


Pain Favors the Weak and Searches Out the bayou
Jun 6, 2001 1:18 PM
Misery loves company, too. I think I'll try this one.
This sounds like something we used to do in swimmingAlex R
Jun 6, 2001 8:49 AM
It was called the "Lactic Acid Test". 8x100 on the 8 minute. You do it from the blocks, race speed, and chart the increase in time over the 8 swims. Since we did it every tuesday, it served as a very good fitness scale. Personally, I would swim the same pace for the first four or five, and then incrementally slow down over the next three. I suppose the idea is to see how fast your body can flush lactic acid.

You may want to try something like this, measure out a mile or so on the road and ride it eight times, all sprint. Chart your increase in time.

Need to give ample recovery time...vram
Jun 6, 2001 4:44 PM
between sets. Most of my interval training I do maintains the same recovery time for decreasing amount of work, or same amount of work and recovery time is tied to recovery HR.

All intervals aren't created equal--there are different kinds of interval training regimes for achieving specific kinds of results. Sprint intervals are very different (aerobic) from intervals designed to develop VO2 or hill climbing. Get hold of Armstrong' book--The LA performance program. I found it useful.

For example, my favorite interval regime is the step ladder and is great for lactate threshold training and if done with more intensity can also work as powerintervals to develop VO2 max--

10 mins at Zone 4
3 mins recovery
8 mins at zone 4
3 mins recovery
6 mins at zone 4
3 mins recovery
4 mins at zone 4
3 mins recovery
2 mins at zone 4
3 mins recovery

repeat another set.
Have you ever experienced moving backwards when climbing a hill? I have, many a times :)

This is a good interval training for hill climbing:

Find a hill that takes at least about 1-2 min to climb. Sprint up the hill at max, out of saddle effort, recover for at least 5-10 mins to and repeat 2 more sets.