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Sprint Interval training - Help!(4 posts)

Sprint Interval training - Help!Michelle
May 8, 2001 11:19 AM
Like most beginners, figuring out interval training is pretty challenging. I've been reading a lot of books lately (specifically the ones 'baldkingpin' recommended in an earlier thread)and am trying to get the basics down to integrate into my weekly training schedule. Today was the first shot at "sprint" intervals. This entailed:

4 power sprints for ~15-30 seconds (up a slight incline)53x15 ~90rpm

8 fast sprints for 45 seconds (down a small incline) 53x 15, 14, 13, 12, untill "spin out" (assuming this means your legs cant go any faster) ~90-110+rpm

My understanding was that your HR should get into the 90-100% zone, but wasnt able to push it higher than my AT (174)-(as background, my max is 185). I felt as though I was pushing as hard as I could but maybe that's just due to lack of power?

Could you guys give some advice on what kind of sprint/interval training you do? All the books seem to have pretty different ideas about what should be done when, and am not finding a common thread between them other than the fact that intervals should be done 2x a week.

(and I know this is a loaded question based on what your strengths/weaknesses and goals are, but am looking for some general direction to get started)

Thanks again!
This might answer the HR questionMaillot Rouge
May 8, 2001 12:51 PM
The key to sprint intervals is speed and effort not heart rate. The interval may be to short for your HR to respond beyond your LT. Does your HR continue to drift up after you're done with the interval? Or you may be recovering from a hard ride you did yesterday or the day before. You might not have warmed up adequately. At any rate don't worry about HR if you are working at max effort.

agreed...Old Guy
May 8, 2001 2:01 PM
Your HR isn't what you're working on when you do sprint workouts. You're developing snap (acceleration), power, and the ability to spin out a big gear at 120+. OK, you can actually do different workouts for all of those, but they all fall under the "sprint workout" heading. Your HR is totally irrelevant.

At the end of a race my HR may hit my absolute max, but that's because it's been so damn high for the period leading up to the final sprint anyway. In your workouts, think about the three things I mention above.
agreed...Jon Billheimer
May 9, 2001 9:27 AM
Just to add to the above two posts, sprint training utilizes the ATP/CP energetic system, which is the physiological reason why heart rate is irrelevant. Longer intervals, e.g. 3 min. to 20 min., will develop your aerobic system by either increasing your lactate threshold or your total aerobic capacity, known as VO2 max. These are the intervals in which intensity is governed by your heart rate. So don't confuse the two.

Both sprint workouts and LT workouts are very demanding so be sure to get adequate recovery afterward--36 to 48 hrs. Twice a week is plenty. Let your body be your guide.