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Figuring out 2x20 wattage - Page 2

post #16 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregkeller
I know this has been hashed out alot but i've searched and can't find an answer to my question. I am pretty new to the idea of 2x20's but think it's an idea to try. Is there a way i can determine what wattage to use if i've never done them before. My last interval workout was 3x5' with a 2 minute rest between and i averaged 328, 330, and 328 watts for them. I did it inside on a trainer and don't feel like i could have gone any harder (maybe if i was better rested). Should i just try different wattages? I don't want to have to do "trial and error" if it isn't needed. If it must be trial and error is there any ballpark figure someone could give me (285? 300?) Thanks for the help, and this time of the year about 2 months before my first race (cat 5) how many times a week should i be doing 2x20's? Thanks for the help.
This is not hard at all.

Just go out and ride your bike and try it.

Once you find you can repeat some wattage comfortably, slowly try increasing the wattage you can do repeatedly the same way you would increase the load for any type of typical training plan over weeks and months. And if you find you can't keep it up at whatever you picked, next time try a little lower.

The hard part is finding a place to do it safely outside.

We get power meters to guide us, not rule us, don't obsess so much over getting the *exact* numbers the first time out. One has to be able to ride without watching the display all the time and when the equipment fails...
post #17 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
You are saying that the main difference between lets say 2X20 and 1X40 would be psychological impact. I think that L4 is defined being between 91 and 105 FT (if I am not mistaken). 2X20 target one particular area of that curve, 1X40 may target a slighly different area, altough to make it more different, I would favor 1X50 for example (maybe at lower power).
Certainly there is a broad range of options for L4 intensities and durations. I agree that different durations would normally be done at different power levels, but I think that mostly applies when the total work duration is different (ie, 2x20 v. 2x30).

Since people are typically doing their 2x20's at something close to their '1-hr power' I would think that they'd also be able to do a 1x40 at the same power level. If they couldn't hold it for 40 minutes then to me that would imply that they were either somewhat overstating their FT power, or really charging hard on those 20-min intervals. I agree that there may be a slight difference between 2x20 power and 1x40 (or 50) power, but I still think that's mostly psychological.
post #18 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

This may be a little off topic. But what do you think about 3-4x20's? Is the benefit worth the extra fatigue? At this point should we just go ahead and do sst? I guess I'm leaning towards them being good, but only in situations where you are fairly rested.
post #19 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchyge
Since people are typically doing their 2x20's at something close to their '1-hr power' I would think that they'd also be able to do a 1x40 at the same power level.
I don't know. Maybe you are right.

I am having hard time trying to find valid litterature confirming this. If you have some, I would really appreciate having a look at it.

The statement I made (originally) was to answer gregkeller. And the idea is that if he is to do two L4 workouts per week, he should target different aspect of that level. For instance, doing a 50min continuous @95% FT, and the now famous 2X20 @ 100% FT. That is an example of course.

So my view point is compatible with yours I guess (like it's often the case).

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoawhoa
This may be a little off topic. But what do you think about 3-4x20's? Is the benefit worth the extra fatigue? At this point should we just go ahead and do sst? I guess I'm leaning towards them being good, but only in situations where you are fairly rested.
3X20, during difficult microcycles, I wouldn't hesitate, especially if it is the only threshold workout of the week (BTW, I am still having hard time believing that 1X60 = 3X20. God em I having a hard time). 4X20 at less than 100%, I see nothing wrong with that neither (it all depends on how it fits ones plan).

My top limit in term of duration, for threshold work would be 90min (done @ or little over 90%FT).

Sweet spot training, I love that expression, but I can't tell you exactly what it means. Maybe you can help me a bit with that one too?

Thanks whoawhoa.
post #20 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
I don't know. Maybe you are right.

I am having hard time trying to find valid litterature confirming this. If you have some, I would really appreciate having a look at it.

The statement I made (originally) was to answer gregkeller. And the idea is that if he is to do two L4 workouts per week, he should target different aspect of that level. For instance, doing a 50min continuous @95% FT, and the now famous 2X20 @ 100% FT. That is an example of course.

So my view point is compatible with yours I guess (like it's often the case).

3X20, during difficult microcycles, I wouldn't hesitate, especially if it is the only threshold workout of the week (BTW, I am still having hard time believing that 1X60 = 3X20. God em I having a hard time). 4X20 at less than 100%, I see nothing wrong with that neither (it all depends on how it fits ones plan).

My top limit in term of duration, for threshold work would be 90min (done @ or little over 90%FT).

Sweet spot training, I love that expression, but I can't tell you exactly what it means. Maybe you can help me a bit with that one too?

Thanks whoawhoa.
I think the relevant comparison of intervals of different durations is the MP/duration curve. For example, my 20min MP is ~108% of my 60min MP. So, a 90%MP 20min interval would be .90 x 1.08 = 97.2%FT. The comparable 1hr interval would be .90 x 1.00 = 90%FT. I would consider those workouts of comparable intensity because they are each 90% of my max power at that duration. I scale all intervals off of my MP at the duration rather than off of FT. BTW, they also fall into Andy C's ranges.
post #21 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by RapDaddyo
I think the relevant comparison of intervals of different durations is the MP/duration curve. For example, my 20min MP is ~108% of my 60min MP. So, a 90%MP 20min interval would be .90 x 1.08 = 97.2%FT. The comparable 1hr interval would be .90 x 1.00 = 90%FT. I would consider those workouts of comparable intensity because they are each 90% of my max power at that duration. I scale all intervals off of my MP at the duration rather than off of FT. BTW, they also fall into Andy C's ranges.
You know what? You totally lost me here.

Hope you are patient enough to explain me that.

First things first, why 90% of MP for duration?
Is this aiming to improve 100% MP for the same duration?
post #22 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
You know what? You totally lost me here.

Hope you are patient enough to explain me that.

First things first, why 90% of MP for duration?
Is this aiming to improve 100% MP for the same duration?
RD is the best person to explain this, but, basically, the lower intensity you can do something at and still get the benefits, the better. I'm not sure why RD has picked 90% of MP, but it seems to be a nice number. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Take this scenario:

An athlete can hold 95% of ft for 2 hours (this seems to be fairly common). So, it makes sense that since a typical session @ ft is 2x20, or 40 minutes @ ft, that it is possible to do 4x20, or 80 minutes at 95% of ft, just as easily as 2x20 @ ft. So, is the 5% reduction in intensity going to change the physiological benefits greatly? I think not, and the HUGE difference in volume that one can do should make up for the lesser intensity+a lot more.
post #23 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoawhoa
. So, is the 5% reduction in intensity going to change the physiological benefits greatly? I think not, and the HUGE difference in volume that one can do should make up for the lesser intensity+a lot more.
Very interesting comment.

I am too new to power training to agree or disagree. 120min at 95%, to me, sounds like a bit too much. But on the principle, I definitely agree with you.

IOW, I don't understand why 2X20 is so popular on this forum, and that is why I told gregkeller that he shouldn't be doing 2X20 twice a week. That is too narrow planning.
post #24 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
IOW, I don't understand why 2X20 is so popular on this forum......
Because we're all robots programmed to follow Andy's advice.

Actually, the L4 intervals he recommends are 10-30 min in duration, so 20 is in the middle and 2x20 fits into a nice 1-hr workout. Personally, I was doing 3x20 for a while because it allowed my to hit pretty close to my TSS target of 125/day. I've recently switched to 3x30 to get a little more volume on that day. At .96FT, I don't find them any more difficult than 3x20 at FT. In fact, I almost feel a little guilty up until ~10 minutes into the last interval.

There's nothing magical about 2x20. I've seen posts by others who mention 3-4x10 and other combinations. As long as you're getting you L4 minutes at least 10-min chunks, the rest is just finding the desired volume.
post #25 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
Very interesting comment.

I am too new to power training to agree or disagree. 120min at 95%, to me, sounds like a bit too much. But on the principle, I definitely agree with you.
I don't know either, but I know several people have reported that number. Power/duration curve is fairly flat that far out, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
IOW, I don't understand why 2X20 is so popular on this forum, and that is why I told gregkeller that he shouldn't be doing 2X20 twice a week. That is too narrow planning.
Lots of reasons

1: I think it's a very good workout-don't get me wrong on that. 3 or 4x20 is very hard physically as well as mentally, which is important since many people do these efforts on trainers.

2: Doing the same workout all the time has plenty of benefits, like knowing very precisely what wattage you should be able to sustain without any calculations, and being able to compare previous workouts.
post #26 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchyge
Because we're all robots programmed to follow Andy's advice.

Actually, the L4 intervals he recommends are 10-30 min in duration, so 20 is in the middle and 2x20 fits into a nice 1-hr workout. Personally, I was doing 3x20 for a while because it allowed my to hit pretty close to my TSS target of 125/day. I've recently switched to 3x30 to get a little more volume on that day. At .96FT, I don't find them any more difficult than 3x20 at FT. In fact, I almost feel a little guilty up until ~10 minutes into the last interval.

There's nothing magical about 2x20. I've seen posts by others who mention 3-4x10 and other combinations. As long as you're getting you L4 minutes at least 10-min chunks, the rest is just finding the desired volume.

It's not the ten minute chunks. Re-read the power FAQ documents...

It's the sweet spot for those with limited training and recovery time for endurance. For those of you with more time to train and recover, knock yourself out.
post #27 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy
You know what? You totally lost me here.

Hope you are patient enough to explain me that.

First things first, why 90% of MP for duration?
Is this aiming to improve 100% MP for the same duration?
Sure. Let's start with the fact that we all have an MP/duration curve (whether we have a PM or CP or not). And, most of us have an MP/duration curve that has a similar shape other than for the very short durations (e.g., <3mins). The curve gets pretty flat beyond 1hr but MP continues to decline basically as far out the duration curve as you want to go. Second, let's agree that we do all of our intervals at less than MP, again excluding very short durations where we might ride the interval at 100%MP. Interval intensities are typically scaled off of a MP, either 1 hr MP (FT) or a MP at the end of a ramp-test (MAP). These intensity levels (ranges) typically encompass a fairly large duration range. I don't know about you, but I find a 10min L4 interval to be quite different from a 30min L4 interval (at the same intensity). Likewise, a 3min L5 interval is quite different from an 8min L5 interval (again, at the same intensity). When I plotted Andy's interval levels against my MP/duration curve, I found that the 90%MP rule worked out nicely at both ends of the duration range. IOW, if I look at L4s (the primary topic here), I find that 90%MP at 10mins is pretty close to the 105%FT point and at the other end 90%MP at 30mins is pretty close to the 91%FT point. The same thing applied to L5s. We all have to make a value judgment about what intensity to use for a specific duration interval. And the range of intensities for L4s is huge. I'm looking for the lowest intensity to attain the desired adaptation. Again, I don't know about you, but I think there is a massive difference between 91%FT vs. 105%FT. Depending on one's FT, this can easily be a difference of 30-50w. That's a huge difference in intensity. Try riding a 30min L4 at 105%FT and a 10min L4 at 91%FT. It's night and day -- one's a walk in the park and the other's a real test. Since I don't do traditional intervals, I needed a way to scale the intensity of intervals across the full range of durations. I do intervals at all durations, from 10sec to 30min, and I wanted a simple algorithm. So, I found that the 90% rule works nicely. And, psychologically it is empowering because I never ride an interval above 90%MP. I don't care how long the interval is, I know I'm only using 90% of the gas in my tank at that duration. I remind myself of that fact in the late stages of an interval, as in, "Aw, stop complaining, body, you're only going 90%!" There is a slight problem with my approach. Since my intensity varies with duration, I would have to memorize a lot of intensity levels. But, I have some technology to help me so in effect I just define the rules and then ride a script.
post #28 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchyge
Because we're all robots programmed to follow Andy's advice.

Actually, the L4 intervals he recommends are 10-30 min in duration, so 20 is in the middle and 2x20 fits into a nice 1-hr workout. Personally, I was doing 3x20 for a while because it allowed my to hit pretty close to my TSS target of 125/day. I've recently switched to 3x30 to get a little more volume on that day. At .96FT, I don't find them any more difficult than 3x20 at FT. In fact, I almost feel a little guilty up until ~10 minutes into the last interval.

There's nothing magical about 2x20. I've seen posts by others who mention 3-4x10 and other combinations. As long as you're getting you L4 minutes at least 10-min chunks, the rest is just finding the desired volume.
I love it when you guys post stuff like this, because it inspires me a little to ratchet up on my own workouts. 3x30 sounds like fun. Are you still doing these tuesday/thursday with a v02max workout in between?
post #29 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoawhoa
1: I think it's a very good workout-don't get me wrong on that. 3 or 4x20 is very hard physically as well as mentally, which is important since many people do these efforts on trainers.
I won't !
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoawhoa
2: Doing the same workout all the time has plenty of benefits, like knowing very precisely what wattage you should be able to sustain without any calculations, and being able to compare previous workouts.
Yes but ...

When planning a microcycle, there is a cummulative fatigue effect. I see no reason for monitoring performance on the same workout scheduled more than once in the microcycle (except maybe to monitor that accute fatigue?). I agree with you that focusing on measurable improvement curves is important. But I'd rather focus on tests (similar duration) done every week, and use other(s) workouts of the week ( done at the same level), to acheive even bigger numbers the next weekly test.
post #30 of 159

Re: Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarEnergy

When planning a microcycle, there is a cummulative fatigue effect. I see no reason for monitoring performance on the same workout scheduled more than once in the microcycle (except maybe to monitor that accute fatigue?). I agree with you that focusing on measurable improvement curves is important. But I'd rather focus on tests (similar duration) done every week, and use other(s) workouts of the week ( done at the same level), to acheive even bigger numbers the next weekly test.
I'm not thinking so much about making every 2x20 a "test", in fact I think that's a recipe for burnout. I'm just talking about knowing what intensity to do the intervals at. If one doesn't know their power/duration curve, it's hard to know what power # to do a workout at. This is easily solved if we're talking about a limited number of workouts-say, 2x20s one day and 3x15's another.
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