2 x 20 advice sought

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Thorman, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Thorman

    Thorman New Member

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    I'm getting ready to start doing two 2x20 sessions each week and wanted to get some opinions on my potential approach to this 12 week training block.

    My goals include a 7 mile uphill TT in May that I'll be doing on a standard road bike, but I'd also like to improve my performance on the TT bike for potential TT's in April and June.

    So my plan is to alternate between two weeks of road bike 2x20's followed by 2 weeks on the TT bike. In between I'd be testing before each two week block or every 4 weeks on each bike to adjust (hopefully upward) my FTP.

    What do you think about this approach? How have you split your time between the two positions?
     
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  2. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    sounds pretty reasonable if you can get out and ride your TT bike. Personally, I'm on the trainer from Nov-March and the TT bike just ain't happening for me on a regular basis. Too much pressure on certain bits for my liking.

    I do 100% of my winter/pre-season on the road bike indoors and try to get in perhaps 2 weeks or more of solid TT bike workouts before any real races.

    The main thing is to increase your FT IMHO .... adaptation to your TT position can follow.

    Now once I DO get outside, I tend to ride the TT bike twice-weekly for my L4 workouts or actual races. Hmmm ... perhaps that's why I only make progress in the 'off' season :)

    rmur
     
  3. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    Personally, I have trouble progressing with just 2x20s after 4 to 6 weeks. It may just be mental, but I'm not sure. One thing I did to try and remedy this was to insert 4 weeks of L5 focus after 6 of L4.

    If I could train the way I'd like, I'd probably do a three day block, t,w,th, of 2x20; 2x20; 6x5L5 with L2&3 work on the weekends. For L5 weeks I'd do 2x20; 6x5; 6x5, also L2&3 work on weekends depending on how fried I was from the week.

    As to switching bikes every two weeks, I for some reason think it would be better to do both TT & road bike each week. By switching cold turkey, you never really get used to either one. One of my goals for this year is to finally crack an hour in the 40k tt so I'll start doing weekly 2x20s on my TT bike probably in May, at least 6 weeks before the event preferably more like 10.
     
  4. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I have to agree with Beerco on this. The body is going to adapt to 2 x 20 sessions over time and at some point there will be diminishing returns on your efforts. The more conditioned the athlete the shorter the span for gains on such training.

    You may want to alternate 3 weeks of 2 x 20 with 3 weeks of VO2 Max intervals or something similar.
     
  5. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Soooo, I must ask this.

    I've recently started working on intervals with the goal of building up to a 1 HR TT type effort (I've got to have something to do over the winter other than just "spinning"... ;) ) I just got started a few weeks ago week, with 4x6 min intervals at 90-95% MHR 2x per week (3 mins rest between reps). Last week it was 3x8 min intervals (5 mins rest between reps). This week it's 5x5 mins (2 mins rest). Next week I plan on 5x6 min intervals (3 mins rest). I plan to keep building this way until spring, 3x10 mins, 2x20. 3x15. 2x30, etc, up to 1x60. I have no real reason to do this other, I like the burn, and it's something to do other than just "sit and spin". A have a feeling that after x-mas, I'll be able to do this with watts rather than % MHR (new trainer with watts). Thoughts on the plan?

    L
     
  6. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I've unexpectedly noticed ~5w increases in FT after a period of 2-3 weeks, but that's not something I'd suggest testing for. The downside is that if you don't measure an improvement, then you may get discouraged. Personally, I wouldn't test that often, and look for small improvements based on the week-to-week ride trend.
     
  7. Thorman

    Thorman New Member

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    I'd be testing every 4 weeks for each position but actually doing testing every 2 weeks alternating between TT and road position. In my TT position FTP is around 6-7% lower than my road position. So with this possible scenario once a month I'd update my FTP for each bike. This would be right before the two week block for that position so that I could adjust my interval power.

    I've found through my latest block of L2/3 that after two weeks of training on my TT bike I felt very comfortable and actually turned out my best ever 20 min power on the TT bike a few weeks ago.
     
  8. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    It depends on what you're trying to do. A 60 minute effort at ft regularly in training is not really feasible, as ft should be about 60 minute max power, when rested, motivated, etc. For threshold work the 2x20's are more realistic. That said, a 60 minute high l3/low l4 session makes some sense.
     
  9. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Why test so often? Just use your normal 2x20 sessions as testing.
     
  10. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Yeah, that's basically what I'm suggesting. I do 20min intervals twice a week with a target power level for the interval at 100%FT. Of course, the 'target' ends up becoming the 'minimum' because... well, that's just the way I am. So, the average power on each of my intervals ends up being a couple watts over FT. When I'm able to complete all the reps at FT + 5w, then I increase FT by 5 watts and that becomes the new target power for the intervals. Training is testing.

    Thorman, are you planning to do the uphill TT in the aero position? What's the elevation gain or average grade for the ride?
     
  11. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Ok, I knew that. I guess what I'm really trying to do is bump up my 60 min power number (OK, what I reallywant to do is CRUSH my regular riding buddies come spring time ;) .....)

    L
     
  12. Thorman

    Thorman New Member

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    Both you and whoawhoa make a good point in that I could just bump my 20 min power up by 5 watts every two weeks and skip the testing. My initial plan was to do the 5 watt increase and I've taken a similar approach with my latest L3 block where I incrased 5 watts every few weeks along with time until I maxed out at 90 min at the top of my L3 power.

    I'm thinking hard about just sticking to the road bike and maybe every third week doing the TT bike just to break up the trainer monotony.

    The TT I'm focussing on first in Wintergreen and I won't be using any aero equipment. You can see the details of the climb here.
    http://www.scottthor.com/images/WINTERGREEN/Wintergreen profile.jpg
     
  13. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Are you planning to do all of these at 90-95% MHR? That seems pretty high for 15-60 minute durations, and I really don't think that approach will work on a HR basis.

    On the surface, it looks like you're trying to keep the intensity constant, and gradually raise the minutes until you can do 60 minutes at your current 5 min intensity. The problem I see is that as your fitness improves, your HR will want to drop and you'll have to ride harder (ie, more power) each week to make your HR stay in the 90-95% range. So now you're not only riding harder each week to make your HR target, but you're also trying to add minutes to the intervals and the workout. I predict that you'll make it a couple weeks, then reach a point where you're no longer able to complete the workout (3x10 or 2x20, probably).

    I'd suggest you match your HR target to the interval duration and not mix and match. 85-90% for 15-30 minute intervals, or 90-95% for 4-8 minute intervals worked well for me last year.
     
  14. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    That's actually what I figured you were planning on anyway. The problem I've had for the last two winters is that after about a 10 to15 watt increase over four to six weeks, the next five watt increase is hell (I've done my 2x20s in erg mode) . It seems that throwing in some L5 work can help break through that barier.

    If you're doing this stuff on a trainer, I'd skip the TT bike entirely until your're closer to your event. I've read that about 6 weeks prior is about the minimum you want to start riding it at least once a week.
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Agree with that. I wasn't suggesting to arbitrarily increase your FT by 5w every 2 weeks, but to assess your performance during the 2x20 sets and modify FT based on the power you are able to produce. It's testing, but during your normal workouts rather than a special 1hr session.
     
  16. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    FWIW, I think that riding the TT bike only once every three weeks won't be enough to keep you fully "acclimated" to the aero position. OTOH, you probably don't need to ride it more than once a week unless 1) you are still going through some initial adaptation, and/or 2) your position is radical (or needs work).

    A couple of other thoughts:

    1) while I rarely ride in the aero position on the trainer, I always do my hard efforts on it in the drops. This results in the same thigh-torso angle as on my TT bike, and hence aids in the transition.

    2) if extended efforts in the aero position on the trainer prove too daunting, you might consider doing something like 8-10 x 5 min on, 1 min (or even better, 30 s) off at the same or slightly higher power that you would use for longer intervals. The physiological effects will be similar, but that brief rest period every 5 min makes life easier by letting you sit up frequently to relieve pressure on your groin, your neck, etc.
     
  17. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Sounds good. The only real problem is I don't have a "real" max HR, just an "observed" max. I plan to go through a battery of test in the spring. I should get the "real" max HR then. My observed max is 200 bpm (I'll be 37 in April).

    L
     
  18. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Why do you care what your MHR is, Lonnie? All of Andy C's HR interval ranges are a function of FT HR, not MHR. Anyway, you're only measuring the beat rate and not the stroke volume, so you're only seeing half the picture of your cardiovascular response to increases in exercise intensity anyway. Why get too precise with half of the equation? Come on back to LV sometime and we'll go climb Mt. Charleston a couple of times back-to-back. Your HR will be the least of your concerns.
     
  19. Thorman

    Thorman New Member

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    I did get a new TT bike this year and the setup was quite a bit more "radical" than my old bike but after spending a few days each week on it earlier this year readapting to it in the spring should be no big deal.

    In fact, I recently did a two week L2/3 block of training solely on the TT bike and by the end of the two weeks I felt more at one with my TT position than ever before so perhaps a few weeks is all I need to get ready.
     
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