A 20 minute time trial...

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

  1. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    ...performed in training, but highly motivated. Is this Z4 work? Or Z5? (Coggan zones, here.)

    I feel like it would be Z5, since it seems to be at a higher intensity than a 1hr time trial. Then again, it's a longer duration than is "routinely achievable" for Z5 work, and I can pretty reproducibly do this effort within a few percent almost on demand.

    From a HR perspective, it's looking like Z5 to me. While I have no power measuring tools yet, I do it uphill, where power estimates are possible. According to that wacky German website whose URL I can never remember, the 20min effort is around 280 W, while a 1hr uphill effort (race conditions) was around 250W.

    So, Z5, right? I guess what's surprising to me is how much less intense this feels than the efforts in, say a 5x5min workout. Sure, the last 5 minutes are total agony, but the preceeding 15 aren't as misery-inducing. Also, the perceived training stress isn't as great for the 20 minute tt; the next day I tend not to feel as fatigued. If it works for me, and is less stressful than the 5x5s (which I usually do on the trainer), might this be a decent way for me to get in Z5 work? Or, am I working in a "no man's land" between 2x20 and Z5?
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    L5 is a pretty large range (106-120%FT). In my case, my 20min MP is ~110%FT, so if I did a max effort 20min interval it would be in the lower half of the L5 range. I typically do my intervals at 90% of my MP for a given duration, so I would usually do my 20min intervals at 90% x 110% x FT = 99%FT, which is short of L5. But, yes, if I rode it like a TT it would be in lower half of the L5 range.
     
  3. beerco

    beerco New Member

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  4. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Sounds like z5 based on the website indicating that it was about ~112%FT. I don't think I'd have any problem holding z5 for 20min in a single, all-out effort.

    Regarding your 5x5min intervals that you're using as comparison, isn't it possible that you're performing those intervals at higher than 112%FT, and that's why they hurt more? What is your recovery period between those?
     
  5. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Oh, there's no doubt I'm performing those intervals at higher effort. But, without an altimeter or a power meter, it's hard to quantify how much higher the effort is. I think of a good 5 min interval as involving a tingling sensation in my extremities, desperate breathing, with real discipline required to finish the prescribed WI. I feel those things in the 20 min effort as well, but only in the last 5 minutes. I do the 5-6x5s with RIs of 3 minutes, since everything I've found suggests that this is enough recovery. My HR is back into low Z2 usually after 3 minutes.

    My understanding, though, was that the first 2 mins or so of a VO2 max effort is sort of buffered by the anaerobic system, and you don't start really working your central cardiovascular system until partway through; hence, a longer, less intense WI might be comparable to shorter, more intense, but bigger total volume WI. So, even though I'm only getting 20 minutes of volume in Z5, maybe a bigger portion of those 20 minutes is working the VO2Max energy systems than the 25 minutes from my 5x5s?

    Or maybe that's just wishful thinking :). The more I write here, the more I realize I might just be psychologically tired of those darned 5x5s. I've been doing them 1-2x a week since October; anybody have some alternative VO2 workouts they can suggest? Maybe microintervals or something? Maybe it's just time to give VO2 a rest?
     
  6. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Interesting thoughts. And I agree. Though the last part of the 5 min intervals are usually done at a higher power, than the average power held during the 20 min effort. Overload is then created more by the high power, as opposed to the 20 min effort, which overloads more by the duration. To work the full range of Z5, that is a good thing to vary interval power and duration.


    I haven't started yet, but this year, I plan to work on 20to30 minutes buildups, once a week, for a while.

    :)
     
  7. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/freeinfo/Intervals_for_vo2max.html

    This article implies that, during efforts over 10-11 min in length (see the graph), one does not reach Vo2max. The implication to me is that a single hard 20min is more akin to upper L4 rather than lower L5.

    My 20MP is about 107% of FT ... some folks are lower ... as low as 103% IIRC.

    I'm can't claim it's not a useful effort but it is pretty much in the no-man's zone for regular training. If you tried a repeat for instance, you would almost certainly drop into L4. If you have some 10-milers to ride ... well 20min efforts are pretty specific to that :)

    Microintervals sound like a reasonable alternative especially if you're feeling burnt out from a lot of L5 work. But maybe you could 1st try the low-duration/high-power e/o the L5 spectrum: 3min WI's and ~120% of FT power? I've always found shorter intervals mentally much easier to handle. In fact if I can't handle an 6x5 L5 ... then I can nearly always do a 10x1 L6.

    rmur
     
  8. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Hi Rmur,

    Coggan's Z5 is called VO2Max. But my understanding is that its lower limit target is below VO2Max, and its higher limit target may be is over VO2Max.

    I agree with you that 20 minutes at one's VO2Max may be impossible to hold without a sever acisosis, but I still think that for many riders, 20min TT is done mostly in Z5 (at least power wize).

    :)
     
  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I would agree that it's probably a less effective L5 workout than a typical 6x5, and also probably a less effective L4 workout than 2x20, so in that respect I suppose you could call it 'no man's land.' Just to clarify, though, there's no real gap between L4 and L5 since training adaptations represent a spectrum across the power levels. I think the issue is whether a single max-effort 20 minute interval really gives you enough work minutes to match a typical workout in either L4 or L5. Not disagreeing, Rick, just making sure I understand what you're meaning by 'no man's land.'
     
  10. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    yep. I'd call 20MP maximal efforts (on a regular training basis) too short and too hard to be most effective for L4 and too long and not hard enough to be most effective for L5 :)

    But, as I said, if one's target events are 15-20k TT's, then the rule of specificity would apply in the final prep. period. I would definitely do this type of interval in this case.

    again YMMV.

    rmur

    p.s.(1) FWIW Sometimes when fatigued and not optimizing my trainining week very well, I've done L5 workouts that have felt like real B_ll-busters only to find an average WI power close to 105%FT after download. And I've seldom found that power range to be personally very productive for L5 improvement.

    (2) The OP was talking about L5/Vo2 work and I'm convinced in that case that 20MP intervals are not a good alternative to 6x5's.

    (3) A true 20MP effort should be hurting pretty bad 10minutes into it ...
     
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