Beginning interval training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Motorpace, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Motorpace

    Motorpace New Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm looking to start adding a few interval sessions to my training next week. But I'm not sure what type will work best: 2x20min or 4x5min- both seem to be the staple workout recommended on these boards. Currently I'm just doing steady rides, covering 200-300km/week. Generally flat to rolling terrain

    My aim with this training is not too specific at the moment. I would like to be able to cycle faster for longer so I feel confident joining some of the faster bunches. I would like to be able to time trial faster. I want to be strong enough so that when I start racing a breakaway is an option. I don't have any specific goals or targets, but there is a 60km (37mi) road race at the end of October which I want to be competitive at.

    At the moment I am not very fast on the bike. A 30min test a few months back I travlelled 17km (10.5mi) for an average speed of 32km/h (19mph). I was hampered by muscle soreness (tightness, not burning) and so could probably do better, but I'm not a strong time triallist at the moment by any stretch. Would like to be though!

    Would be very grateful for any advice you can offer
     
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  2. ackgot

    ackgot New Member

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    Check out this book, "Performance Cycling" it will answer your question. Or any other cycling book that is suggested.
     
  3. park

    park New Member

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    I prefer the shorter 4 to 5 minute intervals simply because they are shorter. The 20 minute ones have a place and a time but are mentally monotonous. The 20 minute intensity is basically the intensity you could hold for an hour of effort but you want to push well beyond that to stimulate greater adaptation. I dread doing the shorter intervals because they are so intense but they are effective. First, do a 5 minute test to see where you're at now. Go all out for 5 minutes and record the average wattage that you generate. Start a 6 week cycle of intervals at a wattage that is about 60 watts below this figure. Do four sets of four minutes all at that wattage. The next week add 10 watts and repeat. You'll eventually have trouble completing all four sets at that wattage. Grind them out even if cadence drops below your ideal. After 6 weeks lay off the intervals and then restest the next week to see if you have made progress. Begin another 6 week cycle by dropping the watts back down but not to the previous initial level. You should start the new cycle with a higher wattage. By the time you get to the end of this cycle you will be able to complete sessions that you couldn't complete before. Intense cycles like these are done to peak for some event and can't be done forever. Stop the intensity several weeks before and recover and taper into the event. Obviously, there is a lot more to this so get "Training and Racing with Power" by Allen and Coggan for greater depth.
     
  4. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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  5. gvanwagner

    gvanwagner New Member

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    Stick with the longer intervals for now. Those 5 min intervals will be just about impossible to complete with the desired effects until your threshold is reasonably trained. You'll complete the 4x5 workout but it won't do what you want it to.

    Plus at this point you can gain a whole heck of a lot by doing sustained efforts so milk it as long as you can.


    Vo2max workouts "raise the ceiling" but presumably your ceiling already high enough to raise TT power significantly. While they also have an effect on TTpower long efforts are more effective until it has platuaed
     
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