Do High Resistance - Low RPM Intervals help TT??

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Tommasini53, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Tommasini53

    Tommasini53 New Member

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    In an attemp to increase my strength and time trialing ability, on the advice of a friend, I've been trying a training session every week that consists of several 15 minute intervals in a relatively big gear and low RPMs (65 to 70 range) with my HR around my temp zone (based on the HR calculator posted by Morbius)

    These are really difficult for me. Not so much on the day of the training session but the day after I am really wiped out.

    I'm curious if others have positive benefits from such intervals. Maybe someone could explain the physiology (not too technical please).:) :)
     
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  2. Hitchy

    Hitchy New Member

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    Those sort of efforts will be working on your strength.....strength & endurance are a major part of being able to TT well...I wouldn't worry about being 'wiped out' the following day...this ia when you should have programmed a recover session. 'recovery' doesn't mean sitting on your tijuana either, active recovery should include some easy spinning at E1 or E2, depending how your body responds. Keep doing your strength workouts...they'll pay dividends...you might like to mix them up by doing some hill sessions in a big gear as well, rather than simply spinning up the hill....be a little wary if you have any knee issues
     
  3. jstock

    jstock New Member

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    To quote Dr. Coggan from a post on the wattage list:
    [size=-2]
    "A bit more seriously: everyone needs to be able to pedal smoothly (i.e.,
    in a reasonably coordinated fashion, w/o e.g., bouncing on the saddle)
    at whatever cadence they expect to use when racing. If you can do that,
    there's really no point in manipulating cadence when training."
    [/size]

    I'm pretty sure that some searching would provide better/more applicable quotes, but I think this is close enough. If I remember correctly acoggan has stated that there is no scientific evidence that using anything else than a self selected cadence will do you any goood.

    I hope I haven't twisted Dr. Coggans words....
    /J
     
  4. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Firstly, strength has a specific meaning in science, which is: the maximal force or tension a muscle or group of muscles can generate. With that in mind, increasing strength does not increase the sustainable power that can be generated when (e.g.) riding a TT, unless you happen to be very weak (e.g., you're a frail old lady, or perhaps you have a functional disability). The forces involved in TTing (or hill climbing, etc) are actually quite low to moderate, such that untrained, healthy, age, gender, and mass matched people can generate these forces. Additionally, untrained people maybe able to generate higher peak forces than elite endurance cyclists. This latter may occur as a result of increased aerobic ability where increasing aerobic machinery within the cells replaces contractile proteins.

    On the other hand, what you'd want to do, to increase TT ability is increase your sustainable power. This would occur from training at higher sustainable power outputs (i.e., those efforts around TT ability)

    There is no good evidence to suggest that riding at the same power output in a big gear/low cadence will increase your TT ability. Although the force requirements would be higher (but not anywhere near high enough to increase strength) than at a higher cadence, it doesn't appear to be beneficial.

    However, often when people do these sessions (many of them may not have a power meter) they tend to ride the lower cadence sessions at a higher power output, which will increase fitness/TT ability/etc. Thermodynamically, it's more efficient to ride at a lower - rather - than higher cadence, and at a lower cadence your HR will tend to be lower at a given power output. Thus, by keeping your HR constant, your potentially riding at a higher power output (and thus deriving fitness changes from that, rather than the lower cadence). Potentially, it would be more beneficial to ride at your normal cadence at the higher power - as this will be more race specific.

    It's my feeling, that people then think that they've ridden at the same power output (as HR is the same) and that pedalling at low cadence is the magic answer for getting fitter.

    Of course, on the other hand, there are times, when you need to practice riding at a low cadence, as i explained in the http://www.cyclingforums.com/t359329.html thread. For e.g., on steep hills that take longer than a few seconds with standard type road gears it's impossible to ride at a 'normal' cadence (e.g. 90+ revs/min) due to the physics and the resistance of gravity. Here, though, it's probably just best riding up the hills at your desired effort at whatever cadence you can manage (for me, where i live, my cadence on climbs with a 39 x 25 can vary from 30 - to - 80 revs/min due to the severity of the grades) rather than manipulating it in a large gear on the flat.

    Ric
     
  5. jeff828

    jeff828 New Member

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    I have done these exact workouts myself the past 2 seasons since my TTing is pitiful (10mi @21mph ave & I race cat 3) and I can tell you they worked for me big time. I would do 3x10min @60-70rpm on the rollers twice a week and when I ride on the road I would ride 53x19,17 @no more than 20mph for 1 to 1-1/2 hours and just let the terrain & time doing this wear me down. Going up grades (as low as 50rpm under 30sec) I would consentrate on puting power all the way around on the pedals, I would "not mash" it, or feel any burn in legs, just pure aerobic power. I built this time up to 4hrs now & in a 53x17-15. I think the length of time working the muscle that way is what causes the result. I did notice a slow in cadence overall though from this type workout but since I race and do some spin work its not bad, gains were worth it, ave now is 90rpm not 100 like some people recommend. Got a power tap last year and are just tweeking what I've been doing, Im doing 2or3x20min [email protected] & TT abilitiy has increased big time again.

    Do what your doing but also include the other stuff to be well rounded
     
  6. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    But is there a chance that if you focused on TT efforts in your normal cadence range...you would have improved even more?
     
  7. blkhotrod

    blkhotrod New Member

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    I posted the exact same question on this forum earlier in the year (53x12 workouts) and the overwhemling response from a broad range of cyclist was "yes" they do them and they help. The one exception of course was rick stern again.......so I would ignore what he says.
     
  8. asgelle

    asgelle New Member

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    Kind of like when APS took a vote on whether cold fusion was real or not.
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    well if you can come up with some evidence rather than anecdote as to why they might be useful, i'm all ears. in the meantime http://home.earthlink.net/~acoggan/setraining/

    cheers
    ric
     
  10. Pendejo

    Pendejo Member

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    This is a great topic. Over the past few years I have gone through all the various training iterations myself (low cadence/high intensity, high cadence/low intensity, etc.), and have been converging on Ric's conclusions. Commonsense dictates that if you want to get better at X, then practice X. In effect, that's what Ric is advocating. (If this is a distortion, Ric, please let me know.)
     
  11. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    You can put me on that "ignore" list as well.
     
  12. mark_e_smith

    mark_e_smith New Member

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    I've noticed that doing lower RPM TT's, around 75-80 as compared to my normal 90-100, tend to make me want to pedal like that all the time, so that when I try to pedal my normal cadence I'm missing the top half of my pedal stroke cuz I want the resistance...plus I recover like crap from these sessions. I think I am done with the whole "low rpm" thing!
     
  13. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    that's pretty much it, but also (for clarity) i do advocate low cadence training -- it's pretty much a prerequisite of where i (and many others) live. That is, i have numerous steep roads that are between 12 and 30%, where you're forced to ride at a low cadence. However, i do these as a consequence of where i live and wouldn't suggest the low cadence/big gear route.

    ric
     
  14. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Meaning (for clarification) that you think blkhtrod should ignore you, not that you ignore Ric (I know you're too smart to do that :) ).
     
  15. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    You've got it. I'd be honored to be on a list that includes Ric.
     
  16. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Please ignore me, too.
     
  17. Tommasini53

    Tommasini53 New Member

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    Wow!! Didn't mean to poke the hornets nest. But thanks to everyone for their response.

    It certainly makes sense to me that the best training is to mimic the event, thus low rpm training may not be the best form of training since that's not the way we race.

    I think Ric points out an interesting point. I'm not using a power meter and I would bet that he is correct that I am actually riding higher wattage output during the low rpm intervals. That is, a higher output than I would at the same HR and 90 rpms. I hope to own a power meter in the near future and I'll put that idea to the test.

    I will likely work these sessons into my training week as these intervals seem to force me to push the wattage up out of my comfort zone. This issue is really stirring my interest in power meters. - thanks again.:D
     
  18. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I think I could virtually guarantee that if you are riding at the same HR but at a lower cadence you are riding at a higher power output. This is because at a constant power, cadence and HR are positively correlated (higher cadence = higher HR).
     
  19. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Seems he had scientific evidence and references, so it seems I'll just ignore what you say.
     
  20. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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