Figuring out 2x20 wattage

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by gregkeller, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. gregkeller

    gregkeller New Member

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    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.
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Andy prescribes 20-min intervals as a 'level 4' intensity workout. Level 4 is from 91-105% of your 1-hr power, so it's really a pretty broad range. From the intervals you described, your 1-hr power would be in the ~300w ballpark, so level 4 is about a 45w range.

    Regarding the trial-and-error approach, all you really need to do is hit somewhere in that 45w range, which should be easy to guess-timate. From there, tweak it based on the intensity you want, how many times per week you plan on doing it, and how rested you're feeling on any given day. I think 280w would be a decent starting guess, which might be slightly conservative to make sure you can complete the workout. Another approach would be to do the first one at 280w, and then go as hard as you want on the second one. Then take the average power of the 2 intervals as your target for next time.
     
  3. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    If we assume you did those 5 minute ints at a maximum of 120% FT, you can try your first 20 at 275 watts. Start the second int. at the average resultant wattage of the first, and by the end you'll know where you should be.
     
  4. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    As for how many times a week, well if you are to work L4 more than one time a week, not sure you should do it using the exact same interval combination.

    Spending more than one workout a week addressing Threshold is a good idea, but you may consider doing only 1 X 30to45min on one day, and 2X20 on the other day. Something like that.
     
  5. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Why? 2x20's shouldn't be that hard as it is, I don't think there is any reason to avoid it. Other than mental freshness that is.
     
  6. gregkeller

    gregkeller New Member

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    Thanks guys, the help is appreciated. I was thinking of trying to find a climb around here of about 20 minutes and getting some baseline numbers and using those. I figured somewhere around 285-300 would probably be my range and knowing that there is a 45W range makes me feel a little more comfortable using trial and error. If i've never done this kind of training what type of improvement can I expect by consistant training focusing on this aspect? 5% increase in FT, 10%? more? Like i said i'm cat 5, a few races last year, and i've been on a bike for 2 years or so with no structured training, but some hard group rides. This off season i have been much more structured in my training, focusing on base, core strength, and building on the bike strength along with working on leg speed. Have to say this forum is great and i've learned much more from this than the wattage list.
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    That'll work. Just don't charge the hill the first time up. If anything, I'm a lot happier charging the last rep rather than the first.

    Depends on the individual, of course, but 10+% isn't impossible for someone at your level of training.

    BTW, I went to college with a Greg Keller. Spend any time in Annapolis in the early 90's? :)
     
  8. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Oh yes whoawhoa. I am with you on that. I see no problem with 2X20.

    But the question gregkeller asked, was about doing it twice a week.

    Like you, I see no problem in term of training difficulty. But the bottom of this question is : should I do threshold training twice a week(?). If yes, I am just saying that it could be good, to vary a bit, to try to embrace more spectrum level 4, instead of staying too narrow.

    Time trial for the whole duration for example, may represent a good option.

    Could be replaced later, by effort of a much longer duration, with some L4 melted in it. All that while keeping 2X20 once a week.

    But if one likes 2X20 so much, I see no problem doing it 2, or even 3 times a week (during more difficult microcycles).
     
  9. gregkeller

    gregkeller New Member

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    Frenchy,
    sorry, never been to annapolis before, and thanks for the tip about pushing more on the 2nd interval instead of going to hard on the first and blowing up halfway through the second.
     
  10. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I think the benefit here is chiefly psychological. Mixing things up helps keep the mind from wanting to quit 20-min into every hard effort.
     
  11. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    You mean between Monday and Wednesday, right?:D
     
  12. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Yeah that's it. I call it "stage 2X20" training :D
     
  13. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    I don't see it excactly that way, but that doesn't matter much. I may as well be wrong.

    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).

    But again, frenchyge, you may be totally right.
     
  14. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Well, the difference between a 1x40 and a 2x20 is really very little. I think that's gotten mentioned on the "20 minute intervals, I don't get it" thread. The rest interval is more mental than anything.
     
  15. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Have you tried it (1X40)? Probably I guess.

    Your bet is better than mine. But the more you do interval at close to max power for the duration, the less I agree with your statement.
     
  16. Woofer

    Woofer New Member

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    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...
     
  17. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    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.
     
  18. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    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.
     
  19. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    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.
     
  20. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    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.
     
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