Grrrr...L5's WTF! Any alternatives?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Ade Merckx, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Ok so I've been trying out L5's on my beloved KK trainer for a month now and it ain't going to great. As some of you may know my KK FT is 300watt. Its possibly a few watts higher now but whatever:confused:

    Here's the problem. I can't seem to do 5 x 5's consistently at the same level. I usually opt for 340-350 and I have made this figure on each interval one perhaps just 2 of approximately 8-9 sessions. In general I can hit the first 1 or 2 then things go down hill. I've thought about doing them at ~ 330watts but isn't that too low? Any advice much appreciated especially if you've struggle with them:(
     
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  2. Simone@Italy

    [email protected] New Member

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    110% of FTP ain't that bad for a 5 minute interval, IMHO. Anyway, you could try to use shorter interval, perhaps 4' x 4, that allow you to output a constant 350 w. Still better, maybe, you could try even shorter interval that allow you > 350 w for a while, then retry the 5' x 5 @330.
     
  3. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Yeah thanks Simone, I was thinking about that but I hate the idea of doing more intervals because of the shorter time period. Or maybe thats where I'm going wrong. I just can't believe how much harder than 2/3 x 20's vo2max intervals are to repeat even after 2-3 days rest:mad:
     
  4. Simone@Italy

    [email protected] New Member

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    maybe it's time for a recovery week? :)
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I think 340-350 is a good target, but don't beat yourself up if you miss by a couple watts. I'd suggest trying 6x4' with 2-4 minute rest and see if that makes any difference in your ability to complete the set. 5 minutes just seems like *forever* to me, compared to 4 (plus, dropping to 4' intervals with 4-min rests does reduce the duration slightly).

    I think it's important to get down to a workout you can complete and feel good about, to reduce the mental drain. If you have to drop back to 4 intervals or lower the power, then that's better than pounding away in frustration.
     
  6. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    I agree. I like to start out with 3 minute intervals to get my body used to them and then progress to longer durations. Even if you can manage fewer intervals than you would like in the first few sessions, it's better than nothing and you will be able to manage more each time you try it.
     
  7. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    FWIW I just started doing some 4 minute intervals at L5 I like them alot better than the 5 minute intervals I used to do. I don't try to hold a constant KK speed/power number anymore either if 21.5 is 114% I start out at about 20.5mph and work up to about 23-24mph at the end the average is around 21.5mph when I'm done and I feel ready for more.

     
  8. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    just how linear is your KK? I think this question came up before ....
    What I mean is that if we take the baseline as being correct FTP=300W then sure 340-350W is 1.15 times that and right in the L5 sweet spot.

    But what if the KK's slope/curve is off and that 1.15 is really 1.20FTP. From experience ,once you're over FTP even 2-3% can feel like a ton o'bricks let alone 5%.

    So unless you can check or correct that ... I guess the sensible alternative would simply be to drop your 'apparent' working power to what you can handle for an entire interval set.

    When I get that crazy urge to stray from the L4 path of true enlightenment :D onto the L5 'shortcut', I start off slowly probably 3x5-min/5RI then add one interval each workout.
     
  9. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Indeed, L5 intervals are probably the hardest thing there's to do, especially indoors. I just started with 5 x 4 min (110%) with 6 min rests. The idea was just to finish the set and be happy with the workout. It may take a few tries before I do a 5 x 5 min proper.
     
  10. BullGod

    BullGod New Member

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    Any preseason training races going on over there? Here there are now more than enough super tough races each weekend to choose from. I can get all the L5 I need there.

    If not try mixing things up - 5 minutes is indeed a really sucky interval. The last one is always murder. Try doing 3 or 4 minute intervals, or doing the last 4 minutes of a 20 minute interval in L5. Remember - as far as I know it isn't that there is a magic formula for intervals - i t's merely spending time in different zones of intensity. If we acce[t that the avarega amount of time in L5 someone can spend is about 25 minutes a day....and it isn't smart to train L5 more than once a week you have plenty of scope to mix things up. As lonm as you spend the right time in the zones you'll improve.

    My logic for this is that the best training for L5 is a super tough race - and these never let you do 5 mins on / 5 mins off........

    ps. Why not ease opff for a while? season hasn't even started and you're naiailing L5? When is your fiurst targeted race?

    sorry for the typos - working on my girlfriends retared Mac can't see what I type and can't align cursor to correct. Maddening.
     
  11. bing181

    bing181 New Member

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    Care to elaborate?

    When I'm on the VO2 treadmill, I usually don't do 5 x 5's, I do 4 x 4's .. but .. I do them 4 or 5 days in a week. This follows the Hoff and Helgerud protocol .. I think of it as kind of VO2 SST.

    B
     
  12. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    wow! perhaps you can elaborate!
    1. What intensity relative to FT are you riding these intervals at?
    2. What happens with the volume of other stuff, threshold tempo, L2?
    3. How many weeks before target races do you do vo2max workouts?
    4. What sort of improvement gains do you see?
     
  13. BullGod

    BullGod New Member

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    That's either crazy or impressive.

    After a Vo2 max workout I need a recovery day, and trying to slot L% workouts into a racing season is not easy.

    If I did 5 VO2 max interval sessions in a week I think I would never finish a race.

    I think my legs would be very sore, all the time.

    Plus I would really hate my bike!
     
  14. Simone@Italy

    [email protected] New Member

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    :D:D
     
  15. Bailsibub

    Bailsibub New Member

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    I've had my share of experimenting with back-to-back interval days. I was doing 3 days straight of them, then taking 2 days off. Maybe it works for some people, but it doesn't work for me. My power steadily declined. And I, expecting supercompensation, stuck with it. Well, the supercompensation never came. I just flogged myself without seeing any real increase in power.

    On the other hand, if I do interval workouts every other day, well my power just climbs. My body really takes to spacing apart interval workouts that way. I guess some people are just different.

    Anyway, to Ade, I would start out with shorter interval lengths (as short as 2 minutes) with more repetitions. Then as you get more anaerobic fitness, increase the interval lengths until you can dominate the 5 X5s or maybe even get up to doing 7X5.
     
  16. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    What a rider can target on l5 intervals is fairly individual. 110% seems to be a good target for me on the occasions I do 5 minute L5s. Riders with high FTP relative to 5 minute power especially if that's because of low AWC need to be fairly conservative.

    Also, if you haven't already you should do the math on the workout to see what it comes out NP-wise. You might be pushing on your power/duration curve which means the workout is too difficult.
     
  17. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Unless you're racing on a course that's basically a climb of several minutes followed by sitting in on the downhill, racing is probably pretty poor l5 training. Fast group rides/races tend to be more micro-interval style l4 with tons of l6 and l7 attacking and bridging. L5 work requires consistent work intervals to get close to vo2max and shorter rest intervals to get you back near v02max sooner and sooner on each successive interval.

    L5 is probably the hardest thing to train in a group-l4 is possible with the right kind of group, l6 is easy for a mostly slow-twitcher.
     
  18. NJK

    NJK New Member

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    I don't see the need to do back to back Level 5 intervals especially in a structured progressive plan. Why do them when your tired or feeling the slight effects of a previous day of level 5. Do a day of endurance/tempo then see how the legs feel
     
  19. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I got ~298w NP for 45 minutes at 340w, up to ~304w NP at a 350w target. It's tough, but I didn't see a huge issue there.
     
  20. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    hmm ... what does Vo2max have to with anaerobic fitness? :confused:
     
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