Intervals

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tomUK, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Does anyone have thoughts/comments on the below interval method? I read about it somewhere (can't remember where) and decided to give it a go yesterday.

    78% of my Max HR is 147. 83% is 156. I found a hill about 2 miles long and climbed it until I reached 156bpm, I then backed off on the intensity and let my HR fall to 147. Once 147 showed on the montior I increased effort until I saw 156 again. This patterned was repeated for 8 minutes. I then recovered for 2 minutes before repeating the above for 8 minutes.

    At the end of the session (1.5hr ride) I felt pretty good. The real question is; did I achieve much in doing such an interval workout? Was the intensity high enough and was the time spent 'in zone' long enough?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    if i've read this correctly, you rode at between 78 and 83 % of HRmax for 16-mins? Assuming that you're a racing cyclist (?), it doesn't seem like an awful lot... although i don't use HR too often, i often prescribe training (via power) at an approximately similar equivalent for up to a couple of (continuous) hours at this intensity (and maybe higher).

    Ric
     
  3. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Ric.

    After a long, cold, miserable winter where I have only been maintaining this workout is the begining of Interval work. Obviously I will increase time as the weeks roll on. My real question is in reference to the high-low limit. I was wondering if hitting 83% then dropping to 78% was a good method to do intervals.

    I understand you prescribe intervals based on power, however, I personally find HR to be a better gauge for *me*. If I base intervals on a power zone I can find on somedays that I am pushing myself too hard, where as I find HR gives me a better understanding of how my body is responding. As the weeks progress I look at my HR to power relationship and ensure that I am making progress - i.e I am producing a higher power for a given HR.

    Thanks.
     
  4. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    it depends what you're trying to achieve. what i was alluding to in my previous post, is that this intensity is a fairly low effort, and you should be able to sustain for a fair period of time. If you can't you may need to re evaluate your HR max. The lower end of the scale is endurance work, and the upper end is what i refer to as tempo, and as such is considerably below TT effort.


    If by maintaining a specific zone (be it power or HR prescribed) is harder on some days than others then either 1) you're not training correctly, i.e., you don't have days that are easy enough for you, or 2) sometimes needed -- in a block of training, as you become progressively more fatigued a given intensity will feel harder than when you're fresh. this is sometimes warranted in training

    In all honesty it doesn't overly matter what you're HR to power ratio is unless you *always* train in exactly the same environmental and topographical conditions. With changes in environmental and topography your HR will respond differently at the same power, along with other factors affecting it.

    Additionally, if you've tested yourself with power and set up your zones using different power meters there may be a problem as not all meters are as accurate as others. (i seem to recall this is what you've previously said, but i may have mixed you up with someone else on this board, in which sorry about that).

    ric
     
  5. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    Again, thanks Ric.

    My MHR is 188. I tested this about 2 weeks ago. In terms of HR training what would you say is a good 'zone' to work in for intervals. Chris Carmicheal suggests 78-83 for 12 minutes with a 12 minute rest then a repeat of the first 12 minutes.

    Do you agree this is a good workout plan? Also, is it okay to 'bounce' between the high and low HR limits when completing these intervals?

    Many thanks.
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Intervals for what? In other words what aspect of fitness or what goal are you aiming for? What's your fitness level? Do you race?

    I do 90-mins at what's likely a slightly higher intensity, at least weekly, as a *continuous* effort. (if i do the session indoors on a trainer, i do it in 30-min blocks of montonic effort, with about 1 to 2 mins rest between each block to stretch out of the saddle, have a big gulp pf drink and maybe change a CD etc).

    ric
     
  7. tomUK

    tomUK New Member

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    This is a suggested workout for hill-climbing intervals.

    Another reason why I prefer HR opposed to Power based training. Bouncing between the top limt and bottom limit of a HR zone makes it all a bit more interesting to me. When i sit on the trainer and keep my wattage at 230 I find it a little dull and dreary. With the zone I can put in a hard effort to get up to 156bpm then relax a little and let it fall to 147 then hit the hammer hard again. It just makes for more varied training. I hate that feelings of being a hamster on a wheel, or like the person in a gym who cranks the treadmill up to 6mph and runs at that speed for an hour (you must understand - I hate running with a passion - if it were the only exercise available to us I would be a fat slob b/c I would refuse to participate!

    I try to remember that while I do this to become better and fitter than the 'rest' I also must enjoy it. That ultimately is my number one concern.
     
  8. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    assuming that you race, and given that virtually all climbs in the UK are < 5-mins or so, this seems way too low an intensity.

    for the most part, at this intensity, i'd never prescribe less than 30-mins as a continuous effort. it's unlikely with such short periods of work and very long rest periods that this would cause an adaptation.

    apart from the fact it's impossible to hold a constant power output, who suggested that you should only ride at a specific number? why would prescribing by power be different to HR? in other words it's perfectly possible to say ride at 220 to 250 W

    there's no reason not to enjoy training however it's prescribed
    ric
     
  9. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    This is an interesting exchange. And one that makes me think that I am RADICALLY skimping on intensity, too. I am doing about 85 minutes per week of work at 160-165 bpm (out of max 192 bpm), split over 3 sessions. ALL the rest of my ~10-12 hours/week are in the 135-155 range.

    Today I did 6 mins total at 180-186bpm, for the first time in many months. It was WAY harder to do than before. By the way, this was prescribed by CTS, with their every 16 weeks 2x3 mile TT tomorrow. I don't get why they suddenly insert max intensity the day before after zero such intensity. and I am very concerned that tomorrow I find that the last 4 months didn't improve me at all...

    The expression that you are your best coach is starting to take hold with me. I don't feel like I need more slow volume. I need more intensity.

    TomUK, sorry to have blathered on about myself. From the sound of things, your training is very, very moderate intensity, and what is generally considered 'Tempo' work which can be doen for hours.
     
  10. bryanquinn

    bryanquinn New Member

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    I hope you guys don't mind if I jump in, but I'm wondering what you think about the spinervals videos Ric? Do you think the intensities that Troy Jacobs uses are sufficient to produce results? I am assuming that you have seen them.
    BQ
     
  11. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    sorry, never seen them!
    ric
     
  12. bryanquinn

    bryanquinn New Member

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    My bad. If you ever get the chance check one out. I'd like to here what you'd have to say about it
    BQ
     
  13. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Never done hill intervalls but I generally get my riders doing 5 min at a set HR then rest 3 min, I dont know the logic behind dropping as soon as you hit 83, I usually have my riders at 90%+. If anyone can elaborate on the reasons for the system Tom is doing I would be appreciative, always looking for new methods :D
     
  14. edd

    edd New Member

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    at 55 we, meaning a bunch of us, train in 30 min blocks of as hard and as high a heart rate as we can sustain. 15 min warm up and then go for it. Should note at what feels like a sustained effort the heart rate creeps up over the thirty minutes, I try not to back off, but we red line it at about 88% of Max HR....

    other curious thing, is when we do three by eight minute blocks heart rate is not much different even though the sense of intensity is higher.

    also some days seem slightly easier then others, so it is good to remember that coffee, relaxed state of mind, smooth pedal action will effect the heart rate down
     
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