L5 rest intervals

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by bulaboy, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I've been doing L4 intervals for 10 weeks now during the winter. The weather should break in a month or two and I am starting to do a little L5. A coach told me that my indoor trianing should simulate my road rides and where I live there aren't many hills, so I've been doing what I call cruise intervals. I'll do 7 minutes at about 90% ftp and 3 minutes at 115% ftp and repeat a few times. The workout is continuous so it's got a fair amount of low L4 or high L3 and a little L5 as well. My question is this: Are the "rest" intervals too long? From reading this forum I notice that most people do them with shorter rest intervals. Any advantage to that? Is my way better in that I also get a fair amount of SST?

    Thanks
     
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  2. bbrauer

    bbrauer New Member

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    Is 90% a "rest" interval? Your protocol's kind of unique. Normally, the rule of thumb is that 3 minutes is a bit short for VO2, but then again, you're already working a fairly high steady state for your "rest" interval. As I'm thinking about it, your technique's not a bad way to do them. Most will start from more or less complete rest and do about 5 minutes at VO2 max intensity. Problem is, the first 1-3 minutes are in large part anaerobic before before your blow through your glycolitic capacity and hit VO2 max squarely. Starting from a higher intensity level would probably put you in your target range more quickly.

    You be the judge. Do you find that a good portion of that 3 minute effort is at your ventilatory threshold - are you pretty much gasping for a good portion of that three minutes? Do you feel that you could go any further/longer? Is each effort a maximal one? You might want to experiment with reducing the rest interval a wee bit or extending the on interval a wee bit. Dial it in an play around with it.

    I kind of like your technique, because, you're right, the efforts more closely mimic race conditions. Sounds like a good high speed crit workout for guys who like to be near the front and push breaks.
     
  3. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    Thanks for your perspective.

    They feel pretty tough. I could probably do more on the first one or two, but not on the last two. By the end of each work interval my breathing is pretty ragged. So far I'm only up to four L5 intervals. I plan to change the work/rest ratio as I go along by adding a few seconds on to the work interval which will also reduce the "recovery interval" at the same time, and then lengthening the entire workout as I get it dialed in and as my capacity to do the work goes up. These are tougher than doing 2x20 at 95% ftp although the avg wattage is about the same. One difference of course is that the worout is a continuous 45 minutes not counting the warmup, at this point at least.
     
  4. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Again, no surprise there: the normalized power for the 40 min is ~100% of your functional threshold power.

    As for whether this is better or worse than any other workout, it's really impossible to say. However, if it feels hard, then it must be a challenge to your body, and you will presumably adapt and improve. If you don't, well, then you know to try a different approach...which is the beauty of training with a powermeter, eh? :)
     
  5. Bailsibub

    Bailsibub New Member

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    Bula, I don't think the rest intervals are the primary issue that needs attention here.

    I think your work intervals are too short. Your coach is right, your training should be specialized, but what he didn't tell you was that it should be specialized at certain times.

    This is an aerobic sport. And your general training should aim to build your aerobic engine as much as possible. Case in point, track sprinters do road rides.

    10-minute intervals are too short for general aerobic development. Try the 20-minute intervals at L4, or even longer. (2X20? I'm doing 4X20 these days. Those are tough.) Also, try 2-3 hours at tempo. These are the meat and potato workouts for a lot of the people on here.

    If I read it right, your VO2 intervals are 3 minutes. And again, that's not long enough. It's been addressed on this board before...you should shoot for 5 minute intervals at VO2 max. Try 5 or 6 in a workout. And if you can't hold the power, back off to a point where you can and complete the duration of the interval. Also, be conservative with the number of VO2 workouts that you do throughout the year.

    As you said, your workout is tougher than 2X20s, and Andy touched on this, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to lead to sustainable improvement. What I've found is that if you back off on the intensity just a little bit, but hold the efforts for longer, you'll see your power keep on going up. And when you want to tune up for the specific events you are going to be doing, then you do some workouts that are tailored to the events.
     
  6. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Good info above.
    Can't agree that 3min L5 intervals are "not long enough" - not worth arguing over though. Cumulative time at Vo2max is what matters. Conventional wisdom says it takes about two minutes to get to Vo2max on your first interval, but shorter periods thereafter. I'd rather err on the shorter side than longer due to risk of overtraining and digging a hole...my $0.02CAN worth...5 or 6 x 5mins at Vo2max intensity is a TOUGH workout. If you give that a go, might wanna have your barf-bag handy and some extra-strength Ibuprofen:D ...
     
  7. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Or so it has been hypothesized. Me, I'm not so sure...
     
  8. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    EDIT: After I posted this message late the other night, I realized that the average power is also very high (i.e., (7 x 90% + 3 x 115%)/10 = 97.5%)...so in this case the normalized power algorithm doesn't really tell us anything special. :eek:
     
  9. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Or you could trade some of your L4 time for L3 time and skip the Ibuprofen:)

     
  10. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm, I'm not following:confused: . Care to explain why I would want to do what you're proposing??
     
  11. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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  12. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    I already know I'm not too bright, but was this reply supposed to explain why I should alter my training rx from that which is apparently working for me? Help me out here.

    It's all too easy to tell people they should be doing this or that, but where's the verified proof? I got lab testing to back me up - not unsubstantiated claims of power meter readings. I'm pretty confident in what I'm doing, but I'm glad to hear why you think there's a training protocol (SST it appears) I should be employing other than a L4 focus year round...
     
  13. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Hmm (TM). Any alternative hypotheses we should grasp onto? :)
     
  14. dkrenik

    dkrenik Member

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    As you infer below, this is a classic case of "YMMV".

    I won't comment on the validity/usefulness of lab testing. I do feel that a powermeter will enable one to determine what does, and does not, work for them with minimum wasted time.

    Dave

     
  15. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for commenting. I don't believe this is the issue at hand, however...Nonetheless, I agree 100% with your comment, provided the operator of the power meter is competent in its use (i.e. calibration).
     
  16. Itchy-Tichy

    Itchy-Tichy New Member

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    I know that the prevailing wisdom on these boards for VO2max workouts are sets of 5X5 intervals, but I was wondering how/why that number X duration was determined? I've searched, but haven't been able to find an answer. I ask b/c I've seemed to have good results doing 4X3 at about 113% FTP with 2 minutes rest or 4X4 at about 110% FTP with 3 minutes rest.
     
  17. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Steering things back to topic:

    The workout that you described appears to be somewhat of a compromise between a VO2max workout and an SST/Threshold workout. As you noted, the goal of that particular protocol is to mimic a situation you are likely to encounter during competition rather than specifically stressing a particular physiological ability. It's impossible to say whether it's better than another workout, as its goal is slightly different.

    Most folks use shorter rests during their VO2max workouts because they are resting at a much lower intensity. Resting at a higher intensity frankly means that you'll need a longer rest before you can get back up to the higher power again. The advantage to shorter rests is that the physiological processes drop less during the rest, and subsequently take less time to get back up near VO2max. Your workout uses longer rests, but ensures that the processes won't drop far by keeping the intensity higher between intervals. Folks using lower/shorter rests are probably doing 5-6 intervals, whereas you're doing 4, so they probably have more VO2max focus and you have some SST mixed in. So..... I wouldn't say one is better than the other, they're just aimed slightly differently.
     
  18. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I use a 4:3 work:rest ratio while shooting for 6 intervals at ~115%, also with good results.

    I don't know if I'd call it prevailing wisdom. Longer rests mean that the intervals also need to be longer (ie, at least ~5 min) to ensure that the body sustains work near VO2max. Shorter rests mean that the intervals can be shorter while spending the same actual time near VO2max. Many folks do 5x5 (25 min of work), while others do 6x4 (24 min of work). Really, very little practical difference between the 2 routines.
     
  19. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    That's ALL that really matters, my friend. You get an adaptation response with the duration and frequency you're using, for others it takes more duration at L5. Go with what you know.
    People use that protocol (5x5) because they've probably read about a successful study on the net using same. I've read a number of studies successfully using a shorter protocol. No one-size-fits-all with this stuff...
     
  20. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    My pet theory is that improvements in VO2max pertain to the frequency/degree with which you attain/approach maximal cardiac output. It's just a theory, though.
     
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