L6 / SMSP intervals

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by JohnMcP, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. JohnMcP

    JohnMcP New Member

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    I've been doing short intervals (between 1' - 3') targeting L6 in the Coggan model (SMSP if you're a Dave Morris rider). I have average power targets for each duration and I find I hit them best if I put a big spike in for the first 15" then try to drive out the rest of the interval.

    This usually results in a power curve that slopes moderately steeply down to the right, often finishing below the target average power.

    Am I doing these wrong? Should I be after a flatter curve, with only a small initial spike and more left at the end?

    McP
     
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  2. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

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    I can't really say if you are doing them wrong (is there a "right" way to do them?), but the way you are doing them simulates what typically happens in the group rides and RRs I do. That is there is an initial attack/spike, which causes a split, and then it's hang on for dear life.

    So you may be doing them wrong, and still getting the training adaptation you need, assuming your experience mirrors mine.
     
  3. peterpen

    peterpen New Member

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    OTOH, if you are trying to mimic dropping some people who made that initial selection (or the end of a race,) you might want to start slightly below your target power and ramp up, finishing as strong as possible.

    I'd wager you'll see more improvement in your repeatable 1 - 3min power if you try to keep the effort steady or with a slight upward slope.
     
  4. JohnMcP

    JohnMcP New Member

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    Thanks to both of you for the replies.

    I'm also doing the Allen/Coggan 'race-winner' drills (big spike followed by 3-4 minutes at FTP and a quick dig at the end) which they class as L5. (although because of the initial jump they deliver an average power similar to my 3 min L6 target!)

    So I think I'll start trying for a flatter curve in the L6 drills and look to maintain the target wattage and increase the repeatablity (i.e the number of intervals before I fade).

    And of course go back and read the books to recap on what adaptations are meant to be happening:rolleyes:

    McP
     
  5. peterpen

    peterpen New Member

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    Makes sense. I should have added that just because my Pav for an interval (or ride) falls in a certain zone doesn't necessarily mean I'm 'training' that zone.
     
  6. bbrauer

    bbrauer New Member

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    I've worked with Morris for a while, so SMSP intervals are a mainstay. There's some merit to the hit-it-and-hang-on approach. Regardless, those intervals take practice and awareness of your PE. Go out too hard on a three minute interval and you might be too blown to even apply any appreciable power towards the end; start too conservatively and you don't really tax the anaerobic system as much as you should.

    On my longer ones in the 2-3 minute range I work to keep the effort hard yet consistent, so those last 10 seconds are an eternity, and by the end I feel I gave it everything. One the shorter 1 minute efforts, I sometimes kick it up early and hang on - the Dean Golich approach. Really, by doing that, you put yourself in that glycolytic range earlier by blowing through ATP/PCr, which is where you want to be.

    Rest intervals are a factor too. Slightly incomplete recovery between efforts put you in the range a little quicker I think, but if you're not recovering enough, then you wind up in L5, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not exactly what you're targeting. I kind of look at them as borderline L5/L6/lactate tolerance efforts.

    What is it that you're trying to accomplish? If you're a road racer who wants to launch that winning breakaway, then the Coggan "race winners" are good. Hanging with the long surges in a fast/flat crit might require more of the consistent SMSP efforts. I do both crits and mountain bike races, and find the consistent SMSP stuff works wonders. If I have a criticism of the Morris style, it's that you don't build a high enough CTL over the months to really make the power gains you make sustainable or broad. I try to incorporate the best of his approach with some of the approaches I read here.
     
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