Mini rests during 2x20 intervals

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by root, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. root

    root New Member

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    I notice that when I push my power output to the new limits I often have to pause for a second or two (and sometimes more) during my 2x20 min intervals or 1 hr FTP tests. The rest is enough for my heart rate to drop rapidly by 10 to 15 beats.

    I wonder is this detrimental to training effect? Is it better to complete the interval in one solid effort, or do these small "breaks" make no difference. I wonder if I continued in a solid block if my heart rate would continue to creep up well above the lactic threshold?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    One thing you learn quickly while training with power is to ignore HR during hard efforts. If you can't finish an interval because your heart gets tired you're in very serious trouble.

    HR is a response to system stress and not the cause. It's normal for HR to drift upwards all the way to the end of long steady power intervals. If you try to stay below a preset maximum HR your only choice is to drop power as the interval progresses or take breaks as you've been doing. Neither is great from a training standpoint nor necessary.

    If you're using power you should ignore HR during your SST or L4 efforts. If you're not using power you should pace on perceived exertion. If you're having to take breaks because the effort is too hard to sustain then you should back off to a level you can sustain for the duration.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
  3. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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  4. root

    root New Member

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    Thanks for the response. However I don't do these rests because my heart is in trouble. I don't even notice anything different with the heart, nor do I care about the heart rate at the times I pause. I was just saying that the duration of the pause is couple of seconds which is enough for my heart rate to drop 10 - 15 beats, not that I had to stop because my heart rate was to high.

    The reason I have to pause is leg fatigue, my leg muscles just feel like they are "choking" (must be lactic acid buildup). So, 2 - 5 second pause (and sometimes 20 sec pause) is enough for me to clear up and continue.

    So, my question then is this bad or detrimental to the training effect.
     
  5. root

    root New Member

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    Hello Tyson. How are you doing these days. I'm still following your marathon thread, even though it's diverged lately into all kinds of discussions.

    But still it has inspired me enough and I'm pleased to say that I made a huge improvement as well. I'm currently at 271 Watts, and hoping to be at 300 in a month or so.
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    30 seconds is a short break in terms of how quickly the body adjusts to training intensity, still it's better to do continuous unbroken efforts in level without breaks that allow lactate clearing and a drop to lower intensity metabolic processes. If you need the breaks to complete the efforts then I'd back off the intensity a bit so that you can complete the efforts in one unbroken interval.

    Your question reminds me of the times I've struggled to put out best effort 20 minute intervals day after day. You don't need or necessarily want to challenge your personal best power numbers very often, especially during times of continuous base building. It can be a road to mental burnout and you get nearly all the training benefit by backing down a bit and perhaps more benefit by extending the efforts longer. If you back off your efforts say 5-10% in terms of FTP you should be able to complete them in continuous blocks and maybe even in longer blocks. That approach can yield more time in level and more CTL for similar time on the bike compared to max 15 to 20 minute efforts interspersed with rests.

    I'm sure one of the exercise physiologists could comment on half lives of metabolic adaptation and whether your 30 second micro rests are really a problem. But if you can back off just a bit and hold those efforts continuously I've gotta believe the overall training benefit will be better.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  7. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    I think breaks are positively sinful for threshold training. Planned rest intervals only slight less so. Isopower is the key to happiness. :D

    In all seriousness, would you climb or TT like that?

    And I don't see how your HR drops 10-15 bpm in 1 to 2 seconds?
     
  8. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    This page is clear!... Sorry, I feel like a troll, but trolling is a step up from spamming IMO. :D
     
  9. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Good work Piotr. If we band together we can keep the spam of this page. Even if regulars only bring a couple of threads forward it helps.;)
     
  10. root

    root New Member

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    Thanks for your detailed reply. I do notice that I have these mini breaks even when I'm not pushing myself too hard at all. I suspect this is because I do all my interval training (including 1 hr FTP test) on an ergometer with constant Watt program. This program keeps adjusting resistance to account for the cadence or pedal force fluctuations to keep your power output constant.

    I would normally vary my gears, cadence etc when I cycle on a "real" bike and have rest intervals etc. But this thing is brutal. If I push myself to new power limits, and allow my cadence to drop below 100 RPM the resistance this thing goes into is so hard that I have to get up and stomp on the pedal to over come it and try to increase my cadence so that it becomes easier to pedal.

    So, that could be the reason why I do it, in addition to most likely pushing myself too hard. In the last 2 months I have increased my interval wattages by 60%, roughly 13 watts increase every week. And I know that you are supposed to increase your training load (FTP test) by 5 Watts every other week :).
     
  11. root

    root New Member

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    Well I would not, but then again I would not climb for an hour at a constant watts either. I would vary the gears and cadence quite a bit to break the monotony and perhaps go easy at times (easier gear, slower speed). However, my ergometer doesn't let me do that :), so I have to keep the power output constant.
     
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