Okay, so lets hear about those intervals !



edd

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We all do interval work of some kind.

So lets hear about them and where they come from and how often you do them.

I have two to kick off this thread:

Micro intervals: heard most do 30 sec on, 30 sec recover etc. Veronique Billat the French scientist came up with 40 sec on, 20 sec recover x 15 as a micro interval set. I put this to music and do these in a spin class format. All up with warm up and cool down 52 min

3 x 3 minute intervals with 90 sec recovery between 1 x 10 min interval and 2 x 1 min intervals with 90 sec recovery between. All up with warm up and 52 min
 

daveryanwyoming

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edd said:
.... Micro intervals: heard most do 30 sec on, 30 sec recover etc. Veronique Billat the French scientist came up with 40 sec on, 20 sec recover x 15 as a micro interval set. ...3 x 3 minute intervals with 90 sec recovery between 1 x 10 min interval and 2 x 1 min intervals with 90 sec recovery between. All up with warm up and 52 min
Interesting set of intervals. What systems are you targeting with each one and where does it fit into your annual and weekly schedules?

Sounds like you've got a mix of microinterval L4(?) work, some VO2 max efforts, a short L4 effort, and a couple of L6 anaerobic tolerance efforts to round it out. Are these just an assortment of interval types you do from time to time or do they happen at certain times of the season(peaking, race prep, etc.)? Do you try to do one or more of these each week? Basically how do you integrate these into your schedule?

-Dave
 

tmctguer

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my FTP is 266 watts. so I do the following 60 minute workout:

5 min warmup
5 min @ 266 watts (100% FTP)
15 min @ 240 watts (90% FTP)
10 min recovery
20 min @ 240 watts (90% FTP)
5 min cooldown

once a week, I do a 1.5 mile 8% grade climb interval:

2 to 3 climbs @ 295 watts (90% of the wattage produced during a recent strong climb of the same hill).

today, just to mix things up after a 2 week layoff due to illness & travel, I did:

2 climbs @ 290 watts
recovery ride home
1 x 10 min @ 240 (90% FTP) on the trainer.

i was targeting a 20 min @ 90% ride but the 2 hillclimbs took a lot out of me.
 

edd

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daveryanwyoming said:
Interesting set of intervals. What systems are you targeting with each one and where does it fit into your annual and weekly schedules?

Sounds like you've got a mix of microinterval L4(?) work, some VO2 max efforts, a short L4 effort, and a couple of L6 anaerobic tolerance efforts to round it out. Are these just an assortment of interval types you do from time to time or do they happen at certain times of the season(peaking, race prep, etc.)? Do you try to do one or more of these each week? Basically how do you integrate these into your schedule?

-Dave

Hi Dave,

I'm an indoor spin class instructor amoung other things so I have restrictions such as having to keep things interesting for class particpants.

The micro intervals 40/20s are VO2 max intervals performed at 92% of Max HR according to Veronique (no Power meters on the indoor trainer) These are really tuff. I do these once a fortnight. It takes about four intervals to get the HR up there.

The 3 x 3 min are also VO2 max intervals these are a mix of in the saddle
90 to 110 cadence or out of the saddle 70 to 100 cadence work.
10 min is the saddle be more than L4 effort I think
2 x 1 min are anaerobic tolerance efforts. I do these once a week.

These are mainly to keep up the VO2 max and maintain ride fitness from weekend on the road work which is unstructured 90 k rides at the moment, with lots of hill work. Putting a PM on my road bike this month. Will do 10 min 20 min 30 min intervals and hill sprints on the road.
 

edd

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Jul 8, 2003
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tmctguer said:
my FTP is 266 watts. so I do the following 60 minute workout:

5 min warmup
5 min @ 266 watts (100% FTP)
15 min @ 240 watts (90% FTP)
10 min recovery
20 min @ 240 watts (90% FTP)
5 min cooldown

once a week, I do a 1.5 mile 8% grade climb interval:

2 to 3 climbs @ 295 watts (90% of the wattage produced during a recent strong climb of the same hill).

today, just to mix things up after a 2 week layoff due to illness & travel, I did:

2 climbs @ 290 watts
recovery ride home
1 x 10 min @ 240 (90% FTP) on the trainer.

i was targeting a 20 min @ 90% ride but the 2 hillclimbs took a lot out of me.

Curious what age you are. If I did 100% FTP after only 5 min warm up I'd get real out of shape real quick, I need a good 15 min staged warm up before I can produce any sustained high effort … am 59.
 

Miscreant

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I am very new to training, as i want to start racing this season for the first time. I'm 18, 19 in february. I only started really training about a month ago.

I do a block of 3(Mon,Tues,Wed) and a block of 2(Fri,Sat) of 2x20 at 245 watts with 2 "rest" days per week. They are mostly active rest days, on one of the days i usually go on an easy 1 hour mountain bike ride with my dad in the trails. The other day i usually just try to commute a bit more by bike, or spin easy for about an hour. I also do a little bit of sprint work on saturday, again when im commuting. I just stand up and sprint for about 15 seconds, than spin easy for about 30. I probabley do that about 12-16 times or until i get to the place i'm going.

When it gets more cooperative outside i'll start working in climbing workouts and VO2 max workouts closer to the season.
 

edd

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Miscreant said:
I am very new to training, as i want to start racing this season for the first time. I'm 18, 19 in february. I only started really training about a month ago.

I do a block of 3(Mon,Tues,Wed) and a block of 2(Fri,Sat) of 2x20 at 245 watts with 2 "rest" days per week. They are mostly active rest days, on one of the days i usually go on an easy 1 hour mountain bike ride with my dad in the trails. The other day i usually just try to commute a bit more by bike, or spin easy for about an hour. I also do a little bit of sprint work on saturday, again when im commuting. I just stand up and sprint for about 15 seconds, than spin easy for about 30. I probabley do that about 12-16 times or until i get to the place i'm going.

When it gets more cooperative outside i'll start working in climbing workouts and VO2 max workouts closer to the season.

Hopefully a coach may jump in and offer some good advice, things to remember are:
1) fitness ( that means performance) is very very very action, activity, velocity specific.
2) You get good at what you do ( specifically) and not at what you don't.
 

beerco

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edd said:
The micro intervals 40/20s are VO2 max intervals performed at 92% of Max HR according to Veronique (no Power meters on the indoor trainer) These are really tuff. I do these once a fortnight. It takes about four intervals to get the HR up there.

These are tough and good etc. (I sometimes do them myself), but they are certainly not VO2max intervals. Slightly higher than FTP is the best one could hope for with this protocol. In fact, if you start out at VO2 effort levels you will almost certainly end the session with an average effort below FTP/

You probably don't do this but a lot of spin instructors don't do the class with the class so that they can still speak. I find that in those classes, the instructors never give enough recovery time for hard efforts and the overal or average intensity ends up lower than it would if they did give enough recovery. I.e., you're so wiped out from the first couple of high efforts that subsequent efforts are at a lower intensity.
 

edd

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beerco said:
These are tough and good etc. (I sometimes do them myself), but they are certainly not VO2max intervals. Slightly higher than FTP is the best one could hope for with this protocol. In fact, if you start out at VO2 effort levels you will almost certainly end the session with an average effort below FTP/

You probably don't do this but a lot of spin instructors don't do the class with the class so that they can still speak. I find that in those classes, the instructors never give enough recovery time for hard efforts and the overal or average intensity ends up lower than it would if they did give enough recovery. I.e., you're so wiped out from the first couple of high efforts that subsequent efforts are at a lower intensity.

doing 40/20s not much talking from anyone. This is a fifteen minute block, with HR creep and acumulating oxygen debit, sometime I just moan really loudly … class loves them, they like to see an instructor just hanging it out there.

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0896.htm
 

edd

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beerco said:
a lot of spin instructors don't do the class with the class so that they can still speak. I find that in those classes, the instructors never give enough recovery time for hard efforts .

not me, I'm so so different, People ask "where did you come from ?" I tell them I fell out of cycling forum !

have a read of "Zone 3 Syndrome" thread good article
 

tmctguer

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edd said:
Curious what age you are. If I did 100% FTP after only 5 min warm up I'd get real out of shape real quick, I need a good 15 min staged warm up before I can produce any sustained high effort … am 59.

I am 50 years old. I know I should warm up more and stretch more.

for this specific workout, I gave up the warmup time for my interval workouts to keep them under 60 minutes so I can finish them and get to work on time.

I have another version of this workout where I have a 15 minute warmup, 15 minute cooldown in between intervals, and 10 minute cool down at the end.
 

beerco

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edd said:

That's all fine and good but they're still not VO2 max intervals. doing a 30/30 or 40/20, your maximum average power (for the 15min) will never be over what you could do for 15 min straight (not saying that the adaptations will be identical though). There are plenty of studies that show that overall, micro intervals of 30sec or less have the same adaptation as iso-power intervals at the same average power.

That said, if you did 2/3 at vVO2 max per the article (let's approximate to 120% FTP) and 1/3 at 50%, you average out to 96% of FTP. If you have any fast twitch in you, I would imagine that if you had a power meter on your spin bike, you'd find that you go a significantly harder on the first few intervals and significantly lower on the last several with an AP below 96% of FTP even though the PE would be through the roof.

When I do my microintervals, I usually do them as part of a 2x20min on the trainer/rollers to keep things interesting. I do the first 10min at FTP isopower then the second 10 min 30s on/ 30s off at around 200% of FTP on, almost zero off. Wait 5 min then do again.

For VO2 max, I do 6x5min intervals at 115% to 120% of FTP recovering 4 minutes in between. The first two are easy. 4 & 5 are quite difficult. #6 has almost made me puke but I managed to hold it back so far.
 

frenchyge

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beerco said:
That's all fine and good but they're still not VO2 max intervals. doing a 30/30 or 40/20, your maximum average power (for the 15min) will never be over what you could do for 15 min straight (not saying that the adaptations will be identical though). There are plenty of studies that show that overall, micro intervals of 30sec or less have the same adaptation as iso-power intervals at the same average power.

That said, if you did 2/3 at vVO2 max per the article (let's approximate to 120% FTP) and 1/3 at 50%, you average out to 96% of FTP. If you have any fast twitch in you, I would imagine that if you had a power meter on your spin bike, you'd find that you go a significantly harder on the first few intervals and significantly lower on the last several with an AP below 96% of FTP even though the PE would be through the roof.

When I do my microintervals, I usually do them as part of a 2x20min on the trainer/rollers to keep things interesting. I do the first 10min at FTP isopower then the second 10 min 30s on/ 30s off at around 200% of FTP on, almost zero off. Wait 5 min then do again.

For VO2 max, I do 6x5min intervals at 115% to 120% of FTP recovering 4 minutes in between. The first two are easy. 4 & 5 are quite difficult. #6 has almost made me puke but I managed to hold it back so far.
I get the impression that the purpose of spin classes is to make it interesting enough that people enjoy getting sweaty. Anything more scientific than that probably detracts from the fun aspect.
 

Yojimbo_

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Apr 17, 2005
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Back to the original question.

During this winter, I also do 3 days on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off.

The first day of the 3 days is at a spinning class. Can't say what my wattage is, but the class is 2 hours long right now. The instructor is a racer and he varies what we do according to the time of year.

The other days, I mostly do the following. My objective this winter is to raise my FTP by 24 watts to 250:

10 min warmup

Then, depending on how I'm feeling, 2X20, 3X20, 2X25, or 2X30 @ 90-95% FTP, with 5 min between each interval.

5 min cooldown at the end.

If possible, I will trade one of the above for a 2.5 - 3 hour ride outside on the road, but it's winter here where I live and it's pretty tough to get out.

Occasionally I will take an extra rest day when my body tells me it needs one - like it did today.
 

edd

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frenchyge said:
I get the impression that the purpose of spin classes is to make it interesting enough that people enjoy getting sweaty. Anything more scientific than that probably detracts from the fun aspect.

Nice to have good training session too though ! but yep to that
 

edd

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beerco said:
That's all fine and good but they're still not VO2 max intervals. doing a 30/30 or 40/20, your maximum average power (for the 15min) will never be over what you could do for 15 min straight (not saying that the adaptations will be identical though). There are plenty of studies that show that overall, micro intervals of 30sec or less have the same adaptation as iso-power intervals at the same average power.

That said, if you did 2/3 at vVO2 max per the article (let's approximate to 120% FTP) and 1/3 at 50%, you average out to 96% of FTP. If you have any fast twitch in you, I would imagine that if you had a power meter on your spin bike, you'd find that you go a significantly harder on the first few intervals and significantly lower on the last several with an AP below 96% of FTP even though the PE would be through the roof.

When I do my microintervals, I usually do them as part of a 2x20min on the trainer/rollers to keep things interesting. I do the first 10min at FTP isopower then the second 10 min 30s on/ 30s off at around 200% of FTP on, almost zero off. Wait 5 min then do again.

For VO2 max, I do 6x5min intervals at 115% to 120% of FTP recovering 4 minutes in between. The first two are easy. 4 & 5 are quite difficult. #6 has almost made me puke but I managed to hold it back so far.

We do a staged warm up of 20 minutes then a 30 sec recovery then the 15 min of 40/20s then a 90 sec recovery, then 5 min of light spin. That's it. Do nothing else that session.

The thing I notice with these is the oxygen debt. Do these at max effort, you really suck wind. Not so much with 15 min straight hard effort.
 

edd

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beerco said:
That's all fine and good but they're still not VO2 max intervals.


Fine, argue with Veronique Billat the French scientist. I know nothing for sure.

I do 10 x 1 minute intervals and they are so different due to the additional recovery. I thought that it was the limited 20 sec recoveries that set up the oxygen debt that gives the desired training effect. Previously Billat came up with the 3 minute intervals for VO2 max training.
 

edd

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beerco said:
I would imagine that if you had a power meter on your spin bike, you'd find that you go a significantly harder on the first few intervals and significantly lower on the last several with an AP below 96% of FTP even though the PE would be through the roof.

Our spin bikes are 8 years old and up for replacement as soon as the bean counters let us. Trying to talk them into these.

http://www.keiser.com/m3/index.html

have a power meter !
 

beerco

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edd said:
Fine, argue with Veronique Billat the French scientist. I know nothing for sure.

I bet that Billat would back me up on this one. I think the issue is that there's something lost in translation (so to speak) in the writing of the article (Remember that those aren't Billat's words). From the article:

"Will 5 x 3 minutes improve VO2max, vVO2max, lactate threshold, and running economy more effectively than 30-30 and 60-60? In many cases, the answer is yes"

The reason it's "yes" is because the 3 minute interval targets VO2max much better than 15min of micro intervals (which would target FTP more).

The runners also were able to perform the 30-30 workout for a longer period of time because it's at a lower average power.

There has been some speculation that doing micro intervals can kind of kill two birds with one stone by getting you L4 and L6 workouts at the same time. There's been a lot of discussion on the wattage list on this topic including Billat's work.

I do like microintervals and they certainly keep things interesting.
 

Miscreant

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I was under the impression that most people will do 3 min intervals for vo2max at something like 120-130% FTP with 3 min recovery, 4-6 efforts.