Short Intervals for TT training - the point?



nmcgann

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Sep 23, 2006
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If short interval sessions (Nx5 min or Nx2 min Vo2max-type) aren't measurably helping to raise sustainable power (i.e. FTP) is there any point to them when training exclusively for TTs?

(apart from "for variety" or "pain=good")

Neil
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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nmcgann said:
If short interval sessions (Nx5 min or Nx2 min Vo2max-type) aren't measurably helping to raise sustainable power (i.e. FTP) is there any point to them when training exclusively for TTs?

(apart from "for variety" or "pain=good")

Neil
Done without a good period of solid aerobic work, shortish intervals are the equivalent of pissing into the wind. Done after a good few months of L3, maybe L4 work then they're good for adding that last bit of power.

It's like building a tall building without a foundation and then wondering why the whole shebang falls over when you put the flagpole on the top...
 

Jono L

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Apr 28, 2005
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swampy1970 said:
Done without a good period of solid aerobic work, shortish intervals are the equivalent of pissing into the wind. Done after a good few months of L3, maybe L4 work then they're good for adding that last bit of power.

It's like building a tall building without a foundation and then wondering why the whole shebang falls over when you put the flagpole on the top...
I think that's a little over the top;) Some people respond well to 'raising the ceiling' for aerobic gains. Don't forget that whole foundation theory started with the 1000km base weeks in the little ring.
 

Jono L

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Apr 28, 2005
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I'm of the opinion that you can only get so much FTP out of a certain VO2 and vice versa, gets to a point where you need to increase you maximal oxygen uptake then build your threshold again to a higher level with the new VO2 gains, kinda like steps.

Or, build up your FTP with lots threshold then use VO2 intervals to induce a peak in your form..

I don't think the importance of variety should be underestimated either.
 

simplyred

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Sep 27, 2007
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swampy1970 said:
Done without a good period of solid aerobic work, shortish intervals are the equivalent of pissing into the wind. Done after a good few months of L3, maybe L4 work then they're good for adding that last bit of power.

It's like building a tall building without a foundation and then wondering why the whole shebang falls over when you put the flagpole on the top...
+1

Like JonoL says - for aerobic training, think of it like walking towards victory. Left foot being intervals [I'm a L4/L5 guy], right foot being base building [I'm a SST/L3 guy]. And march!

Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. You have to find your stride [time spent on focusing], your pace [how often you change], and your chocolate foot [what foot to start with].

You can only do so much of one leg before one you're slowing progress [ie. dragging one foot].

If you're one of the lucky ones to be able to pile on L5 work BEFORE SST/L3 - then kudos to you.
 

frenchyge

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nmcgann said:
If short interval sessions (Nx5 min or Nx2 min Vo2max-type) aren't measurably helping to raise sustainable power (i.e. FTP) is there any point to them when training exclusively for TTs?
If you believe that to be true, then there wouldn't be any point. However...

...if you believe that improving the oxygen delivery systems is necessary to allow further gains in the aerobic power production systems within the tissues, then I think the TT benefits can be rationalized. ;)

Power production is a complex interaction between many different systems, but FTP can be thought of as being mostly limited by aerobic metabolism within the muscle tissue, while VO2max can be thought of as being mostly limited by oxygen delivery. Even a well-trained tissue will only develop to utilize the oxygen that it is being supplied, so there is benefit to developing both mechanisms.
 

daveryanwyoming

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frenchyge said:
If you believe that to be true, then there wouldn't be any point. However...

...if you believe that improving the oxygen delivery systems is necessary to allow further gains in the aerobic power production systems within the tissues, then I think the TT benefits can be rationalized. ;)

Power production is a complex interaction between many different systems, but FTP can be thought of as being mostly limited by aerobic metabolism within the muscle tissue, while VO2max can be thought of as being mostly limited by oxygen delivery. Even a well-trained tissue will only develop to utilize the oxygen that it is being supplied, so there is benefit to developing both mechanisms.
+1 frenchyge.

I'd also add that's it's a rare TT where I don't exceed threshold and dig deep into VO2 max range for the final minutes - assuming I paced the first half well.

-Dave
P.S. I'd also agree with Swampy's original post (dang happenin' more and more often swamp :)) Shorter efforts build on top of longer efforts and I don't buy into the HIT philosophy of focusing on the short hard end of the spectrum but they do have their place in a well rounded program. Even for TT riders....
 

Steve_B

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frenchyge said:
...if you believe that improving the oxygen delivery systems is necessary to allow further gains in the aerobic power production systems within the tissues, then I think the TT benefits can be rationalized. ;)

Power production is a complex interaction between many different systems, but FTP can be thought of as being mostly limited by aerobic metabolism within the muscle tissue, while VO2max can be thought of as being mostly limited by oxygen delivery. Even a well-trained tissue will only develop to utilize the oxygen that it is being supplied, so there is benefit to developing both mechanisms.
To your point, here is a similar view from someone else:

20MP is primarily a product of two things: mitochondrial density or activity and oxygen delivery. There are other aspects which affect 20MP such as clearance of metabolic byproducts, acid tolerance, motor-unit recruitment patterns, a small “anaerobic” power component, and the like, but for purposes of comparison to lower intensity training (and traditional base definitions), mitochondrial density and O2 delivery are the most applicable. Mitochondria are the energy factories of working muscle cells. Basically, the higher the mitochondrial density a muscle cell has the more power it can generate over time. Mitochondrial markers do not appear to increase under low intensity conditions very quickly. They appear to only increase when the rate of energy demand over time in an individual muscle fiber outstrips the cellular mitochondrion’s ability to provide it. The maximum stimulus for mitochondrial development as a whole appears to exist at the edge of aerobic power production or 20MP (as suggested by Dudley, 1982 and subsequently Terjung, 1995). When you ride hard enough for long enough such that the muscle fiber overload is nearly maximized, it appears that the biochemical environment is primed for mitochondrial growth – and this is a good thing. Lower powered efforts predominantly only use muscle fiber profiles which have already mostly adapted to this stimulus in prior training. These muscle fiber-profiles are already equipped and respond much slower since as a whole, the biochemical stimulus for mitochondrial growth is minimal – one just isn’t going hard enough to be very productive.

O2 delivery is similar. Vascularity only adapts if the rate of muscular oxygen demand increases. Gains in blood-vessel measures appear to respond similarly to mitochondrial measures in that it is the rate of oxygen demand which stimulates the greatest demands for vascular adaptation as mitochondrial improvements appear to parallel vascular improvements (Coggan et al. 1992; Poole, 1996; Charifi et al. 2004; McAllister et al. 2005). The heart responds in much the same way. If the heart is not forced to pump hard and fast, it is just pumping. Lower intensities do not provide the same stimulus for O2 delivery as 20MP focused training.
Extracted from here

In general, it appears that in order to push mitochondrial densities to their maximum when building one’s aerobic engine, it would be wise to regularly include intensities which approach VO2max or harder, or about 20MP or harder, on a regular basis within an overall training program.
Extracted from here
 

Alex Simmons

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daveryanwyoming said:
+1 frenchyge.

I'd also add that's it's a rare TT where I don't exceed threshold and dig deep into VO2 max range for the final minutes - assuming I paced the first half well.

-Dave
P.S. I'd also agree with Swampy's original post (dang happenin' more and more often swamp :)) Shorter efforts build on top of longer efforts and I don't buy into the HIT philosophy of focusing on the short hard end of the spectrum but they do have their place in a well rounded program. Even for TT riders....
While I basically use that approach, there are times when I will include HIT efforts early on in a training program (but not in a typical VO2 Max interval kind of way) - as they also provide an excellent stimulus for aerobic power development.

One should not be afraid to include such training. It is more the relative volume of such efforts that matters and to some extent it depends on how much training a rider does/can do.

For some riders it is not necessary since they race regularly or the terrain or a solid group ride performs a similar function.
 

Alex Simmons

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daveryanwyoming said:
+1 frenchyge.

I'd also add that's it's a rare TT where I don't exceed threshold and dig deep into VO2 max range for the final minutes - assuming I paced the first half well.
Or if you ever intend to ride in a team time trial.

I see guys that are aerobically strong, great solo endurance and speed but crack so easily in a TTT.
 

simplyred

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Sep 27, 2007
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Spunout said:
You have to train L5 if you ever hope that it will become your new L4.
Does that mean I should train L7 if I ever want it to be L6? [Does it work that way anaerobically?]
 

daveryanwyoming

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simplyred said:
Does that mean I should train L7 if I ever want it to be L6? [Does it work that way anaerobically?]
Ah yes, I can see logical outcome. I've gotta exclusively train L7 till it becomes L1...... Just think how fast I'll be then :)

I swear I know folks that seem to believe this, they're out hammering for 30 seconds at a shot and wondering why they still get dropped on 20 minute climbs.

Not knockin' ya on the L5/L4 quote Spunout, it's a good way to think about it... sooner or later you've got to raise the bar, the question is when and how much.

-Dave
 

simplyred

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daveryanwyoming said:
Ah yes, I can see logical outcome. I've gotta exclusively train L7 till it becomes L1...... Just think how fast I'll be then :)

I swear I know folks that seem to believe this, they're out hammering for 30 seconds at a shot and wondering why they still get dropped on 20 minute climbs.

Not knockin' ya on the L5/L4 quote Spunout, it's a good way to think about it... sooner or later you've got to raise the bar, the question is when and how much.

-Dave
HAHAHA... nice. And since energy production is a continuum - we should just train in L1 for 8 hrs a day. We'll be champs...
biggrin.gif
 

Piotr

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Jan 29, 2007
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simplyred said:
HAHAHA... nice. And since energy production is a continuum - we should just train in L1 for 8 hrs a day. We'll be champs...
biggrin.gif
To extrapolate, 24 hrs a day at L0 (Long Slow Vegetation) could be just as beneficial. There's got to be something to it since such a large part of the populace subscribes to that training approach. :D
 

simplyred

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Piotr said:
To extrapolate, 24 hrs a day at L0 (Long Slow Vegetation) could be just as beneficial. There's got to be something to it since such a large part of the populace subscribes to that training approach. :D
Awesome. :D

600W - here I come! [I mean my 600W microwave that's done nuking my 5th Hot Pocket, training's a tough life...]
 

Steve_B

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Piotr said:
To extrapolate, 24 hrs a day at L0 (Long Slow Vegetation) could be just as beneficial. There's got to be something to it since such a large part of the populace subscribes to that training approach. :D
So how come the RAAM riders aren't faster when they get done? :) (I mean, once they can hold their necks up without apparatus and get over their saddle sores.)
 

Piotr

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Steve_B said:
So how come the RAAM riders aren't faster when they get done? :) (I mean, once they can hold their necks up without apparatus and get over their saddle sores.)
Because they ride too damn hard. Compared to what I'm suggesting RAAM is HIT from hell. :)