Threshold Intervals: How often and how many?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by whoawhoa, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    I have 2 questions reguarding lactate threshold intervals.

    First: Is it better to do multiple intervals (e.g. 2x20s) or one long one (e.g. one 35 or 40 minute)
    Second: So far this year I've been doing 2 lactate threshold and 1 vo2max session a week. As I move closer to racing season I'm going to incorporate an anaerobic workout as well. Can I drop 1 lactate threshold workout and it not hurt my performance there? or should I stay at 2 a week?
     
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  2. Trek1000

    Trek1000 New Member

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    Do what track and field athletes, swimmers, and weight lifters do. many sets. Swimmers for instance will do 100m,200m,300m,400m,300m,200m,100m. 100m repeats, descending sets,ascending sets, etc. Get creative. interval training for the most part is best when it is short. When i was doing the 5K runs in highschool, our coach made us do 1mile interval runs and then also a lot of 200m sprints and 400 meter sprints. Our intervals never were "long". Always grueling though. I'm no expert on the subject however. Good luck
     
  3. drfunk000

    drfunk000 New Member

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    100-400m intervals do not target improvements to threshold pace/power. intervals should be in the range of 8-20 min to improve threshold pace/power on the bike, at threshold intensity (+/-5% 1 hour TT power) as I understand it.

    Mark


     
  4. Orange Fish

    Orange Fish New Member

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    By threshold intervals, are you talking about an intensity that is pretty much at your LT? If that's the case, I'd ask why do those as you get closer to your race season. Really, all training at threshold will do is teach you to ride slower than race pace. You know what race pace feels like, so train above your LT, like you've been doing, and just focus on increasing the duration and number of intervals gradually...similar to your VO2 max intervals I'm guessing. But I'd recommend a focus on that rather than riding at threshold as much at this point.

    To answer your questions:
    1) multiple shorter intervals above threshold
    2) the anaerobic workouts are the VO2 max workouts. I would do about 2-maybe 3 VO2 max workouts per week and bring the LT workouts down to maybe 1, if at all. The rest of the time should be endurance rides and recovery.
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Assuming that the original poster by LT means TT type efforts then either 2 x 20 or 4 x 15 or 2 x 30 or 1 x 40 or some similar combination thereof to arrive at somewhere between 30 and 60-mins total time at this effort is great training prescription and should, for many people form a good base piece training for a lot of the year.

    Point 2: Although VO2max efforts may have an anaerobic contribution, by definition if they are VO2max efforts then they are mainly aerobic, as muscle is aerobic at up to 100% VO2max

    ric
     
  6. Orange Fish

    Orange Fish New Member

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    what sort of intensity are you describing when you talk about your TT-type efforts?

    point 2: can you elaborate on muscle being aerobic at up to 100% VO2 max? If you mean that there is an aerobic contribution at up to 100% VO2 max, then I understand what you're saying. But if you mean something other than that, please elaborate.
    I just wouldn't consider muscle being aerobic at up to 100% VO2 max because as compared to rest, our bodies will be producing energy via glycolysis and other pathways as we get closer to 100% VO2 max, indicating that it's not only aerobic, but has contributions from anaerobic pathways as well.
     
  7. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    So, without trying to spread myself to thin, how about 1 threshold (tt-level), 1 vo2max and one anaerobic session. Would more than one Anaerobic session be better? I think this could be enough as vo2max intervals have some anaerobic benefit, I believe.
     
  8. Steve McGregor

    Steve McGregor New Member

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    Really, any effort over about 1 min is going to be primarily aerobic in nature. Depending on the mode of exercise and how the data is collected, the crossover from predominantly "anaerobic" to predominantly "aerobic" occurs between one and two minutes. So, a VO2max interval of 5 min in length is certainly _primarily_ aerobic although a substantial portion of the energy will come from "anaerobic" glycolyis. Further, repeated bouts as short as 30s will elicit greater and greater contributions from aerobic sources as the bouts progress. From 1- 30 sec sprint to the third with a 4 min rest between each, glycogen utilization is decreased approximately 80%. That energy is necessarily made up by activation of aerobic metabolism.

    Steve
     
  9. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    I can imagine it is tough for anyone to get through all these comments with a straight answer. Yes, no, maybe, depends etc.

    I suggest you start with researching some workouts by Friel, Carmichael or others that plan out the workouts for you each day/week. Sure, you can mix them up and do what you want at LT, but the trick is having a recepie and sticking to it. Threshold workouts are tough and require recovery later in the day or the next. Find a program that matches your current level, the time you can devote to cycling then grab some workouts through readings or a coach like RST (no, Ric does not pay me a commission). Without a plan, you are literally spinning your wheels.

    Careful,

    CatSpin
     
  10. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    Personally; you've done your base training i presume, you have your endurance, shouldn't you be concentrating on tempo rides 95% of Lactate rather than jumping straight into threshold training? so early in the year?

    Steady state intervals to build up your aerobic engine before you set about torturous routines.

    http://www.competitionzone.com/articles/bike_intervals.htm
     
  11. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Well, my "Base" phase followed a program with much more intervals than mosts, as Ric and some of the other coaches on the forum have suggested, contrary to many older training philosphies. And my first big race is next weekend, we have an early season start. (not training much this weekend. Gotta taper) My big question is, if I drop the amount of tt/threshold work I am doing, (from twice to once a week) will I see any drop in performance at that level? I will keep the time equal to what I have been doing in my one session, maybe even lengthen it if I am handling my current okay. Between 1 tt/threshold session and 1 vo2max session, my time trialing should not suffer, correct?
     
  12. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    I was going to suggest that unless you where tapering for competition
    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0267.htm but here have a read for yourself just incase you don't get a reply you where looking for :)

    but i'm led to believe 3wks before cut down by 5% to 10% 2 weeks in advance of competition then 1 week before trim off another 5% of your time. speeds should be above race intensity but shorter, so anything above 89%MHR as for anything suffering you got 15wks before you see drastic changes ain't you
     
  13. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Just read an article last night that swimmers recover from higher intensity efforts quicker. I have absolutely no idea why that would be the case though.

    http://www.insidetriathlon.com/train/tips/articles/1999.0.html

    From article:
    Note that any workout in which you spend a lot of time above your LT will require up to 48 hours recovery time, maybe longer. Although recovery from swim workouts is quicker, too much high intensity in the pool can hurt the rest of your training.

    I was in high school track for a couple of years and our first workout of the season was four 440's. Man did that ever hurt. Even the guys that had been jogging for a few weeks before hand were complaining.
     
  14. in.10.city

    in.10.city New Member

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    Since you mentioned it, I'm curious also. I would suspect that it is due to the low impact nature of swimming. I dropped a message to Joe and Eric (the article authors) asking them why. I'll let you know what I find out...

     
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