VO2 Max Interval Training: I need help

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by HEYYO, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. HEYYO

    HEYYO New Member

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    Heyyo, what's up ya'll. I'll get straight to the point. I have been accepted to fire college and want a serious workout. I am fairly fit right now, but was just introduced to VO2 Max Interval Training. I know that it's the max amount of oxygen intake, but don't know really what it is and how to do it. -- I also don't really understand a-aerobic/anaerobic.

    I figure who better to ask than you guys, I'm sure some of you are pro at this. Do you guys have any other suggestions for a good workout?

    PS. I recently completed the Golden Triangle tour in Alberta/B.C.--anyone else try it?

    Later!
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Cool!
    VO2 max represents the capacity of the aerobic energy system which uses oxygen to produce energy. VO2 max is usualy measured in a ramp test where intensity is gradualy increased until failure. The intensity just below that at the point of failure would represent your VO2 max. This intensity could be maintained for 3 to 6 minutes if you were to do it in a single block rather than as a part of a ramp test. The VO2 max is a product of cardiac output (heart rate x stroke volume) x a-vO2 difference (the difference in oxygen leaving the heart and returning to the heart). So to increase VO2 max, train your heart and the muscles so that more blood can be pumped around the body and more oxygen can be removed from it. The best form of training is accumulating time at the intensity that represents VO2 max using a power meter or 95 to 100% of maximum heart rate.
    Aerobic describes energy produced with oxygen (i.e. endurance exercise) and anaerobic describes energy produced without oxygen (i.e. sprinting or tennis shots). Exercise above lactate threshold (i.e. TT) uses energy from both aerobic and anaerobic sources. There are two anaerobic energy systems (1) results in lactic acid production and burning legs, while the other (2) uses creatine and supplies energy for very short sprints (<6 seconds).
    Yep, to improve VO2 max do intervals at the intensity representing VO2 max. Warm up, 4 minutes hard followed by 8 minutes rest, repeat 2 to 5 times then cool down.

    As VO2 max is measured as an absolute value (i.e. L of oxygen) or relative value (i.e. mL per kg), loseing weight might help improve VO2 max if oxygen uptake is measured.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. HEYYO

    HEYYO New Member

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    Right on 2LAP, thanks alot! That all helps me out considerably, and I really appreciate it. Can't wait to check it out.

    HEYYO
     
  4. WESTMERLIN

    WESTMERLIN New Member

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    Cadence is a key factor for vo2 max training. Keep cadence high during the work portion of the interval (115 to 130 rpms).
    Try starting with 3-5, 1.5 to 2 min on with equal rest. Resistance should be the max you can handle at the above cadence.
     
  5. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Why?:confused:

    *Such a high cadence is not very specific for most cycling activities.
    *VO2 max can be acheived at lower cadences.
    *Training studies using lower cadences (i.e. 70 rpm) have displayed large increases in VO2 max.
     
  6. bjorns1

    bjorns1 New Member

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    Check out this site. It has plenty of information on interval training for not only cycling but also many other sports.

    www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/
     
  7. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    Is the 8 minute rest period critical? Currently I use Coggan's zones and have been doing 5x:04 in zone 5 (his Vo2 zone) with a 4 minute rest. So far, I've been able to increase power slightly with each interval (i.e. first interval is low zone 5, last interval is high zone 5).

    One kind of funny thing though is that they seem kind of too easy to be Vo2 workouts and I wonder if I've got my zone right. The end of the 5th interval is difficult, but I'm not dieing or anything. I'd give it about a 6 or 7 on the PE scale (1-10).

    I've chosen my threshold zone by doing progressively harder 2x:20 workouts in erg mode until I couldn't finish the second 20 min. interval. I'm very confident that this is indeed my functional threshold as it's a complete sufferfest for the last 5 minutes of the second interval when doing zone 4 workouts.

    I've been doing the zone 5 intervals in "bike" mode on my trainer. Any thoughts?

    If necessary, I can post the power levels I'm using
     
  8. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    At this intensity, 4 to 6 minutes depending upon fitness and training status will leave you very fatigued. The purpose of quite a long rest is to allow a good recovery, so the effort can be completed at the same intensity.
    I'm not familair with Coggan's zones (I use a HRM to train), but Ric might be able to advise you more.

    You would be better off calculating your MAP in a ramp test to calculate your power at VO2 max. This would be more accurate than a zone system based on 20 minute (TT) efforts.
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I know Andy's zones, but i use and (obviously) advocate my own zones, see http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern. However, they are quite similar but more defined at the upper end of maximal aerobic power (which isn't to say Andy's zones aren't 'good').

    Looking at my zones the 5 and 6 are similar to Andy's zone 5, and we'd both prescribe short, 4-min ish intervals in these zones.

    I certainly feel strained doing these type of intervals, and so do the people i coach. what sort of power meter are you using, have any settings changed since you did the 20min test?

    Ric
     
  10. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    What percentage of your threshold power do you average during these intervals? 5 x 4:00 on/4:00 off at 106% probably would seem relatively easy, at least as level 5 intervals go, whereas 5 x 4:00 on/4:00 off at 120% probably wouldn't. (My standard level 5 workout is 6 x 5:00 on/2:30 off, whereas the AIS often prescribes 5 x 5:00 on/??? off.) Be that as it may, though, the key points are 1) you're working close enough to VO2max to elicit adaptation (HR typically rises to w/in 5-10 beats/min of maximum), 2) you're not working too hard, which will limit the total time you spend training at/near VO2max (as 2Lap indicated), and most importantly 3) you progressively increase the power so as to maintain a training overload.

    Finally, note that some prominent coaches, e.g., Dean Golich, actually prefer the "go as hard as you can and then blow" approach when doing 3 min intervals...although I think he is actually training anaerobic capacity as much as VO2max with that approach.
     
  11. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    the 'problem' i've found with these method (i do prescribe it at times) is that it's harder than the paced method, and i find the riders i coach (and myself included) do less total work this way than the paced method (which i find leads to bigger improvements).

    either way these intervals hurt! Eurgh!

    Ric
     
  12. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    M'kay I think I see what's up - I've been doing them starting at 104% for the first interval and finishing at around 108% on the last one. Perhaps I'll shoot for something closer to 110~15% next time I do them.

    At the moment, I'm on a diet of 2x20's twice a week and am doing the zone 5 stuff once a week for maintenance so I'm not too concerned with building VO2max yet- I'm usually pretty whipped the day after 2x20's (which is when I did the 5x4's last) and don't want to over do it too much.

    Care to discuss the different philosophies in recovery intervals? We've got one guy prescribing an 8 minute break, and another prescribing a 2.5min break?

    Also, to answer a couple other questions directed towards me, I train in the winter on a Cardgirus trainer - long intervals in erg mode and shorter intervals in "bike" mode. I base my threshold & zones on my 2x20 workout so I'm pretty in tune with my threshold power as it gets tested and adjusted twice a week. Man, who thought that increasing by a mere 5w would be so tough!
     
  13. dkrenik

    dkrenik Member

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    *Such a high cadence is not very specific for most cycling activities.
    Shouldn't most training be performed "inefficiently"? i.e. at cadences significantly higher or lower than done in competition? This way either muscular or aerobic engines are are more effectively targeted.
    *VO2 max can be acheived at lower cadences.
    *Training studies using lower cadences (i.e. 70 rpm) have displayed large increases in VO2 max. [/B][/QUOTE]
     
  14. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    [/B][/QUOTE]

    Perhaps if you're a track racer who can't shift gears, and therefore needs a very wide "power band". Otherwise, training at abnormally high or low cadences is simply non-specific, and only serves to limit the training effect (akin to training at altitude when preparing for sea-level performance).
     
  15. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    I don't think there is as much of a discrepancy here as it might first appear. That is, the idea is to take as much rest as needed so as to keep the intensity of the work phase sufficiently high. If your muscular fitness is reasonably high, then only 2.5 min is sufficient (at least it is for me), but it really changes nothing if you stretch that rest period to 5 min or even 8 min - the emphasis of such intervals is still on increasing VO2max, and not on some particular "energy system".
     
  16. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    Thanks,

    I just did my weekly 5x4 and this time I did them at around 115% and it felt much more like what I was expecting.
     
  17. edd

    edd New Member

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    I am curious about the aerobic threshold work as opposed to anaerobic threshold works and would like to know the merits of:

    a) Doing a 5 x 4 minute with eight minute recoveries and building to doing 3 x 8 minute blocks with eight minute recoveries, at a set HR or Power out ?

    b) Doing 5 x 4 minute with eight minute recoveries and building to doing 10 x 2 minute blocks with eight minute recoveries, at ever increasing HR or Power out ?

    c) Doing 3 x ( 2min/10sec/2min/10sec/2min ) blocks with eight minute recoveries at ever increasing HR or Power out ?

    e) Doing 1 x 30 minute maximum sustainable HR or Power out and then recovery and a vomit maybe ?
     
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