VO2max training revisited



gvanwagner

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acoggan said:
I found this recent review interesting, in large part because 1) it echoed some of the comments that I made in the 30 s intervals thread and 2) some of their conclusions parallel the "training adaptations by levels" table that I put together:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16464121&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_DocSum

So basically, after a period of training at lower levels Vo2max seems to level out and for well trained athletes they have to train at 95-100% of Vo2max to see any improvements assuming that they can go further. In addition it says that while this is probably the best way to increase Vo2max in well trained athletes their isn't enough proof to say what gains can be expected. In theory this works but they haven't proved it in well controlled studies. In addition they haven't fully studied exactly what the best protocol is for time at V02max.


I don't think that you'll hear any arguments that the study is wrong and the information seems well accepted in these circles. The article agrees with a higher intensity base and your levels of training adaptations chart along with a few other "newer age" training ideas that tradition hasn't caught on with.


What I'd like to know is the consensus between time at 5 min MP (watts) and time at Vo2max (as expressed in ml/min/kg) . IOW between 5x5s and microintervals. It seems that both have their place just in different circumstances. The article tends to imply that time spent at Vo2max is most important. Other studies have shown that microintervals may be the way to accomplish the most of that.



Greg
 

frenchyge

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gvanwagner said:
Other studies have shown that microintervals may be the way to accomplish the most of that.
Which studies are those? Despite all the hype, I don't believe I've seen a single study that concludes that shorter intervals (which I'm assuming you're referring to by 'microintervals') are more effective than ~5min intervals for VO2 max training.
 

edd

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frenchyge said:
Which studies are those? Despite all the hype, I don't believe I've seen a single study that concludes that shorter intervals (which I'm assuming you're referring to by 'microintervals') are more effective than ~5min intervals for VO2 max training.

Peak-performance have in their resources library expounded the benefits of 3 minute intervals for runners to improve VO2 max. In my opinion it is a little more complex an issue. To improve performance of the body as a whole in any given activity specificity is the most relevant aspect of training whether it is moderate or high level training tasks, be it 1 minute or 15 minute intervals. i.e. why did LA go to France and train in the mountains ?

an insight … try doing intervals at what ever you reckon they should be 1 minute, 3 minute or 5 minute and do them every week at the same power output and relative heart rate intensity, but add a few seconds on to their duration every time you do them …
 

Eldrack

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The theory behind microintervals (peak effectiveness for improving Vo2 max is 40:20 at 105% Vo2 max according to these studies:
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0896.htm (towards end of article)
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0297.htm) is to spend as much time at Vo2 max as possible as it has been shown that time spent at Vo2 max is a much more potent expander of Vo2 max than other intensities lower than Vo2 max. the microintervals allow you to spend a large amount of time at Vo2 max whilst being relatively easy to carry out in comparison to standard 5 x 3 minute at Vo2 max workouts. However the studies suggest that they be used at the beginning of the your Vo2 max work for the season and then you move on to the 5 x 3. Also to note is the study is done with runners who suffer from different physiological stress to cyclists but there are strong parallels.
 

frenchyge

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edd said:
Peak-performance have in their resources library expounded the benefits of 3 minute intervals for runners to improve VO2 max.
Are you saying 3 minutes constitutes a microinterval, or did I miss the reference to microintervals here?


edd said:
an insight … try doing intervals at what ever you reckon they should be 1 minute, 3 minute or 5 minute and do them every week at the same power output and relative heart rate intensity, but add a few seconds on to their duration every time you do them …
...and the insight?
 

gvanwagner

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edd said:
Which studies are those? Despite all the hype, I don't believe I've seen a single study that concludes that shorter intervals (which I'm assuming you're referring to by 'microintervals') are more effective than ~5min intervals for VO2 max training.…
The article tends to imply that time spent at Vo2max is most important. Other studies have shown that microintervals may be the way to accomplish the most of that.


I didn't mean to say that microintervals were necessarily better than 5x5s but in this particular context Im looking at time spent at Vo2max compared with time spent at Vo2max power. The study below shows that on average in 19 work intervals of 30s (9.5min) the subjects racked up an average of 7min 51s at vo2max. This of course included the rest intervals but that works out to about 82-83% at Vo2max. I doubt that you'll see that much time at Vo2max by doing 2 5min intervals with the rest intervals. More importantly, for some reason the microintervals "feel" easier so they may work well in the offseason when such adaptations are your goal. Possibly a few months of 5x5s will mess up your athletes head or for some other reason.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10638376&query_hl=14&itool=pubmed_docsum

Also many athletes can complete more time at vo2max power then with standard 5x5s. This is the biggest advantage because can do say 25 minutes at Vo2max power then they theoretically could spend up to 21 minutes at vo2max ( in theory of course). With the lag response this in theory should be more than the 5x5s could achieve.


Also it makes sense that for a short time after the completion of an intervals of that intensity your body's oxygen needs would continue to be high. If you started the next interval in time then the body will continue to work at vo2max etc repeated.


Basically, I'm not debating the fact that 5x5s are good. In fact, as the season gets closer you better be able to have good 5 min MP or you'll have a hard time when the hammers drops on that 1 mile hill. So I believe that 5x5s are useful but a lot of times microintervals can achieve the same effects but can be worked into the program when the situation fits, such as when the athlete is too tired to nail the 5x5s.


Also, for the sake of this post I called 30-30s microintervals because that was the duration used in the study even though they're technically not true microintervals.


Greg
 

frenchyge

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Eldrack said:
The theory behind microintervals (peak effectiveness for improving Vo2 max is 40:20 at 105% Vo2 max according to these studies:
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0896.htm (towards end of article)
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0297.htm)...
No, according to the article, peak effectiveness is 3-min intervals, with 3-minute rests.

Eldrack said:
However the studies suggest that they be used at the beginning of the your Vo2 max work for the season and then you move on to the 5 x 3.
Because the 3-min intervals are more effective (and also more stressful), yes, I got that from the article.

Sorry if it seems like I'm on a rant here, but we've hashed this VO2max discussion on several different threads now. Despite what's written in the articles and studies, someone still seems to come up with the same challenge/question about the effectiveness of 'microintervals'. Am I the only one actually reading the articles that are being posted?
 

gvanwagner

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frenchyge said:
Sorry if it seems like I'm on a rant here, but we've hashed this VO2max discussion on several different threads now. Despite what's written in the articles and studies, someone still seems to come up with the same challenge/question about the effectiveness of 'microintervals'. Am I the only one actually reading the articles that are being posted?
No problems about the rant. The articles don't actually "prove" anything but do provide some food for thought. More research and a direct comparision would be interesting to read. Ideally, I'd love to use a metabolic analyzer for a few weeks to test different workouts on myself to see what my response is.


I know I should have left out that last paragraph. I didn't mean to start all this again. ;-)
 

frenchyge

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gvanwagner said:
I didn't mean to say that microintervals were necessarily better than 5x5s but in this particular context Im looking at time spent at Vo2max compared with time spent at Vo2max power.
Ok, I gotcha.

gvanwagner said:
The study below shows that on average in 19 work intervals of 30s (9.5min) the subjects racked up an average of 7min 51s at vo2max. This of course included the rest intervals but that works out to about 82-83% at Vo2max. I doubt that you'll see that much time at Vo2max by doing 2 5min intervals with the rest intervals.
Two 5-min intervals? No, probably not. But as the study shows, 5x3min produced ~10-minutes total time at Vo2max, on average.

gvanwagner said:
Also, for the sake of this post I called 30-30s microintervals because that was the duration used in the study even though they're technically not true microintervals.
Ok. Agree again. I guess the issue of whether the shorter intervals 'feel' easier is certainly a question. The effectiveness doesn't seem to be, from what I've seen so far.
 

frenchyge

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gvanwagner said:
Ideally, I'd love to use a metabolic analyzer for a few weeks to test different workouts on myself to see what my response is.
Maybe they'll come out with a special attachment for the i-Bike. :D
 

edd

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Have any of you tried drop intervals ?

pick a long steep hill, climb out of the saddle at a testing intesity for 30 sec, drop back in the saddle lift the cadence to max effort for 30 sec, then back out of the saddle, then back in the saddle at max effort etc. keep it up until you throw up.

I was trying to imagine doing these 40/20 but I can't really imagine that much pain so I guess I'll have to try them out.
 

Pureshot78

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edd said:
Have any of you tried drop intervals ?

pick a long steep hill, climb out of the saddle at a testing intesity for 30 sec, drop back in the saddle lift the cadence to max effort for 30 sec, then back out of the saddle, then back in the saddle at max effort etc. keep it up until you throw up.

I was trying to imagine doing these 40/20 but I can't really imagine that much pain so I guess I'll have to try them out.
What particular physiological adaptation are you trying to produce by ending the session when you throw up? :eek:
I'm definately in agreement with RD that if the same physiological adaptations occur at a range of intensity, then the logical thing is to train at the lower intensity so you can have more volume and less mental fatigue.
 

edd

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Pureshot78 said:
What particular physiological adaptation are you trying to produce by ending the session when you throw up? :eek:
I'm definately in agreement with RD that if the same physiological adaptations occur at a range of intensity, then the logical thing is to train at the lower intensity so you can have more volume and less mental fatigue.


good question … umm … weight loss I suppose.
 

mises

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edd said:
Have any of you tried drop intervals ?

pick a long steep hill, climb out of the saddle at a testing intesity for 30 sec, drop back in the saddle lift the cadence to max effort for 30 sec, then back out of the saddle, then back in the saddle at max effort etc. keep it up until you throw up.

I was trying to imagine doing these 40/20 but I can't really imagine that much pain so I guess I'll have to try them out.
Reminds me of 10 minute intervals I used to do years ago - 1 min seated/9 standing/5 min rest, 2 min seated/8 standing, etc. until I got to 9 seated/1 standing or started crying. That man [in my head] who trained me was very very mean and I don't work with him anymore. But I am not as good as then either. :)
 

edd

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Pureshot78 said:
What particular physiological adaptation are you trying to produce by ending the session when you throw up? :eek:
I'm definately in agreement with RD that if the same physiological adaptations occur at a range of intensity, then the logical thing is to train at the lower intensity so you can have more volume and less mental fatigue.

Seriously though, I'm not convinced that the same adaption occurs at different intensities, "similar" maybe. Performance conditioning is so specific. One adapts to the new stresses placed upon the body. An improved VO2max is one that can be measured. However if we examine the stimuli we may very well decide that if a lower intensity for a longer period produces " the same VO2max improvement " the specific performance conditioning that goes hand in hand with this may be more beneficial. Then again it may not.

Stuff it … why live with doubt, I'll do both !
 

frenchyge

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mises said:
Reminds me of 10 minute intervals I used to do years ago - 1 min seated/9 standing/5 min rest, 2 min seated/8 standing, etc. until I got to 9 seated/1 standing or started crying. That man [in my head] who trained me was very very mean and I don't work with him anymore. But I am not as good as then either. :)
I'm starting to understand why people are always crying about how hard VO2max intervals are and how they'll cause burnout and etc., etc.

Thank goodness for power meters.
 

mises

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frenchyge said:
I'm starting to understand why people are always crying about how hard VO2max intervals are and how they'll cause burnout and etc., etc.

Thank goodness for power meters.
Without some objective data to stop you, being highly motivated and not knowing when to stop will definitely crack something in your head sooner or later. I was working 60+ high stress hours at work at the time in addition to the 20 hours on the bike. In retrospect that year was not surprisingly followed by 5 years of chronic fatigue, the first year or so being of near narcoleptic intensity.
 

edd

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mises said:
Without some objective data to stop you, being highly motivated and not knowing when to stop will definitely crack something in your head sooner or later. I was working 60+ high stress hours at work at the time in addition to the 20 hours on the bike. In retrospect that year was not surprisingly followed by 5 years of chronic fatigue, the first year or so being of near narcoleptic intensity.


Data is about if you look for it. Super intense training routines are 40 min long = 15 min warm up 15 min of the hard stuff with recoveries, 5 min cool down, 5 min stretch, recover for two days, one active rest and one not.
There are minor variations. If you over train you're an idiot.