Why do more than L3?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by bulaboy, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    It seems to me from looking at this chart from Cycling Peaks that the differences in training at L3 vs. training at L4 and L5 are not that great. If you count the number of check marks at the different levels there is little difference. What I am getting to is this, is the extra effort required to do L4 and L5 really worth it? Riding at L3 is fun. It is the intensity that I will usually settle into in all but the longest solo rides, unless there are hills or strong headwinds. Unless someone is very near their genetic ceiling is the extra effort really worth it?


    http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Since the check marks are in different areas, one should work in the levels that provide benefit in the areas they are hoping to improve. If all one does is L3, then they are probably having a lot of fun, but are also probably quite unprepared for the demands of racing.

    Training programs should be based on what one's trying to accomplish.
     
  3. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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  4. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    If the chart is accurate then it shouldn't be that much more time, and if the PE is significantly lower then that seems like a good trade off, to me at least. I don't intend to do any racing and FTP is by far the most important issue for me. I doubt if I am anywhere near my ceiling and if I could get the same results by doing 2x25 at say 82% FTP instead of 2x20 at 92% FTP I'd do most of my work at 82%.
     
  5. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Better to suffer a little more at 91% it prevents boredom on the trainer.:)

     
  6. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    If you're not planning to do any racing, then it's probably not worth the extra work doing those L4 and L5 intervals. It doesn't sound like you're training enough to be able to see the difference anyway.


    You won't, and 82% FTP can be maintained for hours at a time, so there's no reason to do intervals at that intensity. If you're not anywhere near your ceiling, then you'd probably benefit by simply riding *more*. How many hours per week do you ride/train?
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    What those check marks in the adaptations chart don't capture is the concept that you have to go longer at the lower intensities to get the training effect of shorter times at the higher levels when targeting a certain system. IOW you might do 2x20 or 3x20 at 95% of FTP or you could do much longer workouts at 82% of FTP and get similar results. The check marks don't capture that intensity vs. duration concept. The Sweet Spot graph tries to capture that intensity/duration concept which is how it comes up with the 88%-94% of FTP definition of sweet spot as being a very good return for your training time investment.

    Nothing wrong with working out at lower intensities for longer durations as fenchyge points out, but you won't get the same benefit if you do easier workouts and don't increase the durations.
     
  8. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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  9. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    What I am wondering is how much longer must the duration be? Is there some way to quantify the intensity duration trade-off? I'll have to check out the graph you referenced. Do you have a link? Thanks
     
  10. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I'm stuck indoors 'cause we're having lots of cold weather in the midwest. Last season I rode about 150 miles/week. I've been doing 4x12 2x20 and 3x20 3 - 5 days a week for the last 3 months, with 2 weeks off in December. This week I have begun to include a few low L5 intervals as well. Man they're brutal indoors. My power curve must be flat. [​IMG] Anyway it's not that I'm unwilling to "pay my dues" as it were, it's just that looking at the chart starts me to wondering if there might be an easier way.
     
  11. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    The graph I'm thinking of is more conceptual than literal so I don't think you'll find the time vs. intensity tradeoff quantified in the way you'd like. Here's a link to an article that shows the chart in and discusses it in terms of peaking for an event: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/default.asp?pg=fullstory&id=3232

    For a good primer on this and other power training concepts check out this: http://www.sykkeltrening.no/forum/dokumenter/powerbased_training.pdf or better yet, surf over to Amazon and pick up a copy of Hunter and Coggan's book on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/Training-Racing-Power-Meter-Hunter/dp/1931382794

    I haven't seen any kind of exact time vs. duration tradeoff curves between L4 and L3 which is what it seems like you're asking for. I know the general concept is that you need to sustain the easier efforts longer, but exactly how much longer? That I can't tell you.

    -Dave
     
  12. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    I'd have thought TSS would be a good place to start...
     
  13. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I think TSS quantifies the time/intensity tradeoff quite well. You will earn about 72 TSS doing L3 for an hour at 0.85FT, 90TSS doing L4 at 0.95 FT. So, say you want to earn 100 TSS points in that sweet aerobic happy medium around L3/L4, you need to warm up then do an hour at L4, or do closer to 90 minutes at L3. I tend towards the latter method because I hate indoor trainers and can't find enough clear road.

    I will do L4 on climbs at least once a week, normally twice.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Interesting way to look at it. I've been tracking TSS along with CTL/ATL, TSB as a way to gauge fatigue and recovery but does it really serve as a proxy for positive adaptation? IOW can we really say that two rides that result in the same TSS and are both aerobic workouts necessarily provide the same positive benefit to FTP? I'm not sure that's been studied or that we can draw that conclusion. Pretty cool normalizing tool if we can! I'd love to hear Andy's take on this.
    -Dave
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Here's an attempt: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/default.asp?pg=fullstory&id=2852
     
  16. normZurawski

    normZurawski New Member

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    Probably not a perfect fit, but it's got to be a pretty good estimate. I mean if you're acculumating 100 TSS points using L3 versus L4, the amount of work you are doing to raise your FTP is assuredly "roughly" similar. I doubt it's exactly the same. But it's probably not that drastic of a difference either.
     
  17. J-V

    J-V New Member

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    Why do less than L4 is the question (to which there's a very simple answer: recovery). :)
     
  18. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    It might be a rough way to look at it and one that needs to be done sensibly. Clearly there is not going to be a crossover between L2 and L6, whatever the TSS (you are already onto this from your previous post I see, but just to make my viewpoint clear). I think, however, and I could be wrong, it should be a reasonable proxy around similar intensities. Since TSS is the building block for CTL and CTL is positively predictive of fitness/form when the TSS building blocks are appropriately composed, there has to be at least some equivalency doesn't there?
     
  19. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    Thanks for the links Dave
     
  20. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    My take is this: while there is clearly a trade-off between intensity and duration, we really don't know the precise nature of the interaction, so it is difficult to derive any sort of overall score that perfectly reflects the results of different training sessions. Moreover, TSS is primarily meant to be a measure of stress (and hence the resultant strain), not a measure of adaptation. For example, you could achieve the same TSS in the same period of time by performing either an isopower or highly variable workout, but in terms of the adaptations induced the two would not be the same, even if the overall stress/strain/residual fatigue were in fact comparable.
     
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