The Intervals Thread

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The Intervals Thread

Postby ft_critical » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:20 pm

all your questions on intervals answered by experts
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by BNA » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:46 pm

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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby ft_critical » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:46 pm

Question please....
On the trainer (Cyclops fluid model) doing 20x 30x30 flatout I find that I can’t achieve max HR. I can max HR doing a 5min interval.
I know that HR is not a reliable measure for this work out, and I don’t use it, I use sustained speed (in the absence of a power meter) as the target and measure. But…

When doing a sprint interval of 30sec on 30sec off, should I be trying to increase my speed by spinning faster rather than pushing a bigger gear? If I drop a gear and spin 10rpm faster, 5bpm higher, my speed drops by 6%. I am spinning at 122rpm in the smaller gear and that is about as fast I as I can coordinate.
The alternative is, just carry on trying to increase the sustainable speed over all the intervals in whatever way feels most natural.
Partly this is prompted by the fact that I am really struggling to eek out any improvement. This morning was a 1.4% improvement over best. Pretty soon, I don’t see that I will be improving at all, sigh.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby winstonw » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:09 pm

What's the optimum interval duration to improve the ATP-PC, glycolytic....and aerobic systems?
If I want to lengthen my sprint to 250 metres, what's a good interval training program?
How can I optimize lactate stacking training? i.e. what intensity should my first interval be at, and how many intervals should I follow with?
What medical precautions apply to anyone considering intervals training?
How many inteval training sessions should I do a week, and how many consecutive weeks?
How to I determine the appropriate length of rest between intervals?
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby vander » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:36 pm

K.A. Burgomaster et al (2005, 06)

He had subjects doing SIT (sprint interval training) 3-4 times a week, this consisted of 5-6 30 second max efforts (wingate intervals) followed by 4.5-5min of almost complete rest just spinning about 30W.

"SIT increased muscle glycogen content by 50% (main effect, P 0.04) and the maximal activity of citrate synthase. The active form of PDH was higher after training (main effect, P 0.04), and net muscle glycogenolysis (posttraining: 100 vs. pretraining: 139 mmol/kg dry wt) and lactate accumulation (posttraining: 55 vs. pretraining: 63 mmol/kg dry wt) during exercise were reduced. TT performance improved by 9.6% after training (posttraining: 15.5 vs. pre-training: 17.2 min ).
We conclude that short-term SIT improved cycling TT performance and resulted in a closer matching of glycogenolytic flux and pyruvate oxidation during submaximal
exercise."

Improved athletic performance in highly trained cyclists after interval training
LINDSAY, FIONA H.; HAWLEY, JOHN A.; MYBURGH, KATHRYN H.; SCHOMER, HELGO H.; NOAKES, TIMOTHY D.; DENNIS, STEVEN C.
Abstract
"This study determined whether a 4-wk high-intensity interval training program (HIT) would improve the 40-km time trial performances (TT40) of 8 competitive cyclists (peak O2 uptake 5.2 ± 0.4 L min-1) with a background of moderate-intensity endurance training (BASE). Before intervention, all cyclists were tested on at least three separate occasions to ensure that their baseline performances were stable. In these tests, peak sustained power output (PPO) was measured during a progressive exercise test, muscular resistance to fatigue was determined during a timed ride to exhaustion at 150% of PPO (TF150), and a TT40 was performed on a cycle-simulator. The coefficient of variation for all baseline tests was <1.7 ± 1.3% (mean ± SD). Cyclists then replaced 15 ± 2% of their [almost equal to]300 km wk-1 BASE training with HIT, which took place on 6d and consisted of six to eight 5-min repetitions at 80% of PPO, with 60-s recovery between work bouts. HIT significantly improved TT40 (56.4 ± 3.6 vs 54.4 ± 3.2 min; P <0.001), PPO (416 ± 32 vs 434 ± 34 W;P < 0.01) and TF150 (60.5 ± 9.3 vs 72.5 ± 7.6 s; P < 0.01). The faster TT40 was due to a significant increase in both the cyclists' absolute (301 ± 42 vs 326 ± 43 W;P < 0.0001) and relative (72.1 ± 5.6 vs 75.0 ± 6.8% of PPO; P < 0.05) power output after HIT. These results indicate that a 4-wk program of HIT increased the PPO and fatigue resistance of competitive cyclists and improved their 40-km time trial performances."

A couple of interesting studies of interval training. Interval training is amazing there are a number of ways you can achieve this type of training. It works and works well.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby vander » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:45 pm

winstonw wrote:What's the optimum interval duration to improve the ATP-PC, glycolytic....and aerobic systems?
If I want to lengthen my sprint to 250 metres, what's a good interval training program?
How can I optimize lactate stacking training? i.e. what intensity should my first interval be at, and how many intervals should I follow with?
What medical precautions apply to anyone considering intervals training?
How many inteval training sessions should I do a week, and how many consecutive weeks?
How to I determine the appropriate length of rest between intervals?


1. ATP-PC 10-12 sec
Anaerobic Glycolysis around 2-3min
Aerobic is really anything above that, minimum training for aerobic has been proven to be 15min however optimal is above this. Increasing intensity of the training is the most important principle followed by frequency and duration (not sure what order for the last 2).
http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfje/5230/ASCM-PositionStand-CardioFitness.doc - Basic but has the background principles

2. Best way to improve an activity is to do that activity. Repeated 250m sprints. If you want to train your absolute power allow full recovery if you want to stimulate end of race sprinting work at a higher HRmax% (or PO%) between intervals.

3. Im not really sure.

4. I want to say HTFU but interval training (done right) should be just as safe as endurance training. If you have any Cardiorespiritory problems high BP high cholesterol etc you should consult your doctor first. As for rest days between I am not sure but i would say you shouldn't do it on consecutive days but I would be happy to be corrected.

5. As above depends what you are training for. About 4-5 minutes of almost complete rest if you are training for just your sprinting skill not worrying about having to do x amount of kms at x intensity to get you to the sprint. If you are try and replicate somewhat those conditions.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby ft_critical » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:34 pm

winstonw wrote:How many inteval training sessions should I do a week, and how many consecutive weeks?

This will depend on what you are aiming to achieve. One thing I will say is it is mostly about intensity. No point doing intervals 4x a week and soft pedalling them. It is about leg tearing intensity then recovering which is where you benefit from them. In part you have to work out that balance. But you need to go into intervals fresh enough to be able to really hurt.

On the how often, I think Vander has said it. You need to indentify via your race data what efforts you make and simulate that into specifc training for what you want to improve (weakness or strenght) For example in a 90min race,

2x 2min bridge to break. This might look like a series of 1 to 2min pyramid intervals at say 80 to 100% of LT.
20x30x2min, Work in the break.
2x 45sec flat out, sprint for the Prime and the Win.
1x5min at LT, make a break and hope someone joins you. (Think various terrain on this like hills)
6x2min over and unders, hold position on a hill as people attempt to break up the group.

The rest of the race is at like 70min at tempo.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby whitey » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:57 pm

If I pop off the front of my bunch for a few intervals on my morning rides does it make a difference - flat stick for a minute or so then back into the bunch.

Or do I need to be doing something more structured.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:02 pm

Not quite back to being able to handle proper intervals...so I just use the club rides...they are hard and variable.
Apart from that I keep it easy.
Sprints - 6-8 10 to 15sec max efforts followed by 4-8 minutes cruising.
Vo2 - 3 to 5 times of 5 minutes steady from start to finish with 5 minutes in between.
FTP - 2 or 3 times 20 minutes at 95-105% of hour power.
Tempo or Sweetspot - 1 or 2 or 3 30-45mins at 85-95% FTP.

All with a power meter or perceived effort ...never HR.

The only intervals I am doing at the moment are 3 x 10 laps of my short course mtb track...about 2 minutes a lap.First effort steady...middle effort flat out...3rd effort steady with 50meter uphill run every lap.Funnily the run is causing all the issues :oops: .
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:08 pm

whitey wrote:If I pop off the front of my bunch for a few intervals on my morning rides does it make a difference - flat stick for a minute or so then back into the bunch.

Or do I need to be doing something more structured.


Depends a lot on where you are and what you want.
I am also doing a lot of unstructured group rides at the moment...usually 70kms at about 33av on rolling ground.They hurt me at the moment as I am unfit and fat.
When I am not unfit and fat...they are still hard (I just work more)...but they are not enough as even the longest effort isn't that long,maybe 3 or 4 minutes.Unless you are sitting on the front for 15-20 minutes at time you need to go and do some longer efforts on your own.
Groups are good when they are small and hard...sometimes good for sprint practice and unstructured Vo2...and for me they are good because I am learning another language while pedaling :D .
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby winstonw » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:55 am

Thanks for considered replies. I am still training to improve fitness after losing 20kg earlier this year.
I raced D grade a couple of times several months ago, but have improved to C grade level; though am preferring bunch rides to Sat morning racing until my conditioning stabilizes moreso.

1 and 2.
I do a 250m sprint in around 19 seconds, and 1-2 sprint training sessions every 2 weeks on 1.2k Nundah criterium track.
10 minute warm up
2 x 7 (20s max : 100 s recovery >=28kph : set break 5-10min>=25kph)
The 100s recovery presumably allows some lactate stacking, thus deriving some adaptive response in base and lactate metabolism. I choose 100s partly because that's the time to circle back to the track straight.

For aerobic and C grade race training, I do 10 and 20 min intervals on criterium track, less so 30-40 minute intervals.
For glycolysis training, alternating 1.2km crit laps at threshold = 110-120sec

one session
1 x 20min solo threshold
recovery 5-10 mins >=25kph
1 x 10min paceline threshold
recovery 5 mins >=25kph
3-5 x (crit laps threshold : rec 1 lap >=25kph)

Other riding is 3-4 bunch or solo rides per week: 2x 1.5-2.5 hours, 1-2x 3-4 hours weekend bunch rides which includes some climbing.

4,
medical precautions for older farts like me is to get a stress ecg, and don't do intervals when you are overly tired from work or home responsibilities, sleep quality and length is compromised for several nights, or you have cold or flu like symptoms. I appreciate gauging tiredness can be subjective. Sometimes when I feel too tired to train, I still go and feel great afterwards.

5.
I understand improvements with >2 interval sessions a week are minimal.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:33 pm

Not addressing any of the questions specifically, but keep in mind that:

(i) the time course for adaptations of the various energy systems varies quite a bit (from days to years), and this should be factored in when considering when, how much and for how long to focus on particular intervals types

(ii) the nature of fitness that some of these HIT sessions brings on can certainly be productive, but short lived. They can be great for a short quick hit to fitness, but don't expect performance to last all season this way. You may drop off form just as fast.

(iii) use the principle of specificity to help guide efforts. IOW training needs to be specific to the demands of the target events

(iv) don't over think intervals. There is no such thing as the magic interval set and everyone responds to different types of training differently.

(v) lots of top end work without fundamental basic aerobic conditioning isn't overly productive IMO
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby jtrevat » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:13 pm

I've been cycling for about a year and a half now and am starting to get serious about it and thinking about starting to race.
Currently I ride 3 times a week, one of them is at an outdoor velodrome where I ride 20km at high intensity (my avgHR for the ride is around 92-94% of my maxHR).

Now, my question is, to improve my overall riding speed (not just at the velodrome) and my ability to "go harder for longer", would I be better off continuing to do the 20km at the velodrome as I am now and increase the distance week to week, or should I start doing smaller/shorter intervals with a higher intensity instead?
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:26 pm

jtrevat wrote:I've been cycling for about a year and a half now and am starting to get serious about it and thinking about starting to race.
Currently I ride 3 times a week, one of them is at an outdoor velodrome where I ride 20km at high intensity (my avgHR for the ride is around 92-94% of my maxHR).

Now, my question is, to improve my overall riding speed (not just at the velodrome) and my ability to "go harder for longer", would I be better off continuing to do the 20km at the velodrome as I am now and increase the distance week to week, or should I start doing smaller/shorter intervals with a higher intensity instead?
:)

For starters, you'll need to ride more frequently. 4-6 times/week.
I suspect your max HR is higher than you think it is.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby jtrevat » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:55 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:For starters, you'll need to ride more frequently. 4-6 times/week.
I suspect your max HR is higher than you think it is.


I plan to increase the amount of times I ride per week, just need find the time.

I believe my maxHR to be 192. I'm 22yo and after putting that into every formula I could find, (yes, i know, they are only formulas etc) they all came out with numbers very close to 192 and I've also had that shown as my max after numerous rides.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby trailgumby » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:14 pm

Max HR is affected by a lot of different factors. Mine is usually higher by 5-6bpm when I'm unfit. Using the 220-age formula for theoretical max, I've gone 10bpm over max numerous times, and 4-5 over it in spin class sprint interval sessions just this week. My 1 bour LT pace is about 90% of that number ... which I have to say surprised me.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:39 pm

The only way to know your max heart rate is to go out and reach it...formulas are pointless.At the end of a big sprint you will probably hit it if you were working hard before the sprint started....but then a bear might jump out behind a bush and give you a new max hr :D ....but then you might be tired...had a coffee...had 2 coffees...be getting over a cold...coming down with a cold...had a sugary snack...blah blah blah.
220-43=194 :D
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby winstonw » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:57 pm

yeah HRmax is very individual. It is naive to believe a 140kg morbidly obese sedentary 25yo has the same HRmax as a 70kg 25yo Olympic marathoner.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby vander » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:43 am

220-age has about a 15% standard deviation can be 15% higher or lower and your still normal. Incremental exercise test your best bet to find a good theoretical max. Saying that I did one went in with heavy legs and could only hit 192 and I have hit 198 a few times before and over 200 once.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:44 pm

There's a wide range of viewpoint as to what intervals are;
- 2*20, which is 20 minutes hard work, followed by typically 5 minutes rest then another 20 minutes hard work
- 12* 20 second maximal sprints with 40 second rests in between
- the list goes on

I do per week;
10 spin classes with an average of 24 intervals per class, ranging from 15 seconds to 1 minute 10 seconds
tempo commuting K's
either one long ride or a race

My results this year speak for themselves, so that the above is working for me

I've read a tonne of articles that proclaim that their method is the one to follow, but at the end of the day it seems that much result is gained simply from short high intensity efforts combined with base K's. And I'll add appropriate nutrition to that
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:12 am

mikesbytes wrote:My results this year speak for themselves, so that the above is working for me

I've read a tonne of articles that proclaim that their method is the one to follow, but at the end of the day it seems that much result is gained simply from short high intensity efforts combined with base K's. And I'll add appropriate nutrition to that

That might have worked this year. It doesn't mean that your development will continue with such a training balance though.
You are also leaving out a number of other factors in why you may have performed better.

You are right in that there is no magic interval or formula. It is a combination of many factors.
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby ft_critical » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:48 am

mikesbytes wrote:... it seems that much result is gained simply from short high intensity efforts combined with base K's. And I'll add appropriate nutrition to that


I agree with you Mike that these are the ingredients. I do think you have to vary the focus (intervals or base/aerobic/tempo) and type of intervals depending on whether you are doing crits or road races (and the length of the road race will have a big inflence on the trg.)

But, in short, I think that you need to do some type of intervals during the build and peak phase.

I think that the trouble with your programme though, is that those spin classes are not flexible (making assumptions here.) You can't vary your programme and I wonder whether you actually can get enough rest. Rest is an important ingredient you don't mention. Base k commutes, again not sure these are restful/active recovery?
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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby fringe_dweller » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:14 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:That might have worked this year. It doesn't mean that your development will continue with such a training balance though.
...........................
You are right in that there is no magic interval or formula. It is a combination of many factors.


100% agree with this. For me, being relatively untrained I've simply focused on spending time near threshold to try and lift my sustainable power (FTP). Because my FTP is low, there is less benefit in working on the higher level intervals (VO2, Anaerobic) because without base I'm never in a position to use them! That being said, once I have a solid base I'll need to change things up. This is where having an experienced coach can really help. Not sure if Alex can recommend anyone..... :twisted:

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Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby ireland57 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:53 am

fringe_dweller wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:That might have worked this year. It doesn't mean that your development will continue with such a training balance though.
...........................
You are right in that there is no magic interval or formula. It is a combination of many factors.


100% agree with this. For me, being relatively untrained I've simply focused on spending time near threshold to try and lift my sustainable power (FTP). Because my FTP is low, there is less benefit in working on the higher level intervals (VO2, Anaerobic) because without base I'm never in a position to use them! That being said, once I have a solid base I'll need to change things up. This is where having an experienced coach can really help. Not sure if Alex can recommend anyone..... :twisted:

Grant


I'm in the same boat here.

I've been riding for about 16 mths and do ok but my performance "sort of didn't increase" since about Xmas time. Every ride was with fitter, stronger and faster riders. I've done plenty of intervals; hills but very few long solo rides to build some stamina/fitness/strength/whatever you want to call it into the legs.
I think the real hard stuff I was doing (nearly every ride basically) was too early; I needed some base and never had it.

This is now my 3rd week with a coach; I've been hit & miss with the training (moreso than normal; due to working away) but I feel an improvement already. Time will tell if I'm right or not but my legs already seem to be stronger.
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Re: Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:11 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:My results this year speak for themselves, so that the above is working for me

I've read a tonne of articles that proclaim that their method is the one to follow, but at the end of the day it seems that much result is gained simply from short high intensity efforts combined with base K's. And I'll add appropriate nutrition to that

That might have worked this year. It doesn't mean that your development will continue with such a training balance though.
You are also leaving out a number of other factors in why you may have performed better.

You are right in that there is no magic interval or formula. It is a combination of many factors.

Not sure what I'm leaving out, I'll think about it.

Threads like this interest me, while I have little scope to make significant changes, I can make small adjustments, assuming I know what they are.

What would be interesting is knowing what actions to take to rectify particular problems.

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Re: Re: The Intervals Thread

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:25 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:My results this year speak for themselves, so that the above is working for me

I've read a tonne of articles that proclaim that their method is the one to follow, but at the end of the day it seems that much result is gained simply from short high intensity efforts combined with base K's. And I'll add appropriate nutrition to that

That might have worked this year. It doesn't mean that your development will continue with such a training balance though.
You are also leaving out a number of other factors in why you may have performed better.

You are right in that there is no magic interval or formula. It is a combination of many factors.

Not sure what I'm leaving out, I'll think about it.

Have you not trained and raced more this past year than previously?

Without a really solid understanding of your actual workload (which is a function of volume AND intensity), it is impossible to say really.

For those familiar with the Performance Manager concept / Impulse-Response model of training, then it will show up what the differences in overall loads have been and the training patterns. It is an exceptionally revealing tool for post-hoc assessment of a season.
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