Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

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Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

Postby Bnej » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:05 pm

Supposing you have two rides on the same circuit - one you do at around 75% of your max HR at a consistent pace, the other you sprint at up right up to your HR max, then rest several times during - what are the training pros/cons of this sort of riding. Ride duration ~1hr.

Is sprinting and resting detrimental to your fitness?

Does riding at a lower HR consistently have a training benefit?

Would it be better to ride the hour at time trial pace (i.e, just below the limit of what you can do)?

Secondly, is what is on this page:

http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_fac ... lactic.htm

Regarding riding slow to develop lactate threshold true? It seems counterintuitive to me that you can develop a threshold by avoiding it.
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by BNA » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:22 pm

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Postby sogood » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:22 pm

Should this be moved to the Training section?
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Re: Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:38 pm

Bnej wrote:Supposing you have two rides on the same circuit - one you do at around 75% of your max HR at a consistent pace, the other you sprint at up right up to your HR max, then rest several times during - what are the training pros/cons of this sort of riding. Ride duration ~1hr.
These are just two different types of workouts that will develop different elements of fitness. There really is no point comparing them.

Bnej wrote:Is sprinting and resting detrimental to your fitness?

Does riding at a lower HR consistently have a training benefit?

Would it be better to ride the hour at time trial pace (i.e, just below the limit of what you can do)?

No.
It depends.
It depends.

Bnej wrote:Secondly, is what is on this page: http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_fac ... lactic.htm Regarding riding slow to develop lactate threshold true? It seems counterintuitive to me that you can develop a threshold by avoiding it.

Well they don't define what riding slow means, so it's a bit hard to tell.

Physiological adaptations relevant for cycling occur at all levels above recovery pace, just the rate at which those adaptations are induced varies with the intensity/duration mix.

If by slow, they mean riding above recovery pace, then yes you will improve provided the amount of training you do is of sufficient volume. But at some stage you have to lift the power.
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:51 pm

And BTW - as for the item referenced, for the most part it's OK.

As to the "accepted scientific defiition" of 4mmol/L of blood lactate concentration as being the LT, that is not correct. However one can't be too harsh since there are several definitions of LT which are oft quoted in science papers, which, while essentially providing us with a similar measure of a fitness marker, are all still somewhat different in the intensity level they represent.

4mmol/L is an often quoted number and sometimes referred to as the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) however everybody is different and there is no evidence to support 4mmol/L as being some universal magical marker point of blood lactate concentration.

OBLA ocurs when it occurs and for some that might be much higher than 4mmol/L. It can also vary for an individual, at the same power, day to day.
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Postby Bnej » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:46 pm

Thanks Alex.

I ask because a lot of people I talk to about cycling & training seem to talk about lactic acid and "flushing lactic" etc a lot. I am not sure how well understood it is and whether it is worth thinking about in a regular training ride.
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Postby Kalgrm » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:48 pm

sogood wrote:Should this be moved to the Training section?

Moved it. Training is the right place for the thread.

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Re: Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

Postby BrisBoy » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:56 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Bnej wrote:Is sprinting and resting detrimental to your fitness?

Does riding at a lower HR consistently have a training benefit?

Would it be better to ride the hour at time trial pace (i.e, just below the limit of what you can do)?

No.
It depends.
It depends.



Is this to do with what your hoping to acheive? ie. whether your wanting to develop sprinting or time trialing or the ability to sustain a break away etc.?
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Postby Bnej » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:01 am

Right now I am trying to keep my fitness with very limited time. I can ride about 4-5 hours per week if I'm lucky.

To me it makes more sense to do those rides at a high intensity, so I do hard sprints in intervals or a consistent hard pace. I do an easier pace only when I can't face doing a hard ride.

Someone said that these rides are making me "go backwards", so I am interested to know if other people follow this theory that you have to ride at a lower HR to get a training benefit.

BTW, even if you do I'm not going to, because it's no fun. ;)
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:05 pm

Bnej wrote:Right now I am trying to keep my fitness with very limited time. I can ride about 4-5 hours per week if I'm lucky.

To me it makes more sense to do those rides at a high intensity, so I do hard sprints in intervals or a consistent hard pace. I do an easier pace only when I can't face doing a hard ride.

Someone said that these rides are making me "go backwards", so I am interested to know if other people follow this theory that you have to ride at a lower HR to get a training benefit.

BTW, even if you do I'm not going to, because it's no fun. ;)

Ask them for their coaching or exercise physiology qualifications.
Cycling and cycling training is full of myths.
With only 4-5 hours/week, riding at 75%+ MHR for all those hours is the right thing to do.
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Re: Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:11 pm

BrisBoy wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Bnej wrote:Is sprinting and resting detrimental to your fitness?

Does riding at a lower HR consistently have a training benefit?

Would it be better to ride the hour at time trial pace (i.e, just below the limit of what you can do)?

No.
It depends.
It depends.



Is this to do with what your hoping to acheive? ie. whether your wanting to develop sprinting or time trialing or the ability to sustain a break away etc.?
Sort of.

The sorts of adaptations that are induced vary with intensity. See here for some thoughts on that:
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... evels.aspx
http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?opt ... Itemid=112

The time course for adaptations is also quite variable and so when one does these sorts of higher intensity efforts does matter to some extent (doing some all the time is OK, it's a matter of when it becomes a primary focus of training that you need to be careful).
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Postby sogood » Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:19 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:With only 4-5 hours/week, riding at 75%+ MHR for all those hours is the right thing to do.

I think that makes sense.

With limited hours, it's impossible to put in the volume and hence unable to sustain any high intensity fitness training. So base riding to maintain condition and cardio well being makes good sense.

I understand that recent studies have shown that one does not have to exercise at the extremes of exertion to obtain significant healthy benefits.
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Postby Hebden » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:18 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Cycling and cycling training is full of myths.
With only 4-5 hours/week, riding at 75%+ MHR for all those hours is the right thing to do.


Thats good enough for me.

Still on topic...

One feature of our group interval type rides is that after a short hard effort we usually come to a complete stop and wait for the rest of the group to catch up, sometimes for a minute or more. After the catch up the pace is relatively slow for a while before the next effort.

My HR will drop to 50-60% of my HRM in this time between efforts. One of the arguments given for the poor value of this type of training is that at this rest level you are not sufficiently "flushing" the lactate from your muscles and thus not really training that system. Not my theory, just one of the ones given.

Any thoughts on this?
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:39 am

Break the group up into riders of similar abilities so you get a better training ride. Riders who can't keep up fall back to the slow bunch.
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:52 am

Hebden wrote:My HR will drop to 50-60% of my HRM in this time between efforts. One of the arguments given for the poor value of this type of training is that at this rest level you are not sufficiently "flushing" the lactate from your muscles and thus not really training that system. Not my theory, just one of the ones given.

Any thoughts on this?
Lactate will dissipate faster the easier you ride and most (excess) will be gone within 30-60-min of finishing a ride. Going at recovery pace has no training effect. It is simply to provide sufficient recovery time to enable one to go hard at other times.
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Postby toolonglegs » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:15 pm

Hebden wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Cycling and cycling training is full of myths.
With only 4-5 hours/week, riding at 75%+ MHR for all those hours is the right thing to do.


Thats good enough for me.

Still on topic...

One feature of our group interval type rides is that after a short hard effort we usually come to a complete stop and wait for the rest of the group to catch up, sometimes for a minute or more. After the catch up the pace is relatively slow for a while before the next effort.

My HR will drop to 50-60% of my HRM in this time between efforts. One of the arguments given for the poor value of this type of training is that at this rest level you are not sufficiently "flushing" the lactate from your muscles and thus not really training that system. Not my theory, just one of the ones given.

Any thoughts on this?


This is why I severly limit my group rides....they have become too slow and pointless for training....even with some good efforts included you are still doing a very small portion of the ride actually riding hard.
Unless you can find a good bunch of 6 or so with equal or stronger riders it is just a social outing.
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:41 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Unless you can find a good bunch of 6 or so with equal or stronger riders and with a common purpose for the session it is just a social outing.

You are spot on but I added a bit. Most club runs are just fun/social.

If you can break your bunches up into small groups then you can really get some good training.
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Postby sogood » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:50 pm

Hence a good club training ride is one that involves hill climbs. Have your social chats on the way there and back and then put in your solid 20mins effort for those 2 hills. That's a 2x20 session for ya! :lol:
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:06 pm

sogood wrote:Hence a good club training ride is one that involves hill climbs. Have your social chats on the way there and back and then put in your solid 20mins effort for those 2 hills. That's a 2x20 session for ya! :lol:
Any 20-min climbs within sensible riding distance of Sydney?
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Postby sogood » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:25 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Any 20-min climbs within sensible riding distance of Sydney?

They all felt like 60mins long... :wink:

But I understand that adaptations induced by L4 intervals are possible with a range of interval times b/n 10-30mins. There shouldn't be a shortage of 10-15mins climbs around Sydney... 2x15 intervals. ;)

Alternatively on the club rides, just hog the lead position for the duration and turn it into an ITT. Most of guys in the bunch are more than happy to suck wheels.
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:58 am

sogood wrote:But I understand that adaptations induced by L4 intervals are possible with a range of interval times b/n 10-30mins. There shouldn't be a shortage of 10-15mins climbs around Sydney... 2x15 intervals. ;)

Yes, but longer is better.

sogood wrote:Alternatively on the club rides, just hog the lead position for the duration and turn it into an ITT. Most of guys in the bunch are more than happy to suck wheels.

Yes, for those that insist on a large diet of group riding, I usually advise them to negotiate with their group to allow them a long section on the front for solid tempo work. And yes, never too many complaints from those behind.

Or you can drop off the back and play catch up.
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Postby sogood » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:32 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Or you can drop off the back and play catch up.

This is a good one. I have long found my ability to bridge has been deficient and have specifically targeted these practices on my rides. If there's a target to be had, I try to have a go. There's definitely improvements in that department. Logically one would say that's all about power and short interval training but I think that psychology also plays a part. ;)
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Re: Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

Postby hoon » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:37 pm

Bnej wrote:Supposing you have two rides on the same circuit - one you do at around 75% of your max HR at a consistent pace, the other you sprint at up right up to your HR max, then rest several times during - what are the training pros/cons of this sort of riding. Ride duration ~1hr.

Is sprinting and resting detrimental to your fitness?

Does riding at a lower HR consistently have a training benefit?

Would it be better to ride the hour at time trial pace (i.e, just below the limit of what you can do)?



Alot of recent studies (search for Gibala, Burgomaster) have compared sprint interval training (SIT) to longer more sustained training. The literature suggests that just a few sprint sessions is equivalent to say a 40-60min session at 70-75%MHR. I think the study reported that 135min of SIT was equal to 630mins of continuous training over 6 weeks.
If you don't have alot of time for riding and you want to improve - i'd definately recommend throwing in a few sprint sessions into your routine. But dont get me wrong, just because its quicker, doesn't mean its any easier....people have been known to ask for the chuck bucket :oops:
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Re: Is there any benefit to riding <75% MHR?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:53 am

hoon wrote:
Bnej wrote:Supposing you have two rides on the same circuit - one you do at around 75% of your max HR at a consistent pace, the other you sprint at up right up to your HR max, then rest several times during - what are the training pros/cons of this sort of riding. Ride duration ~1hr.

Is sprinting and resting detrimental to your fitness?

Does riding at a lower HR consistently have a training benefit?

Would it be better to ride the hour at time trial pace (i.e, just below the limit of what you can do)?



Alot of recent studies (search for Gibala, Burgomaster) have compared sprint interval training (SIT) to longer more sustained training. The literature suggests that just a few sprint sessions is equivalent to say a 40-60min session at 70-75%MHR. I think the study reported that 135min of SIT was equal to 630mins of continuous training over 6 weeks.
If you don't have alot of time for riding and you want to improve - i'd definately recommend throwing in a few sprint sessions into your routine. But dont get me wrong, just because its quicker, doesn't mean its any easier....people have been known to ask for the chuck bucket :oops:
while HIT (or SIT) does have a beneficial effect (and of course I use it in training my clients and myself) one should also reaslise that the gains obtained in such a manner have a different time course for adaptation and one's fitness improvement can plateau more quickly as well (and it might be less sustainable). So knowing when and how to use such training is helpful context.

Substantial improvements in aerobic abilities takes months and years of training. Sure you can get a quick hit but it's generally not sustainable.
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Postby colafreak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:55 am

The above has interesting ramifications for the discussion on commuting being good training.
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Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:14 pm

colafreak wrote:The above has interesting ramifications for the discussion on commuting being good training.
That's quite possible, although I should have added that some of that sort of work is OK on a reasonably regular basis. It's when it becomes a more dominant part of your training (or a planned focus) that the time course issue really kicks in.
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