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ceteris paribus
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I'm started doing intervals yesterday (85%+HR). I picked a nasty climb (asfalt) by my place, and climbed it as far as I could for 5 minutes, then turn back. (yesterday, I only completed 1 and a half intervals, today I did 4). My initial goal is to do six, 5 minute intervals twice a week. After I'm able to do those, I'll start increasing the lenght of the intervals until I can climb the whole thing in one interval (should be around 15-20 minutes at full throttle, is one long steep bastar).

My question is, should I aim at doing more than six, 5 min intervals, before I start increasing their lengt? If so, how many?
Should I try to increase speed instead of lenght once a week, and do longer intervals the other day?
How bout working with the same 6 int but reducing recovery time?
Should I do intervals more than twice per week?
any other suggestions?
 

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I'm not an expert but I might be able to help.

More than twice a week? No you shouldn't, you need time to rest and recover.

I tend to do different intervals for different reasons. I usually will adjust my recovery rate. If I'm pushing my legs to their limit, I'll give them time to recover, so for every minute of work I give 3 minutes of recovery. If I'm working aerobic intervals then I'll use a 1:1 ratio but I obviously don't push as much power.

Instead of deciding on increasing length over speed over number of intervals. Why don't you opt for doing something like 6x5min intervals one day. Then do 3x10min intervals another day. Your work should be the same in both instances, but your training in different ways. On my road bike I llike to do pyramid intervals, you work for 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes. The recovery ratio I vary depending on how I'm doing them, this seems to work well for me.

As I said, no expert here, but this might help.
 

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my opinion

xctico said:
Hey, I'm started doing intervals yesterday (85%+HR). I
Is that 85% of max hr. If so that does not seem that hard for a 6 min interval :rolleyes: . Seems more like a tempo effort.

I think that 6 min intervals are not long enough for a lt interval and too long for a VO2 intervals. Lt intervals should be a minimum of around 10min. For a VO2 interval anything over 4 minutes is too long to sustain the speed and pace at that effort. So I am not sure what you want to accomplish.
 

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On your left.
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Take off the HRM

I don't see how an HRM could be usefull and can easily see how it would be counterproductive in doing intervals. Anyway I think you are onto the common method as described in the above posts. Intervals 2x per week is the max. For one (the more important one) do ~6x at ~3min, for the other do 2 or 3x at ~10min. I think you should pick a start point and a turn-around point and time each effort. I personally try to get all 6 of mine below a cetain time. I usually have 10 sec of margin on the first few, but by the last one it gets really tough - that is called training. I think it simulates racing which is the goal. If you MTB and ride road you will notice this will give you an advantage on the road because they generally don't train for such pure power like this. Personally I always need help in middle ring climbing so I have selected my interval hill to isolate that. Also I think there is about a 4-6 week delay before interval training shows an improvement in your racing.

xctico said:
Hey, I'm started doing intervals yesterday (85%+HR). I picked a nasty climb (asfalt) by my place, and climbed it as far as I could for 5 minutes, then turn back. (yesterday, I only completed 1 and a half intervals, today I did 4). My initial goal is to do six, 5 minute intervals twice a week. After I'm able to do those, I'll start increasing the lenght of the intervals until I can climb the whole thing in one interval (should be around 15-20 minutes at full throttle, is one long steep bastar).

My question is, should I aim at doing more than six, 5 min intervals, before I start increasing their lengt? If so, how many?
Should I try to increase speed instead of lenght once a week, and do longer intervals the other day?
How bout working with the same 6 int but reducing recovery time?
Should I do intervals more than twice per week?
any other suggestions?
 

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Trail rider and racer
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Have you thought about doing longer intervals first? 5 minutes is short IMHO. At the moment I am doing 25 minute reps (2 of them) becuase that represents racing better. Also reps on hills is silly unless it is for SE workout (50-60 rpm at E2ii) to build muscular endurance.

Do them at 75% and make them longer then increase them to really get top end endurance - That would be wiser, and do them on flatter terrain..
 

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ceteris paribus
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanx for the advice so far.
I dont go at 85% I set 85% as the minimum, I'm usually doing between 90-98% during those 5 minutes, and I can do at least 4 repeats (I'll bring it up to 6 or 8 eventually), then I do a U turn down the hill, recover and head back uphill. I feel that I can hold myself at that pace for 5 minutes (though it hurts like hell after the 3rd minute or so). I'll start doing 10 minute intervals at 80-90% one day next week too.

I usually just look at the time left during the interval(to try to juice it up to the last second). I use the HRM ot analize the training once I get home.
 

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It makes sense to gradually shorten your rest with 5-6 reps, and increase the length of each interval (keep the total work to ~30-40 minutes) until you're doing the whole hill at once like you mentioned xctico. When you're at the point when you're increasing the intervals past 10' (lets call that the LT workout), you could add a VO2 workout per week, like suggested, say 3' intervals with 3' rest (very close to MHR), x 5 to 7 reps (only 2 hard workouts per week though).
 

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Are you doing a double day training on interval days?

The problem with doing intervals is that you can easily end up just doing a short ride where you'd otherwise have been doing more miles.

Something that works fairly well is to build the intervals into a longer ride. As well as breaking up the monotony it makes it easier to fit all your training into a week.

Try doing a four hour ride, with intervals of eg. 5x2 min after 2 hours and then again after 3 hours.

Also on long rides doing a sprint or short fast effort every hour is very effective.

There's lots of different interval routines which achieve different things and everyone has their own favourites of course.

The ones I'd definitely recommend are short sprints up to around a minute but in a very low gear so you're having to rev as fast as possible. If the chain comes off you're getting it right. Excellent for lactate tolerance.:)

The other one isn't strictly interval training but works well. After a good warmup find a flat road and put the bike in top gear eg. 53/11 and don't change gear for 15-20min. All you have to do is keep moving: speed and rpm aren't important.

It's great strength training but don't do it more than once a week as it'll put a lot of strain on your knees.
 

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Ok

Since you are apparantly much more well trained than me (my longest race was 4 hours, typically 2 - 2.5hrs and you do 12 & 24hr solo) I shouldn't disagree, but I will. First, a long, i.e. 25min climb is good training, but that is not an interval, that is climbing (and would require a very big hill - at least 1500ft). There is no way someone can put out maximum effort for 25 minutes and that to me is what intervals are for. In fact 3min is actually considered long. Some sources recommend 30 seconds. That is the kind of effort I'm talking about - the kind that can only be sustained for a short amount of time. To me the intent of intervals is to build power, not muscle endurance. It seems doing the short intervals makes me faster on the 25min climbs, but not the reverse. 25 minute climbs build muscle endurance, which is very important, but it's not an interval - they don't make you faster they make you not slower. Maybe 1x per week do the 3min intervals and 1x per week do 2x25min climbs.

I get more out of doing intervals on hills due to working against gravity as opposed to air - which is variable. Plus I like to ride a trail on the way back to the bottom while trying to recover. I guess doing the same cadence on a flat would be equivalent, but I top my gearing out.

Trevor! said:
Have you thought about doing longer intervals first? 5 minutes is short IMHO. At the moment I am doing 25 minute reps (2 of them) becuase that represents racing better. Also reps on hills is silly unless it is for SE workout (50-60 rpm at E2ii) to build muscular endurance.

Do them at 75% and make them longer then increase them to really get top end endurance - That would be wiser, and do them on flatter terrain..
 

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Keep in mind, you can generate far more power for a short period of time. It depends on what you are attempting with your intervals. If you do 5 minute intervals you may generate 300W whereas at 30 minutes you might maintain only 200W. (NOTE: Numbers are just random) So, if you do 6x5' intervals you are going to generate 100W more than you would do with a single 30' interval. The rest between your intervals allows you to push harder.

You can still do tempo rides where you go out at a decent pace, not necessarily race pace, and push for a good hour. However, this is different than an interval which is intended to push your self to the limit for a short period of time and still allow you to recover providing a higher workload than had you had no rest.

Train with a wide range of workouts, don't limit yourself.
 

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ceteris paribus
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's right, interval days do endup shorter. But I also fit one day with a couple of hours on a flat road circuit, so I add a lot of distance in short time(30+Kph), with a moderate effort.
 
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