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  1. #1
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    How much does length of rest between intervals matter?

    I try to do intervals on the trainer during the winter to maintain some fitness. On some of the harder workouts the one or two minutes rest between intervals us just not enough for me. If I extend the rest out to 3 or 4 minutes how much am I reducing the benefit, or does it not matter that much?

  2. #2
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    If you can't maintain the specified durations, the intensity is too high. To keep the intent of the interval workout, my inclination would be to decrease the intensity of the intervals to the point where I could maintain the specified durations.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  3. #3
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    If you increase the time between efforts so you can recover more, then you're working on the ability to put out high efforts. Intervals with only partial recovery periods train the body to work under those conditions. Your speed may not be as high but you'll learn to perform repeated efforts without full recovery. Sounds like circular logic, I know, but I hope it makes sense.

    Interval sessions are specifically designed so there won't be full recovery between efforts. Speed work on the other hand, requires full recovery so you extract the maximum effort. Sure, it's semantics, but they're both valid training principles with different goals.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I try to do intervals on the trainer during the winter to maintain some fitness. On some of the harder workouts the one or two minutes rest between intervals us just not enough for me. If I extend the rest out to 3 or 4 minutes how much am I reducing the benefit, or does it not matter that much?
    Thanks looigi and Peter. I was afraid that was going to be the answer but what you say makes sense. I mainly use Trainer Road so I guess I need to follow their recipes

  5. #5
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    Have you tested for your FTP, and if yes what percent of that is you max during the effort? Think of the point of that rather than what those #s are specifically I'd suggest.
    Seems like the effort is too high % of your FTP for your fitness or the Watts needed for the effort portion of your interval??
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  6. #6
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    The shorter the rest, the more aerobic the efforts.

    Totally depends on what you're doing. Good to mix up any number of efforts and rest intervals.

    If you're failing to hit targets, though (ranges, not specific numbers), then your targets are too high and should be adjusted. Especially indoors where other factors come into play. Some people even have different numbers for indoor and outdoor specifically cause of that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt57 View Post
    Have you tested for your FTP, and if yes what percent of that is you max during the effort? Think of the point of that rather than what those #s are specifically I'd suggest.
    Seems like the effort is too high % of your FTP for your fitness or the Watts needed for the effort portion of your interval??
    I did an FTP test back in January when it was 245. I probably should update it but I am dreading it. I can't say an exact number that makes it hard for me to recover but I'd say a longer effort over 125% is something I struggle to recover within 2 minutes and then do another one. I tend to do more "sweet spot" training in the winter and that poses no issue with recovery time for me. Maybe doing too much training in that zone is working against me

  8. #8
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    125% FTP or more is what I typically use for 8x2 V02Max which has 2 minutes on and 2 minutes off and yes, in the second half of the set it become difficult to recover in that 2 minutes, but that's what drives the improvement.
    Moderation is boring - do epic s##t

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  9. #9
    Wandering
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    Had to chuckle a little bit upon reading this thread. I started using TrainerRoad last year. The whole concept of using FTP tests to calibrate the workouts is obviously good but it creates this insidiously horrible torture trap where the workout designers play around that line of just how much pain you can tolerate. Just about the time that the workouts are manageable, you recalibrate with a new FTP test - rinse/repeat.

    On a basement ride a few weeks ago, I lost Wifi & therefore the movie / show I was watching on the laptop. Without that distraction, I was unable to finish the last 1-1/2 intervals. Aaargh.

    Intervals that are 5 minutes & longer really push my resolve & it seems that the training plan I chose this year is filled with them. So far, it has not been a fun off-season. Since I'm only training for general fitness & club rides, I may need to revisit that choice...
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  10. #10
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    If you haven't built up your Vo2max capacity yet you may have a hard time hitting the reps. So instead do two sets of 4 instead of 8 reps in one set. As your capacity improves work up to 8.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    Had to chuckle a little bit upon reading this thread. I started using TrainerRoad last year. The whole concept of using FTP tests to calibrate the workouts is obviously good but it creates this insidiously horrible torture trap where the workout designers play around that line of just how much pain you can tolerate. Just about the time that the workouts are manageable, you recalibrate with a new FTP test - rinse/repeat.

    On a basement ride a few weeks ago, I lost Wifi & therefore the movie / show I was watching on the laptop. Without that distraction, I was unable to finish the last 1-1/2 intervals. Aaargh.

    Intervals that are 5 minutes & longer really push my resolve & it seems that the training plan I chose this year is filled with them. So far, it has not been a fun off-season. Since I'm only training for general fitness & club rides, I may need to revisit that choice...
    That means your are getting better and you will be dropping Chris Froome by this time next yr!!!
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    I'm on a road bike..........

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    ...The whole concept of using FTP tests to calibrate the workouts is obviously good but it creates this insidiously horrible torture trap where the workout designers play around that line of just how much pain you can tolerate. Just about the time that the workouts are manageable, you recalibrate with a new FTP test - rinse/repeat...
    That's the point and that's what makes them so effective and improving performance.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  13. #13
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    Training by the numbers, training by the science, is nice and all. But it's my opinion and observations that training by this method (ala, Team Sky style), is great for "grand tour" racers, or maybe time trialists. But,, if you're just a regular Joe looking to get fit, or you're just looking to make personal fitness gain, or you're looking to race the club boys, then it's my opinion that you do not need a strict structured and scientific approach. You do not always need a precise "FTP number" to based your training on. An approximation power number based on your previous sessions is plenty adequate. Your FTP itself is never constant anyway, it fluctuates, so why become obsessed and dread it so much? Just use an estimate and adjust it on the fly. I know one of the top master crit guy here who said he never knows his FTP, most of his training is by perceived effort. He'll do intervals, and sometimes he'll rest less between intervals, and sometimes he'll rest longer, depending on how he feels that day. He says he's not a pro, just doing this racing stuff for fun, and so his philosophy is he'll train like it's part of the fun too.

    having said this, I've personally found that 2 minutes is about the length that it will take my heartrate to stablize after doing a 30 second all out. Resting more than 2 minutes will not lower the heartrate much for me unless I rest further like 4-5 minutes, but resting 4-5 minutes is usually too long for me and honestly I don't have the patience to rest that long.

  14. #14
    jkc
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    Sorry to hijack but have a slightly different question on cadence. I'm starting to use Sufferfest videos and having a hard time maintaining the recommended cadence especially at high intensity/cadence combo. I can nudge the intensity but at a much lower cadence. Still working on maintaining the interval duration. My average outdoors cadence is around 85-90. Also haven't dialed in to my outdoors FTP and finding that I'm about 10% of the mark. Kind of borderline on whether to set a indoor specific since most of my miles are outdoors although I do more sessions indoors (4:2 or 1, weather depended), at least until early March I hope. Thanks and happy holidays.

  15. #15
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    How much does length of rest between intervals matter?

    On the trainer doing said workouts.. I like to be between 90-100 cadence
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  16. #16
    apn
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    Carmichael guidance typically states the recovery should be half the duration of the interval e.g. 2 mins on, 1 min recovery etc.

    If you're doing OU's or Ladder type intervals e.g. 3x9 OU's = each interval @ 2U and 1O = 3 sets at 9 mins per interval with ~5 mins rest between

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