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  1. #1
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    HELP ME PLEASE!! How to perform correctly peak and fade power intervals??

    Peak and Fade in the Charmichael Training system stands that you should go all out and then try to maintain the power and it is going to drop as far as the interval goes. My FTP is 300 watts, when I perform Steady Estate Power intervals for 3 mins I can sustain 350 watts, but when I start the PFPI the power goes up to 600 watts and then it goes down fast and in the most cases I can not finish the two minutes interval. So, the way Am I doing it is the correct?, or Should I start hard but not as hard as I'm doing and keep my power up for the two minute interval? (Lets say I could go up to 500 watts, try to keep there as much as a I could and finish the interval around 300-330 watts)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcelovillegas1 View Post
    Peak and Fade in the Charmichael Training system stands that you should go all out and then try to maintain the power and it is going to drop as far as the interval goes. My FTP is 300 watts, when I perform Steady Estate Power intervals for 3 mins I can sustain 350 watts, but when I start the PFPI the power goes up to 600 watts and then it goes down fast and in the most cases I can not finish the two minutes interval. So, the way Am I doing it is the correct?, or Should I start hard but not as hard as I'm doing and keep my power up for the two minute interval? (Lets say I could go up to 500 watts, try to keep there as much as a I could and finish the interval around 300-330 watts)
    So you peaked and then faded? Sounds like you're doing it right. They get "easier" with practice.

  3. #3
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    How does going 'all in' for 2 minutes ever get 'easier'?
    You could get faster or put out more power... or less, but the effort either way is going to be brutal.
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  4. #4
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    Is there something you're intentionally trying to prepare for?

    Why are you doing this workout, exactly?

    This sounds more like a mental/sharpening workout than an actual fitness builder.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    How does going 'all in' for 2 minutes ever get 'easier'?
    You could get faster or put out more power... or less, but the effort either way is going to be brutal.
    You can do more than one.

  6. #6
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    I'm in week 2 of a 3 week block 7x3's 3x per week of these now. It's a VO2 max builder - and a tough one - the key is supposed to be sustaining maximal effort at high cadence for the interval duration, not the power at the end. The drop off in power after energy systems are depleted is expected, and doesn't mean you aren't pushing your V02 Max. I've been advised not to even look at the power during these because it means very little, just go as hard as you can, drive HR up quickly and hold on.

    My FTP is about 260 and I can start my first couple over 700 watts, but end up around my FTP dropping a bit below that for very short period in the middle of the interval due to a huge surge in acidic burn. Later intervals in the session I'm lucky to get over 500 watts to start but still end up around my FTP with the same brief drop in the middle. My HR climbs pretty steadily till the end of each interval.
    Last edited by Srode; 09-27-2017 at 12:03 AM.
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  7. #7
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    "All out" efforts, whether they be short intervals, or long SST/FTP Test type efforts are as much (or more) a head game as a physical one.

    I find that on days when I'm dreading the efforts, I usually struggle - but on days when I have the 'this is going to be a piece of cake' attitude going, I usually crush it.

    I try to make sure I get myself into a positive mental state before doing these things.

    Anecdotal story: Last Spring, at the end of a training block, my coach gave me a workout in Training Peaks that just said "SST Until exhaustion (!!!)". He scheduled this two weeks in advance, so I had quite a bit of time to ponder exactly what that means. I experienced lots of anxiety and trepidation leading up to this (this was my first time really working with a coach - so there was a little performance anxiety going on ).

    I realize that some aspects of "exhaustion" can probably be measured in some scientific way if you are connected to the right equipment, but ultimately, if you aren't in some kind of sport science lab, it comes down to your brain telling you when it's time to stop.

    I asked my coach what he had in mind in terms of goals for the duration. He wouldn't give me anything specific, but suggested to shoot for an hour. I created a two hour ERG block at the wattage he suggested (270), and just made up my mind that's how long I was going for. I figured when I got to the point of "exhaustion", I'd know and stop. But apparently I didn't. I ended up doing the entire two hour block in ERG.

    There are lots of mind games going on when doing this kind of stuff. When I got to the 1 hour mark, I didn't really feel any worse than I did at the 30 minute mark, so I kept going. Once I got to the 90 minute mark, my HR was still about the same (~155), and I still felt about the same. At that point, I don't think you could have pulled me off of the trainer with a tow truck. It was about 95% determination and 5% physical effort.

    The hardest part was trying to drink water and consume glucose at that effort level. Even on the trainer it's hard to do when your respiration rate is that high.

    I've not done anything close to this since then, although he told me there are some more 'surprises' coming up in the next few weeks (at the end of this training block). "I can't wait!"

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