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    Intervals?

    I keep hearing people say do intervals, my question is what intervals should I be doing? I am new to road biking and would like to build up my overall strength and speed, can someone point me to a training regimen I should be doing. Any apps for interval training? Thanks.

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    I was in your position. To be honest, still not that far removed from your position... This is the advice I got. ANY program with intervals will do wonders for you! It did for me. I remember after doing 8 weeks of the Time Crunched program outlined in Chris Carmichael's book (with the same name) I literally felt like I could rip the pedals off my bike while riding.

    Take a look at the 4 programs in that book as a good starting place. Many different intervals are explained therein. Good luck.

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    Yeah, picking up a book would be the easiest thing.
    Each specific set of intervals will work a specific set of muscles and responses. A training book will help lay out what interval sets will be best for you. If you have the $$$ you can also get a coach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STLBILLY View Post
    I keep hearing people say do intervals, my question is what intervals should I be doing? I am new to road biking and would like to build up my overall strength and speed, can someone point me to a training regimen I should be doing. Any apps for interval training? Thanks.
    It may not be necessary, depending on many things. Some people do intervals without realising it. It's called a hilly ride.

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    sportstracker app for android has interval in the training plans, I probably need to try it - what different types of intervals are there? I had assumed its just a couple minutes full bore riding then a cool down for 5 or so minutes. I gather now it's more complex than this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    sportstracker app for android has interval in the training plans, I probably need to try it - what different types of intervals are there? I had assumed its just a couple minutes full bore riding then a cool down for 5 or so minutes. I gather now it's more complex than this?
    Intervals are just a way to structure a workout into time periods of effort at different intensities. How you design an interval workout is a matter of knowing what the primary purpose of such a session is, and how much time you have available, and what's physiologically feasible to perform.

    e.g. an interval workout designed primarily to improve a rider's threshold power will be different to one designed primarily to improve their lactate tolerance.

    You can define:

    - the duration of intervals (from a few seconds to 30 minutes typically)
    - the duration of recovery periods (from a few seconds to 30 minutes typically)
    - the intensity during interval (it may be maximal for the duration, or something less than maximal)
    - the intensity during recovery periods (which may be lying down doing nothing, to riding at a solid aerobic pace)
    - the number of intervals (from one to dozens)
    - the number of sets of intervals (from one to several)
    - the duration between sets (from 10 to 60 minutes typically)


    e.g. a simple and effective interval set designed to primarily target aerobic threshold development would be to perform 2 x 20-minute efforts at a hard effort level (power) you could sustain for about 60-90 minutes max, with a recovery period in between of up to 5-minutes of easy pedaling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    - the intensity during recovery periods (which may be lying down doing nothing)
    Just like Sir Chris Hoy.
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    intervals are only for pros

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    Quote Originally Posted by plx View Post
    intervals are only for pros
    What rubbish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    It may not be necessary, depending on many things. Some people do intervals without realising it. It's called a hilly ride.
    This. I do intervals on a trainer but outside I do hills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    What rubbish.
    I'm a retired old geezer and don't race anymore and I still do them. They're for anyone who wants to be faster than those who don't do them.
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    reading free internet info (so taken with a grain of salt), one common idea was to know what your maximum possible effort is (be it max heartrate, lactate threshold, max power, max 1 hour power, etc) before you start. then to measure your interval effort based as reaching a certain percentage of one of those things, for a given time.

    so some measurement, knowledge of your personal threshold for effort can be pretty helpful.

    another common theme was recovery, serious rest between intervals, of a similar duration of the interval.

    however, if one hasn't the capacity to check their lactate threshold, one hour power, 20 mile tt sustained effort, etc., they can still probably go by feel. try just going as fast for 3-4 minutes as you can, the go as slow for 2-3 minutes as you can...repeat for an hour or so. warm up well first, and have a decent base so you don't overstress the muscles, and listen to the muscles, don't push cramping muscles, or spasms, until you have a very good feel for what the day after results of those feelings will be.

    as Mike T said, intervals are for those who want to get as fast as they can, and not just for 4 minutes at a time, they'll help you sustained tempo speed overall.
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    intervals are for people who like to always go hard, sadly you don't improve much that way

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    Quote Originally Posted by plx View Post
    intervals are for people who like to always go hard, sadly you don't improve much that way
    more nonsense

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    Quote Originally Posted by plx View Post
    intervals are for people who like to always go hard, sadly you don't improve much that way
    Either a troll or doesn't bother to do much reading. How does 20 minutes at a 60-90 minute pace qualify as hard?

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    All his posts are negative and add nothing of value, he is a troll.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plx View Post
    intervals are for people who like to always go hard, sadly you don't improve much that way
    please tell me how I can improve without doing intervals, thanks

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    As I can't start a new post and this one relates to my question, here I go:


    I am putting together my training program for next year and trying to schedule a few but kicking weeks during the end of my base/start of my base. In the past the best thing I have ever done to kick me up a level is do a 6 day madison race. What better way to step up than 6 straight days of interval training, the really vicious kind where you have a person depending on you to make it around again and again. So why not create my own 6 day workout in April and kick it up early before the season starts for me?

    However everything I read says doing intervals every day is a waste and that quality is better than quantity, and yet every year I do the six day I really feel that it helps ... so any thoughts on this subject?

    If you wanted to max your training for the year, would you pick 3 or 4 really hard intervals spaced every other day or go for the 6day workout and hope that by day 6 you have something left in the tank? I am not talking about doing this every week, just 2 or 3 times a year before a rest period.

  19. #19
    plx
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    you should do 3 month of base training with little high intensity, unless you already have some good seasons unders your belt

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    plx, I have raced on and off for 25 years now, so I am not worried base, I will get that ... I am just curious what other peoples thoughts are about throwing over training by interval death into the mix and how often and or early they would do it.

    I personally have felt great improvements when doing this ... but is it possible it would have been even better if I had only done 4 interval sessions over 7 days instead. I understand there is capacity vs speed and all that and it depends on my goals, etc. I am just curious if 6 straight days of intervals would always be a bad idea, or if it could be used as a launch for a seasoned athlete.

    Granted I will always want to do a 6 day, so it will always be a part of my schedule, but what about doing it 2 or 3 times on purpose?

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    yes it is a bad idea
    there are probably other things holding you back, how long are your longest rides? what is your volume?
    you should be doing like 3 big rides a month that make your body dig deep in the end
    you should also try to improve your ammount of training by 15, 20% i know it's not easy but if you do this you will see results

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    I don't have anything holding me back, doing very well, just trying to do better. I am just noticing a trend that after 6 straight days of madisons each year I get more fit. So why not move that forward in the season so that I can get fit earlier, as well as be better prepared for the 6 day when it does happen. Madisons are basically 40 seconds on, 40 seconds off for between 20 and 60 minutes with no extended rest, so that means upto 50 intervals back to back. Add that to 2 extra races each day and you end up 100% dead by day 6, but 100% fit after a few rest days. If once a year is good, I am starting to think 2 or 3 times a year would be even better.

    I basically see it like the pro-tour riders see the vuelta to the world champs and the tour to the Olympics. Both were incredibly hard and long efforts that over taxed their systems to nearly the breaking point. Then at worlds and the Olympics those who over taxed themselves earlier are in the best position to win.

    I see 3 days a month as far too few big efforts for myself and typically shoot for more like 10 or more hard days a month that make me suffer after I have a solid base. As for my volume, it is what it is and will not go up as I just don't have more time than the 8 to 12 hours per week I do now. So my only tweaks available are intensity and rest.

    Anyone else have any thoughts, and sorry to STLBILLY for hijacking his thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plx View Post
    yes it is a bad idea
    there are probably other things holding you back, how long are your longest rides? what is your volume?
    you should be doing like 3 big rides a month that make your body dig deep in the end

    What do you call a big ride 4hrs, 6hrs.....8hrs?

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    to kamikazeDad:

    I wouldn't think that doing that much intensity before base would help a lot if you have a particular time you want to peak. If you want to be strong year round it might help some. It sort of defeats the purpose of having a "base period" though which I read as the 2nd step in getting ready to handle the higher intensities. The first step is resting from the previous season.

    I know I would lose most of the gains from the high intensity work by the time I finished what Friel defines as base.

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    @ Bike Poor.

    Sorry, I meant to say at the end of my base/start of my build. Basically I take the late fall off with riding 3 days a week. Then once winter starts ramp up again and then towards the end of my base as I start adding intervals throw in a death week. Then a brief rest followed by my build and then another death week before I start the season.

    I agree at the start of my base it is likely not a good idea.

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