With tempo, intervals or continuous?
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  1. #1
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    With tempo, intervals or continuous?

    The man behind the curtain over at trainingpeaks suggest I do tempo intervals today.

    Riding a little over two hours with several six minute sessions at tempo. The thing is I can ride two hours at tempo. Will I be better off warming up riding about an hour at tempo and cooling down, or doing the intervals as prescribed?

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    If you're not going to listen to them...why are you paying for their services?
    Voting isn't marriage - it's public transport. You are not waiting for "The One" who is absolutely perfect. You are getting on the bus, and if there isn't one going exactly to your destination you don't stay at home and sulk - you take the one going closest to where you want to be!

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    It is not that I am not listening to them. It is that they might not have all the information needed to determine if I should do intervals at tempo or a longer ride at tempo.

    Likely a person reading this thread will not have enough info either, but will know what to ask to make the determination.

    Thanks for playing.

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    "Tempo" is a poorly defined term. For some people it means just slightly faster than easy riding, for other people it means at lactate threshold (i.e. 40km time trial speed).

    If you're supposed to be doing 6-minute bouts, I'd assume your coach means something closer to the latter. It wouldn't make sense to do 6-minute bouts at an intensity you can maintain for two hours.

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    Are you sure the 6m sessions are done at tempo? or is the 2hr ride done at tempo with a few 6m intervals thrown in above tempo, like closer to LT.
    Just makes no sense to me doing 6min tempo intervals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 151
    It is not that I am not listening to them. It is that they might not have all the information needed to determine if I should do intervals at tempo or a longer ride at tempo.

    Likely a person reading this thread will not have enough info either, but will know what to ask to make the determination.

    Thanks for playing.
    Are you using a power meter and sending them the data? If not, how do you really know what your "Tempo" pace is? How do they know what your "Tempo" pace is?

    The simple fact is this....You are paying them money to train you. They are giving you workouts to do. You are ignoring their advice and asking a forum what you should do over a coach that you are paying.

    If they don't have enough information needed to determine if you should do intervals at tempo or a longer ride at tempo....That's your problem because you are not supplying them with all the information to determin a correct training program for you.

    Sounds like you are the issue in this equation not the coach.

    Thanks for playing though
    Voting isn't marriage - it's public transport. You are not waiting for "The One" who is absolutely perfect. You are getting on the bus, and if there isn't one going exactly to your destination you don't stay at home and sulk - you take the one going closest to where you want to be!

  7. #7
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    "BT: Tempo intervals. On road or trainer. Do 4-5 x 6 minutes in the 3 zone (2 minute recoveries). Relax! Smooth pedaling. 80-90 rpm. Aero position."



    That is the recommended work out from training peaks. I agree it does not make sense to do 6 min at a intensity I can hold for much longer, that is why I came here for advice.

    The "tempo" is heart rate based using a 1hr TT to get a threshold heart rate. Not the latest or the greatest but it is what I have at ths time. Tempo heart rate is zone 3 in their way of figuring.

    WOOKIE, I am guessing you have never used the TP program. Actually it is very obvious you have not used it. I appreciate you trying to help, but when helping someone I usually try to answer their questions hoping they understand why they are asking.

    The training peaks program is a canned internet based computer generated training guideline. It does not and there for cannot calculate any information not included in its built in questionare.

    So I have very good reason for looking for additional info before following a "guideline" that may not be the most informed.

    Back when I paid a human coach I would not have the need for asking questions here. But under these circumstances I feel like the outside input is not only warrented but necessary.

    Again, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 151
    "BT: Tempo intervals. On road or trainer. Do 4-5 x 6 minutes in the 3 zone (2 minute recoveries). Relax! Smooth pedaling. 80-90 rpm. Aero position."
    .
    Sounds like something you would do in early December

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    Do the upperbound range of your tempo range for 6 minutes. Its quite the effort to hold it for 6 minutes repeatedly.


    ie. Tempo range is 250-300 watts, hold 300 watts for 6 minutes. See how that feels.

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    what's the total length of the prescribed ride? are you on a recovery day? much depends on context.
    * not actually a Rock Star

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost234
    Do the upperbound range of your tempo range for 6 minutes. Its quite the effort to hold it for 6 minutes repeatedly.


    ie. Tempo range is 250-300 watts, hold 300 watts for 6 minutes. See how that feels.
    Wouldn't it be better to quantify Tempo for a particular rider as a HR zone rather than a watt output which is dependant on a riders strength / fitness etc.

    My understanding is that tempo is approx 150 - 160 bpm. Correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubbersoul
    Wouldn't it be better to quantify Tempo for a particular rider as a HR zone rather than a watt output which is dependant on a riders strength / fitness etc.

    My understanding is that tempo is approx 150 - 160 bpm. Correct?

    You're a bit off in your thinking. Zones are an individual's areas in which their body will experience different effects. Typically for building stamina riders should stay in zone 2 for longer periods of time (2+ hours), whereas when riders wish to build strength they will typically push into threshold zones (zone 4, 5 and depending on which program you use zone 6) for much shorter bursts of time.

    Quantifying zones based on power is one of the best tools out there because it measures the output of the rider, not just the response (HR).

    Tempo HR will vary with each individual. My tempo heart rate is 160-180BPM, with a max of 199 bpm. However some of my fellow racers have a tempo heart rate of 140-155bpm and a max of 175bpm. Each zone is unique to each rider.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubbersoul
    Wouldn't it be better to quantify Tempo for a particular rider as a HR zone rather than a watt output which is dependant on a riders strength / fitness etc.

    My understanding is that tempo is approx 150 - 160 bpm. Correct?
    In every zone "system" I've seen, whether power-based zones or HR-based zones, any rider's zones are determined by reference to some performance by that rider. As to what "tempo" means, well, it means whatever it means in the relevant system, whether that's X% to Y% of maximum HR or X% to Y% of "LT" power, or whatever.

    I think "tempo" is above "endurance" (e.g., where I could ride for several hours), but below "threshold" (which implies, to me, sustainability for much longer than six minutes---probably an hour), so the suggestion that working at the top of tempo for six minutes is all that hard doesn't seem quite right.

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    Too little information - how does this fit into your week, your month, your season?

    If you can truly hold a wattage-based tempo for hours, and you are getting in enough tempo time in a week, and can do this day after day, you might as well do 2 hours of tempo instead.

    Sounds like the bottom line is they aren't listening to you, or aren't responsive?

  15. #15
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    I ended up doing most of the ride in the upper end of my "tempo" HR range.

    I think the problem is that being a computer generated program, trainingpeaks has no way of knowing that I did not come off a peak when I started the program, or that I had been doing higher HR riding for weeks before starting the program.

    I get the impression that they start with low intensity "base" work and move into higher intensities from there. So I have reached a point where they are getting me ready for some intervals and such.

    What they cannot know because it is not built into the program is that I am already "ready" for higher HR work.

    This is a very inexpensive "virtual coach" and for the money I expect to need to do a little thinking on my own as well.

    As far as the program (PC internet program) knows when I started I was comming off a break at the end of the year, when in truth my first race isnt until the middle of september.

    If anything is to "blame" it is me for using an inexpensive service in stead of a real human coach. I am happy with the program and all the features that allow me to track progress and create workouts stuff like that. But you get what you pay for.

    Thanks for all the advice. I think until the program moves me into threshold work I will do continuous riding at the lower zones instead of intervals.

  16. #16
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    Since you're using that book, you're better off trusting your own noggin and the book - I've had great success using their other book with only about 8 hours a week available.

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