Author Topic: Beginners intervals  (Read 1153 times)

quixoticgeek

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Beginners intervals
« on: April 07, 2018, 03:11:09 pm »

Up til now my training rides have basically consisted of me going out and riding my bike 30-60km, at a steady pace. The efficacy of which is probably mostly in getting my arse used to the saddle. If I want to do the events that I've set goals to do, I'm gonna need to shake things up a little.

I'm thinking of doing some ibterval training, mixing it in on the commute home from work. I did a bit of a Google, and found all sorts of interval training work outside and various articles offering lots of contradictions. Can anyone offer any guidance on where one should start? I have some long straight roads, a selection of headwinds, and no hills.

Thanks

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 04:17:43 pm »
the classic sets of intervals are 2x20min at ftp, 4x8min at 105%ftp, 5x5min at 110%ftp and 6x3min at 120%ftp. there are also very short and sharp intervals for sprinting, but i don't think they are required for general riding (i.e. not racing). without the power meter it's impossible to gauge the level of exertion consistently and accurately, but doing the above intervals even by feel will be beneficial (although nowhere near as effective as on a smart trainer etc.).

quixoticgeek

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Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 04:36:30 pm »
the classic sets of intervals are 2x20min at ftp, 4x8min at 105%ftp, 5x5min at 110%ftp and 6x3min at 120%ftp. there are also very short and sharp intervals for sprinting, but i don't think they are required for general riding (i.e. not racing). without the power meter it's impossible to gauge the level of exertion consistently and accurately, but doing the above intervals even by feel will be beneficial (although nowhere near as effective as on a smart trainer etc.).

I don't have a power meter, but do have a hrm. Could the above be adapted based on heart rate?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 04:44:25 pm »
Yes.

No need to be over precise, you aren't training for Le Tour, you just want to get a bit fitter, and you will get adaptions from any efforts you put in. You can either estimate your max HR (220-AGE) or find a way of reaching it (long steep hill go flat out until you blow).

Then use this (right hand % max hr column).



Essentially, you'll probably find you aren't working as hard as you think you are, initially.

Ideally you'll have done a lot of base Z2 miles  and if so you'll benefit from z5 &6 efforts with recovery in between. Just one session a week is enough, and If you really go for it make sure you take it easy the next day. Fitness improvements happen when you ARENT riding.

quixoticgeek

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Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 04:55:44 pm »
Yes.

No need to be over precise, you aren't training for Le Tour, you just want to get a bit fitter, and you will get adaptions from any efforts you put in. You can either estimate your max HR (220-AGE) or find a way of reaching it (long steep hill go flat out until you blow).

Then use this (right hand % max hr column).



Essentially, you'll probably find you aren't working as hard as you think you are, initially.

Ideally you'll have done a lot of base Z2 miles  and if so you'll benefit from z5 &6 efforts with recovery in between. Just one session a week is enough, and If you really go for it make sure you take it easy the next day. Fitness improvements happen when you ARENT riding.

Max heart rate I've managed to hit is 185, which is spot on 220-age. This gives me something to start with.

What ever I do, "rest days" will always include 2x25 min gentle rides, as I have to cycle to work. I take it that as long as I don't try for a pb on the way to work, it's not a major issue?

Thanks

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 05:01:54 pm »
Exactly. If you do a mega session (not actually that easy to do on the road with junctions and traffic...much easier to manage on a turbo trainer) and really BEAST yourself then just make sure the next day is Z2 only

quixoticgeek

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Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2018, 05:55:19 pm »
Exactly. If you do a mega session (not actually that easy to do on the road with junctions and traffic...much easier to manage on a turbo trainer) and really BEAST yourself then just make sure the next day is Z2 only

If I go a couple of km out of the city there's some areas where I can go 5-10k without junctions. A bit further out there's some dead straight roads with no junctions too...

I don't have an indoor training setup yet. Small flat makes it a hard one.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

LMT

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 11:46:30 pm »
Before you start you need to ask what it is you are actually training for?




quixoticgeek

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Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2018, 11:57:10 pm »
Before you start you need to ask what it is you are actually training for?

2000km in 10 days in September, with some Audaxes in between now and then.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 06:26:00 am »
In which case, back to back 200s are what you should be doing as well. If you get a good Z2 base then quality intervals will raise your cruising speed.

LMT

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2018, 03:02:14 pm »
In which case, back to back 200s are what you should be doing as well. If you get a good Z2 base then quality intervals will raise your cruising speed.

This^.

The 200's will make your body adapt to the muscular stresses involved with long back to back days in the saddle. Whilst intervals (sweetspot) will raise your level of fitness (FTP) and this make you go faster as your endurance level power goes up in line with your FTP increase.

I'd seriously look at a power meter or training with a Wattbike to make some serious gains.

quixoticgeek

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Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2018, 04:54:01 pm »
In which case, back to back 200s are what you should be doing as well. If you get a good Z2 base then quality intervals will raise your cruising speed.

This^.

The 200's will make your body adapt to the muscular stresses involved with long back to back days in the saddle. Whilst intervals (sweetspot) will raise your level of fitness (FTP) and this make you go faster as your endurance level power goes up in line with your FTP increase.

I'd seriously look at a power meter or training with a Wattbike to make some serious gains.

aye, Back to back 200's are part of my plan, largely in the form of cycling home from Audax rides. But it's not a practical activity for after work mid week, hence wanting the intervals.

A power meter is something I want to get, but it's going to have to wait for the new bike[1], and I'm still trying to find one that works with 46/30 rings.

J

[1] My current franken bike can't take anything bigger than a 28 on the inner ring, so currently is running a 28/40 mountain bike set. Currently the 28/34 lowest gear is not sufficiently low that I can get up every hill.
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2018, 05:27:07 pm »
If you have never done any kind of interval training before then almost any sort will benefit your fitness.

Threshold interval training is useful (for example) for helping you when you need to get on the back of a passing faster group, or indeed working as part of a rotating group where you may be threshold on the front then drop to tempo or even endurance heart rate levels once sheltered by others.  Also useful to get yourself over a long drag of a hill without dropping too much speed.

You could start with something as simple as this on your 10km section.  Go as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Then when it feels like you need to slow down, do some easier pedalling till you feel your heart rate has recovered. Once heart rate and breathing back down, go hard again, until you need to take a breather, then repeat.  You can wear a HRM to get an idea of how hard you were working, but you do not need to look at it during the efforts. These are a bit more unstructured compared to fixed time intervals, but if you recover quickly will allow you to go harder sooner, and if you are recovering slower, will naturally spread the harder efforts further apart.

Then your long rides can be just that, long rides to work on your efficiency over distance.

Re: Beginners intervals
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2018, 09:15:32 pm »
Once a week I do an "hour of power" session which I found on t' internet a few years ago.  Comprises of a steady pace just below your FTP (in my case 220w @ 85c) and every 2 minutes up the cadence to 100 for 30 seconds (giving 300-320w).  That results in 45m at ~ 90-95% FTP and 15m @ ~ 110+% of FTP, thus pushing me to my limits and somehow just beyond!

In my session, resistance remains the same, just an increase in cadence to achieve the extra power, but a higher resistance at the same cadence could achieve the same effect.  I'm using a spin bike so not too easy to accurately measure incremental increases in resistance.

Meant to be good for increasing speed.  Left to my own devices I tend to grind away between 70-80, certainly on longer rides, so this is a good way of getting the legs spinning apart from anything else.