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  1. #1
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    HIIT- high intensity interval training

    I read through the interval training sticky, and not much on this topic specifically........

    by definition high intensity means just that so this is how it has to breakdown:

    duration - max would be 4 minutes.........so why 4 minutes ??

    if you can do the intensity longer than 4 minutes, then it isn't high intensity.....type IIA fibers are the main fiber for high end performance and they fatigue at 3-4 minutes.......

    intensity - critical power or higher

    rest- 2:1 or 1:2 or 1:1

    so the question is how fast can you get doing primarily these types of intervals.....if you trained only doing these what would your limiters ultimately be, bear in mind this is only for a cat 2 or 3 racer ??

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    Muscle fiber types and different energy systems used.

    Not cycling related but I did a 10K mud run last year after only doing 5-7 round intervals of rotating between 1/2 mile on the elliptical and a body weight exercise (push-up, pull-up, etc) for the 6 months preceding the event and was able to keep pace with people who had actually training for a 1/2 marathon a couple of weeks prior doing nothing but longer runs.
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    This might sound obvious, but I'll say it anyway: It's likely that your ability to produce power for those shorter times (less than 4 minutes) would improve. (I'm guessing you're looking for a more specific answer, but I'm not sure what you're getting at.)
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    Throw this wrench into the gears:
    Mtb racing , depending on the course, is usually a bunch of very short bursts.
    And I understand the need for rest/recovery periods between training intervals.
    But: When did you ever have set recovery periods in a race?( as in 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery)

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    obviously one way to get into race shape is to well race more.........which was the only training model 15-20 years ago, ride long in the winter and race into shape in the spring........but today, we are smarter than that........because training is more specific.......


    I am just interested in others thoughts or experiences, with a training regimen of virtually exlcusive hiit training, and little to no long stuff......some data says this is all you need to do, but just wondering if anyone has actually tried and validated it.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Throw this wrench into the gears:
    Mtb racing , depending on the course, is usually a bunch of very short bursts.
    And I understand the need for rest/recovery periods between training intervals.
    But: When did you ever have set recovery periods in a race?( as in 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery)
    you have to think aobut what changes in the body lead to the ability to ride faster, and what is the best and most time efficient way to bring about those changes ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Throw this wrench into the gears:
    Mtb racing , depending on the course, is usually a bunch of very short bursts.
    And I understand the need for rest/recovery periods between training intervals.
    But: When did you ever have set recovery periods in a race?( as in 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery)
    As I understand it, the whole point of interval training is that by inserting rest periods, you are able spend more cumulative time working at that intensity level, and with less physical/mental damage to yourself, than if you simply went out and worked at that intensity level for as long as possible. So, more adaptation with less need for recovery.

    The "art" of interval training is that different intensity levels spur different physiological adaptations at different rates, and these adaptations, furthermore, are attained at different rates relative to each other. So, periodization, "cycles" of training, "recovery" rides [if the goal were only recovery, rest would be best, but the secondary goal is to maintain aerobic fitness], etc etc.
    http://www.freewebs.com/velodynamics...ninglevels.pdf

    I guess this is a longer-winded way of saying what suvowner just said.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    I guess this is a longer-winded way of saying what suvowner just said.
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    carmichael uses a term called string theory.........in that if you train at critical power or vo2 max power, you using all your energy systems at that intensity, and therfore maximally stimulating all of those systems.............

    Dr. Michael Ross thinks that at critical power intensity is when you are recruiting a maximum number of fibers, and only those fibers recruited will get a training stimulus......he lists a lot of 4 minute intervals at critical power with 2 min rest.......whereas carmichael likes the power interval as he calls it, 3min on wit h3 min rest at a bit above critical power......I have done hard 2-2.5 hr hilly rides and by power distribution spent the same amount of time at critical power as i have in a 4 min on 2 min off X 5 interval workout that takes 30 minutes to complete...........

  10. #10
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    well, last year this was my training...intervals with hard rides once to three times per week (if and when i could) since i had no time to do structured training. i cramped, had my first dnf, dfl, just a bad year.

    if i'm correct, a person could train like this but will not be able to sustain it throughout the season, which is what happened to me.

    so, to your question, your limiter would be no base will not give you the endurance you need for the whole season of racing.

    am i even close to what you're asking?
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcaronongan
    well, last year this was my training...intervals with hard rides once to three times per week (if and when i could) since i had no time to do structured training. i cramped, had my first dnf, dfl, just a bad year.

    if i'm correct, a person could train like this but will not be able to sustain it throughout the season, which is what happened to me.

    so, to your question, your limiter would be no base will not give you the endurance you need for the whole season of racing.

    am i even close to what you're asking?
    yep thats what i am looking for.....

    interesting, how old are you, years racing, what kind of event did you dnf ??

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    oops. deleted.

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    I guess the question kinda is, what is the most important power profile for MTB racing? Is 1-3 minute power the most important (anaerobic capability), or is it 5 minute, or more sustained like having a high FTP? These things are all trained by doing different length intervals (obviously). I guess I'd say that it depends on the specific race course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    yep thats what i am looking for.....

    interesting, how old are you, years racing, what kind of event did you dnf ??
    i'm 41.

    started racing back in 1991. stop racing from 1996 to 2005. in 2006 got back into it. moved to sport (cat2) in 2008.

    i dnf'd in a sport race in 2009. flatted, cramped, ran out of water it was in august. basically everything that could go wrong in a race happened to me that day.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcaronongan
    i'm 41.

    started racing back in 1991. stop racing from 1996 to 2005. in 2006 got back into it. moved to sport (cat2) in 2008.

    i dnf'd in a sport race in 2009. flatted, cramped, ran out of water it was in august. basically everything that could go wrong in a race happened to me that day.
    so do you think the interval training did you good or bad ??? most cat 2 races are under 2 hours......so you shouldn't need long rides to perepare for that type of event.........

    i think it is more important to think of intervals in terms of energy systems that are being stressed, and not the length of the course and hills and such.......if you have more mitochondria and more stroke volume and more vascularity in your quads you will be faster.....what type of rides intervals/long/tempo yield the greatest stimulus to these systems..........

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    so do you think the interval training did you good or bad ??? most cat 2 races are under 2 hours......so you shouldn't need long rides to perepare for that type of event.........

    i think it is more important to think of intervals in terms of energy systems that are being stressed, and not the length of the course and hills and such.......if you have more mitochondria and more stroke volume and more vascularity in your quads you will be faster.....what type of rides intervals/long/tempo yield the greatest stimulus to these systems..........
    i did mostly hill repeats on the road. these ranged from 30 second intervals to 6 minute intervals depending on the road ride. i had a 2 hour road ride i did and also a 1 hour road ride.

    it certainly didn't hurt me. what happened to me was simulating the stresses of a race is impossible to do in training. but that's what i tried to do. last year, i would feel cramps coming on at the start of the second lap of every race. i did only four races last year. this year, i did my first race (only one so far) and did not have any cramps or feeling of cramps coming on.

    for me, my body needs the 12 week base workouts. it's what i've done in the past and works for ME.

    this year 99% of my base has been on the trainer. kids, work, life and weather!
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCFred
    I guess the question kinda is, what is the most important power profile for MTB racing? Is 1-3 minute power the most important (anaerobic capability), or is it 5 minute, or more sustained like having a high FTP? These things are all trained by doing different length intervals (obviously). I guess I'd say that it depends on the specific race course.
    Despite the appearance of a punchy power profile requirement in MTB racing, you need to have your FTP on terms with everything else. FTP has a very direct relationship with a) how quickly you recover, b) how hard you can go on those 3-5min climbs and c) how many times you can repeat those efforts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    obviously one way to get into race shape is to well race more.........which was the only training model 15-20 years ago, ride long in the winter and race into shape in the spring........but today, we are smarter than that........because training is more specific.......


    I am just interested in others thoughts or experiences, with a training regimen of virtually exlcusive hiit training, and little to no long stuff......some data says this is all you need to do, but just wondering if anyone has actually tried and validated it.........
    Just an FYI, the vast majority of MTB and road pros still race themselves into shape...

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    good thoughts.........the only way to get better at riding on the limit, is to spend time riding on the limit.......but this requires alot of recovery......

    yes ftp is key, but does hiit improve ftp in a more time efficient way than longer rides ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    Just an FYI, the vast majority of MTB and road pros still race themselves into shape...
    Certainly there's more than one way to arrive successfully at the same end point in conditioning. However, IMHO the progression of knowledge is that for most people, arranging an annual plan and training like a pro isn't necessarily the best solution for those who have real-world committments other than riding, and the reverse which is that pros can race themselves into shape for peaking at the times they need it, as you state above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    Certainly there's more than one way to arrive successfully at the same end point in conditioning. However, IMHO the progression of knowledge is that for most people, arranging an annual plan and training like a pro isn't necessarily the best solution for those who have real-world committments other than riding, and the reverse which is that pros can race themselves into shape for peaking at the times they need it, as you state above.
    agreed and great point.........which reinforces the need to discover/workout/figure out the most time efficient way to creat decent fitness..........hiit is probably it, but a training regimen that is virtually all 100% hiit training is still relatively new.....I am just looking for others who might have commited to such a training regimen and what there results have been ??

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    so do you think the interval training did you good or bad ??? most cat 2 races are under 2 hours......so you shouldn't need long rides to perepare for that type of event.........

    i think it is more important to think of intervals in terms of energy systems that are being stressed, and not the length of the course and hills and such.......if you have more mitochondria and more stroke volume and more vascularity in your quads you will be faster.....what type of rides intervals/long/tempo yield the greatest stimulus to these systems..........

    oh and one more thing on this...my rides on the trainer have been 1 to 2 hours for endurance 5 to 6 days per week. i train for quality on the trainer.

    so i have not done any 4 to 6 hour rides on the road to get to the fitness i'm at now.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    if you have more mitochondria and more stroke volume and more vascularity in your quads you will be faster.....what type of rides intervals/long/tempo yield the greatest stimulus to these systems..........
    Here's a link to what I feel is the best description I have seen regarding which intensities will bring about which types of adaptations for the same amount of time at that intensity (See Table 2 - toward the mid-bottom). It speaks specifically about all three things you mentioned (mitochondria--best at zone 4, stroke volume--best at zone 5, and muscle capillarization--best at zone 5):
    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articl...ew-coggan.aspx

    My take on the original question (and I believe the original question was (in my own words): If you train primarily the anaerobic (lactic acid) energy system, what will happen?):
    Most people cannot train primarily one energy system and realistically expect high results in their XC race category. You've got to train them all--you might train one energy system more than another (to address a personal weakness), but I don't think you can ignore any energy system. And, I would say that you definitely cannot ignore your basic aerobic energy system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by millennium
    Here's a link to what I feel is the best description I have seen regarding which intensities will bring about which types of adaptations for the same amount of time at that intensity (See Table 2 - toward the mid-bottom). It speaks specifically about all three things you mentioned (mitochondria--best at zone 4, stroke volume--best at zone 5, and muscle capillarization--best at zone 5):
    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articl...ew-coggan.aspx
    Looking at that table, it's tempting to think that all one's training should be high-intensity. I think it's important to remember that you are not just training muscle cells, you are also training a human being. Trying to compensate for low volume with high intensity will only get you so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCFred
    I guess the question kinda is, what is the most important power profile for MTB racing? Is 1-3 minute power the most important (anaerobic capability), or is it 5 minute, or more sustained like having a high FTP? These things are all trained by doing different length intervals (obviously). I guess I'd say that it depends on the specific race course.
    Course definitely has an influence. That said, here's a link to some power profiles for a few XC races:
    What % of Typical Race Are You Over LT?

    Notice that (for the 1 hour XC race): 29% of power was in the anaerobic range, where as 47% was in the aerobic power categories (not counting zone1 at all b/c it was probably mostly coasting/not pedaling). Also notice that as the race gets longer, then anaerobic % gets smaller. From this, you might say that anaerobic is definitely very important for XC racing, but at the same time, you should remember that a greater % of the power is produced aerobically during an XC race.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    Looking at that table, it's tempting to think that all one's training should be high-intensity. I think it's important to remember that you are not just training muscle cells, you are also training a human being. Trying to compensate for low volume with high intensity will only get you so far.
    but the question is how far ??

    when you are at really high intensity, you are training all your energy systems...........I wonder though about lactate clearance.........does longer 2-4 hr rides just under lactate threshold induce better lactate clearance adaptation than flooding the system with lactate with extremely intense efforts ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    but the question is how far ??

    when you are at really high intensity, you are training all your energy systems...........I wonder though about lactate clearance.........does longer 2-4 hr rides just under lactate threshold induce better lactate clearance adaptation than flooding the system with lactate with extremely intense efforts ??
    It's counterintuitive, but the best way to raise the lactate threshold is not to train at or above it, but just below it. Too much time above threshold just burns you out, unless you rest an awful lot. Don't know about you, but I can't ride super hard one day, then not ride for two or three days, then ride super hard one day, etc...

    In my experience, I ride best when I do lots of 10 to 20 minute efforts, and these are done well below threshold. YMMV

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    Just an FYI, the vast majority of MTB and road pros still race themselves into shape...
    The good ones certain don't.

    On the dirt at least racing may be part of training but they don't race themselves into shape. Most enter the race season at 90% of their top form. The last 10% comes mainly from the training they do during the race blocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    The good ones certain don't.

    On the dirt at least racing may be part of training but they don't race themselves into shape. Most enter the race season at 90% of their top form. The last 10% comes mainly from the training they do during the race blocks.
    Yeah, it's not like road racing, particularly pro road racing, where you might race 3 or 4 times a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    good thoughts.........the only way to get better at riding on the limit, is to spend time riding on the limit.......but this requires alot of recovery......

    yes ftp is key, but does hiit improve ftp in a more time efficient way than longer rides ??
    There is way more to this then what I am going to say. But in a nut shell

    Over the short term HIIT will improve FTP more than long rides. In long term long rides will improve FTP more than HIIT.

    Of course if you only do HIIT or only do FTP then your improvement will reach a ceiling fairly quickly.

    A good program has an appropriate balance of intensity and volume that changes constantly thoughout a season and throughout a carear.

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    ok cool more good thoughts.............thanks !!

    of course my next question is why long over long ?

    i am thinking the longer rides ability to stimulate the lactate clearance longer is the difference, however it used to be thought the same about mitochondrial enzyme capacity and number, that only long rides improved this, however there is much evidence today to suppport hiit's ability to improve mito number and function.....the main driver being the energy deficit created by the high intensity, the other proven way to stimulate the mito's is prolonged muscle contraction and presence of Ca++ in the cytosol of the muscle cell, ie from long rides........but hiit has been shown to be equal to long rides in its ability to stimulate the mito, if so, then why are the long rides still required........I am talking to prepare an athlete for a cat 2 distance, not a road grand tour.........

  32. #32
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    Well a program base solely on high intensity intervals is only sustainable for so long. The time span depends on the athlete but 8 to 12 weeks seems to be the maximum. While the athlete is recovering the form gains they have made are lost.

    Where as a lower intensity higher volume program is sustainable for months and months. The athlete can maintains a high level of "Base" fitness.

    Throw some Hiit training on top of a base and you get peak form.

    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    ok cool more good thoughts.............thanks !!

    of course my next question is why long over long ?

    i am thinking the longer rides ability to stimulate the lactate clearance longer is the difference, however it used to be thought the same about mitochondrial enzyme capacity and number, that only long rides improved this, however there is much evidence today to suppport hiit's ability to improve mito number and function.....the main driver being the energy deficit created by the high intensity, the other proven way to stimulate the mito's is prolonged muscle contraction and presence of Ca++ in the cytosol of the muscle cell, ie from long rides........but hiit has been shown to be equal to long rides in its ability to stimulate the mito, if so, then why are the long rides still required........I am talking to prepare an athlete for a cat 2 distance, not a road grand tour.........

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    Arthur Lydiard knew this back in the late 1950s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Well a program base solely on high intensity intervals is only sustainable for so long. The time span depends on the athlete but 8 to 12 weeks seems to be the maximum. While the athlete is recovering the form gains they have made are lost.

    Where as a lower intensity higher volume program is sustainable for months and months. The athlete can maintains a high level of "Base" fitness.

    Throw some Hiit training on top of a base and you get peak form.
    how low is the intensity and how high is the volume ? this is basically the tried and true old training model, lots volume with a littl eintensity thrown in.............yea it works, but is there a more time efficient way ??

    some think intensity below 85% of critical power is a waste of time...........as the fiber recruitment isn't adequate enough to get a significant training effect below this........

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    how low is the intensity and how high is the volume ? this is basically the tried and true old training model, lots volume with a littl eintensity thrown in.............yea it works, but is there a more time efficient way ??

    some think intensity below 85% of critical power is a waste of time...........as the fiber recruitment isn't adequate enough to get a significant training effect below this........

    Is there a more efficient way? A more efficient way to do what? Get fit or reach peak form (two different things)?

    Yes, if you are faced with time constrains a "traditional model" may not be the best approach. However, if you have sufficient time no other training model has been shown to be as effective over the long run as a "traditional one".

    There is a reason why nearly all top cyclist use the "traditional model" in some variation. Actually the "traditional model" is used in nearly all endurance sports.

    Look at it this way:
    If there is a race in 8 weeks that I want to get fit for then a block of long steady rides is not going to be in my training plan.

    However, in next November when I am building a training plan to reach peak form, form blocks of long steady rides will be an integral component.

    The length and intensity of those rides will vary to match the training needs of the athlete at that particular time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    The good ones certain don't.

    On the dirt at least racing may be part of training but they don't race themselves into shape. Most enter the race season at 90% of their top form. The last 10% comes mainly from the training they do during the race blocks.
    Of course. Nobody comes into the racing season 10kg overweight, road or dirt. They come into the season more or less at race weight, but not quite packing that killer, high end speed/power. As you said, that last 10%.

    I'd be willing to bet that your wife is more or less incapable of producing numbers in training that match what she does in racing. I know I am; my 1MP from a race two years ago is almost 50w higher than I've ever done in training. Same with my 1hr max, and 2hr max. It stands to reason that the body would improve more after recovering from race efforts than a regular hard interval session in its place that weekend.

    And, to prove my point, I'm guessing there's a reason that all of the top Euro (the males, at least) are racing the weekends in between the World Cups. And probably some correlation between their results and training, and the absence of the N. Americans from these races, and their results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    It's counterintuitive, but the best way to raise the lactate threshold is not to train at or above it, but just below it. Too much time above threshold just burns you out, unless you rest an awful lot. Don't know about you, but I can't ride super hard one day, then not ride for two or three days, then ride super hard one day, etc...

    In my experience, I ride best when I do lots of 10 to 20 minute efforts, and these are done well below threshold. YMMV
    This.^^^

  38. #38
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    Actually Catharine's power numbers drop during a racing block. Races take too long to recover from to train effectively between them. At the same time she does get faster during a racing block because there is more to racing then power numbers.

    There are a couple of reason the Euro's race between world cups. In no particular order
    1. Sponsors requires it.
    2. Results (doing well at a world cup is actually fairly challenging)
    3. Practice. Racing is a skill and even the best need practice.
    4. They are bike races and they like to race.


    And yes power numbers are just about always the highest in a race. You are motivated and if you have done your training right you are on peak form. A race is certainly when you want your peak numbers.



    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    Of course. Nobody comes into the racing season 10kg overweight, road or dirt. They come into the season more or less at race weight, but not quite packing that killer, high end speed/power. As you said, that last 10%.

    I'd be willing to bet that your wife is more or less incapable of producing numbers in training that match what she does in racing. I know I am; my 1MP from a race two years ago is almost 50w higher than I've ever done in training. Same with my 1hr max, and 2hr max. It stands to reason that the body would improve more after recovering from race efforts than a regular hard interval session in its place that weekend.

    And, to prove my point, I'm guessing there's a reason that all of the top Euro (the males, at least) are racing the weekends in between the World Cups. And probably some correlation between their results and training, and the absence of the N. Americans from these races, and their results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Is there a more efficient way? A more efficient way to do what? Get fit or reach peak form (two different things)?

    Yes, if you are faced with time constrains a "traditional model" may not be the best approach. However, if you have sufficient time no other training model has been shown to be as effective over the long run as a "traditional one".
    your last statement I think is really what I am most curious about.........are you absolutely sure it hasn't been shown to be as effective.........many racers are unwilling to try new things for fear it may not work, but if it did work especially for the time constrained athlete it would be great...........there is a large amount of data being published on the benefits of hiit and the gene activation data to support its effectiveness in comparison to tradtinal models of endurance adaptations..........

    Ross suggest about 6 weeks of hiit then transitioning to what he calls spam (sustained power ) where the intensity is 85% of criticla power 4or 5 min on and 1-2 min off, but like 8-12 sets as compared to the 4 min on 2 min off 100% critical power hiit interval 5 sets........he thinks high volume low intensity miles longer than 3 weeks actually lead to muscle atrophy, decreased testosterone and growth hormone and thyroid horomone.......

    good stuff though appreciate your comments......

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    ok cool more good thoughts.............thanks !!

    of course my next question is why long over long ?

    i am thinking the longer rides ability to stimulate the lactate clearance longer is the difference, however it used to be thought the same about mitochondrial enzyme capacity and number, that only long rides improved this, however there is much evidence today to suppport hiit's ability to improve mito number and function.....the main driver being the energy deficit created by the high intensity, the other proven way to stimulate the mito's is prolonged muscle contraction and presence of Ca++ in the cytosol of the muscle cell, ie from long rides........but hiit has been shown to be equal to long rides in its ability to stimulate the mito, if so, then why are the long rides still required........I am talking to prepare an athlete for a cat 2 distance, not a road grand tour.........
    When I talk about longer intervals, I'm not necessarily talking about longer rides. One of my favorite trainer workouts, 3x20 minutes w/ 5 minutes rest in-between takes less than an hour and a half to do, including warm-up and cool-down. Shorter, more intense interval workouts rarely last more than an hour, maybe an hour and a quarter, tops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Well a program base solely on high intensity intervals is only sustainable for so long. The time span depends on the athlete but 8 to 12 weeks seems to be the maximum. While the athlete is recovering the form gains they have made are lost.
    The million dollar question is how to build that base when it's friggin' cold outside for half a year, with very limited time, quite a typical "time crunched cyclist" dilemma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    The million dollar question is how to build that base when it's friggin' cold outside for half a year, with very limited time, quite a typical "time crunched cyclist" dilemma.
    Training for a "time crunched cyclist" requires a different approach. It is pretty hard to do long rides when you don't have the time to do long rides. If you have less then 10hrs a week to train then a traditional model just doesn't fit.


    As for the cold. XC skiing combined with some trainer time does wonderful things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Training for a "time crunched cyclist" requires a different approach. It is pretty hard to do long rides when you don't have the time to do long rides. If you have less then 10hrs a week to train then a traditional model just doesn't fit.
    Assuming you've got at least one or two days with a lot of time, you could do a couple of three hour rides, or one five hour ride, then do shorter trainer workouts on the other days, and still be under 10 hours total. Of course, you then have to determine if one five hour ride with three interval days per week is better than five interval days. (note: I'm using the term "interval" broadly, to include anything from 10sec to 20min work efforts.)

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    Yes, I am absolutely sure that no other method has been shown to be as effective.

    There is really only one way to measure the effectiveness of a training plan and that is with results over a season/seasons. Peak results in nearly all endurance sports are achieved by what you call a "traditional model" (I put this in quotations because most people do not understand the training loads of a traditional model). Many different approaches have been tried but everybody comes back to some variation of the traditional model.

    When reading exercise physiology papers remember that most studies are done over a relatively short time span. Do not mistake short term results for long term results.




    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    your last statement I think is really what I am most curious about.........are you absolutely sure it hasn't been shown to be as effective.........many racers are unwilling to try new things for fear it may not work, but if it did work especially for the time constrained athlete it would be great...........there is a large amount of data being published on the benefits of hiit and the gene activation data to support its effectiveness in comparison to tradtinal models of endurance adaptations..........

    Ross suggest about 6 weeks of hiit then transitioning to what he calls spam (sustained power ) where the intensity is 85% of criticla power 4or 5 min on and 1-2 min off, but like 8-12 sets as compared to the 4 min on 2 min off 100% critical power hiit interval 5 sets........he thinks high volume low intensity miles longer than 3 weeks actually lead to muscle atrophy, decreased testosterone and growth hormone and thyroid horomone.......

    good stuff though appreciate your comments......

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Yes, I am absolutely sure that no other method has been shown to be as effective.

    There is really only one way to measure the effectiveness of a training plan and that is with results over a season/seasons. Peak results in nearly all endurance sports are achieved by what you call a "traditional model" (I put this in quotations because most people do not understand the training loads of a traditional model). Many different approaches have been tried but everybody comes back to some variation of the traditional model.

    When reading exercise physiology papers remember that most studies are done over a relatively short time span. Do not mistake short term results for long term results.
    again good points and thoughts thanks.........the papers are def short term data, and do make it enticing to extrapolate the fidnings to better fitness, but its is a leap of faith that the long term fitness will come based on the short term data........

    so, "the longer rides" ther are many thoughts as to how long and how intense they should be.....on the issue of time crunched, a long ride of 2 hours at pretty good pace, say 10 bpm below threshold i would think would yield the most training response per time, beyond this is it fair to say the training response begins to taper off quiet a bit, and although there is some benefit from riding longer at lower intensity there is not a whole lot of return on investment past the 2 hour mark ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    Assuming you've got at least one or two days with a lot of time, you could do a couple of three hour rides, or one five hour ride, then do shorter trainer workouts on the other days, and still be under 10 hours total. Of course, you then have to determine if one five hour ride with three interval days per week is better than five interval days. (note: I'm using the term "interval" broadly, to include anything from 10sec to 20min work efforts.)
    You're both talking weird numbers. 10? wow! I can do that only on vacation. This winter was spent on a trainer because of the weather (very rainy autumn and then -15C or more most of the time from december to march), 3-4 hrs/week and most of it was done when I actually wanted either to lay down and fall asleep or just wanted to sleep. Skiing is so time-inefficient it's out of question for me, I'd rather spin for 1.5 hours on a trainer than spend 4 hours for a 1.5 hour ski ride.

    The question is how to build any "base" having 4 (max 5) hours/week for 20 weeks in a row from November to mid-March. I'm really interested in any model suitable for that amount of time available. At the moment I'm doing 7 hours, thanks to the weather.

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    A 2hr ride at 10 bpm below threshold is a really hard ride. You have to be fresh and motivated to perform such a workout. You could probably only do that workout a couple of times a year. You certainly couldn't perform it for weeks on end.

    Really the fundamental limitation of a TCC program is it not sustainable. It will allow quick gains in fitness for a particular event. But fatigue catches up and athlete has to back off.

    There are plenty of benifits to a doing long rides. The big one being a sustainable training load that results sustainable improvements.




    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    again good points and thoughts thanks.........the papers are def short term data, and do make it enticing to extrapolate the fidnings to better fitness, but its is a leap of faith that the long term fitness will come based on the short term data........

    so, "the longer rides" ther are many thoughts as to how long and how intense they should be.....on the issue of time crunched, a long ride of 2 hours at pretty good pace, say 10 bpm below threshold i would think would yield the most training response per time, beyond this is it fair to say the training response begins to taper off quiet a bit, and although there is some benefit from riding longer at lower intensity there is not a whole lot of return on investment past the 2 hour mark ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    You're both talking weird numbers. 10? wow! I can do that only on vacation. This winter was spent on a trainer because of the weather (very rainy autumn and then -15C or more most of the time from december to march), 3-4 hrs/week and most of it was done when I actually wanted either to lay down and fall asleep or just wanted to sleep. Skiing is so time-inefficient it's out of question for me, I'd rather spin for 1.5 hours on a trainer than spend 4 hours for a 1.5 hour ski ride.

    The question is how to build any "base" having 4 (max 5) hours/week for 20 weeks in a row from November to mid-March. I'm really interested in any model suitable for that amount of time available. At the moment I'm doing 7 hours, thanks to the weather.
    Take a look at Chris Carmicals new book the Time Crunched Cyclist. It may suit your needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    You're both talking weird numbers. 10? wow! I can do that only on vacation. This winter was spent on a trainer because of the weather (very rainy autumn and then -15C or more most of the time from december to march), 3-4 hrs/week and most of it was done when I actually wanted either to lay down and fall asleep or just wanted to sleep. Skiing is so time-inefficient it's out of question for me, I'd rather spin for 1.5 hours on a trainer than spend 4 hours for a 1.5 hour ski ride.

    The question is how to build any "base" having 4 (max 5) hours/week for 20 weeks in a row from November to mid-March. I'm really interested in any model suitable for that amount of time available. At the moment I'm doing 7 hours, thanks to the weather.
    It sounds like you need to embrace the reality that with your time constraints you can't train properly for racing. There is no magic bullet. That's not to say that you can't race from time to time, just don't expect to do really well. Just go have fun.

    Having said that, I know a guy who doesn't ride much and spends much of his available riding time doing crossfit-type workouts instead of riding. I think he just can't bring himself to look like the 'typical' cyclist so he insists on doing upper body work, but that's another story. Anyway, for races less than 1.5 hours, he can really rock (it helps that he lives in an area of the country where an overpass counts as a climb). At 2 hours or more, forget it. More than one climb longer than 5 minutes, forget it. For a 45 minute crossfit workout, he's super fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    A 2hr ride at 10 bpm below threshold is a really hard ride. You have to be fresh and motivated to perform such a workout. You could probably only do that workout a couple of times a year. You certainly couldn't perform it for weeks on end.

    Really the fundamental limitation of a TCC program is it not sustainable. It will allow quick gains in fitness for a particular event. But fatigue catches up and athlete has to back off.

    There are plenty of benifits to a doing long rides. The big one being a sustainable training load that results sustainable improvements.
    ok, so in general what constitutes a long ride and at what intensity is optimal for a:

    cat 1
    cat 2
    cat 3


    who cares about pro, cause that aint gonna apply to any of us.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    It sounds like you need to embrace the reality that with your time constraints you can't train properly for racing. There is no magic bullet. That's not to say that you can't race from time to time, just don't expect to do really well. Just go have fun.
    For the forth year in a row my yearly volume is a bit below 300h/year and I don't see any difference in my results, especially in long distance races, when it was ~370-380 hours. Althouth this year's winter was the worst and at last I started to feel the lack of fitness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    For the forth year in a row my yearly volume is a bit below 300h/year and I don't see any difference in my results, especially in long distance races, when it was ~370-380 hours. Althouth this year's winter was the worst and at last I started to feel the lack of fitness.
    Why would you expect it to be worse, given the numbers you've thrown out. You really think that 300 hours/year (just shy of 6 hours per week) is not enough, but 380 is? You're not even talking an extra 2 hours per week. Of course your performance didn't change. Now, if you went from 15-20 hours per week down to 6 hours per week, then we'd expect to see a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    Why would you expect it to be worse, given the numbers you've thrown out. You really think that where 300 hours/year (just shy of 6 hours per week) is not enough, but 380 is? You're not even talking an extra 2 hours per week. Of course your performance didn't change. Now, if you went from 15-20 hours per week down to 6 hours per week, then we'd expect to see a difference.
    Well, I had a year with over 500 hours and lots of slow (L2) riding. Didn't work either Actually after that year I cut the volume down to those 370-380 hours and got better results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    Well, I had a year with over 500 hours and lots of slow (L2) riding. Didn't work either
    10 hours a week with lot's of zone 2 riding, hmmm, let's see, what's wrong with this picture?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    10 hours a week with lot's of zone 2 riding, hmmm, let's see, what's wrong with this picture?
    I don't have a diary from that year but I do remember that from February to September I kept my weekly volume over 12 hours and many weeks were over 15 hours with my PB of 23.5 hours in May and there was quite enough intensity. But that didn't make any difference, lower volume years were definitely better.

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    Ross believes that long hours of level 2 riding can actually lead to type I fiber atrophy and decrease performance....your history would support that idea i think.........

    so still the question remains what is the minimal amount of volume with any level of intensity that gets you the benefits hiit only training can't provide ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    Rosdss believes that long hours of level 2 riding can actually lead to type I fiber atrophy and decrease performance....your history would support that idea i think.........

    so still the question remains what is the minimal amount of volume with any level of intensity that gets you the benefits hiit only training can't provide ??
    I threw away pointless L2 long rides, now I use L2 only as a warmup/cooldown and for a saturday warmup ride before sunday race or long ride (long means > 2 hours, mostly 2:40-3:00)

    I learned from this winter, that if the weekly volume goes consistently below 4 hours, fitness goes down I still can manage racing intensities but it gets like digging too deep, recovery rate fell down sharply. Hence the question: how to use 4 hours in the wisest way possible.

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    You keep on looking for black and white answer when there are none. The correct length and intensity of the ride depends on what else is going on during training.

    Lets examine a Cat 1 cyclist (Cat 2 and Cat 3 racers generally don't have the experience to implement a good training plan and by the time they figure out how to train properly they are in Cat 1).

    During a base period when they are not doing as many high intensity workouts their long may be done at a higher intensity. A sample ride may be 3-4hrs at 65% of FTP. As race season approaches and the high intensity workouts get harder the intensity of the long rides tends to drop (the long ride becomes a maintenance workout instead of a break though workout).

    BTW 65% of FTP is quite fast. Most MTB races are done at 80-90% of FTP

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    You keep on looking for black and white answer when there are none.
    Well, currently I'm in a stalemate and found out that there are many others who are "time crunched" too. I suppose that's why questions about base training keep appearing on forums and I'm joining in. For those who have time there are traditional ways, you said it.

    I'm interested in getting the most out of my miserable hours in the winter to get my base right. With in-season training I can cope by myself as much as my irregular lifestyle affords.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    so still the question remains what is the minimal amount of volume with any level of intensity that gets you the benefits hiit only training can't provide ??
    That is very hard to generalize--each person responds to a particular training stimulus in different ways. But, I might fairly safely say that 4-5 hours of zone 2 (basic aerobic) would likely give most riders some endurance benefits that they probably won't get from HIIT only training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    Well, currently I'm in a stalemate and found out that there are many others who are "time crunched" too. I suppose that's why questions about base training keep appearing on forums and I'm joining in. For those who have time there are traditional ways, you said it.

    I'm interested in getting the most out of my miserable hours in the winter to get my base right. With in-season training I can cope by myself as much as my irregular lifestyle affords.
    Yep, a lot of people are in your shoes.

    Just one point I want to make though. I think you have underestimated the importance of the hours you did the past. It is probably the higher volume that you did in the past that allows you to perform as well as you do now on a lower volume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Yep, a lot of people are in your shoes.

    Just one point I want to make though. I think you have underestimated the importance of the hours you did the past. It is probably the higher volume that you did in the past that allows you to perform as well as you do now on a lower volume.
    I do understand that and I can't agree more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Yep, a lot of people are in your shoes.

    Just one point I want to make though. I think you have underestimated the importance of the hours you did the past. It is probably the higher volume that you did in the past that allows you to perform as well as you do now on a lower volume.
    why ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    why ?
    Because form is developed over years. The whole idea of base is increase your base level of fitness year after year. A low volume high intensity program doesn't result in long term gains in fitness. It is like cramming for a test; you are good for the test but two weeks later it gone.

    A respected physiologist said to me once, "base training doesn't help you this year, it helps you next year."


    Edit: Also a solid base allows you to do more high intensity training. I look at my wife's workouts right now and there is no way I can come even close to completing her interval sets. (Or when I do them with her it takes me three days to recover) I just don't have the base to handle that much intensity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    ok cool more good thoughts.............thanks !!

    of course my next question is why long over long ?

    i am thinking the longer rides ability to stimulate the lactate clearance longer is the difference, however it used to be thought the same about mitochondrial enzyme capacity and number, that only long rides improved this, however there is much evidence today to suppport hiit's ability to improve mito number and function.....the main driver being the energy deficit created by the high intensity, the other proven way to stimulate the mito's is prolonged muscle contraction and presence of Ca++ in the cytosol of the muscle cell, ie from long rides........but hiit has been shown to be equal to long rides in its ability to stimulate the mito, if so, then why are the long rides still required........I am talking to prepare an athlete for a cat 2 distance, not a road grand tour.........
    I will try to go over this

    Short duration/high intensity efforts will produce more lactate than long ones since the rate at which you need to produce energy is too fast to use fats as a primary source and Oxygen is not available at that rate (way more complicated but lets leave it like this for explanatory purposes)
    You have several pathways to deal with lactate, and all will help with its removal:
    1- That lactate will get converted back to piruvate and then Acetyl Coa to enter the Krebs cycle and follow the "aerobic"pathways (when intensity goes down)
    2- Lactate will migrate through the blood to an adjacent muscle fiber (Type I) and do the same as is #1
    3- Lactate will migrate to the blood were it will go to the heart as fuel (lactate is an important fuel source during exercise for the heart)
    4- Lactate will go to the liver were it will be transformed to glucose through gluconeogenesis
    5- can'tthink about the 5th one now

    So... the only way to increase the rate of clearence is to increase the number (debated if possible) of mitochondria, their size and enzymes (last 2 true)
    The way the cell increases its šerobic capacity is increasing Krebs and ETC (electron transfer chain) enzymes; and this occurs when you PUSH the cell to deal with the excess of lactate, H+, etc
    If you don't have eough Krebs and ETC enzymes, then H+ "leaks" Ųutside the mitochondria and affects NADH/NAD ratio and thus blocking a step in glucolysis, inhibitting PFK and cutting that short burst/high intensity energy flow (which is what happens at certain point)
    If the effort is longer than 3 min or about 180 seconds; the aerobic component increses (that's one of the reasons GXT stages are kept at 3 min)
    Thing is that you cannot just do HIIT or you will overtrain (or just not be able to handle it)
    I think I got off track... will read your Q more

    Yes, ADP/ATP ratio is the most important stimulant but also decrease pH, citrate, H+, etc

    Long rides will train your energy system to do whatever they do and last longer; a theoryof fatige is the actual fatige of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (Ca+ release and re-absorption) since Ca is not required for the contraction but for the relaxation of the muscle
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Edit: Also a solid base allows you to do more high intensity training. I look at my wife's workouts right now and there is no way I can come even close to completing her interval sets. (Or when I do them with her it takes me three days to recover) I just don't have the base to handle that much intensity.
    That's quite a question. What's the difference between adaptations caused by volume training and HIIT? Physiology says adaptations are the same but they are not in the end. Where's the devil?
    Last edited by dot; 05-19-2010 at 01:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Because form is developed over years. The whole idea of base is increase your base level of fitness year after year. A low volume high intensity program doesn't result in long term gains in fitness. It is like cramming for a test; you are good for the test but two weeks later it gone.

    A respected physiologist said to me once, "base training doesn't help you this year, it helps you next year."


    Edit: Also a solid base allows you to do more high intensity training. I look at my wife's workouts right now and there is no way I can come even close to completing her interval sets. (Or when I do them with her it takes me three days to recover) I just don't have the base to handle that much intensity.
    I'm going to make an analogy with resistance training (correct me if I'm wrong)
    If you haven't been weight lifting, you could go to the gym and do a bench press with your body weight. Lets say for the sake of the discussion you did 5 reps because you are strong .You rest and try to do another 5-rep set. Maybe you do it again but its very hard to achieve those 5 reps. You rest and try it again but you do only 2 reps. What happened?
    Muscle endurance is not there (that's what "base" will do for you)
    With base, long rides or however you want to call it; the muscles will get use to contract more times and you will be able to repeat that High intensity effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    I will try to go over this

    Short duration/high intensity efforts will produce more lactate than long ones since the rate at which you need to produce energy is too fast to use fats as a primary source and Oxygen is not available at that rate (way more complicated but lets leave it like this for explanatory purposes)
    You have several pathways to deal with lactate, and all will help with its removal:
    1- That lactate will get converted back to piruvate and then Acetyl Coa to enter the Krebs cycle and follow the "aerobic"pathways (when intensity goes down)
    2- Lactate will migrate through the blood to an adjacent muscle fiber (Type I) and do the same as is #1
    3- Lactate will migrate to the blood were it will go to the heart as fuel (lactate is an important fuel source during exercise for the heart)
    4- Lactate will go to the liver were it will be transformed to glucose through gluconeogenesis
    5- can'tthink about the 5th one now

    So... the only way to increase the rate of clearence is to increase the number (debated if possible) of mitochondria, their size and enzymes (last 2 true)
    The way the cell increases its šerobic capacity is increasing Krebs and ETC (electron transfer chain) enzymes; and this occurs when you PUSH the cell to deal with the excess of lactate, H+, etc
    If you don't have eough Krebs and ETC enzymes, then H+ "leaks" Ųutside the mitochondria and affects NADH/NAD ratio and thus blocking a step in glucolysis, inhibitting PFK and cutting that short burst/high intensity energy flow (which is what happens at certain point)
    If the effort is longer than 3 min or about 180 seconds; the aerobic component increses (that's one of the reasons GXT stages are kept at 3 min)
    Thing is that you cannot just do HIIT or you will overtrain (or just not be able to handle it)
    I think I got off track... will read your Q more

    Yes, ADP/ATP ratio is the most important stimulant but also decrease pH, citrate, H+, etc

    Long rides will train your energy system to do whatever they do and last longer; a theoryof fatige is the actual fatige of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (Ca+ release and re-absorption) since Ca is not required for the contraction but for the relaxation of the muscle
    Cheers
    yes i am a physician and have an undergrad degree in biochemsitry i know the basic energy metabolism, but thanks for the review........mitochondrial biogenesis and enzyme capacity are the major changes that occur to make you faster.....and there is good data that hiit improves both mito number and enzyme capacity.......the other major factors to perfromance are vascularity of the cycling muscles, resting heart rate and lung function, the later do take years to improve.......

    I just still want to believe that highly specific power based interval training with smart recovery can get damn close to what can be achieved from more traditional models, I recognize the benefits of more long rides, but just can't happen with my schedule, so i need to know how much additional training benefit i might get form doing more 2-3 hour rides in place of some hiit workouts....4-5 hour rides will only ever be able to happen rarely...............

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    Ross believes that long hours of level 2 riding can actually lead to type I fiber atrophy and decrease performance....your history would support that idea i think.........

    so still the question remains what is the minimal amount of volume with any level of intensity that gets you the benefits hiit only training can't provide ??
    Type II fibers can adapt (type X or IIb, can't recall) to be more oxidative or glycolytic depending on the stimulus

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    Type II fibers can adapt (type X or IIb, can't recall) to be more oxidative or glycolytic depending on the stimulus
    yes there are IIa and IIb, and they are adaptable to become more type I like, but all type II a or b fatigue at about 4 minutes......

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    yes i am a physician and have an undergrad degree in biochemsitry i know the basic energy metabolism, but thanks for the review........mitochondrial biogenesis and enzyme capacity are the major changes that occur to make you faster.....and there is good data that hiit improves both mito number and enzyme capacity.......the other major factors to perfromance are vascularity of the cycling muscles, resting heart rate and lung function, the later do take years to improve.......

    I just still want to believe that highly specific power based interval training with smart recovery can get damn close to what can be achieved from more traditional models, I recognize the benefits of more long rides, but just can't happen with my schedule, so i need to know how much additional training benefit i might get form doing more 2-3 hour rides in place of some hiit workouts....4-5 hour rides will only ever be able to happen rarely...............
    Intesity is the most important factor for maintain and improve VO2 max. All the papers supported by the ACSM and the available bibliography point in that direction...
    Why do you point RHR as a factor to performance? it is a function of increased diastolic volume (which is what matters or actually what increases the delivery of blood)
    You are forgetting to ad hormonal factors and sympathetic/parasympathetic activity (regulation)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    Intesity is the most important factor for maintain and improve VO2 max. All the papers supported by the ACSM and the available bibliography point in that direction...
    Why do you point RHR as a factor to performance? it is a function of increased diastolic volume (which is what matters or actually what increases the delivery of blood)
    You are forgetting to ad hormonal factors and sympathetic/parasympathetic activity (regulation)
    because rhr is an easy thing to measure that is a direct reflection of the improved ventricular function and regulation.....

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    I just still want to believe that highly specific power based interval training with smart recovery can get damn close to what can be achieved from more traditional models, I recognize the benefits of more long rides, but just can't happen with my schedule, so i need to know how much additional training benefit i might get form doing more 2-3 hour rides in place of some hiit workouts....4-5 hour rides will only ever be able to happen rarely...............

    OK look at it this way.

    For a focused dedicated athlete who lets nothing get in the way of their training, over the long run the traditional model is superior, probably significantly superior. The thing is that athlete is really rare and usually ends up racing at an elite level.

    The rest of us are to inconsistent in our training to really take advantage of a traditional model. Life forces us to take significant breaks from training (I know for myself every 2 to 3 months something seems to come up that forces be to limit my training for a week or two). If you can recognize these limitations then you may be best served by a different model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    OK look at it this way.

    For a focused dedicated athlete who lets nothing get in the way of their training, over the long run the traditional model is superior, probably significantly superior. The thing is that athlete is really rare and usually ends up racing at an elite level.

    The rest of us are to inconsistent in our training to really take advantage of a traditional model. Life forces us to take significant breaks from training (I know for myself every 2 to 3 months something seems to come up that forces be to limit my training for a week or two). If you can recognize these limitations then you may be best served by a different model.
    ok mkaes sense, that it reasonable and realistic..........

    the other variable i think too is age......i am late 30's and the body definitely reacts differently to training as we age, i think the body and the joints are better served by shorter rides than longer ones ??

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    ok mkaes sense, that it reasonable and realistic..........

    the other variable i think too is age......i am late 30's and the body definitely reacts differently to training as we age, i think the body and the joints are better served by shorter rides than longer ones ??
    Yeah.....

    but high intensity work is pretty hard on the body too. And as we age it takes longer to recover from.

    And injuries from too much volume are pretty rare in cycling.

  76. #76
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    Base + HIT

    Sorry to jump in late with this thread but doing a full season of hard as possible intervals with varying times helped me improve from the previous year to some good podium finishes- BUT I always had a tough time staying fast the last 2-5 miles of the race. (sport class) Although I did do some tempo and sweet spot it wasn't enough to have consistent high finishes.

    This season I did a full base training plan in the winter with an 8 week interval plan- now I'm riding WAY more power with lower heart rates and already got 2 podiums so HIT training is good but even better with a solid base of aerobic fitness underneath it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u
    Sorry to jump in late with this thread but doing a full season of hard as possible intervals with varying times helped me improve from the previous year to some good podium finishes- BUT I always had a tough time staying fast the last 2-5 miles of the race. (sport class) Although I did do some tempo and sweet spot it wasn't enough to have consistent high finishes.

    This season I did a full base training plan in the winter with an 8 week interval plan- now I'm riding WAY more power with lower heart rates and already got 2 podiums so HIT training is good but even better with a solid base of aerobic fitness underneath it.
    good info, can you give a little more detail on what you did as your base plan......

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    good info, can you give a little more detail on what you did as your base plan......
    This was my general plan about 7-8 hours a week. It was all winter road riding with a lot of trainer rides as well. When weather allowed I hit the trail for the workouts.

    Tues: 1.0 hr Breakthrough (BT) workout
    Wed: 1.5- hr Endurance
    Thurs: 1.0 BT
    Friday: 0.5 Easy spin
    Sat: 1.5 hr MTB or BT
    Sun: 2.5 hr Endurance

    =8.0 hours total

    Breakthrough workouts should be FTP improvers: Tempo, SST, Threshold. Those are the ones to do.

    First month try building to 1-hr Tempo on BT days. If you're tired or unmotivated, do Endurance on a BT day.
    Second month try one SST day per week (start with 20-30min, build to 45min) on BT days. Keep the other Tempo. Replace with Endurance if tired.
    Third month, move up to Threshold (2-3X10-15min) and SST (up to 45min-1 hour) on BT days.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    yes i am a physician and have an undergrad degree in biochemsitry i know the basic energy metabolism, but thanks for the review........mitochondrial biogenesis and enzyme capacity are the major changes that occur to make you faster.....and there is good data that hiit improves both mito number and enzyme capacity.......the other major factors to perfromance are vascularity of the cycling muscles, resting heart rate and lung function, the later do take years to improve.......

    I just still want to believe that highly specific power based interval training with smart recovery can get damn close to what can be achieved from more traditional models, I recognize the benefits of more long rides, but just can't happen with my schedule, so i need to know how much additional training benefit i might get form doing more 2-3 hour rides in place of some hiit workouts....4-5 hour rides will only ever be able to happen rarely...............
    How many hours per week do you have to train. If it's below 6-7 hours or less an interval (HIT) program focus would be your best bet-I did 4-5 hours last year per week with 1-2 hit sessions and 2 faster (sweet spot) rides with little structure and got some podiums. As I mentioned below if you add in a base program for 12 weeks before your hit you'll do even better.
    Racing and Training Blog
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    If you have the time, train as much as your body will allow (and recover from), and periodize the plan so you'll be sharp in all areas.. This is best choice (IMO).

    If you don't have much time, still train as much as you can, and ride as hard as you can (and recover from). This is next best.

    If you don't have much time, and you don't like the burn of high intensity, then just ride as much as you want, can, and have a great time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u
    How many hours per week do you have to train. If it's below 6-7 hours or less an interval (HIT) program focus would be your best bet-I did 4-5 hours last year per week with 1-2 hit sessions and 2 faster (sweet spot) rides with little structure and got some podiums. As I mentioned below if you add in a base program for 12 weeks before your hit you'll do even better.
    you know its interesting, I think i have 6-8 hours per week, but when i look back over my garmin data i really only average 4 hours per week..........

    but I def enjoy the discussion of how train just a wee bit smarter..........when i do spend time in the saddle i want to get the absolute most i can out of that time...........

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Take a look at Chris Carmicals new book the Time Crunched Cyclist. It may suit your needs.

    +1 for this. I bought it several months ago and have been using it. I am currently in week 8 or the competition workouts and have noticed significant improvements. I have a race coming up this weekend we'll see how I do. I do realize that the improvements are short lived however. I just currently don't have the time to put in more hours.

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    For uncomprised no bs or bias concerning this type of stuff, check out www.bodyrecomposition.com

    Its the one source of fitness/health info that I have found to be the unadulterated truth.

    Lyle Mcdonald knows his stuff. Lots of articles to read on there and if you still have questions go to the forums or buy some of his books.

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    good link, that site has some good reading............

    my favorite reads so far have been:
    Maximum performance for cyclist - Michael Ross MD
    Training and racing with a power meter - Allen & Coggan
    The time crunched cyclist - Carmichael

    alot of people mention the training bible but i didn't really find that helpful, it seemed to general to me.....

  85. #85
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    At last! I wonder why I haven't found that before:

    "The first is one I’ve mentioned before. While VO2 max training generates very quick results, the improvements generally slow or stop equally quickly. Three weeks of VO2 max training is about it and the adaptations pretty much stop occurring. So, like anaerobic work, you end up working your brains out for very little return."

    and

    "One study pointed this out in spades, looking at VO2 max and citrate synthase (a marker of aerobic endurance in skeletal muscle), it showed clearly that while interval training improved Vo2 max far more than long-duration training, it had little to no impact on citrate synthase levels. In contrast, steady state training primarily improved citrate synthase levels with little impact on VO2 max."

    taken from this article: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/tra...ng-part-2.html

    That explains the difference in adaptations between HIIT and LSD/tempo/sweet spot sessions. I feel relieved and immensely stupid. No point in doing anything above threshold in winter except sprints and long-term endurance development (the same old LSD/tempo/sweet spot).

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    At last! I wonder why I haven't found that before:

    "The first is one Iíve mentioned before. While VO2 max training generates very quick results, the improvements generally slow or stop equally quickly. Three weeks of VO2 max training is about it and the adaptations pretty much stop occurring. So, like anaerobic work, you end up working your brains out for very little return."

    and

    "One study pointed this out in spades, looking at VO2 max and citrate synthase (a marker of aerobic endurance in skeletal muscle), it showed clearly that while interval training improved Vo2 max far more than long-duration training, it had little to no impact on citrate synthase levels. In contrast, steady state training primarily improved citrate synthase levels with little impact on VO2 max."

    taken from this article: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/tra...ng-part-2.html

    That explains the difference in adaptations between HIIT and LSD/tempo/sweet spot sessions. I feel relieved and immensely stupid. No point in doing anything above threshold in winter except sprints and long-term endurance development (the same old LSD/tempo/sweet spot).
    yep, those 2 paragraphs have been bouncing through my head all day, that pretty much sums it up.......I def wanted to believe hiit was all you needed, but it just aint so.....

    this may be the all time most helpful thread I have ever started, it has likely saved me from countless lung busting anerobic intervals and wondering why i still get dropped......I get the sense that Lyle and LMN see training pretty much the same way.......

    now if I could just find the time for those needed long days in the saddle........maybe if i could do atleast one 4-5 hour tempo/sweet spot combo and sweetspot/threshold teusday and thursday with 6-8 all out hill repeat intervals the few weeks before the most important mtb races maybe i'll have a decent showing.........

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