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  1. #1
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    Hill work - interval replacement?

    I've posted on here a few times of my background, so I don't want to write a book again as I tend to do. Long story short, started racing last year. Have only done 7 races and moved up to Cat 2 this year with one race under the belt. I'm riding significantly more than I was 2 years ago and even a lot more than when I decided to start racing last year.

    I was never dedicated to riding the trainer/spinning class last race season but I was this year, about double the hours or more. I did a lot of Sufferfest videos mid-late winter, so a lot of interval based work. The last 3 months at least I haven't done any structure based intervals I've just been trying to ride longer and harder. I also have no real flat sections of road but a ton of hills of varying length and grade.

    Do I need to get back to doing more dedicated structured intervals similar to the sufferfest videos but on the road or if I'm doing a 6 minute hill and I'm at 90 - 95% of my max for that entire time is that like doing interval work too? Just trying to figure out what to work on for the last 5 series races, each race is spaced out about 3 weeks or so.

    Here are a few links to show the type of hill work I can do, don't mind the HR numbers, my monitor throws out crazy numbers on the road in the wind. Actually the first link has accurate HR numbers since it was before I started having issues with the strap. Yes, I know that 190's for HR is crazy and that is accurate. I'm not getting dizzy, puking, or have any side effects other than suffering on the bike.

    Bike Ride Profile | Hill repeats near Richmondville | Times and Records | Strava

    Bike Ride Profile | Ecker Hollow - Terrace Mountain near Cobleskill | Times and Records | Strava

    Bike Ride Profile | Climbing - Bear Gulch and Cross Hill near Richmondville | Times and Records | Strava
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  2. #2
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    You need to do an honest assessment of strengths vs weaknesses. Then try to improve your weaknesses.

    Where are the racers that are finishing just ahead of you in the races getting ahead of you?
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  3. #3
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    How did you do in that one race? It sure looks like you're doing plenty serious training for Cat2. Over time work like that pays off (with adequate rest/recovery of course).
    I'm 46 and I still hit low 190s on my hrm so that's not unheard of, max heart rate really varies from person to person.

  4. #4
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    I don't understand the question: How is any hard effort not an "interval"?

    Whether you're on flat ground, rolling terrain, or an HC climb, riding hard for a predetermined period of time is an interval.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    The last 3 months at least I haven't done any structure based intervals I've just been trying to ride longer and harder. I also have no real flat sections of road but a ton of hills of varying length and grade.
    If you just been riding harder and longer then it's likely most your riding has been aerobic and tempo-ish with some hard efforts. Likely Zone 2 and 3 average.

    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    Do I need to get back to doing more dedicated structured intervals similar to the sufferfest videos but on the road or if I'm doing a 6 minute hill and I'm at 90 - 95% of my max for that entire time is that like doing interval work too?
    6 minute intervals fall more into the VO2max arena (see Table 1, Coggan Power Zones - Power Training Levels by Andrew Coggan | TrainingPeaks).

    Everyone really should do level 4 intervals, but other harder intervals (levels 5 and 6) really depend on strengths and weaknesses. And timing for peak performance.

    When I really concentrate on intervals, I notice a few things:
    -I really have to rest or spin easy in between interval days (i.e. reduce overall volume), or my interval quality is not as good
    -After a couple months (at the most) of interval routine, I start platueuing
    -After reducing overall volume to have the freshness to hit power targets, I start losing some endurance

    When I go into interval mode, I usually do them 3 days a week: Tues, Thurs, and Sat (if no race). Then after a couple of months of that, I go back to riding longer (i.e. base training).
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  6. #6
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    Hill work - interval replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I don't understand the question: How is any hard effort not an "interval"?

    Whether you're on flat ground, rolling terrain, or an HC climb, riding hard for a predetermined period of time is an interval.
    In the strickest meaning, interval training is about have set (usually short) recovery periods (intervals) between the repeated hard efforts, which also have a set intensity.

    You do a set number of the hard efforts or continue until you can not hold the intensity.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    How did you do in that one race? It sure looks like you're doing plenty serious training for Cat2. Over time work like that pays off (with adequate rest/recovery of course).
    I'm 46 and I still hit low 190s on my hrm so that's not unheard of, max heart rate really varies from person to person.
    Total race time was 1:40 and I finished 13 out of 17. A few minutes behind being in the top 10 but I was 20 minutes behind the leader. Based on strava, the top 3 guys if not more are putting in 10-12 hours a week of training. So I know I've increased the amount of hrs I'm training compared to last year but I'm nowhere close to even being top 5.

    Quite a bit of sandbagging going on too though. Guys running lap times as fast as the podium Cat 1 guys and mid-pack pro guys. Granted 1 - 2 less laps but in the last series race, if they added a lap and slowed down considerably and added 10 mins to their lap times they would still be competitive in Cat 1.
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  8. #8
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    Alright, thanks for the overall input. In stepping back and trying to think about everything, I think my biggest issue is just overall fitness in general. I've only been "training" at this level since mid-winter and next winter I expect to increase my time even more. I think I need to be patient and realize that overall my fitness is so far ahead of where it was last year that you can only improve so much. I know I wasn't going to be getting on the podium this year but I was kind of disappointed in my performance overall.

    So I think I was looking for one thing that changed dramatically, which was my lack of interval work as a reason why I wasn't able to at least be mid-pack. Probably adding some interval work back into the week will help but I think I need to put things in perspective too.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    Alright, thanks for the overall input. In stepping back and trying to think about everything, I think my biggest issue is just overall fitness in general. I've only been "training" at this level since mid-winter and next winter I expect to increase my time even more. I think I need to be patient and realize that overall my fitness is so far ahead of where it was last year that you can only improve so much. I know I wasn't going to be getting on the podium this year but I was kind of disappointed in my performance overall.

    So I think I was looking for one thing that changed dramatically, which was my lack of interval work as a reason why I wasn't able to at least be mid-pack. Probably adding some interval work back into the week will help but I think I need to put things in perspective too.
    I used to think that 'sufferfest' like intervals (anaerobic) were the way to go until I read this article. Just focusing on #2 in 'next level article' helped me make a leap in performance this off season.
    Articles | Kona Human Performance | Jacksonville, FL

    My last off season - see "daveryanwyoming" comments in link below
    Preparing for first MTB race of the season

    On Tabata type intervals
    "Interestingly, the running coach Arthur Lydiard made this observation half a century ago; after months of base training, he found that only 3 weeks of interval work were necessary to sharpen his athletes. More than that was neither necessary nor desirable. Other studies using cycling have found similar results: intervals improve certain parameters of athletic performance for about 3 weeks or 6 sessions and then they stop having any further benefit."

    "Iíve asked this question before but for all of the ĎAll interval all the timeí folks, if intervals stop working after 3-4 weeks, what are people supposed to do for the other 48-49 weeks of the year. Should they keep busting their nuts with supra-maximal interval training for no meaningful results?" quotes from article
    Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermitten Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2 Max - Research Review | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

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