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  1. #1
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    Threshold interval question

    My training plan calls for 2x25 min threshold intervals. How are you doing these- on the trainer, road or ??. It's hard for me to mimic this HR without actually racing. I was thinking about doing 2 giant hillclimbs...do you think that would suffice? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you have a steady 25min hill climb, thats a great interval hill! I like long intervals, they seem to work good. Intensity depends on the objective of the workout.. but 25min can be done at Tempo to Steady State (time trial) intensities with good effect. If you are just getting started on longer intervals, then maybe a High Tempo intensity.. hard but not hard enough to cause heavy breathing. If fitness is good, and your feeling spunky, then a notch higher into rythmic, somewhat heavy breathing would be a great workout.

    Technically "Threshold" is at or around 1hr Time Trial pace. But 2x25min at this intensity can be quite challenging, so reasonable fitness and readiness (freshness) would be good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by perryr
    Technically "Threshold" is at or around 1hr Time Trial pace. But 2x25min at this intensity can be quite challenging, so reasonable fitness and readiness (freshness) would be good.
    Yep.

    Threshold pace (if we're talking about the classically defined "threshold") should be faster than any XC race effort short of the 10-15min after the start of a race.

    The bread and butter workout for myself and most of my roadie friends is 2 or 3x20min between 95% and 105% of threshold. Do those 2 or 3 days a week through out the late winter and spring, and you'll be killing people next summer.

  4. #4
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    Yep.

    Threshold pace (if we're talking about the classically defined "threshold") should be faster than any XC race effort short of the 10-15min after the start of a race.
    You think?

    The power numbers that I am seeing show that, at the elite level at least, the pedaling part of XC races are done significantly above threshold. It is the downhills that dramatically drop the power numbers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    You think?

    The power numbers that I am seeing show that, at the elite level at least, the pedaling part of XC races are done significantly above threshold. It is the downhills that dramatically drop the power numbers.
    Taken as an average, yeah.

    Because if you're looking at it in terms of total stress on the system, I think we can both agree that a 1hr race will have a higher average power output (as well as higher peaks) than a 2hr race. Training can only do so much; we are not machines, and thus, we fatigue.

    And, I'm guessing that the goal of this particular effort is to build threshold power, which, in my opinion, is the basis for any endurance cycling event, from a 15km scratch race on the track to a 2hr XC event. It's the base line for everything else; both the absolute power of the spikes (short climbs) and the rate at which you recover from those efforts are influenced by that. A 500w climb for a minute is easier to perform and recover from when your FTP is 330w instead of 300w.

  6. #6
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    Taken as an average, yeah.

    Because if you're looking at it in terms of total stress on the system, I think we can both agree that a 1hr race will have a higher average power output (as well as higher peaks) than a 2hr race. Training can only do so much; we are not machines, and thus, we fatigue.

    Absolutely but in a 2hr XC race (few races are that length now-a-days), there is less that an hour of hard pedaling. The rest of the time is spent in sections where pedaling power has to be reduced.

    Looking through the power data from a couple of races I was quite surprised at how much time was spent in technical sections. I was also surprised at how much above threshold the "on" sections were.

    I am not arguing with your training approach, just the idea that threshold is higher then XC race pace.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by drtgirl
    My training plan calls for 2x25 min threshold intervals. How are you doing these- on the trainer, road or ??. It's hard for me to mimic this HR without actually racing. I was thinking about doing 2 giant hillclimbs...do you think that would suffice? Thanks!
    I did exactly what you are describing before. Luckily I'm about 15 minutes away from a 30+ minute climb that's a constant 4-5% grade. Doing these on a trainer is torturous, but I've done them.

    The coach I was under had me start these about 10 beats below threshold HR, and as I went up the hill, gradually increased HR to where at was right at threshold (and slightly above) for the end of the interval.

    Since the power delivered for this interval is so constant, it's fairly different from MTB racing, where power, for the most part, is fluctuating all the time; into Zone 6+(Anaerobic Capacity ) and many times falling to zero for the many times you're not pedaling: downhills, tech sections, pedal ratcheting, dismounts/remounts, trackstanding, etc. Any time you turn off the gas, the tendency is to turn on the gas with big power (Zone 6+) for any initial effort.

    But the purpose of the interval is to improve your functional threshold, which in turn improves your foundation for most other power efforts.
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