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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NW Illinois
    Posts
    60

    Interval Training - what and how

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    I'm a newbie and still trying to find some good training tips. One thing I can't seem to get my head around is interval training. I've read articles about it, but I don't understand exactly what it is you do. I don't want anything complicated as some stuff I read it's all this techno babble.

    Can someone explain in a easy way what they are and how you do them?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    You go really hard and fast for a specified period of time (a few seconds to a few minutes). You recover. You do it again for a certain number of times.

    It makes you stronger. But it can really suck when you are in the middle of it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,543
    An easy way to get in an interval workout is to invest a small amount of money on a spinerval DVD to follow on the trainer.

    You can also do hill repeats.

    The idea is to get your heart rate up to a certain level or power output then hold it for a set amount of time and then recover. Repeat.

    Having a heart rate monitor a computer can help you measure your intervals.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Traffic light or telephone pole sprints are good for less-structured intervals. Pick a "finish line" and sprint for it. When you get there, soft pedal until you've recovered. Repeat until sufficiently worn out.

    My commute home ends up being an interval workout most days. I catch more red lights in the afternoon and, because of the greater traffic volume, find myself riding faster to stay out of the way. Good stuff!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NW Illinois
    Posts
    60
    OK so here's an example I found online:
    You should have a day during the week, where you train with short intervals of 15-90 seconds. On this day you ride approx. -1 hours warm up in medium range tempo. You then typically ride 5 x 60 second intervals (remember to rest between every interval) and after this ride a 5 x 90 second interval.

    So for 5 times, you ride hard out for 60 seconds the rest then ride hard another 60 seconds? How long to you rest?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    rest until you feel recovered. You can get super anal and structured, or you can just go out and ride fast and repeat, whatever suits your style. I personally really like the telephone pole method. I'm not out to race, just to have fun and gain a little speed in the process. Whatever works for you. Start doing it and adapt as necessary.

    It's true that it's not something to do every day. A couple of days a week is usually sufficient. You need to build in rest.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    The shorter the hard effort, the shorter the rest period should be.

    I only intentionally do intervals on the indoor trainer. (When I'm riding outside, I let the hills create them for me, or circumstances like cars waiting behind me to pass so I ride as fast as I can until I reach an area where they can pass safely.) Some sets will be pretty short, like 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest, repeat 5 times, then rest for 2 minutes.

    Some sets are longer, like 5 minutes hard effort. For those, the rest period is 2 minutes.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NW Illinois
    Posts
    60
    Thanks ladies for clarifying this. I think I'll be giving it a go!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    on a trail somewhere
    Posts
    13
    Start small and build up to longer sets. I have my new athletes do 30-30 x4 the first week, 30-30 x6 the next week, and so on. If you can do more than 4 repeats the first time then you aren't going hard enough Good luck!
    Yes, I do have a Trek OCLV 9800 "Apocalypse" Bike thanks for asking!

 

 

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