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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's your way of building power? Weight training, intervals, running? This is probably the one thing that I don't really have a set plan for. I go running now and again, I'll go to spin classes at the gym. I don't really do intervals or anything like that and I don't do any weight training. Should I do some weight training or intervals? Just wondering what people do to increase their power levels. Thanks!
 

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If you mean power on the bike, then intervals, either heart-rate defined ones on flats, or hillclimb intervals.
 

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LTHR Intervals

Robert M. said:
What's your way of building power? Weight training, intervals, running? ... I go running now and again, I'll go to spin classes at the gym. I don't really do intervals or anything like that and I don't do any weight training. Should I do some weight training or intervals? Just wondering what people do to increase their power levels. Thanks!
First, lets eliminate some options. Running is great for the aerobic system, does nothing for cycling power. While you will get arguments, the majority of coaches discount weight work, except for track sprinters. Doing gym work for core strength is beneficial, but weight work for legs does not translate well into cycling power because the joint angles and speed of motion are too different. So for cycling power you're back to intervals, specifically what Andy Coggan (our power guru) calls L4 intervals, or most other coaches call Lactate Threshold intervals. You need to do some testing: look at Friel's Cyclist's Bible, Carmichael's Ultimate Ride, or something similar. You do a max effort TT ride for some length of time or distance (anywhere from a 1-hr TT to several 3-mile TTs, depending on whose system you're using) and your avg power or HR defines your "functional threshold." Then you do 10-20 minute intervals at a bit under that number, trying to accumulate roughly 25-30% of your training time at that level of intensity. If you can't get outside, don't have a home trainer, then your spin classes will offer some of what you need. The problem is that short intervals in the 3-5 minute range work on your VO2max, not your threshold power, and while I haven't done them, I think spin classes concentrate on shorter intervals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's kinda what I thought the answers would be. Spinning class is OK, but your right, the intenseity is rather short. I enjoy trail running sometimes, but I've never noticed it helping my cycling much. I might look into different books. Thanks.
 

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50ft. Queenie
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palewin said:
First, lets eliminate some options. Running is great for the aerobic system, does nothing for cycling power. While you will get arguments, the majority of coaches discount weight work, except for track sprinters. Doing gym work for core strength is beneficial, but weight work for legs does not translate well into cycling power because the joint angles and speed of motion are too different. So for cycling power you're back to intervals, specifically what Andy Coggan (our power guru) calls L4 intervals, or most other coaches call Lactate Threshold intervals. You need to do some testing: look at Friel's Cyclist's Bible, Carmichael's Ultimate Ride, or something similar. You do a max effort TT ride for some length of time or distance (anywhere from a 1-hr TT to several 3-mile TTs, depending on whose system you're using) and your avg power or HR defines your "functional threshold." Then you do 10-20 minute intervals at a bit under that number, trying to accumulate roughly 25-30% of your training time at that level of intensity. If you can't get outside, don't have a home trainer, then your spin classes will offer some of what you need. The problem is that short intervals in the 3-5 minute range work on your VO2max, not your threshold power, and while I haven't done them, I think spin classes concentrate on shorter intervals.
Congrats! You have won the "Best Response of 2006" award.

Agree 100%.

For those of you looking to try spin classes, keep in mind that you are not obligated to follow the instructors class. I never do. I use spin classes, on occasion to break up the boredom of the trainer in my living room (and to see some hot chicks). Either way, I go in there with a MY plan, just as I do with my trainer. The instructor wont care (or know) if you are doing your own workout. Spin classes will almost never do 20min LT intervals, so do 'em solo. The only thing i dont like doint is sprint workouts on the spin bikes.... so i usually finish up my workouts at home on my normal bike...

good luck.
 

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Robert M. said:
What's your way of building power? Weight training, intervals, running? This is probably the one thing that I don't really have a set plan for. I go running now and again, I'll go to spin classes at the gym. I don't really do intervals or anything like that and I don't do any weight training. Should I do some weight training or intervals? Just wondering what people do to increase their power levels. Thanks!
How are you defining power? If you mean wattage, then all training should build that. It's just the duration you're targeting the power increase at.
 

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whoawhoa said:
How are you defining power? If you mean wattage, then all training should build that. It's just the duration you're targeting the power increase at.
That's sort of true, but misleading. What you want to do is raise your entire power-duration curve (the curve you get if you graph your max power at different time intervals, i.e. your best 10sec, best 20sec, best minute, best 5 minutes, etc.) That's because in races, or any cycling endeavor, you need to generate power over different time periods (being fantastic for 20sec doesn't get you over a 10-minute climb, and getting over a 30-minute climb doesn't win you a 20-sec sprint). Technically if you train to raise any point on the curve, you ultimately raise the entire curve. But it takes a huge amount of zone2 training to raise the curve, vs. a lot less of zone4 time. So all training plans tend to be keyed to those famous 20min Z4 intervals, which is why you always hear about riders doing their 2x20min interval workouts. There's an interesting thread over on cyclingforums about how intervals less than 15-20min are just not as effective at generating power increases. Shorter intervals work, but they don't work as efficiently in terms of your time expenditure.
 

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palewin said:
That's sort of true, but misleading. What you want to do is raise your entire power-duration curve (the curve you get if you graph your max power at different time intervals, i.e. your best 10sec, best 20sec, best minute, best 5 minutes, etc.) That's because in races, or any cycling endeavor, you need to generate power over different time periods (being fantastic for 20sec doesn't get you over a 10-minute climb, and getting over a 30-minute climb doesn't win you a 20-sec sprint). Technically if you train to raise any point on the curve, you ultimately raise the entire curve. But it takes a huge amount of zone2 training to raise the curve, vs. a lot less of zone4 time. So all training plans tend to be keyed to those famous 20min Z4 intervals, which is why you always hear about riders doing their 2x20min interval workouts. There's an interesting thread over on cyclingforums about how intervals less than 15-20min are just not as effective at generating power increases. Shorter intervals work, but they don't work as efficiently in terms of your time expenditure.
how much more benefit (if any) would it be to do 2x30mins compared to 3x20mins?
or 2x40mins compared to 4x20mins?

for me, the hardest part of LT intervls is the first 10mins.... after that, i can talk myself into 10 more mins....then 10more mins... i prefer to get my total LT time done in fewer, longer intervals...
 

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Even Steven

argylesocks said:
how much more benefit (if any) would it be to do 2x30mins compared to 3x20mins? or 2x40mins compared to 4x20mins?
Not enough difference between them to worry about. If my racing style was to try to get away on long breaks, then the longer intervals would help a bit more. That said, not to many 30-40 minute breaks in US domestic racing scene.
 

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The length of the "LT" interval depends on the intensity and the time of year. We typically start out at 2x10 just to get your feet wet for the first 3 sessions. Then 2x15 and finally 2x20 when we're fully ready to train the system. So, if you are able to do 3x20 off the bat, I would say you're not going hard enough. If you are strong enough to handle it, you can double it up this time of the year to do it twice a week. LT's are great to develope sustained power.

But, of course, there seem to be as many definitions of LT as there are coaches so your mileage may vary......
 

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Powershot said:
The length of the "LT" interval depends on the intensity and the time of year. We typically start out at 2x10 just to get your feet wet for the first 3 sessions. Then 2x15 and finally 2x20 when we're fully ready to train the system. So, if you are able to do 3x20 off the bat, I would say you're not going hard enough. If you are strong enough to handle it, you can double it up this time of the year to do it twice a week. LT's are great to develope sustained power.

But, of course, there seem to be as many definitions of LT as there are coaches so your mileage may vary......
I'm probably jumping thread here, but, give me your definition of LT. Also, what would you consider the difference between Lactic Threshold and Aerobic Threshold? Probably a very basic question, but I'm not sure I know the answer. If it would help for referencing examples, my VO2 has been tested and my MHR was 186, and my AT was found to be 168.

thanks for any help.

Ken
 

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Powershot said:
The length of the "LT" interval depends on the intensity and the time of year. We typically start out at 2x10 just to get your feet wet for the first 3 sessions. Then 2x15 and finally 2x20 when we're fully ready to train the system. So, if you are able to do 3x20 off the bat, I would say you're not going hard enough. If you are strong enough to handle it, you can double it up this time of the year to do it twice a week. LT's are great to develope sustained power.

But, of course, there seem to be as many definitions of LT as there are coaches so your mileage may vary......
agree. i do the same thing starting out. ie: ramp it up. i was refering to later on in the season....i dont find 2x30mins that much harder than 2x20mins, once i am fit. and the last 10mins i find easier than the first. and the 2nd interval easier than the first.
(not "easy". just "easier") :)
i typically do LT intervals 2x/wk (or once, if i am racing sat/sun)
 

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konaken said:
I'm probably jumping thread here, but, give me your definition of LT. Also, what would you consider the difference between Lactic Threshold and Aerobic Threshold
FWIW, no difference and you're just confusing things. The protocols discussed about speak of finding your Functional Threshold (FT) from a 1 hour effort. It can be a 20 minute effort if you want, just test and train by the same protocol.

FT might be close to LT...and AT is a bit of a misnomer as we are aerobic in all efforts (try sprinting without breathing).
 

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I'm with ya all the way Argyle - at least until I bail on the last ten minutes of your LT workout when I'm cross eyed from the pain and can't see past the front wheel.....

We just started these last night (done a little under LT/AT/insert acronym here). Even 10 minutes was a bit uncomfortable. I can't wait till 2x20 - at least it will be warm and sunny outside instead of cold and dark in the basement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, you guys are great!! I'm getting all my questions answered with every post. Thanks for all the info!
 
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