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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:39 pm 
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http://www.endurancecorner.com/Intervals_for_Base

Interesting takeaways:
1. The fibers that we use in cycling are trained at different percentages of Vo2 max (no brainer), but the amount of time required to activate (but not necessarily maximize) each type is rather small. I find this interesting in terms of the trend towards going to a base that consists of tempo, FTP, and even vo2 work- the athlete spends more time at the percentages of vo2 max that will cause the maximum amount of adaptations for the three different muscle fiber types. The athlete will also utilize CHO more efficiently, so they will be more physiologically 'ready' when racing and a heavy build period comes.

2. Training at FTP might not be any better or worse than training at or around vO2 max/L5. In fact, if an athlete chooses the proper interval duration and frequency it can yield adaptations in less total training time. I'm not sure if one is ideal over the other, but for a competitive road cyclist it would allow one to train at the different intensity levels found in racing (L4 and L5, maybe a session at L6) while not increasing the overall training load if the proper amount of time is spent at each level. So a person can't only do 5m intervals to maximize the training effect, but can use them in addition to longer intervals to develop the same fibers in a different manner. This is interesting to me because I've seen interviews with some fairly prominent domestic coaches that never have athletes do a single 2x20 or even efforts longer than 10 minutes and have riders that win elite national titles- Evelyn Stevens is one that comes to mind immediately and CTS is another.

3. He doesn't recommend avoiding training FT fibers in base like most people commonly do and while I'm not sure of the conversion logic, keeping the fibers trained makes some sense. I see large changes in 1s and 30s power early in the year, but it never increases over an absolute level perhaps because I spend a lot of time getting back to where I was. I wonder if this is another reason why lots of elite and pro racers have a fairly easy time getting back to good form by racing and not using as precise of training programs because they make sure to never detrain a system completely and at the very least have trained for utilization of every energy system and muscle fiber type so that they don't have a gaping deficiency- they're 'ready' so-to-speak even if their training isn't optimized completely. An athlete that just rides with no goals or spends all their time doing one type of training isn't there and, as the article points out, it only takes a small amount of actual training to stimulate each fiber type enough so that adaptations are occurring.

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Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:39 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:53 pm 
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good read, thanks!

re point 2:

Same here, I know a bunch of elite riders from the area (national, international level ex.: some spidertech boys) that were coached by a famous coach here, the same coach that my training partner (a strong boy) had. He never did a single 2 x 20 as you say, nor did he do anything longer then 5 min. Even the 5 min intervals were very rare on his training plan. His coach uses the Guy Thibault approach of MAP micro-intervals. For exemple, he would do a lot of 15s/15s - 30s/30s - 20s/40s - 1m/1m as within blocks of 10 to 20 min with ~5 min active recovery inbetween,

This was the core of his winter training, all done on a racermate computrainer. His coach used the same approach with the national/international level riders. I find it quite interresting. If you want to know more, search for Guy Thibault stuff on EPI (entraƮnement par intervales). He has a model for intensity/duration expressed in % of MAP.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Thanks for the article.

I concur with most of what is presented and have used very similar with good results.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:05 pm 
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I've seen some Thibault stuff, but not enough info to want to give the entire system a go. Those seem a lot like controlled Fartlek intervals.

It just adds a new twist to power training and the typical Friels style periodization. Why only do L5 work for 6 weeks when those efforts can prove decisive in making a selection or having the power to initiate a race-winning move. A higher FTP creates a bigger L4 base and has many advantages, but being able hit the same fibers and utilize the same energy system to train at both levels would optimize yourself both physiologically and create more race-specific training. I wish there was a guideline for volume and frequency to give people a better idea about what the breakdown could be. I wouldn't do just one type, but it seems that the key is in the balancing act to get the most stimulus and adaptations while not leading to undue stress too early in the training cycle. It also gives a pretty wide range for intervals which runs against the traditional 4x10, 5x5, 8x1, etc. since what matters is the average percentage of vo2 max that the interval is done at IE a rider could start with isopower efforts at a given percentage and then perhaps do fartlek or undulating intervals that hit multiple types of fibers/energy systems in a way that mimics what they do in a race. In a way its just being race-specific year round and using general targets to ensure that training is optimized and no system is left dormant. Might not provide the greatest short term power gains, but seems like it would provide for a greater amount of stimulus/adaptation in the long run while allowing an athlete to properly periodize and remain 'ready' to resume a hard build or peak period. After all, base is supposed to lay the foundation for the rest of the year so why not start with a more physiologically diverse and sound foundation?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:06 pm 
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Tapeworm wrote:
Thanks for the article.

I concur with most of what is presented and have used very similar with good results.

Just for reference, do you utilize L5, L6, and L7 efforts during base in addition to the recent tradition of L3 and L4-heavy sessions?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Good stuff, thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:13 pm 
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Maybe not so much on L7 as this is hard to do indoors when early season training starts.

Generally, depending on goals, I tend to skip L2-3 a bit until this can be done outside. Also is slightly my personal preference, sitting on a traininer at L3 bores me, I'd rather do Tabata style intervals and throw up for the first couple of months.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:14 am 
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How about Tabata intervals as part of your L3 training? It can be a fun two hours let me tell you that much.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Very interesting was his suggestion that IIb to IIa conversion, whilst not proven, is more likely than not.

And no more 2x20's!!!! :up:

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Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:54 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:37 pm 
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+1 great article, and really helped me fit together some of the training principles I've heard about.


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