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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Sorry if this question has been asked before, but: last night I did a 85 minute Sufferfest video trainer workout ("Hell Hath No Fury" is next to impossible for me even when fresh) on just a few hours of sleep the night before and sore legs from a hard run the day before. I knew it would be ugly during warmup but tried to push through (it's a 2x20, with some extra tempo and threshold as well) -- made it through the first 20 minute interval and had to decrease my power almost 20-30 watts and spin for the next interval. I have done the whole workout on expected RPE/power before, just too tired from a sick child the previous night.

My question would be: was that a wasted workout and was there any benefit? Did it actually hurt me more than help?

I suspect a lot of people who work and have a family with wide fluctuations in sleep/energy would have similar situations. Thanks in advance.


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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:49 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:53 pm 
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i dunno if this qualifies as overtraining, but overtraining is not good.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:04 pm 
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It's fine to dig a bit of a hole for yourself but have to be wary of overreaching and allowing enough time for recovery. Personally, I would have skipped the session. Frustrating when family/kids/whatever interfer with training but one has to consider that all training makes you weak tired and slow. It is the recovery afterward which improves you. So without recovery you're just training, and hence getting worse.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:57 am 
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I wouldn't say your workout was "wasted" unless you were completely unable to rest after completing it and the workout lead to further fatigue that impacted later workouts.

Im my experience riding with some fatigue in your legs isn't a terrible thing. During a stage race I will usually be able to push the same or slightly more power after a few days of racing, but the RPE will be higher. The main determinant is if you can hit the target power repeatably. Since you were not able to complete the second interval near the same power level, it would have been a better idea to simply cut the workout at that point, since you will be forcing no adaptations while adding fatigue that is not beneficial.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:59 pm 
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My advice is always to back right off if you cannot complete your workout at prescribed wattage. That is the reason for periodic testing: to ensure the prescribed wattage is accurate for what your body needs to make the requisite adaptation. Yes, it is hard. It has to be hard or it wouldn't work.

If you cannot complete the workout, though, and your workout load is properly calculated, then your body is telling you something. It is far better to turn-off, just spin and relax, get something to eat and try to get a good rest. I never recommend trying to 'make-up' a workout by re-doing yesterday's ride on the rest Monday, or something. In the greater scheme of the Macrocycle, it will not matter that much. If you find yourself skipping several long interval days in a row, though, you should re-look at your wattage prescription.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:47 pm 
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There is nothing wrong training while tired "once in a while". It is not ideal, but sometimes we are forced to get some kind of effort in. Saying that, because you did this workout while somewhat tired it should be expected that you will want a little extra time to recover.


As far as reducing the watts on the second interval, I think you may have over reached the first one. Try backing off about 10w and try both again sometime in the near future and see if that helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Thanks for the insight and advice, guys. Another tough part of the The Sufferfest videos or any others that base intervals on RPE are that if I use power instead of RPE (that is, take an RPE and correlate it with a specific wattage for an interval), later on in an interval or an entire workout, an RPE of 8/10 is different than it would be at the beginning (eg it might actually be a 7/10 done at the beginning of a workout). If you use power, the wattage for that 8/10 is the same no matter what (ie it doesn't account for fatigue). This, I find, is excellent to push you harder, but you really can't cheat or not be physically ready for the workout o/w you do have to turn down power considerably as the workout goes on.

Another novice type of question: if one is tired for whatever reason, would a 1-2 x 20 sub-threshold (just below) workout be of any benefit (same question as the original I suppose)?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:09 pm 
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wkwt wrote:
an RPE of 8/10 is different than it would be at the beginning (eg it might actually be a 7/10 done at the beginning of a workout). If you use power, the wattage for that 8/10 is the same no matter what (ie it doesn't account for fatigue). This, I find, is excellent to push you harder, but you really can't cheat or not be physically ready for the workout o/w you do have to turn down power considerably as the workout goes on.

Another novice type of question: if one is tired for whatever reason, would a 1-2 x 20 sub-threshold (just below) workout be of any benefit (same question as the original I suppose)?


As for converting RPE into wattage, you really should be able to complete all the intervals at the same wattage throughout the workout. If you are fading significantly through the workout, you are setting your initial numbers too high. For an arbitrary example: if you are starting at 400 watts for the first interval, but as the workout goes on you fade to 360 or 370 you should really be starting at 380 or so. Most successful interval sets start out feeling slightly easy and by the final interval are difficult, but not extremely difficult, to complete.

Sub maximal/threshold work is quite effective at building aerobic conditioning. Sweet Spot Training is designed around the idea of pushing around 90-95% of threshold. This allows you to do a lot of very quality work without the extra fatigue associated with training at or above your FTP.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:50 pm 
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I to have kids [2 BOYS] and sometimes i feel shattered and dont feel like riding but once i get a few miles under my belt i feel good again ,im not sure how this works ,its happened a few times ,maybe its more mental fatigue than physical , a few times ive gone out feeling lousy and had some really great rides ,now i just go out however i feel because i just can't tell how my ride will go ,any thoughts out there
artray


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:55 pm 
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artray wrote:
I to have kids [2 BOYS] and sometimes i feel shattered and dont feel like riding but once i get a few miles under my belt i feel good again ,im not sure how this works ,its happened a few times ,maybe its more mental fatigue than physical , a few times ive gone out feeling lousy and had some really great rides ,now i just go out however i feel because i just can't tell how my ride will go ,any thoughts out there
artray


I completely agree with you as far as a real outdoor ride -- if you have the time in your schedule, never sacrifice a realworld ride unless you are septic, lol. It's those middle of the week indoor training workouts (where it's too dark to get out or your schedule doesn't allow anything else) that I mostly was referring to.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Honestly leads me to believe your FTP isn't set right.

I work 3 jobs and a volunteer job. I get up at 5:30-6 every single morning and train before work, then come home, work from home, and go to sleep. I get about 15-16 hours of training/week and am often a bit tired in the morning, but I have not had a single issue with being able to complete FTP intervals this season. Not one.

Last year I was finishing up school and had unlimited time to train, but only managed 12ish hours with a far less busy schedule. My research was done and I basically just sat around and rode. I had trouble with my FTP intervals quite a few times and I blame it almost entirely on not doing an accurate enough FTP test so my zones were set too high. It shouldn't feel as if you need to dig super deep to complete an interval for 20 minutes at or below your 60 minute max.

Anaerobic work is a different beast altogether and I think that the values for that fluctuate (for me) much more based on total recovery.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Intervals should be hard. Really hard. In theory, it should be just math, but it turns out to be just as much an art. That is where an objective coach comes in.

Testing is extremely important. I personally find that a 4-minute MAP test serves the dual purpose of getting closer to my true level (due to it's repeatability), but it also means the workouts are harder to complete. If you do it that way, you will frequently feel unable to complete your intervals at prescribed wattage, which is as it should be.


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Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:57 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:22 pm 
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I'm not saying they shouldn't, but a 2x20 is done between 91% and 105% of your max 1 hour power right? So you're only doing 33.33333% of the duration and 10% less of the intensity. That's not that tough when you think about it. My 20m power is my lowest value (but not low) and I don't find my FTP intervals so hard that its impossible to do my 3x20 etc even when tired.

As I said higher levels are another thing altogether, but I suffer from chronic fatigue and have found that doing a proper test and setting my levels accordingly has made a huge difference on percentage of workouts fully completed and in gains in FTP.

Most people try to do their intervals at their 20 minute test output, or take 95% of that which grossly overestimates it for some people. The first few minutes of a test can often be slightly anaerobic and rely on different energy system pathways than an actual 1 hour aerobic effort, which is why Allen et. al have people do a variety of maximal efforts before the test so that its actually as close as possible. If you do it this way you usually get 90%-93% of FTP.

A MAP test can be nice, but isn't always functional. I've found with many people that I know that the type of trainer they perform the test on can skew the results and some (later confirmed by functional tests) fall outside of that 75%-77% of MAP because they have a much higher 1-5 minute output. It serves as a good test, however, to show gains in the ability to produce power at or near vo2 max, but since many people don't really do most of the intervals indoors it makes sense to set zones with functional tests.

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