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I aim to complete one 90min 2x20 interval session on the trainer per week, the rest of the week is allocated to other indoor/outdoor workouts (SST, under & over threshold intervals and LSD/tempo rides, about 10-12hrs per wk) so to ensure I get enough recovery between workouts I limit it to one per week and usually the first workout of the week following a complete rest day.
I train by HR and RPE and at 42yo my current LTHR is 169 (I test usually every 4 weeks, i.e. 30min TT and take the avg HR of the final 20mins)
Here is a screen shot of the session I completed this morning showing HR and cadence, I have a good solid 30 min warm up and then complete 2x20min intervals with 5min RBI and then cool down, I have an avg HR of 160 for both intervals and my RPE feels like around 16-17/20. At the start of each interval I bring my HR up into Z4 and try to hold it mid zone and keep my cadence at about 90-95, towards the end of each interval I try to ramp it a bit, especially during the final interval after which I am pretty cooked.
How does this look in terms of being a good example of a LTHR workout, should I be aiming to push and try and maintain a higher avg HR during each interval i.e. deeper into Z4 closer to my LTHR?
Thanks for reading.
By ramping HR too quickly the responding power can drop and then return but it will appear that the HR is steady.
Otherwise looks good.
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG
Heart rate can be helpful to give you an idea of what Threshold feels like, after that I'd just rely on perceived exertion
Fwiw, pay attention to trainer warm up. I know I need to add one or two resistance level on my trainer to maintain the same power for a given cadence. If your cadence increases it would be a good idea to add resistance. Going harder in the last 4-5min could be a good strategy to ensure you really work at threshold too.
Your RPE seams spot on
One method I used was to do a LT test on the trainer by average speed, then base my interval speed on this data.
To validate this I also borrowed a powertap a year ago and found that this method was remarkebly reliable. I have a Minoura, rim drive trainer by the way. Just another method to consider if you think you may be having difficulty judging your effort by RPE & HR.
I invested in a PowerTap a few years back to remove some of the uncertainty involved in training with HR or turbo trainer speed. I've since stopped using HR completely, but was still using it last year and here's an example of a 2x20 session on my turbo:
Power (the red line) was roughly constant, ramping up a little at the end of the first 20min and a bit more at the end of the second one, but note what HR (the blue line) does. And that was with 2 BIG fans blowing cold air at me, so it's not a cooling issue.
I would suggest you need to aim to reach your target HR after 5-10 minutes and work to keep your HR rising steadily throughout the 20 minutes, finishing several bpm above your target. Looking at the HR traces, it looks like you ramp your HR up quickly, then basically ease up until you pick the effort up again in the final few minutes, which I suspect is not really what you want to be doing.
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