Monday, June 13, 2011

The Ultimate Interval


Peter Herzig was not a fast cyclist five years ago. As an undergraduate student at the University of Queensland in Australia, he possessed only a mild interest in competitive cycling. Meanwhile, exercise physiologist Paul Laursen, also at the University of Queensland, was trying to figure out if, among all the programs recommended to cyclists worldwide, there was one interval that stood out as the most effective. Laursen enrolled Herzig in a study group he called T-Max.

Herzig subjected himself to the most brutal training of his life--holding back his vomit while a stereo blared the heavy-metal group Pantera. But after just eight of these interval sessions, Herzig was fast. His maximum power output jumped more than 10 percent. His VO2 max--a measure of how much oxygen your body can absorb and use--increased by three points. And he took four minutes off his 40- kilometer time-trial performance. Herzig is now a domestic pro in Australia.

Laursen's findings, which have been backed by other recent studies, show that the workout he dubbed T-Max can, on average, increase maximum power output by 5 to 6 percent, and raise VO2 max sky-high. The T-Max Interval is effective because it tailors work and rest time, and intensity, to your genetic ability and fitness level, rather than prescribing an arbitrary set of conditions. Here's how it works: T-Max is the length of time you can hold your peak power output before succumbing to exhaustion--or, scientific jargon aside, how long you can ride really, really hard until you feel so much like you're dying that you stop. For most of us, that's about four to six minutes.

Laursen found that cyclists improved the most doing intervals at 60 percent of their T-Max with double that amount of time for recovery between efforts. For instance, someone with a T-Max of four minutes would ride hard for 2:30, followed by five minutes of recovery. In a 2006 study performed at Ithaca College in central New York, members of the collegiate cycling team performed sets of eight intervals twice a week for six weeks; they improved their performance in a 5-kilometer time trial by 7 percent.

Exercise physiologist Andrew Coggan, a preeminent authority on training with power, gives his nod of approval to the T-Max: "It seems like a very logical, pragmatic approach to interval training. Here's the maximum amount of time you can go hard. To do that intensity repeatedly, you have to go hard for a shorter amount of time."

The one catch is obvious. Riding at peak power output is excruciating. "I could never forget the T-Max Intervals," says Herzig. "They were and probably still are the hardest training I've ever completed." In the Ithaca College study, says research project advisor Tom Swensen, "The guys could do about five or six intervals max. I think a goal of eight is too many." In fact, Laursen admits that more than a third of his test subjects failed to complete the prescribed eight efforts, and that some of them gurgled puke by the end of the session. "The stress is quite significant," he deadpans.

Cue the Pantera.

Find Your T-Max
1. Determine Your Peak Power Output. Using a power-measuring device from PowerTap, Polar, SRM or CompuTrainer, begin riding at 100 watts. Increase power by 30 watts every minute until you reach exhaustion. Laursen deemed test subjects fully exhausted when they could not keep their cadence above 60 rpm. You can use that benchmark, but let's be honest, you'll know when you're done. The number of watts you produce just before collapsing is your peak power output, or PPO.

2. Find Your T-Max. Rest for a day or two. Again using a power meter, ride at your PPO until you can no longer sustain that level of output. The amount of time you can hold your PPO is your T-Max. For most of us, that's between four and six minutes.

3. Calculate Your Ultimate Interval. Multiply your T-Max time by 0.6. This is the work phase of your interval. Double the work phase to set your recovery time between efforts.

4. Try It Out. The original study prescribed eight hard efforts. But if you'd rather avoid losing your lunch, start with two or three intervals. Do two sessions a week, with at least two days of rest or other easy riding between. Add one interval to each set every week until you achieve five or six intervals per workout. Build up to eight if you can.

If You Can't Measure Power Though the results likely won't be as dramatic as with a power-based T-Max Interval, Laursen says unplugged cyclists can reap some of the benefits by performing 2:30-minute intervals at 95 to 100 percent of max heart rate (the point at which you cannot speak), followed by recovery to 60 percent of max, or until you can speak in full sentences. Do two to six sets twice a week, with at least two days of spinning or rest between.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bikeforce - Saturday B Group Ride

Today was the first time back riding with Bikeforce Saturday ride and oh how I miss these rides, sprints points and climbing up hills and thundering down hills like a maniac and how can I forget LEAPFROG service (don’t get me started on that place) Ride details are above.

The PCS club has a "Marathon Man & Woman competition winner gets bragging rights but seriously guys seeing you guys RIDE EVERYDAY makes me cry, Monday & Friday people are days off!! Currently 100kms less than TimJames.

Back to today’s ride, it was awesome well the end part really. I was at the back of the pack going up a hill, it’s the hill before the downhill sprint and the guys in front were holding back going up it 20kph (Garmin timeline 1:22hr, 36.89km, so I climb up to the front and let them know my disgust, "COME ON GUYS 20ks? SERIOUSLY"

25kph climbing the hill and the boys followed keeping an eagle eye on my back wheel (with the sudden change in the speed it would have disrupted their hill climb pace = using up a bit more energy). LEFT turn (Garmin timeline 1:24:05hr, 37.42km, 34.2km/h) @ the roundabout and OFF I went no resting here boys (Garmin timeline 1:25:00hr, 38km, 41.5km/h) they hung on cruising behind me. Then I slowed down let someone else take the lead, IAN came pass and the pack lost a bit of a pace but the boys were just hanging tight, 10-20sec of rest I attacked (Garmin timeline 1:25:46hr, 38.61km, 62.5km/h) it again pasting them and giving them another electric bolt to their already throbbing hearts (most people when drafting they are pretty much looking who is in front of them not whom whizzing pass them) Off Kevin went pedalling as fast as he could to catch onto my back wheel. As we got closer to the finish line I eased off and told Kevin to finish the sprint off with Richard.

ahh reminds me of I think team Garmin sending out attacks one after another hoping to disrupt Mark Cavendish & Mark Renshaw pace to the finish line. I knew I wouldn't be able to get to the line but I could at least spice it up a bit.

At the traffic lights Kevin was knacker his heart rate would have been above 185s. Good ride guys and hope you all like the big welcome back present I gave you. Sprint to the finish line!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dream idea sometimes just dont happen

You know when your lying in bed and plan out what you want to do that day, well this morning I was thinking of,

5am wake up
6am do Solo Jindalee - Yancheap return (28km)
7am be at Keongs and do Jindalee - Yancheap return (32km)
9am be at Bikeforce get my Garmin sender unit installed onto the MTB
xam leave car at Bikeforce and ride the MTB to work (32km)
xam ring Ken ask if he wanted to ride if so
--- south perth to north freo return (50km)
xpm ride back to Bikeforce (32km)

Total 174km

That was my bright crazy idea for today. BUT

woke up at 5am snooze.... 6:50am... changed and got to Keongs at 7:30
8:00am ride (30km), had a coffee and got invited Yumcha (lunch)

Oh well that didn't go so well as I planned in my head today.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Youtube Copyright!!

So Captain Chris requested if I could upload the G-rated version of the Peloton Video onto the blog, which I did over night and this morning I had a check and WMG slapped a Copyright mute on the video. So after looking on the internet on where else I can upload the video which didn't care about copyright. I found a few places but I didn't really like inflexiablity from those websites and nearly everyone has youtube app on their iphones so BACK to YOUTUBE it was.

I found out that WMG did not actually own any of the songs I used for the video and some other stuff so. I had to re-upload the video and do a copyright dispute which automatically removed the copyright mute but I think is youtubes way of preventing them of getting sued.

N&K Feat Alex Prince - Cruising
Bruno Mars - Count on Me

This video is fair use under U.S. copyright law because it is (1)noncommercial (2)transformative in nature (3)does not compete with the original work or have no negative effect on its market