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2x20 advice please

bhickeybhickey Posts: 49
After three years of cycling I bought a trainer a few months ago with the intent of increasing bike time (due to work commitments it’s difficult to get out mid week) and improving general performance. I have no racing ambitions but would like to join my local club and feel reasonably comfortable at an average pace of c17mph over 50/60 miles – at the moment I’m averaging c14-15mph on my own (on an undulating course) although I’m holding 17-19mph ok on fairly flat ground over 4/5 miles. I’ve been doing intervals on the trainer (courtesy of sufferfest/downward spiral and CTS) and noticed a difference already. I’ve seen lots of references on here to 2x20 for endurance improvements which is what I suspect I need. I’ve had a browse through the forum and google and come up with lots but much of it complicated and aimed at elite/racers. Without asking anyone to repeat too much from other posts can someone give me some ‘noddy’ guidance on what I should do and how to best interleave it with shorter intervals (if indeed I should mix it). I went out with a club a few years ago (not long after starting) and got dropped after 5 miles which was both disappointing and embarrassing. I’ve dropped a lot of weight since then and improved technique/miles so am better but wary of having another go until I’ve sharpened up even more.

Thanks for any pointers.


  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    my understanding of 2 x 20 mins is it should be at a level that allows you to complete the two 20 minute bits with a 5 -10 minute active rest (cycling gently) inbetween-just - use your own definition of just - but the key is to do the 2 x 20 at the same output or speed. this means it feels stupid easy to start with but requires a level of concentration to finish the second one.
    For example choose a speed or Watts output you think you can maintain - say 25 km/h - and hold that 25 from start to finish, both 20 mins. Obviously this is tricky on the road - easier up a gentle incline and simple on a turbo. If it feels too easy up the speed each session till you are just completing it and hold it there until it starts to feel easy again... and so on...
    as for the group cycling - you need to be able to follow a wheel and take on sudden changes in pace amongst other things - 2 x 20 wont help you there. hope others can help
  • Bump!!

    So, for a newbie and following on from Banana's thread below, can someone jsut tell me in CBBC english, how to do these.

    Do i just jump on, head to the nearest piece of black ribbon and nail it for 20 minutes twice? i've read through most of the threads searching brings up, but there doesnt seem to be a step by step guide.

    Also, what else do i need other than a bike, basic cycle computer or stop watch?
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Cant really make my description more CBBC english than it is. 20 minutes hard sustained even effort done twice with a 5 -10 minute active rest in between.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Do i just jump on, head to the nearest piece of black ribbon and nail it for 20 minutes twice?
    Just as others have said...

    Warm up for around 10-20mins (some people may need longer)

    1. Either on the turbo (choose appropriate gearing) flat terrain or a longish climb.
    2.Starting steadily for the first few mins, ride at a moderately hard pace for 20 minutes (more intensive than the pace of your long rides; some concentration needed to maintain effort, breathing will be noticeable; you won't be able to mutter more than a few words; drinking more than a few mouthfuls could be difficult; possible mild discomfort in the thighs)
    3. Take a five - ten minute rest (pedal slowly, get off turbo, roll back down climb etc)
    4. Repeat number 2

    2 x 20's can also be incorporated in to a longer rides and you can do different versions 2 x 15; 2 x 25; 2 x30; 2 x 40 etc. Obviously the longer intervals will be a touch less intensive
  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 803
    Remember to try and maintain your effort (not your pace, this is where a powermeter comes in ideally). Try not to start to hard and fade, you should be even the entire time. And remember, you don't need to be absolutely as hard as you can go for this session to benefit you, it just has to be harder than you normally ride (although the hardest maintained effort you can do will give the best results).
  • lastwordslastwords Posts: 304
    I believe a heart rate monitor may be beneficial i also use a turbo trainer i would find it hard to replicate on the road due to traffic and junctions etc.

    I warm up for ten minutes
    Then do two 20 minute intervals with a 5 minute break in between.
    I perform the intervals at 84-90% of max heart rate.

    I dont find this effort easy to begin with TBH it is hard work and takes a lot of concentration to keep the effort going.
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