Intervals?

kathrynwhite
kathrynwhite Posts: 16
edited October 2012 in Road beginners
What are intervals? Should I be doing them to train? If so, how and when?

I've been into road cycling for just over a year now and this autumn/winter I'd like to build up my endurance so I can do more/longer sportives next year. The furthest I cycle at the moment is about 35 miles (I'm tired for about the last 4-5).

If I were to do intervals would I need special equipment/tech? At the moment I just have an average bike computer and I can't really afford a GPS/ heart rate monitor.

Last question: Would it be reasonable to expect to be able to do 50 miles in the next six months or so? Would interval training help with this?

Thanks for your help!

Comments

  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    Lots of training & interval info in the Road<training section:
    viewforum.php?f=40011
    I'm a newb at this, just bought some rollers which i'm really enjoying, and have a basic cycle computer, thinking of getting a heart rate monitor.
    Intervals are regular repeated periods of sustained effort then rest or cool down which build strength and stamina.
    I've been riding just a month and looking to tackle a 45 miler this weekend, a pretty unfit 49-year old with the chance to spend the last month training intensively. Its all about pacing yourself and taking along some energy bars and water. If you can do 35 now, you can do 50 in a month or two :)
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    If I have got this right:

    Intervals are short spells where you go flat out, as much power as you can put out. Then you ease off and let yourself recover for a few minutes, then go again.

    To train for more distance, I don't think you would need to do intervals, though it might help some climbing situations. To increase from 35miles to 50miles in 6 months should easily be possible, add 5miles on every other week and you'll be there before you know it. Take plenty of fluids and also something to eat to restore some energy levels.
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • TakeTurns
    TakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    Intervals will help with explosive power and max speed.

    Example:
    -Warm up 10min.
    -Sprint as fast as possible 10-15secs.
    -3min easy spinning/Rest
    -Sprint...and so on.

    If you want to work on increasing your endurance, you don't need to do intervals. The best way to do this would be to just ride. Ride regularly, however incorporate rest days too. Gradually increase the amount of miles you do and it's simple as that. If you ride 3-4 days a week, you should be able to do 60-80miles in 6 months without a problem. You won't need any fancy equipment for this, a simple distance calculator is adequate.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    You don't need any kit. Find a loop. Choose a stretch to blast it. Recover for the rest of the lap. Go again. And again.
    As you improve - lengthen your interval and add more reps.

    Or in winter try a spin class. Should be lots of intervals in there.
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    TakeTurns wrote:
    Intervals will help with explosive power and max speed.

    Example:
    -Warm up 10min.
    -Sprint as fast as possible 10-15secs.
    -3min easy spinning/Rest
    -Sprint...and so on.

    If you want to work on increasing your endurance, you don't need to do intervals. The best way to do this would be to just ride. Ride regularly, however incorporate rest days too. Gradually increase the amount of miles you do and it's simple as that. If you ride 3-4 days a week, you should be able to do 60-80miles in 6 months without a problem. You won't need any fancy equipment for this, a simple distance calculator is adequate.

    Actually, Interval based training can be based across all ranges from endurance to the top end neuromuscular.... using emotive words like explosive and maxspeed can put a lot of people off :wink:
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    you dont want your legs or lungs exploding, that would be bad.
  • What are intervals? Should I be doing them to train? If so, how and when?

    I've been into road cycling for just over a year now and this autumn/winter I'd like to build up my endurance so I can do more/longer sportives next year. The furthest I cycle at the moment is about 35 miles (I'm tired for about the last 4-5).

    If I were to do intervals would I need special equipment/tech? At the moment I just have an average bike computer and I can't really afford a GPS/ heart rate monitor.

    Last question: Would it be reasonable to expect to be able to do 50 miles in the next six months or so? Would interval training help with this?

    Thanks for your help!

    If you can cycle 35 miles then you are only 10 weeks away from a 100 mile ride.
    I followed this simple guide and it worked for me.
    http://www.action.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/events/generic/generic_cycling_training_guide_2.pdf
    I could barely ride a mile back in March :wink:
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • Try riding in Sheffield.

    I did 22 miles this morning and every 3 miles or so there was another hill.

    It was great fun but at first I just wanted the hills to end. Came very close to bonking on the last hill though.

    It's always bloody upwards in Yorkshire.
    Hills are like half life - they wait until you're 50% recovered from one before hitting you in the face with the next.

    http://www.pedalmash.co.uk/
  • JGSI wrote:
    TakeTurns wrote:
    Intervals will help with explosive power and max speed.

    Example:
    -Warm up 10min.
    -Sprint as fast as possible 10-15secs.
    -3min easy spinning/Rest
    -Sprint...and so on.

    If you want to work on increasing your endurance, you don't need to do intervals. The best way to do this would be to just ride. Ride regularly, however incorporate rest days too. Gradually increase the amount of miles you do and it's simple as that. If you ride 3-4 days a week, you should be able to do 60-80miles in 6 months without a problem. You won't need any fancy equipment for this, a simple distance calculator is adequate.

    Actually, Interval based training can be based across all ranges from endurance to the top end neuromuscular.... using emotive words like explosive and maxspeed can put a lot of people off :wink:

    Nah, won't put me off. I want explosive power!
  • Try riding in Sheffield.

    I did 22 miles this morning and every 3 miles or so there was another hill.

    I ride in the Cotswolds; I think that's bad enough. :lol:


    Thanks for all of your help! I will definitely try some out on my midweek rides.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,454
    Try riding in Sheffield.

    I did 22 miles this morning and every 3 miles or so there was another hill.

    It was great fun but at first I just wanted the hills to end. Came very close to bonking on the last hill though.

    It's always bloody upwards in Yorkshire.

    How can you come close to bonking? You either bonk or you don't, the first you know about it is when it happens!
  • Maybe I don't mean bonking.

    What I mean is I was seriously considering getting off and walking, but persevered.

    The plus side to persevering is that you get a great feeling of accomplishment at the top - which doesn't help when you're halfway up the hill!
    Hills are like half life - they wait until you're 50% recovered from one before hitting you in the face with the next.

    http://www.pedalmash.co.uk/
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    I think I know what you mean. I took a wrong turn on a ride and ended up 10 miles further from home than I planned to be, running on not enough food and too close to dusk for comfort. Energy just drained away and I did get off and walk up a few hills. There was nothing left when I made it back.

    At some point I knew that if I kept tackling the hills I would have gone completely and spent 30mins at the roadside, then get home in the dark.

    Lesson learned.
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • If you can go out 3 or 4 times a week for 4 or 5 hours at a time you won't need interval training to boost your endurance. In fact you're probably someone who doesn't need to go to work either, or have a very understanding boss! If this length of training isn't realistic then high intensity/interval training will deliver fitness gains which will offer benefits beyond just sprinting or powering over the odd hill. It will improve your endurance and tempo pace. So it's a great way to go if your time is on a strict budget.

    Consider a turbo trainer as well if you aren't keen on going out on dark, wet windy winter nights