4 x 10mins Intervals?

CleeRider
CleeRider Posts: 304
GOAL: Improve my FTP over the next 3 months.

PLAN: I'm planning to do this 3 times a week...
4 x 10 minute intervals at 85% of my FTP, with 5mins recovery in between.

Having had 2 months off the bike I was a bit rusty on my first attempt:
First 2 intervals: felt good and at the right level of effort
3rd interval: very tough but just managed to stay on target
4th interval: legs went after 1 minute lol. Not too worried about that as I'll get stronger.

What are your thoughts on this plan?
Are 10minute intervals recommended for my goal?
Is the recovery time in between, too long?
Do you have a better plan for my goal?
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Comments

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,854
    Doesn't look that hard that you should fail to complete it - sure your ftp is accurate?
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • BeaconRuth
    BeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Doing the same thing three times a week for 3 months is probably not a great plan. It's always a good idea to build progression into any plan and to ensure there are times when you push yourself a bit harder folllowed by times when you recover a bit better.

    85% of FTP isn't terribly hard for a 10-minute interval. If your legs are 'going' in the 4th interval are you sure you've got your FTP set right?

    How about doing a mix of sessions, some for longer periods at lower power, some about where you're planning and some for shorter periods at FTP or higher?

    Ruth
  • CleeRider
    CleeRider Posts: 304
    Doesn't look that hard that you should fail to complete it - sure your ftp is accurate?

    Well, the FTP was set in the summer when I was cycling regularly and I feel as though I have lost fitness over the last 2 months of inactivity. So yes it's probably inaccurate but I don't think it will take long to get back to that level.

    TBH I set up a turbo session the other day to get a new FTP but having thought I was on a 1 hour session it stopped early as it was actually a 20minute test so that was really annoying!

    I forgot to say I'll also try and fit in a longer steady ride in addition to this plan.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    As you get in to it try shortening the recovery time. 5 mins is long - The idea is that you get recovery deficit as you progress through the intervals. The first 2 mins are key there isn't much difference between your recovery rate in munites 3-5
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    diy wrote:
    As you get in to it try shortening the recovery time. 5 mins is long - The idea is that you get recovery deficit as you progress through the intervals. The first 2 mins are key there isn't much difference between your recovery rate in munites 3-5

    These are not tabata-style intervals, where recovery (or lack of it) is part of the interval. In 4x10 (or 2x20, whatever), the objective is to complete the set, allowing sufficient recovery time in between.
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    CleeRider wrote:
    Doesn't look that hard that you should fail to complete it - sure your ftp is accurate?

    Well, the FTP was set in the summer when I was cycling regularly and I feel as though I have lost fitness over the last 2 months of inactivity. So yes it's probably inaccurate but I don't think it will take long to get back to that level.
    Probably? - failing that session where you did I would guess you have lost ~20% FTP! No surprise after 2 months off.

    edit: As BeaconRuth says, 85% is a very low level for 10 minute intervals, not really hard enough to need rest periods at all.
    TBH I set up a turbo session the other day to get a new FTP but having thought I was on a 1 hour session it stopped early as it was actually a 20minute test so that was really annoying!
    :?

    Obviously you need to retest FTP. After a long break I would give it a few rides just to get back into the habit first. Don't worry too much about numbers for now.
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I increased my FTP by 20W in 8 weeks doing the Time Crunched Training Plan, I'd recommend it. I did a blog which might help: http://supermurph.wordpress.com/
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    After 2 months off CleeRider might gain 20W by spinning the legs for a few days, which is why I would hold off testing for a bit :)
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Tom Dean wrote:
    After 2 months off CleeRider might gain 20W by spinning the legs for a few days, which is why I would hold off testing for a bit :)

    Doing the initial test on the TCTP would be ideal then, surely that would say where he is currently at and set his training levels accordingly?
  • birdy247
    birdy247 Posts: 454
    @CleeRider

    Are these 4 x 10 minute intervals done on the turbo? What was your FTP based on (your last road effort or a turbo effort).

    How are you measuring power?
  • BSRU
    BSRU Posts: 74
    One of my sessions has similar intervals 4 lots of 10m on then 5 minute easy but the FTP target for the "on" bit is 100% to 105%, and it's only the first half of the session.
    I wouldn't want to be limiting myself to just one type of session.
    Try buying a book such as "Training and Racing With a Power Meter", lots of sessions to choose from in order to achieve your goal,
  • Gav888
    Gav888 Posts: 946
    How about progressing this way:

    4x10 at 100% FTP with 3min recovery between intervals
    2x20 at 90% FTP with 10min " " "
    1x40 at 80% FTP with no recovery

    Progress to the next one once the existing one becomes easier to complete, ie, FTP has increased so reset your zones again then do the next workout. I believe it takes about 6 weeks to adapt, but everyone is different.
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • themogulman
    themogulman Posts: 167
    edited January 2015
    I did 12 weeks of these 4x10@85% with 4 min rest in between. 3 weeks then 1 week off. Each week increasing the target by 1%. 3 sessions a week. Aiming to increase FTP.

    I also based my FTP from my summer which was also done on a turbo.

    My advice would be to stick at it, as they do get easier. Some sessions I just strolled through and other sessions were horrific. Just seem to depend to how well rested I was or if i was just slightly run down.

    BTW I do feel better for them.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Can you use trainerroad ?

    This is a 12 week plan that's guaranteed to raise your FTP - and its a mix of things. Doing your session 36 times would bore me to death. You need a good mix.

    http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/plan ... mid-volume
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Gav888 wrote:
    How about progressing this way:

    4x10 at 100% FTP with 3min recovery between intervals
    2x20 at 90% FTP with 10min " " "
    1x40 at 80% FTP with no recovery

    Progress to the next one once the existing one becomes easier to complete, ie, FTP has increased so reset your zones again then do the next workout. I believe it takes about 6 weeks to adapt, but everyone is different.

    Those sessions get easier, not harder. 2x20min at 90% FTP should be an easy session. 40mins at 80% FTP isn't even SST so would be much easier than riding at FTP for 40mins out of 49mins.
    More problems but still living....
  • CleeRider
    CleeRider Posts: 304
    Just a quick update to answer some questions... I'm using a BKOOL turbo which measures power.
    Reviews say the power figures are close to power meters. All rides during this training period will be done on it anyhow so at least it's consistent - my summer FTP figure came from the same turbo.
    Unfortunately it's not compatible with Traineroad which is disappointing as I'd love to give it a go.

    Made my 2nd attempt at these intervals tonight (2 days after my last). Managed to complete all intervals at 85% of my summer FTP. Either I was feeling fresher or my fitness is coming back quickly. They took a massive effort though.

    Thanks for all the input guys.

    One more question: I do these intervals on a 2% gradient. Does this make any difference?
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    CleeRider wrote:
    One more question: I do these intervals on a 2% gradient. Does this make any difference?

    Do you mean you raise the front of the bike to simulate a 2% climb? If so, the short answer is no. The only difference is that you will be riding the bike on the turbo in a slightly raised position for no obvious reason - unless it particularly suits you to have it set up that way..
  • CleeRider
    CleeRider Posts: 304
    Imposter wrote:
    CleeRider wrote:
    One more question: I do these intervals on a 2% gradient. Does this make any difference?

    Do you mean you raise the front of the bike to simulate a 2% climb? If so, the short answer is no. The only difference is that you will be riding the bike on the turbo in a slightly raised position for no obvious reason - unless it particularly suits you to have it set up that way..

    Sorry I should have said - the turbo is one controlled by the computer software. I set it to mimic a 2% gradient on my intervals - i.e. greater resistance.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    CleeRider wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    CleeRider wrote:
    One more question: I do these intervals on a 2% gradient. Does this make any difference?

    Do you mean you raise the front of the bike to simulate a 2% climb? If so, the short answer is no. The only difference is that you will be riding the bike on the turbo in a slightly raised position for no obvious reason - unless it particularly suits you to have it set up that way..

    Sorry I should have said - the turbo is one controlled by the computer software. I set it to mimic a 2% gradient on my intervals - i.e. greater resistance.

    The main consideration is the effort level during the interval - as long as you are hitting your required level for your required duration, then it's all good...
  • bahzob
    bahzob Posts: 2,195
    As above if improving your FTP is a goal then I'd recommend the Time Crunched book. You really want a variety of workouts both for variety and because FTP stresses a number of systems and simply doing 10 minutes won't tax all of them equally.

    Also a reminder in terms of percentages.

    FTP is the power you can sustain at 100% for a full 60 minutes.

    If you are doing shorter intervals, especially as little as 10 minutes then your goal should be at least 100% of FTP. There may be days when you feel a bit rough and can't quite hit this for every effort. But if you can never do a set of short intervals at 100% of your FTP then, quite simply, your FTP guesstimate is too high.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • Gav888
    Gav888 Posts: 946
    amaferanga wrote:
    Gav888 wrote:
    How about progressing this way:

    4x10 at 100% FTP with 3min recovery between intervals
    2x20 at 90% FTP with 10min " " "
    1x40 at 80% FTP with no recovery

    Progress to the next one once the existing one becomes easier to complete, ie, FTP has increased so reset your zones again then do the next workout. I believe it takes about 6 weeks to adapt, but everyone is different.

    Those sessions get easier, not harder. 2x20min at 90% FTP should be an easy session. 40mins at 80% FTP isn't even SST so would be much easier than riding at FTP for 40mins out of 49mins.

    Oh yeah, for those wrong... should be:

    4x10 at 105% FTP with 3min recovery between intervals
    2x20 at 100% FTP with 10min " " "
    1x40 at 90% FTP with no recovery

    Ie you go from shorter intervals just above threshold, to double the length at threshold and then double again at lower threshold zone/high SST.
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Even so, I'm not sure the progression makes any sense. They are all reasonable sessions though.
  • Gav888
    Gav888 Posts: 946
    The idea is to work longer at a high-ish intensity, you start with 10min intervals and go longer to 20 them 40. Then reassess your levels and repeat again at hopefully a higher FTP this time.

    For example say this takes 12 weeks, 4 weeks on each workout, rather than doing 12 weeks of 4x10 which would be boring your mixing it up a bit by making them longer yet still they are all hard enough to provide a benefit to building FTP.

    If of course your peaking for a race, you might use these I'm reverse and then add in Vo2 intervals etc after the 4x10's. This is the kind of thing I am doing at present as my goals are a long way off so just working on building FTP. And this stops me being bored on the trainer and provides me with nice steady gains.
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    If you want to work longer at a given intensity, why not gradually increase the length of your efforts at that intensity?

    What you are doing here is reducing intensity and load over time, going from harder to easier sessions. There's no reason you couldn't be doing all 3 of these in parallel.
  • JayKosta
    JayKosta Posts: 635
    My guess is that your 4X10 interval plan at the xxx watt 'goal' FTP number will work fine.

    Your actual 'current FTP' wattage is probably much lower, which explains why you cannot execute the entire 4X10 at the goal FTP.

    Since this interval plan will be heavy exercise for a while, be certain to allow adequate rest and recovery between exercise days. Each session will hopefully show some improvement from the previous - or a temporary plateau. If performance decreases or stagnates, then more rest/recovery between sessions is probably needed.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • CleeRider
    CleeRider Posts: 304
    I'm seeing signs of my fitness returning already after a week of 4 sessions with a rest day in between each...
    I've reduced the recovery time to 3 mins in between intervals, upped the power target by 7W and can complete the set. I'll try a 20 minute test next to work out my current FTP.

    Today's question: is there an optimum cadence for such interval training to increase my FTP?
    I'm currently doing 95rpm.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Generally, your optimum cadence is whatever you decide it is.
  • razorjack
    razorjack Posts: 98
    edited May 24

    If it's about improving your FTP, it should be higher.

    4x10min @105%FTP is the way to go. (with 5-6 min rest in between)

    you can also make them longer or decrease rest time (if you want more difficult).

    similarly 3x15min @105%FTP with 7 min rest should be doable.

    You can increase the rest time if it's too difficult.

    any cadence you like (depends on crankarms as well), standing or seating, for seating quite often 85-95rpm is optimal (and around 70rpm for standing)


    what's your average HR during intervals? mine is around 89-90%HRmax, last ~3 mins >92%HRmax,

    maybe your intensity is too high (not correct FTP).

    And also, did you do some base training before? it really helps for any intervals (it improves your recovery a lot)

  • oxoman
    oxoman Posts: 277

    A bit late in replying nearly 10yrs late. Suspect there sorted by now.

    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.