With the permission of Frank Overton from FasCat Coaching here is an entry from the FasCat Coaching blog.
From: James Jung
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 5:10 AM
Subject: Interval Question
Love your stuff on Velonews.com. Had a quick question about intervals. I just got back into cycling last summer after nearly 10 years away from the sport. I’m 30 now. As a teenager I was a junior expert mountain biker, did some junior road races and a lot of weekly rides with cat 2s and 3s. I was pretty quick. After easing back into things last summer, losing 50 pounds (I was not healthy in my absence from the sport!) and buying a new bike, I’ve been riding about five days a week since early April. I typically hit Central Park in the morning for an hour to an hour-and-a-half, then do 5 hour + ride every Saturday. I just wrapped up 10 days in the Italian and Swiss Alps (was here for vacation) and logged in lots of long rides. Yesterday I did a 105 mile tour that went over two big passes (one being Passo dello Stelvio) and rode hard. Now that I am returning to the States, I want to start incorporating more intensity into my rides (as well as more miles) but don’t really know where to start. I’d like to be in race shape by the end of July or August (for hilly races in northern New York state and Vermont). Got any advice for a born-again rider?
Hi Jimmy –
Thanks for the email. Congrats on getting back into the bike. It sounds to me that with all your riding & recent vacation you have a solid “base” built up. In that case I recommend VO2 Max intervals. These intervals will help raise your threshold power and are specific to the length of climbs you have in the Northeast.
An introductory VO2 Max workout would be:
2 sets of 2 x 3 min ON* (as hard as you can go) 3 min Off. Take 6 minutes in-between sets and then repeat. Warm up for 30 minutes, perform the intervals and then ride for 1 – 2 hours total ride time.
*if possible do these intervals on a hill because you will be able to work harder and its specific to the climbing you want to do.
For a more advanced VO2 MAX workout try 2 sets of 3 x 4 min ON 4 min OFF (as hard as you can go) with 8 minutes off in-between sets.
Perform a VO2 Max workout once in the middle of the week always following a rest day(s). Allow ample recovery afterwards because these are very difficult workouts. The trade off is that they make you much faster!
Hope that helps, good luck and please let me know if you have any more questions.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Boulder, CO 80304