Training question: Splitting high intensity training sessions

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  • Training question: Splitting high intensity training sessions
  • ferrals
    Member

    Quite a specific question, and wasnt sure whether to put in one of the racing threads or the Trainerroad thread, but figured it may as well go in its own.

    With work, childcare etc, I’m strugling to fit in training. In the summer I cycle to work but stopped to be more rigourous in my training using the turbo and am doing the cyclocross programe on trainerroad. I am finding it hard to fit in the 1.5 hr sessions midweek, but am currently driving to work (wasting 40 mins each way).   I could start cycling to work again and replicate those sessions on the commute. With light fading and various commitments, I can’t replicate a whole session on one way of the commute, but I could detour to a local park and do some intensity in the morning and some in the evening. So for example, considering a workout that specifies sets of 6 intervals, do 3 on the way in and three on the way home.  Given that the commute acts as warm up warm down, I’d be saving a fair bit of time.

    Thoughts on whether this is good or bad for training and adaptation? Part of me thinks its bad because as intervals get harder the more you do, I’m loosing the endurance aspect; the other half thinks having the break means I’ll be fresher to actually hit intervals harder so greater adaptation.

    mcvittees
    Member

    I think if you have an interval session that specifies six intervals, you will loose some of the benefits of that workout by not doing them all in one go and so will need to adjust another variable to derive a worthwhile benefit i.e. do the intervals harder or reduce the rest times (or both!).  It won’t be exactly the same adaptation (lets say lactate tolerance / muscle endurance) but it will be an adaptation (maybe more VO2 max).

    The shorter the session the harder you have to go which is why I hate really short sessions.

    DT78
    Member

    completely understand your situation (I’m there too and trying to come up with a plan)

    Depending on your roads, I would be super wary of doing proper HIT type stuff on the commute (even if its in a park)

    I nearly got flattened when a car pulled out and I was still recovering from a max effort and I wasn’t 100% with it

    ferrals
    Member

    Cheers both.

    @mcvittees  that makes sense, so e.g instead of three 5 min RAB intervals do 2 7.5 mins with less rest

    @DT78 – valid point. I have a few good spots thankfully that I use for outside training and cx skills fairly often. They are traffic free – just have to keep an eye out for loose dogs! Mornings should be OK – after work can be iffy

    Haze
    Member

    Isn’t the third interval supposed to be the repeatable effort, would suggest that the first two are bedding into the work with the better adaptations following afterwards.

    Just a thought, it wouldn’t exactly be junk to split it 50/50 so although not perfect I guess it would be okay…maybe better if you could do 2 sets of 4 possibly?

    ferrals
    Member

    @Haze – I’d wonder the same.. effectively increasing the TSS a bit above the one session.

    Well I’m going to give it a crack later this week – my legs should be an indicator as to whether its worth doing!

    Premier Icon canopy
    Subscriber

    completely understand your situation (I’m there too and trying to come up with a plan)

    me too – however i have a plan.. i live too far from work to commute (its a 2 hour ride or 20 mins by car) and i now have a baby at home to either drop at nursery for 8 or look after til the other half leaves with him

    my solution: i do 20 min intervals on an indoor bike twice/three times a week depending when i’m out on proper bike (for high i smack the resistance on the bike to max and gun it to get my HR up to theshold)

    i read up and believe i’m doing a power hiit session

    1 min warmup

    3 x 1 min low, 30 secs high

    4 x 1 min low, 1min  high

    3 x 1 min low, 30 secs high

    2 min cool down

    then i do some basic free weights and hop in the shower

    ferrals
    Member

    My other main solution is to get up very early and turbo before anyone else is up… but…

    a) doing high intensity like that is hard..

    b) sneaking downstairs without disturbing the todler is nerve wracking!!!

    c) I’m getting tired out getting up before 6 jsut to fit in some training.

    Premier Icon canopy
    Subscriber

    a) guess you need to try find a window around family commitments

    b) i’m doing it on the mornings i dont take my son to nursery, plus on weekends i’m not riding i do it before i get in shower

    c) yeah **** that..i’m doing it from 740 til 8 after having been up with youngun from somewhere between 6 / 630 (read: i’ve had coffee)

    thecaptain
    Member

    Double sessions are great. But don’t split your 6 intervals into 2*3, do 2*4 instead. More training, more fitness (within reason) and you’re still quids in using commute time for training. Or when you can, do a big session one way and recovery ride the other.

    DT78
    Member

    so I tried the early morning sessions, up at 5.30 finished and showered by 7 for son #2.  son#1 at 7.30 then nursery for 8.  ran myself into the ground and just kept getting ill.

    switched to get home from work straight on turbo.  better but means you don’t spend time with kids till bath time.

    tried late but messes with sleep more than kids as we still eat after bath time so I wouldn’t be training till 9 with a full stomach

    currently trailing joining the local gym which has spinning and watt bikes and adjusting my hours so I can have 3 longer lunch breaks a week.  they also do suffetfest sessions I’m going to try

    I miss the days when I’d just ‘pop out’ for a century as long as I was back for going to the pub it was fine…

    tough isn’t it

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    guess you need to try find a window around family commitments

    This.   Early mornings, late evenings, early to bed.   Just home from work and luckily the Kids are at their grandparents so I’m about 50 mins away (its 18:10) from an 80 min session which contains a 1hr interval.

    Get your head around the fact it needs doing and crack on.

    YMMV.

    Any training will always trump no training so just get out, do what you can and don’t get bogged down in the fine details.

    I like to look at the coming week, see what free time I’ll have then plan some sessions around it. No point trying to fit in the sessions proscribed to you by a generic computer program if it doesn’t fit with your life, you just spend the whole time feeling guilty about missing workouts and that leads to despondency. Ride to and from work, go fast when you’ve got the energy and slow when you haven’t. Consistent riding gets you so close to your peak. If you then race cross most weekends, that’ll ice the cake nicely.

    ferrals
    Member

    No point trying to fit in the sessions proscribed to you by a generic computer program if it doesn’t fit with your life, you just spend the whole time feeling guilty about missing workouts and that leads to despondency.

    Yep! especially when you see other people smashing workouts on Strava!

    Also as someone (maybe you actually) mentioned on another thread. Rest days arent rest days, they are doing the hundreds of other things that need doing. TOday for example, I was meant to do 1hr easy (TR’s Petit) but cut it to half an hour as wasnt quite up in time, but then at work I’m spent 5hrs walking around carrying a bunch of equipment doing a site survey, which doesnt add to your TSS total but is bloody knackering.

    switched to get home from work straight on turbo. better but means you don’t spend time with kids till bath time.

    Did this yesterday, got up early, in work by 0730, left befor 4, on turbon 4.30, finished at 6 and only missed 1/2hr family time by the time my eifr had pick up toddler from nursery. Definitely a good option.

    Get your head around the fact it needs doing and crack on.

    Yes… and no. Certainly mentally i’m not super focussed so will let things slide, but equally I’m not (I hope) an a-hole so other things at home have to take precedence over of my hobby – I think all us racers  probably push the boundaries of how much biscuit can be taken when it comes to time away at weekends etc. so concessions have to be made 🙂

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I appreciate that Ferrals, I’m just very bullish at getting my training done.  But then my morning workouts are before everbody wakes up, and the evenings after the kids bedtime.  My boy is starting to get a bit squeamish about me sitting with him in Bibs though…

    I can offset this as I work from home 2-3 times per week and when I do I use lunch times as workout time.

    I guess I’m lucky I can manage that schedule.

    Did an experiment for you Ferrals: Split today’s workout into two sessions. Each only took 30mins but have left me with nicely used legs tonight. Bonus is I think my overall energy levels are a bit higher than they would have been and I also had a few mins spare after each one for some stretching which always makes me feel good.

    Very easy getting on the turbo when you know you’ve only got 3x3min efforts instead of 6x3min. Altogether I can report that I think splitting workouts into two sessions is just fine.

    Hope that helps.

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