Interval Tuesday

Good session in the gym today doing intervals. Have a race on Sunday so planned intervals for today and Thursday with a slow long run tomorrow and Friday. Saturday Rest.

Struggled with the intervals by the end – always hot in the gym without passing air to cool you down – interesting to see the EPOC – basically a measure of the the training effect. See it cresting by the end of the intervals then rise slower during the bike ride.

VO2 spikes up there nicely with the last of the 12mph interval – my little legs were buzzing afterwards. Was wondering how fast I could run … 12mph (5min/mile) is the fastest the machine in this gym goes.



VO2 MAX recording



Monthly Tally – December 2010

Last month I did as many hours of exercise as alcoholic beverages consumed over the festive season. My aim to do at least an hour of exercise a day is pretty much still on course.

December was nearly there – I blame the complete lack of proper exercise and a lot of snow for this last weeks slippage (as well as the odd amount of snow and ice)

January will be better – once I start of course

Dec 201 summary on MovesCount

Riding Glen Tanar and Garmin Edge Review

Started the morning towing my 5 year old around Glen Tanar estate on her tag-a-long doing a quick 10km ride. She loves it and said she was desperate to be on her littlebike riding the trails by herself which is always a good sign.

Went for a 25km ride in the afternoon from a friend’s place in deeside over the hills and dropped into Glen Tanar estate for a quick loop. One of those rides that is mainly all up then al down and the down was mainly very smooth forestry road – not terrible exciting as no singletrack.

Next day did the same route but headed up toward mount Kean (one ofthe few Munroe that is easy to cycle) but had time pressure as I had to be back for a 4th birthday party. Will do the complete ride one day – looks promising and a good 1500m+ of climbing.

Used the new (to me) garmin edge 305 and it is brilliant – everything you would really want from a HRM / cycle computer.

Still playing around with the setup – managed to dislodge it once as i grabbed bike stem while opening farmers gate – it flew off but undamaged.

As for screen options – still playing around with setup – at the moment I have

SCREEN 1 (display 5)
Max Speed / Distance
Time (cycling) / Heart Rate

SCREEN 2 (display 5 again)
Heart Rate
Total Ascent / Cadence
Calories / Time of Day




altimeter graph

Interval Training 2 – for Mountain Bike

Interval training is best described as – short bursts of intense activity interspersed with rest or recovery. It is a means of over loading our bodies for a short period of time to achieve fitness gains.

For example, after a 10 minute warm up:
• 1 minute “hard” pace (high intensity)
• 1 minute “easy” pace (low intensity)
• Repeat hard – easy efforts 10 times
Cool down 10 minutes.

During the early and peak seasons of the training planner (from week 9), interval training is used to develop aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Because it is quite stressful to the body, no more than 2 interval sessions / weeks are done and those new to mountain biking should only do 1 session / week. Interval training is not done any earlier in the programme than this, as a good base level of endurance is required first. Also, because of the high intensity of interval training, too much, too early in the season can cause burn out.

Interval training is the final boost towards peak fitness as it develops burst speed for short sharp hill climbs and the sustainable speed needed for a  MTB Marathon Series or endurance event. Our bodies are being trained to better tolerate the accumulation of lactic acid and also become more efficient at clearing it away. This will therefore help to delay the onset of fatigue.

In the training planner, you will see that there are two types of interval training described – long and short intervals.

Long Intervals
Long intervals are excellent for building aerobic endurance and should be performed at a moderately hard but sustainable pace – you shouldn’t be going flat out. These sessions are particularly good for those new to MTBing, but more experienced riders can use both long and short intervals.
E.g. – week 9 – Regular MTBer

Warm up 10 minutes
• 6 minutes moderately hard pace
• 3 minutes steady cycling at low intensity
• Repeat 4-6 times
Cool down 10 minutes

Short Intervals
With short intervals the work time is less but the intensity is greater. You should aim to cycle at flat out pace. It is an excellent way to develop anaerobic capacity as lactic acid clearance improves and you will be able to maintain faster speeds for longer. Short intervals at this highest intensity should be avoided if you are new to MTB.
E.g. week 9 – Regular MTBer

Warm up 10 minutes
• 2 minutes hard pace
• 3 minutes steady cycling at low intensity
• Repeat 4 – 6 times
Cool down 10 minutes.

Progressing your interval training sessions
As you progress through the 4-week cycle, the number of repetitions can be increased to make the session harder.
For example:
Start week – 4 repetitions
Build week – 5 repetitions
Push week – 6 repetitions
Recovery week – no interval training

Other ways to progress the interval session are
• Increase the duration of each repetition
• Reduce the recovery of each repetition
• Repeat the same session but uphill

Interval sessions are excellent for quick after-work burns on the bike, as they are quality workouts that take relatively little time. Treat them with respect though – don’t do too many and avoid a high intensity session the day before your long endurance ride. You will need plenty of recovery time and a good meal after one of these workouts!

A decent HRM with the ability to upload and analyse your workout will let you comprehend the link between knowledge of what has been don and how it effects the body … I use a Suunto t6 and Movesount analysis which also has a great training effect mode …. check out my review on the site by clicking the tag …