2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

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wardieboy
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2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby wardieboy » Fri Nov 23, 2012 20:08 pm

Just wondering which regular mid-week workout will provide the best returns over the winter - 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

3 x 15's will give an extra 5 minutes in the sweet spot per session but won't give the body as much exposure to longer intervals at the given effort rate. I obviously could mix between the two but was wondering if there was an overriding benefit of the 2 x 20?

Cheers all.
peddlingmadness wrote:Slightly off topic but, whilst waiting behind a horse box today the Horse Farted with a little follow through, missed my mouth thankfully, but my glasses were pebble dashed..

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Herbsman
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Herbsman » Fri Nov 23, 2012 20:25 pm

Neither - give 7x((6x8.75)/8)^23 a go
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Herbsman
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Herbsman » Fri Nov 23, 2012 20:30 pm

Serious reply: your question is unanswerable.

Even if it was, people would need to know if you were planning to do the 15's at the same intensity as the 20's or not

The only way the question could be answered really is to get 50 athletes to do only 3 x 15 every time they ride, n times per week, and another 50 athletes to only do 2 x 20 every time they ride, n times per week and measure the average increase in FTP for each group.

Even then there would be so many variables, sleep, diet, stress etc it would be almost impossible to say.
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bahzob
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby bahzob » Fri Nov 23, 2012 21:40 pm

Herbsman above is right. Best is pick whatever routine allows you to spend most time at target intensity and ring the changes to get some variety. Chris Boardman had a threshold routine of 15>12>10>8 mins with 5 min rpi and it didnt do him any harm.

But whatever you pick you are either wrong or confused if you do these efforts at "sweetspot.

Sweetspot is less than threshold. Any effort of 20 mins or less should be done at least at threshold. If you cant manage 2x20/3x15/whatever at threshold either you are ill or your FTP estimate is wrong.

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GiantMike
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby GiantMike » Fri Nov 23, 2012 22:15 pm

I do 2x20 at FTP. Anything less is a bit 'easy'. I'd do 3x15 at FTP too.
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wardieboy
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby wardieboy » Fri Nov 23, 2012 23:46 pm

Thanks for the comments, Of course I can manage the workout at FTP, but how many times per week without getting fatigued that I don't know! How much rest do you take between training sessions if you are performing the workouts at FTP? I was planning 95% of FTP three times a week with a long ride at weekends.
peddlingmadness wrote:Slightly off topic but, whilst waiting behind a horse box today the Horse Farted with a little follow through, missed my mouth thankfully, but my glasses were pebble dashed..

Tom Dean
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Tom Dean » Sat Nov 24, 2012 00:12 am

it depends

Bigpikle
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Bigpikle » Sat Nov 24, 2012 07:59 am

I prefer 2x20 as its pretty much the same time at your target zone and I also like the way it makes me work harder for longer in each set. I also prefer to just have 2 sets to do from a metal standpoint and its more time efficient to just have a single 4-5 min rest interval. YMMV. If I have a little longer I'll do 3x20 instead :D
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Setarkos
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Setarkos » Sat Nov 24, 2012 20:15 pm

1. 3x15' or 2x20' @100% doesn't make a difference. Pick whatever you feel more comfortable with (longer fewer intervals or shorter but more)

2. What are you training for? Are you racing in winter? When do you want to peak?
If you have a normal season plan and do your first races/events in March/April it is a bit early for weekly threshold work imo.
A great winter workout (complementing base miles) is
45' 65-70%
2/3x15' 88-91% RI 5'
40' 80%
45-60' 60-65%
Have some protein before app. 0.5g per kg bodyweight.
If you're racing this winter then race on the weakend and threshold once a week is fine.

3. 2x20' and 3x15' are really more useful at 100%FTP. If you want to do SST, try 3x20' or 4x15' with RI 5' at 70-75%.

Remember that the 5min rest intervals are mainly psychologically anyway and that a specific workout (such as L4) should be done to the point of exhaustion.

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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Setarkos » Sat Nov 24, 2012 20:58 pm

Bigpikle wrote:If I have a little longer I'll do 3x20 instead :D


I would try to go a little bit harder (105% FTP) in your 2x20 if you can do 3x20 that easily. Or maybe your FTP is slightly underestimated. 3x20 is usually only done in an intense L4 block with considerable preparation but then they are indeed very rewarding ;)

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Herbsman
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Herbsman » Sat Nov 24, 2012 21:06 pm

Setarkos wrote:...a specific workout (such as L4) should be done to the point of exhaustion.

Really? I read (admittedly only in 3 different books) that they should be done until your power drops by a certain percentage, and not a massive percentage either. I wouldn't describe that as exhaustion?
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GiantMike
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby GiantMike » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:03 pm

Setarkos wrote:
Bigpikle wrote:If I have a little longer I'll do 3x20 instead :D


I would try to go a little bit harder (105% FTP) in your 2x20 if you can do 3x20 that easily. Or maybe your FTP is slightly underestimated. 3x20 is usually only done in an intense L4 block with considerable preparation but then they are indeed very rewarding ;)


It also varies from day to day. Last week I did a 2x20 at 100% and 102% FTP and felt fine afterwards. Yesterday I did a 2x20 at 100% and 100% and struggled on the second one. I am planning a 3x20xFTP but I think it will be proper horrible!
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markos1963
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby markos1963 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:54 pm

I always do my 2x20s at 105%. I can't see the benefit of doing it at 100% after all you are doing it looking for an improvement in FTP. 100% is just replicating what you are doing in a 10mTT anyway rather than pushing it further.

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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby ut_och_cykla » Sun Nov 25, 2012 13:48 pm

In theory - 2 x 20 should be closer to threshold than 3 x 15 which to give the same training dose would have to be done a tiny bit harder and would thereby create more lactate? (and 1 x 40 slightly easier) I like 2 x 20 as I can fit it nicely into an hour. The key to any interval work like this is to get the effort right to make progress and still be doable regulalry - twice a week - with each interval being the same - not a mad 15 mins followed by slightly less adn even less for the last one!

Setarkos
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Setarkos » Sun Nov 25, 2012 13:57 pm

Herbsman wrote:
Setarkos wrote:...a specific workout (such as L4) should be done to the point of exhaustion.

Really? I read (admittedly only in 3 different books) that they should be done until your power drops by a certain percentage, and not a massive percentage either. I wouldn't describe that as exhaustion?


Yes, you're absolutely right. Maybe "exhaustion" is the wrong word, I meant exhaustion of your ability for that specific training zone. Don't know how to put that more elegantly.

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GiantMike
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby GiantMike » Sun Nov 25, 2012 14:12 pm

markos1963 wrote:I always do my 2x20s at 105%. I can't see the benefit of doing it at 100% after all you are doing it looking for an improvement in FTP. 100% is just replicating what you are doing in a 10mTT anyway rather than pushing it further.


I don't understand this. My FTP is 306W based on a near-fatal 20 min power test of 322W. At the end of the test I couldn't get off the bike. If I did 2x20 at 105% FTP, by definition I wouldnt be able to complete the second one.

If I could complete the second one at 105% FTP, wouldn't this just mean my FTP was wrong?
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Hurricane151
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Hurricane151 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 15:58 pm

markos1963 wrote:I always do my 2x20s at 105%. I can't see the benefit of doing it at 100% after all you are doing it looking for an improvement in FTP. 100% is just replicating what you are doing in a 10mTT anyway rather than pushing it further.


If you do it at 100% you are replicating an hour or 25m TT aren't you?. I thought your FTP was based on the average power that can be sustained for 60mins.

I did my first 20min interval session yesterday. I did 3 x 20mins at circa 95% and I have to say this was pretty easy. Don't get me wrong I felt it but i never thought i wasn't going to complete the three sets.

I have been wondering if this means my FTP is wrong also, but I think I'll be trying the next sets I do at 100% or above.

I also am a little confused as i did my FTP 20min test at basically 105% of my FTP so i'm not sure I could complete 2 sets of that as I was spent at the end of my test 20.

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markos1963
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby markos1963 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 16:27 pm

GiantMike wrote:
markos1963 wrote:I always do my 2x20s at 105%. I can't see the benefit of doing it at 100% after all you are doing it looking for an improvement in FTP. 100% is just replicating what you are doing in a 10mTT anyway rather than pushing it further.


I don't understand this. My FTP is 306W based on a near-fatal 20 min power test of 322W. At the end of the test I couldn't get off the bike. If I did 2x20 at 105% FTP, by definition I wouldnt be able to complete the second one.

If I could complete the second one at 105% FTP, wouldn't this just mean my FTP was wrong?


Whoops :oops: Think I'm getting myself in a mix. I do 2x20 training for 10mTT so I base it on 105% of my average HR for the season over this distance. I made the assumption this was my FTP figure.

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Herbsman
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby Herbsman » Sun Nov 25, 2012 17:01 pm

Setarkos wrote:
Herbsman wrote:
Setarkos wrote:...a specific workout (such as L4) should be done to the point of exhaustion.

Really? I read (admittedly only in 3 different books) that they should be done until your power drops by a certain percentage, and not a massive percentage either. I wouldn't describe that as exhaustion?


Yes, you're absolutely right. Maybe "exhaustion" is the wrong word, I meant exhaustion of your ability for that specific training zone. Don't know how to put that more elegantly.

Ah. When I think of exhaustion, I think of such time as when I'm literally too f**ked to pedal anymore :lol:
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amaferanga
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Re: 2 x 20's or 3 x 15's?

Postby amaferanga » Sun Nov 25, 2012 19:26 pm

I find 3x15 an easier session that 2x20. I think that's just a mental thing - after 10 minutes I can tell myself I'm nearly there. As for the power, on the turbo I find 20 mins at FTP pretty hard and 2x20 really hard. If I drop the power to ~90-92% FTP though I can do 2x30 or 3x20 or 40-20-10 or similar without too much trouble. If I do drop the power a bit like this then I can do 2, 3 or even 4 SST/L4 sessions in the evening through the week. If I try back to back sessions of 2x20 at FTP I generally fail to hit the numbers on the second day.

On the road from spring onwards I'll do 4 or 5 x 12min (12min is the longest nearby hill that's good for repeats) at several Watts above FTP. I find it so much easier to hit my FTP and higher on the road compared to the turbo.
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