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What did the rest of their training look like? It mentions low intensity, but how low & how much? Looks like Polarized training to me.

Joe Friel

kevbikemad--Unspecified in the study. They otherwise trained as they usually do so long as intensity was less than 88% MHR.

Bruce Wieand

Hi Joe, thanks for the interesting post. Did the study say anything about changes in economy after the 10 weeks? I'm thinking of two studies on VO2max I know of. From Jack Daniels "The Power of VDOT", I get the impression that VO2max and economy have somewhat of an inverse relationship; i.e., athletes with higher VO2max tend to have lower economy. And Veronique Billat "Interval training at VO2max: effects on aerobic performance and overtraining markers" indicates that VO2max training stimulates improvement in economy more that it does VO2max (4 week study). Thanks for your thoughts. --Bruce

Joe Friel

Bruce Wieand--No, economy wasn't measured in this study. And you're about economy and VO2max being contradictory in most research.

Mike E

This is apropos...Sufferfest is coming out with a new video this week, "Half is Easy", that is 2 sessions of (20 x :15 easy/:15 not easy).

Greg Hinrichsen

Joe, The study explains why I have had good results using a heart rate fartlek where I warm up for 30-40 minutes then hammer hard to zone 5a then pedal easy for recovery to Zone 3 and repeat again and again for 20-60 minutes total WI and RIs The work interval starts at around 2-3 minutes but quickly goes to about 45 seconds with about equal rest. I am competing in a 56 mile time trial in 6 weeks. If I read you correctly I should be doing longer time trials as the race approaches at projected 56 mile race effort. I am 55 years old. Thank you. Greg

Joe Friel

Greg Hinrichsen--Yes, I'd agree with your conclusion about your intervals. Good luck!

John Daniel Teran

These short interval efforts remind me of the famous Billat 30-30 protocol. Briefly, the athlete spends 30 seconds at speed that elicits VO2max during a ramp test, then 30 seconds at roughly half that speed. The slow component of VO2 means that athletes spend considerable time at VO2max while in the recovery interval, causing total time at VO2max to be substantial, despite the short bouts.
Could something similar be going on here?

Joe Friel

John Daniel Teran--Yes, very similar.

Luiz Fernando Cambraia Gatti

Hi Joe.
13x30"(6.5')with 15"recovery and 3'recovery between de sets is not almost the same of 5'with 2.5'recovery because as you have mentioned this 15"recovery between the 30"efforts doesn't recover completely and it works like a full 6.5'interval?



8.7% improvement in V02max over 10 weeks in already well trained athletes seems huge, to me. How about you? I have read in a number of places recently that when doing very high intensity interval work (V02max into anaerobic) most of the improvement comes in the first 3 to 4 weeks and after 6 weeks it borders on a waste of time, meaning that for the effort put in and the fatigue acquired, there are more efficient ways to train. These articles mentioned that in the workouts made famous by Tabata, 80+% of the improvement came in the first 3 weeks. Do you have any thought on this?

Joe Friel

geocof2249--Yes, there are typically diminishing returns for high-intensity training after the first few weeks, depending on several variables such as the number of sessions per week and the athlete's starting fitness level.

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