Thanks for the specific advice Sean. I don't have a powermeter, so am not sure what my FTP is. That is on my triathlon wish list and is a likely purchase for next season. When you say VO2 max intervals, would tabata repeats fall into that category? 1 minute at at 90% 1 minute spin then repeat x10. Or should the duration be longer for greater effect? Beyond the specifics, I get what you're driving at with the ride hard- I can't expect to get faster without some suffering.
Well, without a powermeter it's hard to know exactly what you're doing. I'm sure someone will tell me I'm wrong (which I might be), but VO2 max intervals are generally 110-120% (so without PM, just go balls to the wall, your legs will be on fire). You can do them 30s on 30s off or up to 3-5 min on w/ 1-3 min off. The key is to get your HR up into that VO2 max zone for 20 min for maximum benefit. So if you're doing the 30s/30s, you're not getting much recovery so your HR will stay relatively high once it gets there, but may take a few cycles to get into VO2 max. With the longer intervals w/ longer rest intervals it will take the first bit of each interval to get your HR up into VO2 max. So you could just monitor via HR. Make sure you have plenty of airflow for these so your HR isn't spiking early due to overheating.
Anyone that knows better than me please correct me.
Edit: And with you having a running background, I agree that you probably just need to learn how to suffer on the bike. It's completely different to me than suffering on the run. Your legs will feel like they can't possibly keep going, but they can. Got to learn mental toughness. Don't quit and you will gain confidence and momentum in your training.
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