Recovery between 1min intervals

ianrawson

Doing 6x1min intervals using a power meter I noticed that with a 1min recovery my average power per interval was reducing say by 30w. i.e starting at say 550w it was reducing to say 520, 490.. etc.
The question is, should the recovery be long enough so that the power is maintained throughout the set (i.e say a 4min recovery), or is the 1min recovery critical and the reducing power acceptable?
Or, as I suspect, are both scenarios relevant, with each offering a different training effect. If so, what is the difference.

Alex Simmons/RST

Well by not allowing sufficient recovery, you are effectively turning an anaerobic session into an aerobic one.

So what exactly are you intending to achieve with the intervals?

bikebike

I agree with Alex – what are the intervals for? IMO, if your goal is to increase your max power output, then you should be attaining the same power output per interval – or higher – and you could achieve the same effect with shorter intervals (i.e <30s) and greater recover time (e.g. 10mins). If your goal is to increase your lactate threshold (i.e. your ability to maintain a high power output over a certain period of time), then you’d aim to increase the continuous time you spend in an interval (eg. 1min working up to 5m+). 1m intervals with 1m recovery (x6) would be training your ability to maintain a certain power output for 1m, ‘recover’ for 1m and then reach the intial power output again (for 1m). Race application for that would be training the ability to respond to quick and constant attacks in a criterium. If that’s all you’re aiming at, keep it up – your power output over the 1m interval should eventually become consistent, once your lactate threshold increases.

hope that helps

ianrawson

Thanks for the replies.
I'm trying to increase my average power over 1min, hence the uncertainty as to which approach will give the most effective results.

Alex Simmons/RST

ianrawson said:
Thanks for the replies.
I'm trying to increase my average power over 1min, hence the uncertainty as to which approach will give the most effective results.

Ok but for what purpose?

1-min power is a unique beast and improving it requires attention to neuromuscular power, anaerobic work capacity and maximal aerobic power. These are best worked on separately but tied together with 1-min efforts at some stage as well.

ianrawson

I suspect I don't really know what I'm doing it for, scientifically that is, I'm hoping it will improve my power when crossing to a break (for instance) - I road race in the vets league.
1min intervals are a well documented training session, but I've seen different accounts of recovery lenghts, and reading through the Training with Power book, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on maintaining power throughout an interval, hence a longer recovery.

Alex Simmons/RST

ianrawson said:
I suspect I don't really know what I'm doing it for, scientifically that is, I'm hoping it will improve my power when crossing to a break (for instance) - I road race in the vets league.
1min intervals are a well documented training session, but I've seen different accounts of recovery lenghts, and reading through the Training with Power book, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on maintaining power throughout an interval, hence a longer recovery.
In that case I'd suggest working on improving you maximal aerobic power with multiple hard efforts of 3-5 minutes. These might be by doing hills of around that duration or a structured session.