Joined: January 8th, 2010, 1:17 pm
Location: Hopkinton, MA
2. How close to maximum heart rate should I be pushing myself when doing short intervals? Is there a strong benefit to going beyond say 95% of maximum heart rate? Is there any real research on this?
3. I'm curious about how other folks set training objectives. I mean that I am wondering how much improvement I can expect given a certain time commitment, body mass, and age. Can one infer future improvement from the rate of change in the past?
Just coming from Hopkington gives you a head start, I’d say (Boston Marathon reference)
Once you’ve established a Max HR. There is no problem in getting up there if you are aerobically fit. If someone is only a month or two into a training program from being sedentary, I believe MaxHR should be delayed until you can erg 3-4 days a week for at least 30’ a session w/o feeling like you are wearing yourself down.
After that: Many coaches (myself included) believe that 10 percent or less of your training time should be spent above 90 %.
As to the “above 95%”… why not? Racers need to get comfortable w/the discomfort to succeed against those of similar aptitude.
I think you’ll find though that short intervals do not get you up above 95%. If they do then you probably aren’t as aerobically fit as you “should” be. “Should” is in quotes… It’s just that I’d prescribe longer 80-85% HR intervals for those whose HR spikes really fast.
Age does make a difference IMHO.
This leads into your Q#3:
Training objectives are set somewhat arbitrarily if you look across the board.
Everyone improves faster earlier than they do later. Intermediate goals w/reasonable and increasing lengths of time for achievement works best.
Sadly, No one can tell you that if you improved from an 8’ 2k to a 7’ 2k in one year if you will ever row a 6:30 2k.
Serious athletes often go get tested in a human performance lab and find out their VO2 max and Anaerobic Threshold.
(Watch-out, the truth can be sobering.
.. especially for older athletes)
The body of data in the rankings over the years is very telling.
I would suggest slowly working up through percentiles at various distances. Get (say) 75% at 2k while also trying for a 75% ranking at 5k.
Do not avoid either speed (500m) or distance (10k and beyond) if a truly major goal is to be your best at 2k. Naturally, many athletes recognize that they aren’t “middle distance” types an eschew 2k altogether… Clearly, one should train differently for a marathon than 1k… if you want to max out…
You can get lots of clues about this from reading signature stats from people here or researching active people your own age and weight from the rankings..