What type of intervals energize you?

During my training ride today a question popped into my head: do different type of intervals have different physical and psychological effects on different people?

Here is an example. Certain workouts feel harder than others to me. Intervals at threshold or near threshold feel hard, while short explosive VO2 and anaerobic intervals feel exciting and energizing. Even if I do these explosive intervals at the end of a workout or hours into a ride, I still feel energized from them and really like doing them.

I haven’t looked into the research to figure out whether there is a physiological response that is common to everyone. I just wanted to hear your experiences instead, as I think this can be quite interesting…

I really like those at or near threshold intervals especially when they are longer and I can really get into a groove! I also really enjoy step up blocks, the ones where you start at endurance pace and step up 10-20 watts every one or two minutes. Short 30 second VO2 I also like. When VO2 gets longer than that all I can think about is how much it hurts and how hard it is to breathe and OMG when is this going to end? So when I look at the workouts the more red I see the more I cringe. The more yellow I see and the bigger the blocks, the more excited I get.

I suspect it has a lot to do with the type of rider I am and what my strengths are.

I also think it has to do with strengths as a rider.
I can ride zone 2-3 forever, and my zone 3 is relatively wide wattage-wise. However, the wheels come off of the wagon really quickly as soon as I get near threshold. Those are my most hated intervals, and I’ve actually started working them specifically to try and build that. Sprints I can muscle my way through sometimes but it leaves me with nothing left.

@stacypro, I am the same. Threshold and above challenge me most. I did the reverse pyrmid workout today and was toasted.

It’s so interesting how hard and even “draining” it can feel to do certain intervals/ride at certain power zones, and how we are all different. I can only imagine on a group ride… at any given point, there are people loving the pace and others… not so much.

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I’m with @Stefanie and @stacypro I find VO2 intervals tougher then climbing WOs or threshold so I’m sure it’s related to my rider type. About 9-10 years ago when I first moved to Chicago I was diagnosed with environmental asthma. They gave me an inhaler at the time but it never seemed to make a difference so I didn’t refill it. Now that I’m way more active, I’m thinking I need to chat with my dr again to see if maybe we should revisit that since sometimes I start to feel like I can’t get enough oxygen when I’m riding. Mostly on hills or really long VO2 intervals. In IRL that’s when I stop, catch my breath and let my heart rate drop. On Zwift, I tend to keep pushing through.

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I use an inhaler @PaleGail and it’s made a huge difference! I used to even panic during hard intervals and steep climbs when I felt like I could not breathe. Now it is under control and I gained the confidence that I can go hard without feeling like I am going to die - I only use it before a hard workout/ride/race.

I’ve wondered about the asthma thing too, specifically exercise-induced asthma. I get “crit cough” pretty badly after hard efforts and have coughed until I gagged before on hard group rides. I’ve tried an inhaler though and I don’t like the way it makes me feel. All shaky and jittery.

@stacypro I’ve been using the inhaler too. I hate the jitters and couldn’t help change a flat last week as my hands were shaking.

@Coach_Theia do you use the inhaler before a ride/race as a preventative?

I use it as it helps. I’m hoping I’ll be able to adapt and use it less. But it seems worse in the summer for me. Breathing wise anyway. :woman_shrugging:t2:

Yes, I use it immediately before I get on the bike for a hard ride, workout or race. It’s the only time I use it because what I have is exercise-induced, so I don’t need to use it at any other time. Because I use it immediately before, I don’t feel the jitters- because I get on the bike. In fact, I never realized I got the jitters from it until I used it once before Zwift and my connection failed and I could not workout, so I just stood there and felt it. But it went away in about 5 minutes. I wonder if you are more sensitive to it @stacypro and @Gossimrr? Are you using albuterol?