HIT during base/build

Hi all, new to fast talk labs and really enjoying the content. I have listened to a few podcasts now and I’m after a little direction in relation to HIT intervals during base/build phase. A few of the podcasts have said 2 x HIT per week with the remaining rides LSD and recovery.

I’m 17 weeks out from an MTB 100km single track race with 2700m elevation gain. I want to build my HIT training over the final 8 weeks but not sure what I should be doing in the weeks prior as I don’t want to overtrain/peak too soon.

Does anyone have examples of the type of training I might do for HIT in the build phase?

Thanks in advance.

Welcome @Kerrin thanks for joining us!

Do you have a powermeter?

Have you done this event in the past? If so what was your normalized power? Can you share the fitfile if you have done it or something similar?

Hi @steveneal thanks for your reply!

I don’t have a power metre on the mtb but I do a lot of indoor riding using sufferfest. I find sufferfest good but as a masters athlete I find a lot of the workouts are high intensity and target a lot of energy systems at once. As per the latest podcast I like to focus on one workout and perfect that before increasing load/intensity.

I am sticking with sufferfest but want to make up my own program with combined indoor/outdoor rides. It’s winter here in New Zealand so indoor riding is favourable at the moment and convenient for me.

Anyway… the best I can do is a ride in April that was mostly rough 4WD tracks. An alternative course was used due to rain so it was a long hard slog. I only have Strava data which is
2200 m elevation
5hrs 44mins
Avg hr 158
Avg speed 21 kmh
Avg est watts 191
Historic relative effort 404

My sufferfest 4DP (a bit high as I need to retest) is:
5 sec - 987w - this is particularly accurate due to the trainer
Anaerobic capacity (1 min) 575w
Max aerobic capacity (5 min) 391w - weakness
FTP 319w

I have attached a couple of pics from that ride data.

Your input is really appreciated,


@Kerrin Hi thanks for that info.

I am a big believer of race specific intensity. So for that type of event it would be mostly Tempo and Threshold pace.

If you can figure out how much of this you can handle without too much fatigue it will give you a lot of confidence in a long event.

Your FTP is about 81% of your MAP (391) so even though you show this as a weakness, I believe you could get that FTP to 85% of 391 before you need to worry about raising that ceiling. So that would be FTP of 332 watts.

I think trying to continue to raise that would be the way I would go.

Will be great when others have some ideas, which should help you decide on your direction.

That’s great @steveneal. You are spot on with your estimates, those figures are based on a ramp test in early May. When training for the race I was using metrics based on my last 4DP test which was about August 2020. At that time my MAP was 401 and FTP was 331!

Nice work, you’re right I should be able to get there so will heed your advice and start building that FTP with tempo and threshold.

Thanks heaps for your time and advice, greatly appreciated


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@steveneal thanks for your advice. A little update, I did a ramp test today after 8 weeks (3x load, 1x recovery) of building my FTP and I have raised my FTP to 331 (from 319) and my MAP to 406 (from 393). Really happy so far. I have another 4 week block before I start specifically working on MAP so interested to see if I can keep raising it.

Thanks again, Kerrin

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@Kerrin that is great to hear!

Keep up the good work and thanks so much for checking in.

If you start to feel super amazing…maybe check in again. You might need to take a wee break and get back to some endurance and tempo to really hold on to these fitness gains.

It is a really back and forth game.

Thanks @steveneal, good advice. I did my first HIT on the new numbers - it hurt! :grinning:

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@Kerrin be careful :slight_smile:

Hi @steveneal, last little update for you… unfortunately the event I was training for was postponed until early next year due to covid.

After hearing that I lost all motivation and had 4 days off the bike. I then decided to head back indoors and complete a sufferfest (now systm) taper week and do a ramp test at the end of it for the hell of it.

To my surprise my FTP and MAP exceeded my expectations! My FTP went from 331 to 354 and my MAP from 406 to 423 - stoked!

I thought that the numbers may have been too high and something had stuffed up with the trainer but I have since completed some tough workouts with these numbers and they seem to be right.

Polarised training definitely works for me and maybe a longer taper when I get to racing again as the 4 days off must have helped reduce fatigue as I was undoubtedly getting tired towards the end of the training block.

Anyway I have taken up enough of your time. Thanks to you and fast talk team for the work you do

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That is such great news! Really glad you jumped back on that bike and gave the testing a try.

Nice to know you had some great improvements. There is almost a linear improvement, but the FTP is a little higher relative, which means lower, tempo is likely equal or better. Had the improvement been higher at the MAP, you couldn’t really say the same.

You can post anytime, that is what we are all hear for.

Thank you for the update.

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