Training Intensity Levels

17 Mar 2003

Intensity levels are one of the basic principles of MF’s Training Method. 

The following are exhaustive explanations of what Lento, Medio and Soglia really mean and what is their purpose. 

In order to determine the Intensity Levels, the cyclist has to perform an evaluation test and by the results of this (the average Heart Rate, the time and the Average Ascent Speed VAM) we can calculate the Intensity Levels. 

The values we obtain are directly connected with the anaerobic threshold, another very important parameter in evaluating road bike performances. 

MF’s Training Method is based on 4 levels of intensity: 

L: Lento: this indicates a slow pace/speed. 
The purpose of this moderate level is to enhance your overall resistance and to get you used to staying on the bike for a long time. Do not underestimate it, because it is crucial for active recovery on your bike. 

M: Medio: this indicates a medium pace/speed. It is a more challenging effort for you body than Lento. 
This level will enhance your endurance, specifically your capability to optimize your energetic metabolism under effort. 
Without a proper Medio training load (volume), lasting improvements are not possible. 
The majority of the high spinning sessions are performed within Medio’s range. 

S: Soglia: this indicates a high pace/speed. Definitely higher than Medio Intensity, Soglia is close to and fluctuates around the Anaerobic Threshold value. The purpose of this level is to increase an athlete’s power while avoiding excessive lactic acid amounts. 

SS: SuperSoglia: this indicates a very high pace/speed. This is the highest of the intensity levels and is very close to maximum effort. It can be kept for a few minutes and gets the cyclist used to race intensities. It exceeds the highest value of Soglia’s range. 

 

The ranges indicated in the intensity levels are quite wide and should be taken as general indications and not as strict rules. 
You should in fact stay in the middle of the target range, while taking your feelings and overall circumstances into consideration. 

Here is some general advice: 

The first few times that you perform specific training sessions, stay in the lower part of the intensity range. 

Even when you get used to MF’s Training Program, try to perform the very first repetitions of each specific task while staying in the lower part of the range; move into the higher ranges only when you are “warm and rolling”. 

In cold temperatures, your HR usually has difficulty rising, while in hot temperatures your HR is higher than usual. Therefore, if it is cold, try to keep your pace in the lower part of the intensity range. 

If you have a difficult time raising your HR during a specific training session, it is most likely a sign of fatigue. In this case, postpone your session to another day.