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  1. #1
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    Higher Intensity Offseason Training

    This higher intensity in the "non-race" season might just work ... due to a decrease in my available training time, the coach I work with has had me doing "base" at a higher intensity than typical. I train with an HRM - she has me riding in hi zone 2/low zone 3, which falls about 20 beats below my lactate threshold - and has me doing near threshold and threshold work (Z4 and Z5 in the form of cruise intervals and big gear/muscle tension intervals) as well as stomps, power starts, and spinups at short high iintensity. I've still been getting 3+ hr. rides in on weekends and totaling about 9-10 hrs/week on the bike time, running 1 day/week + a core day and consistent stretching.

    I've been feeling very strong and did a VO2max test on sunday, the kind where you're hooked up to a computrainer with a respirator and tubes on and the coach amps up the wattage until exhaustion, and my power at threshold was 20 watts higher, with weight 3# lower than the last test I did in november.

    I try not to get too wrapped up in numbers and technical stuff, that's one reason I have a coach, but the point of this rambling - which I realize is not new information - upping your intensity during endurance rides and keeping some near threshold and threshold work in your offseason program appears to pay dividends. I just hope those dividends are still there when we actually start pinning numbers on and improvement continues through what is a long race season. I definitely have concerns that I'm burning a few matches that might be needed in August, we'll see.

  2. #2
    Cat WTF
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    http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3540

    Pez article relating to your post.

  3. #3
    cmh
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    Thanks for the post.

    It seems kind of obvious that more intensity will help your fitness now. I'd love to hear if it helps your fitness in May, June and July as compared to previous years. Keep us up to date as your season progresses.

  4. #4
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    So, what are your thoughts on this? It seems to be a norm from what I have read here.

    I just finished my first season racing and spent last winter building any old kind of race shape. Next season I have far more specific objectives.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

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    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    I'm also wondering how this worked out. There's been some mention this season of SST. A lot of people were using in the base and build phases, but the author originally intended it for two-peak seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yonderboy View Post
    ... but the author originally intended it for two-peak seasons.
    That was just an accident of timing because the original article came out in the spring/summer and so was more relevant to rebuilding for a second peak. The concepts were developed for building aerobic fitness in general, not as part of any specific periodization plan.

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    I would like to know how this worked out for the OP, or for any other racer that has followed a more intense training than, we'll say base miles/lsd.

    It would have to be a rider that has a few years racing experience and experience of both ways of training. Also it would help if they were in a similar climate to me-New York-a racer in Fl or Ca will do different training anyway.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    OP, so glad to hear your training seems to be going well.

    I too am doing 8-10 hrs/week and really focusing on quality work. Most of my training has been in that 85-95% of FTP/LTHR range as well. Tough, but not brutal.

    I like this "building a fire" metaphor:

    BASE periods are all about getting the fire as steady and long lasting as possible. To get those big logs burning it takes lots of time and patience, building the intensity until the fire's hot enough to get those huge logs burning. Once you do, though they tend to burn for hours, maybe not in a blaze of glory, but hot and steady.
    A solid BASE should be the same way, reliable and hot... but not out of control (burnout, early peak, unpredictable peak...)
    Then, when BUILD periods begin, we start the fireworks, tossing a bit of fuel on the fire: smaller sticks, cardboard, old newspaper, whatever... they only burn for a bit, but damn does it produce some solid heat... then hopefully by the last few weeks before a peak, the gasoline, grenades, spraypaint cans get tossed on right at the last moment and BAM! Huge heat, huge fire and hopefuly the best legs of your life.

    And when the napalm dies down, you recover, take a week off and still have those big logs burning, ready to begin again for the next peak.


    ..... that is garbage. Sorry.... hopefully there is something in there that is helpful.

    Basically though, I'm excited to see how it goes for you, it sounds like you're on the right track though. Just keep tabs on your mental/emotinal well being and keep it all within focus of the bigger plan. Dont hammer the front if you're supposed to be riding tempo, dont ride 3 crappy hours when 2 good ones will do. Quality trumps quantity, even if it's a bit dry, IMO.

    Keep us updated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irish pat View Post
    I would like to know how this worked out for the OP, or for any other racer that has followed a more intense training than, we'll say base miles/lsd.

    It would have to be a rider that has a few years racing experience and experience of both ways of training. Also it would help if they were in a similar climate to me-New York-a racer in Fl or Ca will do different training anyway.
    funny that this post was dug up. I'm probably the worst one on BF to give a comparison since I dont keep alot of power files, track acronyms, etc. instead, I keep things in a spiral notebook

    my "base" consists largely of 2x20s or some variation of an "hour of power" on the indoor trainer Tu/Wed/Th and team rides on weekends. Ideally this equates to 9 - 10 hrs., but more often than not one weekday is jettisoned, and lately it's been too effin' cold for me to get out on weekends, so I'm getting more like 6 - 8 hrs/week.

    I havent done an interval under 20' yet this training season, but that's about to change this week

    "life happens" types of things that have occurred mid-season during both 2007 and 2008, which resulted in me being off the bike for most of May and early June (meat of my racing season) make it difficult for me to offer a quantitative opinion on the 2 training methodologies. I have concluded though that I'm currently getting at least as much out of my legs (based on group rides and race results) as I did pre-2007. Time will tell for 2009

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    I've been seeing a steady increase in FTP with (unfortunately, the last 3 weeks) training of 6.5-7.5 hours a week. A lot of 90-95% work with hard rides on the weekend (weekly Tss of 430<TSS<500). I'm getting in a long ride on the weekend, and a couple good rides during the week.

    Actually looking at WKO, from Sunday to Saturday I had my hardest week ever, at 790 TSS. But since WKO looks at Monday to Sunday, it looks like 466. Ok, I feel better now. I'll get in some good workouts tonight and tomorrow.

    If only this freakin' project would end at work. It would be so much better.
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    Joe Friel has an article on AeT (aerobic threshold training) on his website here, which is basically your upper Z2/lower Z3.....it's less intensive than SST training, which is around the Z3/Z4 crossover......in five weeks of doing consistent AeT rides (in the 1ish - 2hr range) i raised my Z2 by 30bpm, and my LTHR by about 17bpm...i also doubled the fat cal/min i burn.....so if you're limited on time it's a pretty good way of getting in traditional base before moving into the harder stuff.
    there will come a time when there will not come a time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcates View Post
    Joe Friel has an article on AeT (aerobic threshold training) on his website here, which is basically your upper Z2/lower Z3.....it's less intensive than SST training, which is around the Z3/Z4 crossover......in five weeks of doing consistent AeT rides (in the 1ish - 2hr range) i raised my Z2 by 30bpm, and my LTHR by about 17bpm...i also doubled the fat cal/min i burn.....so if you're limited on time it's a pretty good way of getting in traditional base before moving into the harder stuff.
    Sorry, I don't understand this, you are saying your raised your z2 by 30bpm, how is this of benefit, aren't your HR zones supposed to remain mainly consistent and you are supposed to raise your watts in a zone. Maybe I am misunderstanding.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]"it doesn't get easier, you just get faster"
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  13. #13
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcates View Post
    Joe Friel has an article on AeT (aerobic threshold training) on his website here, which is basically your upper Z2/lower Z3.....it's less intensive than SST training, which is around the Z3/Z4 crossover......in five weeks of doing consistent AeT rides (in the 1ish - 2hr range) i raised my Z2 by 30bpm, and my LTHR by about 17bpm...i also doubled the fat cal/min i burn.....so if you're limited on time it's a pretty good way of getting in traditional base before moving into the harder stuff.
    How are you measuring that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcates View Post
    Joe Friel has an article on AeT (aerobic threshold training) on his website here, which is basically your upper Z2/lower Z3.....it's less intensive than SST training, which is around the Z3/Z4 crossover......in five weeks of doing consistent AeT rides (in the 1ish - 2hr range) i raised my Z2 by 30bpm, and my LTHR by about 17bpm...i also doubled the fat cal/min i burn.....so if you're limited on time it's a pretty good way of getting in traditional base before moving into the harder stuff.
    I'm familiar with the AeT, which from what I remember is consistent with the Frank Overton (fascat coaching) definition of SST.

    I'm not sure about your metrics and think you dont really understand training with HR. raising Z2 by 30 bpm means what? increasing LTHR by 17 bpm means what? without a wattage metric (or at least a "critical distance" covered if no watt meter) attached, those HR zones are meaningless in evaluating your fitness or improvements to your fitness.

    when I was using an HRM, my zones would often go the opposite direction as you are stating, i.e. my LTHR measured by the testing I reference in the original post (waste of time and money imo, but that's another discussion) would go from low-mid 180s bpm in December to low 170s in late march. However, I was significantly more "fit" based on the wattage metric.

  15. #15
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    How are you measuring that?
    He bought a Garmin 705. Mine did the same thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Damn.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    How are you measuring that?
    VO2max/Metabolic test....the kind you cycle on the computrainer and breath into a mask...haha don't ask me the science behind it.....i just read the printout

    Sept 2008
    Zone 2: 125-141 (i really let my riding slide in the last half of 2008, what with getting married and all)
    Average Calories/min: 15.4
    Average fatcal/min: 6.3

    Jan 2009 (this was after 5weeks of solid AeT work)
    Zone 2: 145-160
    Average Calories/min: 16.3
    Average fatcal/min: 12.7


    ok, sorry, 20bpm (the 30bpm came from my AeT zone, which started at low 130s and went up to mid 160).......LTHR went from 163 to 180, power at LT didn't go up that much, about 15 watts, but i wasn't really doing any high intensity workouts since our season starts later in the year
    Last edited by pcates; 02-11-09 at 02:13 PM.
    there will come a time when there will not come a time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    I'm familiar with the AeT, which from what I remember is consistent with the Frank Overton (fascat coaching) definition of SST.

    I'm not sure about your metrics and think you dont really understand training with HR. raising Z2 by 30 bpm means what? increasing LTHR by 17 bpm means what? without a wattage metric (or at least a "critical distance" covered if no watt meter) attached, those HR zones are meaningless in evaluating your fitness or improvements to your fitness.

    when I was using an HRM, my zones would often go the opposite direction as you are stating, i.e. my LTHR measured by the testing I reference in the original post (waste of time and money imo, but that's another discussion) would go from low-mid 180s bpm in December to low 170s in late march. However, I was significantly more "fit" based on the wattage metric.
    This is actually my first year using power, so you;re right, perhaps i don't have a full grasp on how it all works....but here's my understanding (as was explainied to me by the guy who does my testing)

    Raising your zones allows you to work harder, longer in a particular zone.....so whereas before riding at say 163bpm i could only last x length of time, now i can ride x+ length of time....thereby getting stronger...and increasing wattage.

    But again, i may be off base here.......but i do feel a lot more fit than same time last year.
    there will come a time when there will not come a time.

  18. #18
    Edificating dmotoguy's Avatar
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    I've never researched the changes that happen when somebody first picks up cycling...so I could be off.. but I did have a HRM within a few months of starting riding... my heart rate zones haven't really changed in that time, although my power has gone up in those zones.


    My LTHR has been ~185-6bpm for the entirety of that period...

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