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Old 01-27-08, 10:44 AM   #1
Losoccer14
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Duration of Training rides ??

First off, i have done a lot of research on training, have read over 10 training specific books, to get many opinions in order to form a personalized training plan. I am 25, 160 lbs. Former college soccer player, and have maintained the same physical conditioning as my college years.

My question is fairly simple but has not been answered that I can find. If I am training for Cat 5 races, mainly crits, only 1 or two road races, how long should my training rides typically last. Currently I have no problems with spending 3+ hours in the saddle at a high % of MHR. Typical cat 5 race is approximately 30 min. Should I be keeping my training rides at no more than 1 hour, with 1 longer ride per week. Time really is not a problem, I have plenty of time to ride. I am just trying to figure out if I will get better results on race day if I train with short rides to simulate race times.

Thanks for the help
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Old 01-27-08, 10:50 AM   #2
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Keep your long/lower intensity rides to around 3-4 hours, and keep your higher intensity rides shorter (1-1.5 hours). It's great that you can ride that long at a "high percentage of MHR", but at this point, keep it simple. Your hard rides should be really hard, and your easy rides should be really easy.

Right now, you should be doing plenty of longer (2-5 hour), less intense rides. Shouldn't be anywhere near your "MHR" at this point, unless you're trying to peak in 2 months.
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Old 01-27-08, 10:51 AM   #3
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Pursuit riders race 4-5 minutes but train 30,000+ km/yr. It's not about matching training time to event duration, but maximizing the rate of adaptation. Some aspects require longer training duration (aerobic development), others much shorter (neuromuscular power and sprinting).
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Old 01-27-08, 11:25 AM   #4
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by currently I meant at the end of last race season, sorry for the confusion. Right now the majority fo my rides are low HR.
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Old 01-27-08, 11:38 AM   #5
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During the week, the rides are 2hrs or less and a few of those days its moderate to high intensity (never gets to race intensity) The other days are low intensity. Intervals mixed in a few of those days. On weekends I'm not racing, its usually a 4+ hr day in the saddle.
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Old 01-27-08, 12:20 PM   #6
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I think more important than duration is frequency. If I were only allowed 12 hour to train, I would rather train 2 hours or less every day than do a 5-hour ride on the weekend.
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Old 01-27-08, 12:25 PM   #7
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There is a reason you havent found a specific answer to your question, because it depends on you. Have any of those 10 training books including the friel cyclists training bible? Lots of good info in there for building a training plan and scheduling ride durations, if it wasnt one of the books you read, you should make it #11 on your list.

A good training plan has rides of varying duration and varying intensities. Duration will depend on your other life imposed limitations. You'll be a cat 5 for all of 10 races, so training for those specifically is a little silly.

Me: mid 30s, 9 - 5 working stiff, Cat 3 w/family

M - F: 1 to 1.5 hrs., usually dont ride M or F, but sometimes do recovery on M.

Sat./Sun. - 2.5 to 3.5 hrs.

Week: 8 to 10 hrs. avg. I find it's plenty of volume for me to race competitively, and it would opine it to be more than ample for any Cat 4/5.
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Old 01-27-08, 11:38 PM   #8
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Friel was actually the first book that I read, and then again after all of the others. Cat 5 for all of 10 races is a whole season here in MI. I believe there is somewhere between 10-15 races total road, crit and TT included here in MI. I currently have been trying to get a 1.5 hour ride in the morning and also in the evening....on the trainer (so much fun). Typically take 1 day off a week, depending on how I am feeling.



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There is a reason you havent found a specific answer to your question, because it depends on you. Have any of those 10 training books including the friel cyclists training bible? Lots of good info in there for building a training plan and scheduling ride durations, if it wasnt one of the books you read, you should make it #11 on your list.

A good training plan has rides of varying duration and varying intensities. Duration will depend on your other life imposed limitations. You'll be a cat 5 for all of 10 races, so training for those specifically is a little silly.

Me: mid 30s, 9 - 5 working stiff, Cat 3 w/family

M - F: 1 to 1.5 hrs., usually dont ride M or F, but sometimes do recovery on M.

Sat./Sun. - 2.5 to 3.5 hrs.

Week: 8 to 10 hrs. avg. I find it's plenty of volume for me to race competitively, and it would opine it to be more than ample for any Cat 4/5.
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Old 01-28-08, 12:45 AM   #9
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I am trining on a Friel 52 week schedule. It depends on what week of the year , which phase you are in which week of which phase you are in , and which day of the week it is. There is no such thing as a generic "training ride". There are specific rides with specific drills and specific goals. Just riding time or miles without addressing the purpose of that particular ride is not a complete waste of time but a spectacluarily ineffient use of trainig time. Read more carefully and completely.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:29 AM   #10
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I am trining on a Friel 52 week schedule. It depends on what week of the year , which phase you are in which week of which phase you are in , and which day of the week it is. There is no such thing as a generic "training ride". There are specific rides with specific drills and specific goals. Just riding time or miles without addressing the purpose of that particular ride is not a complete waste of time but a spectacluarily ineffient use of trainig time. Read more carefully and completely.

I agree with what you are saying. That is why I am on a 52 week plan also. However I was specifically looking for advise not on what types of drills to do on which days in which phase, as currently I am doing a lot of S1's and S2's on morning rides and E2's on evening rides. The question was directed towards duration of rides compared to the total time of the event. As I was attempting to get some outside opinions of what has worked in the past for others. Friel's book is directed towards at least a 2nd year racer (which I am not).

An obvious assumption would be that if your races are 30 minutes, you should train your body to be a beast for 30 minutes, and therefore was just looking to see what others would have done back in the day when they were in my position.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:51 AM   #11
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Your training rides should be anywhere from 4-5 hours to 45 minutes, depending on the phase your in.

Obviously to do well in 45 minute crits, you don't need tons of long rides. But getting some long rides in will help, particularly in the base phase.

As you move into the preperation phase, and then peak, you'll want to cut back on miles, and increase intensity.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Losoccer14 View Post
I agree with what you are saying. That is why I am on a 52 week plan also. However I was specifically looking for advise not on what types of drills to do on which days in which phase, as currently I am doing a lot of S1's and S2's on morning rides and E2's on evening rides. The question was directed towards duration of rides compared to the total time of the event. As I was attempting to get some outside opinions of what has worked in the past for others. Friel's book is directed towards at least a 2nd year racer (which I am not).

An obvious assumption would be that if your races are 30 minutes, you should train your body to be a beast for 30 minutes, and therefore was just looking to see what others would have done back in the day when they were in my position.
Well, at least as far as endurance (ie. base) training goes, I believe the rule of thumb is for you to be comfortable doing rides 10% longer, with regards to time, than your longest race. So if you race just crits, you may never do any base rides more than about 90 minutes.

When it comes to non-endurance training (eg. interval training), I'm basically just on the bike for as long as it takes to complete the specific training that I want to do. This may also include riding for about half an hour to an hour to get to somewhere suitable for that type of training (eg. 30 mins each way ride + ~ 45 mins for 2x20 intervals - 20 on, 5 off, 20 on - so a total of 1 hour 45 minutes on the bike).

When I started with Friel's periodization plans, I spent quite a lot of time scratching my head. The info in his book is great, but he doesn't give you a lot of examples of how to form that into a real training plan. You have to think about it a bit in terms of the types of racing you do, and what specific skills/weaknesses you have, then build it up around that.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:34 AM   #13
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elgalad, thanks that is helpful information
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Old 01-28-08, 09:44 AM   #14
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Note that when you're starting out, endurance training is more important. It will build your aerobic system up enough to enable stronger interval training. When you've been at it for a few years, you don't need to volume as much.

I'm a competitive Cat 3 and M35+ racer on 6-8 hours/week, with my longest weekly ride in the 90-minute range, but I've been riding for 17 years.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:05 AM   #15
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Well, at least as far as endurance (ie. base) training goes, I believe the rule of thumb is for you to be comfortable doing rides 10% longer, with regards to time, than your longest race. So if you race just crits, you may never do any base rides more than about 90 minutes.
That does not follow. The fact doing rides 10% longer than the target event is necessary does not mean that it is sufficient. See the earlier comment regarding pursuit riders.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:43 AM   #16
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Note that when you're starting out, endurance training is more important. It will build your aerobic system up enough to enable stronger interval training. When you've been at it for a few years, you don't need to volume as much.

I'm a competitive Cat 3 and M35+ racer on 6-8 hours/week, with my longest weekly ride in the 90-minute range, but I've been riding for 17 years.

Followers of the energy-delivery / energy-depletion model of exercise fatigue would suggest your constant bonking is related to this statement.

What kind of fool would suggest training a energy delivery system via long zone 2 rides in order to build a foundation? Is it possible that this “base” allows people to “build” up their interval strength, and those with the most intense intervals need the strongest foundation?

A majestic tower, no matter how impressive, will collapse if built on the sand…


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Bonking in training. WTF?

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Old 01-28-08, 11:54 AM   #17
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Don't have ht energy to craft a reasonable response right now but, as far as 90 minutes being your longest ride. That seems to work for waterrockets who is an experienced racer and/or genetic freak. However, the classic wisdom and a lot of more scientific advice is that even if your longest race is a 30 min crit (or a sub-5 pursuit) you longer rides in the early season should still be at least 2 hours (I've heard 3 hours as a lot as well).

Bottom line, for you first few seasons, don't disregard the benefits of sheer volume in (eventually) eliciting a training response.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:57 AM   #18
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Think of the body exercising as having an egg timer. It get's used to exercizing for X hors and Y mins. If your longest ride is 3 hours and a race is 3.5 hours, you will go from being in the winning break to DFL in that last 30 min. A guy with a 400W FTP who never rides more than 3 hrs will always lose to the guy with a 250W FTP who does 4+ hour rides if the race is >3 hrs.
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Old 01-28-08, 12:28 PM   #19
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Think of the body exercising as having an egg timer. It get's used to exercizing for X hors and Y mins. If your longest ride is 3 hours and a race is 3.5 hours, you will go from being in the winning break to DFL in that last 30 min. A guy with a 400W FTP who never rides more than 3 hrs will always lose to the guy with a 250W FTP who does 4+ hour rides if the race is >3 hrs.
Erroneous. Erroneous on both counts.
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Old 01-28-08, 02:48 PM   #20
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Erroneous. Erroneous on both counts.
Thank goodness because otherwise I would never win a race.
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Old 01-28-08, 02:50 PM   #21
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Think of the body exercising as having an egg timer. It get's used to exercizing for X hors and Y mins. If your longest ride is 3 hours and a race is 3.5 hours, you will go from being in the winning break to DFL in that last 30 min. A guy with a 400W FTP who never rides more than 3 hrs will always lose to the guy with a 250W FTP who does 4+ hour rides if the race is >3 hrs.
You're really joking, right?

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Old 01-28-08, 03:19 PM   #22
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Training plan for Cat V: Ride with the fastest group in group rides you can. Hang on for dear life as long as you can. Repeat.
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Old 01-28-08, 03:25 PM   #23
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Training plan for Cat V: Ride with the fastest group in group rides you can. Hang on for dear life as long as you can. Repeat.
Somewhere in there you need to make sure you don't get yelled at.
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Old 01-28-08, 03:41 PM   #24
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Somewhere in there you need to make sure you don't get yelled at.
That's part of the learning process. Builds humility, too.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:08 PM   #25
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Followers of the energy-delivery / energy-depletion model of exercise fatigue would suggest your constant bonking is related to this statement.

What kind of fool would suggest training a energy delivery system via long zone 2 rides in order to build a foundation? Is it possible that this “base” allows people to “build” up their interval strength, and those with the most intense intervals need the strongest foundation?
Note that I've been focusing on intensity for YEARS without bonking, have lowered the intensity, and upped the volume for the last two months. Then the weather got much colder and wetter for a week, and I bonked twice, once during an SST ride, and once following VO2Max intervals.

My bonks were not related to lack of foundation with intensity on top. I do one L6 or L7 workout every two weeks, and last week (bonking) was not one of those weeks.

I just wasn't eating enough Oreos. I intentionally put on 1 lb in the last 5 days, and I'm feeling much better. Plus, it's 70F and dry outside
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