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  1. #1
    Senior Member Idioteque's Avatar
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    Training without a real schedule - low cat

    So, i am a little afraid of posing this question here due to the fact that to many of you PT charts are second nature, and it will seem silly why i don't want to take an extra step to further my training, but here goes...

    I've been cycling on and off for 3 years. I attend a university and have only done 1 race about 2 years ago.
    This summer i've simply biked 6/7 days a week for about 2 hours a day and then did lots of rides (5-6hours) with my school's team. So let's say i've been consistently cycling for 5-6 months, and cycling a lot.

    So this winter i had to take a month off due to personal issues around october/december. I've started my "base" training early december and ended it about a week ago. My base training consisted of no particular schedule, and doing as much as i can outside (nothing longer than 2.5 hours sadly) and 1 hour on the trainer. My maxHR is i'd say 190 and i maintained a 140 throughout this period but going up here and there. Outside rides were harder and sometimes i probably pushed a bit too much.
    Regardless, i'm writing a bit too much here so i'll get to the point

    a week ago i started intervals but how i do them is simply on a hunch. I do them on the trainer and alternate between days when i do:
    10min warmup
    1min max effort
    4min rest
    repeat this around 6-8times
    10min cool-down
    so about 50-60min on the trainer

    the other work-out:
    10min warm-up
    5min - hard effort, that is for the first 2 i am at about 160-165bpm, then next 2 at about 170-175, then last minute i push to 180-183 and try to hold that
    5min rest
    repeat this about 4 times
    sometimes i also do a 10 min interval by the end of which i'm really pushing, and take 10 resting
    so about 50-60min on the trainer as well

    Now i've not been outside in a month and honestly have no idea if anything ive been doing is worth a damn. About the only thing ive noticed is that my legs are more 'chiseled'

    My first race is 4 weeks away

    Any bits of advice? i feel like i cant just go read the cycling bible and follow that because ive not held a rigid schedule all winter

    so yeah, anyone ever done training thats just on a hunch based on some common principles and actually succeeded? I'm just looking to do well in D races on the collegiate level

  2. #2
    Edificating dmotoguy's Avatar
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    do some threshold intervals.. 10-20min long with 5-10 min rest in between. do 3 or 4 10's, 3'15s or 2 20's
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Idioteque's Avatar
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    ah those make sense, i will introduce them into my rides. Hopefully i'll see gains from this in general

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    Goat Holyspokes's Avatar
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    I like to do, 3x30's, 2x25's, and 2x20's. That way i can mix up the intensity while still fitting everything in my scheduale. I'll ride longer if i have the time though. 2x20's really help alot, but don't do them TOO often. I do them at about 95% FTP.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^
    When talking to my teammates, they were suggesting that a 20 minute interval should be at ~105% of FTP. If I've got the definition of FTP correct: funtional threshhold power being the power that can be sustained for a one hour time trial, which is thought to be about 90-95% of your 20 minute effort.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  6. #6
    Edificating dmotoguy's Avatar
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    but an interval should be a little lower, because you are doing multiple, and you are training not racing.
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  7. #7
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Yeah, threshold intervals would be appropriate now. Longer SST rides would be good too -- not TT hard, but hard enough that you have to concentrate to keep it up or you'll ease up. For you, maybe 160-165 bpm for 45-90 minutes?

    I wonder if you're doing the 1m intervals hard enough. If you can sometimes do eight, and they feel like they're of high quality, you might not be hitting it hard enough. These should hurt so bad that you're partially trying to talk yourself out of finishing the workout. Bleeding from the eyes is a sign of a good 1m interval workout.

  8. #8
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmotoguy View Post
    but an interval should be a little lower, because you are doing multiple, and you are training not racing.
    +1 Although for shorter intervals, 2 minutes or less, I just go at them 100% until I feel the quality slipping away.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmotoguy View Post
    but an interval should be a little lower, because you are doing multiple, and you are training not racing.
    That makes sense...
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Idioteque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Yeah, threshold intervals would be appropriate now. Longer SST rides would be good too -- not TT hard, but hard enough that you have to concentrate to keep it up or you'll ease up. For you, maybe 160-165 bpm for 45-90 minutes?

    I wonder if you're doing the 1m intervals hard enough. If you can sometimes do eight, and they feel like they're of high quality, you might not be hitting it hard enough. These should hurt so bad that you're partially trying to talk yourself out of finishing the workout. Bleeding from the eyes is a sign of a good 1m interval workout.
    actually you are my inspiration for the intervals. You mentioned at one point that one should be border-line dying and well i am, i literally close my eyes grind my teeth and i'd scream if my heartrate wasn't so high, sometimes i shut down at 50second mark. I do 8 on REALLY good days after some rest, usually 6 do me in quite well

    and hm i'll try the 160-165bpm for an hour, i mean, all of my riding pre-trying-to-train-right cycling consisted of just sitting at that 160-165 zone for an hour or two. I never took it "easy" but never tried sprints on purpose solo or anything.

    Thanks a lot for the replies, makes me feel like im heading in the right direction!

  11. #11
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idioteque View Post
    actually you are my inspiration for the intervals. You mentioned at one point that one should be border-line dying and well i am, i literally close my eyes grind my teeth and i'd scream if my heartrate wasn't so high, sometimes i shut down at 50second mark. I do 8 on REALLY good days after some rest, usually 6 do me in quite well

    and hm i'll try the 160-165bpm for an hour, i mean, all of my riding pre-trying-to-train-right cycling consisted of just sitting at that 160-165 zone for an hour or two. I never took it "easy" but never tried sprints on purpose solo or anything.

    Thanks a lot for the replies, makes me feel like im heading in the right direction!
    That's a mean workout when you hit 8 I got in 7 this week, but that's a rarity. Sounds like you're hitting them hard.

    My point with the HR is really just to go 5-10 beats below what you think your lactate threshold is. If it feels too easy, maybe pick it up a bit. You don't want to be trying to do TT efforts day-in and day-out, but it should still be pretty tough.

    Looks like you've got it covered though.

  12. #12
    Blast from the Past Voodoo76's Avatar
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    Find a hard group ride once a week, a mid week race series once a week (on a track would be ideal), and race on weekends. Do some long easy rides in between and to heck with the training. I know some pretty good riders why got by on the "no training" schedule for years.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
    Find a hard group ride once a week, a mid week race series once a week (on a track would be ideal), and race on weekends. Do some long easy rides in between and to heck with the training. I know some pretty good riders why got by on the "no training" schedule for years.
    Or just find a group (or club...) who does well and start joining them for their training rides-- it's "no schedule" for you, but someone is putting it together. It can work quite well, and is probably not too different from what Voodoo is describing, though they might have some secret rides that you might not get in on by just doing the weekly ride/race thing.
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  14. #14
    cmh
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    I'd do some group rides if you can (I think you mentioned doing some last summer). The advice to throw in some 20 - 30 minute intervals is good. Also - do some sprints here and there - maybe 8-10 all out efforts of 10-20 seconds. I can't believe WR didn't recommend some sprints in your training!

    I've done more or less ad hoc training for the last 2 years with good results in cat 5 - 3. I do structure my season a little bit moving from the longer intervals in winter to shorter efforts in spring (except for sprints almost all year).

    Have fun racing.

  15. #15
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    I can't believe WR didn't recommend some sprints in your training!
    Good point I'm taking it for granted since I've been focusing endlessly on my FTP. I'm just doing 1 sprint workout/month. With my monthly 1m interval workout, I'm getting a neuromuscular power work out every two weeks (those all start with a near maximal sprint). I'm just about to change it to weekly again though (alternating 6x1m and 6x200 meters).

    Anyway, yeah, a good sprint will help you to deal with out-of-corner accelerations, attacks, and of course finishes...

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