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Old 03-04-08, 06:27 PM   #1
Frunkin
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Coaching

So as the season here starts to wind up I'm now training everyday. I actually got to ride outside yesterday, and I did 25 miles and it absolutely killed me. Ive been doing spinervals, and riding my trainer, but my workouts seem to lack focus, and I don't feel like I'm going anywhere (lolz).

So today I'm cruising around, looking for coaches. I find a few programs that look good, and are priced ok, but I don't know if I'm ready to shell out 100-150$ a month for somebody to e-mail me workouts. I ran XC in school, and I definitely know a coach helps me get off my ass, but I don't know if this is the best option.

I don't really know a whole lot about periodization, and HR zone training, and whatever, and I don't have a power meter. A good coach should be able to plan out my week/month/season and kind of tell me where I should be right? But I've heard that without a power meter there isn't a whole lot a coach can do to actually analyze my performances.

This being my second year of racing should I just stick to getting miles in my legs, and keep doing what I've been doing? I'm hoping to get to the 3's this year, and I'm hoping a coach can help me get there, because I don't know if my unfocused training will get me there.

Eh... long post, thanks.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:49 PM   #2
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Let the opinions begin.

Here's mine, in order of $$$, with less $$$ also meaning you'll be using your brain a lot more:

$ Go get Freil's Cyclist Training Bible. Start at page one and read it a few times, otherwise it'll be confusing. He's even got sample programs in there. They work BTW.

$$ Or use one of the Training Peaks online programs.

$$$ Work with my guy, who also works with EDR and Smoke.

I've seen all three work out well for various racers, I've done 1 & 3 myself.

Don't know anyone who wasn't a genetic freak or a PHD who had success with "just ride".
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Old 03-04-08, 06:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Frunkin View Post
So as the season here starts to wind up I'm now training everyday. I actually got to ride outside yesterday, and I did 25 miles and it absolutely killed me. Ive been doing spinervals, and riding my trainer, but my workouts seem to lack focus, and I don't feel like I'm going anywhere (lolz).

So today I'm cruising around, looking for coaches. I find a few programs that look good, and are priced ok, but I don't know if I'm ready to shell out 100-150$ a month for somebody to e-mail me workouts. I ran XC in school, and I definitely know a coach helps me get off my ass, but I don't know if this is the best option.

I don't really know a whole lot about periodization, and HR zone training, and whatever, and I don't have a power meter. A good coach should be able to plan out my week/month/season and kind of tell me where I should be right? But I've heard that without a power meter there isn't a whole lot a coach can do to actually analyze my performances.

This being my second year of racing should I just stick to getting miles in my legs, and keep doing what I've been doing? I'm hoping to get to the 3's this year, and I'm hoping a coach can help me get there, because I don't know if my unfocused training will get me there.

Eh... long post, thanks.


Everyone is powermeter brainwashed! Sure PMs rock; but training, coaching and racing predates them by oh.. centuries.

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Old 03-04-08, 07:44 PM   #4
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Who is your guy?
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Let the opinions begin.

Here's mine, in order of $$$, with less $$$ also meaning you'll be using your brain a lot more:

$ Go get Freil's Cyclist Training Bible. Start at page one and read it a few times, otherwise it'll be confusing. He's even got sample programs in there. They work BTW.

$$ Or use one of the Training Peaks online programs.

$$$ Work with my guy, who also works with EDR and Smoke.

I've seen all three work out well for various racers, I've done 1 & 3 myself.

Don't know anyone who wasn't a genetic freak or a PHD who had success with "just ride".
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Old 03-04-08, 07:48 PM   #5
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Who is your guy?
Ferrari

PM me and I'll give you the details.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:01 PM   #6
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My experience w the various options...

1 - Read the books (and the forums) - you will learn a ton, and if you are the kind of person that enjoys the journey, there is a lot of great info out there in the public domain so educating yourself can be entertaining. The downside is time to expertise. Wading through all the competing theories (LSD vs SST vs High Intensty, Structured vs Just-Go-Race, et al) and deciding on a direction takes time and energy, time that you may want to spend training or having a life. You'll also have lots of nagging questions that you'll get 8 million opinions on.

2 - Buy a program - When I first started to train w power I bought one of Hunter Allen's programs, and it was great, for what I needed at the time. It worked all the different energy systems (5 second power to 1 hour power) and raised my fitness across the power spectrum. The downside comes when you want to customize it for a specific event/s. You end up having to be the expert, and again you are left with lots of question about how to customize.

3 - Hire a Coach - If you need someone to hold you accountable you're probably in the wrong sport, so I wouldn't look to a coach for this. The best use of a coach is someone who can guide your training, offer feedback and advice, and help you get to your goals more efficiently. I recently started working with a coach (WholeAthlete.com) and its been very helpful to have another perspective and set of expert eyes looking at my training and results. I've always been a self-coach kind of guy, but for now I feel like this is the best investment of $ to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of my training. The downside as you point out is it's expensive.

I would definitely recommend that you read the books/forums (Friel and Coggan/Allen would be my starting point as well as the well known power forum on Google) as you'll need a baseline of knoweldge about structured training that will help you when you go routes 2 and/or 3.

Last, you DEFINITELY do not need a PM or HRM for training. You can do you workouts using Rate of Perceived Exertion if need be, but an HRM and PM sure as hell offer a lot of great feedback that can help you train more effectively and efficiently.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:11 PM   #7
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Ok, I just ordered Freil's book. I guess I'll be studying that over the next few weeks. Hopefully that will be all I need to get some direction to my training.

As for the coach holding me accountable - It wasn't so much that they would motivate me to ride, but they would tell me what to do, instead of me just going out and riding 60 miles, or doing a random number of hill repeats. I guess what I am looking for is a more focused workout that has specific goals, and targets my weaknesses, and thats something I have trouble doing by myself now.

EDIT:I am training with a HRM, but I don't really know my lactate threshold so I don't really know where my zones are.
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Old 03-04-08, 09:33 PM   #8
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Since you don't have a powermeter, I would recommend getting Friel's book and developing your own plan.
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Old 03-04-08, 09:43 PM   #9
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$ Go get Freil's Cyclist Training Bible. Start at page one and read it a few times, otherwise it'll be confusing. He's even got sample programs in there. They work BTW.
.
+1000000000

I put myself on ~700 hour year based on that book. I've missed about half the workouts (school comes first) and still managed to bump my threshold up 45w in 4 months. Thats like 20% improvement. Imagine if i wasn't a dumbass and scheduled my classes so I could ride and go to school!!!

Sit down, make yourself a plan, and stick to it. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline
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Old 03-05-08, 11:24 AM   #10
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I've read the books and listened to guys here and elsewhere who've been there and done that, and came to the conclusion that I needed a coach....I want to get to a certain level in the most efficient and shortest timeframe as possible...Please keep in mind that there are no shortcuts and the short timeframe that I'm looking at is one year of training before beginning race training.....I'm 50 yrs old and believe me if I thought it could be done any quicker, this 'ol boy would be all over it, no $ too much......But, it boils down to committement and hard work.... A coach prepares the plan and structure to your workouts, provides the feedback and criticism, and monitors the results and adjusts to how well you're progressing, but I commit the time, hard work, and $ to reach my goal....... All of the approaches listed above will provide results and everyone is different, but for me the coach was the way to go. It just depends on how bad you want something and what cost your willing to pay.
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Old 03-05-08, 11:59 AM   #11
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But I've heard that without a power meter there isn't a whole lot a coach can do to actually analyze my performances.
I think a power meter helps you get more out of having a coach, particularly if your Coach isn't local, and out riding with you.

If you're going to pay $150 a month for a coach, I think it's pennywise pound foolish not to buy a powermeter for $600.

The combination does a couple of things for you, that a Coach alone can't.

1) you get more precise feedback. Your coach can see things in your power files, and adjust your training accordingly, that he can't do nearly as well just based on your accounts of how your training is going and heart rate data.

2) knowing that your coach is going to be looking at your powermeter files is definitely a motivator, not to slack off. I know there are times I feel like mailing it in, or quitting. However, I don't want the humiliation of my Coach seeing I quit, so I persevere.
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Old 03-05-08, 01:18 PM   #12
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I am a member of Friel's website, training peaks and use the virtual coach. it's awesome for me b/c i don't have the time to come up with all my workouts. i put in all my races, my limiters etc. then i hit the virtual coaches workouts for the week and tweak as necessary.
great for me b/c little time invested in coming up with workouts, but get lots of variability and it's "customized" for me. also i feel bad when i miss a scheduled workout, so that helps too.
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Old 03-05-08, 01:23 PM   #13
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I am a member of Friel's website, training peaks and use the virtual coach. it's awesome for me b/c i don't have the time to come up with all my workouts. i put in all my races, my limiters etc. then i hit the virtual coaches workouts for the week and tweak as necessary.
great for me b/c little time invested in coming up with workouts, but get lots of variability and it's "customized" for me. also i feel bad when i miss a scheduled workout, so that helps too.
What does this end up costing you over the year?
ie Friels website, training peaks and the Virtual coach?
Also, "what virtual coach" do you use?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-08, 01:29 PM   #14
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What does this end up costing you over the year?
ie Friels website, training peaks and the Virtual coach?
Also, "what virtual coach" do you use?

Thanks
I use the straight up yearly virtual coach with none of those 12week training plans etc. It's the self-coached subscription thingy and I pay $120/ year. It gives me all of my workouts structured around my race schedule. I used a prebuilt training plan last year, but much prefer the open-endedness of the self coaching.
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Old 03-05-08, 01:34 PM   #15
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Is there a coach that actually coaches? I dont need a trainer to lay out workouts for me I need somebody to help me with race intelligence.

Whats up with this sport?
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Old 03-05-08, 01:55 PM   #16
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Is there a coach that actually coaches? I dont need a trainer to lay out workouts for me I need somebody to help me with race intelligence.

Whats up with this sport?
My coach does that.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:31 PM   #17
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This will be my 2nd year racing as well, last year I pretty much just rode, did all the training races, etc but had no real structure. I'm hoping to upgrade to a 3 this season. My teammate had a friend he raced with in college that is getting into coaching, he agreed to coah me this year for a ridiculously cheap rate. Now this is all done through email since he does not live close by.

I do not have a PT, though I really want one. My winter program consisted of light weight training with a lot of emphasis on the core and very specific bike workouts. There's a pretty big training race every saturday in my area, I can see huge improvements in my racing from where I was last season. Especially in my sprinting, I can now beat most of the guys on my team in a sprint, several are 3's with a few 2's.

He's very helpful and encourages me to privide him with tons of feedback on how I'm feeling, etc. He also helps me with "how to race", answers all my noobie questions, etc.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:03 PM   #18
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Is there a coach that actually coaches? I dont need a trainer to lay out workouts for me I need somebody to help me with race intelligence.

Whats up with this sport?
my coach helps me alot with that, she used to race on a national level and has a great understanding of what I do well, how I like to race, and helping me have a plan (clue).

I also have a team mate who is a coach, he helps his athletes (and me) with race intelligence alot.

I've benefited from coaching, well before I ever hooked up a watt meter to my bike. Although gadgets help streamline, quantify, and objectify performance. But, IMO, a good coach needs no watt meter or even HR #s, and can get realistic information from you if they ask the right questions, care about their athletes, and do their job properly.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:10 PM   #19
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Read Friel's book first, unless you're not really into physiology or the "why" of training, and just want to ride your bike.

I've read several other training books, and Friel's is head and shoulders above the others when it comes to general training. Between the stuff in there, and what you can dig up on teh googles you will get faster if you apply even half of it.

You don't need a power meter either. It helps, and I've seen dramatic improvements training with one, as have many others - but PE, a HRM and a speedo (in that order) can cost you less than 50 bucks, and if you put in the effort will net you a lot of gain.
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