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Old 03-25-08, 05:07 PM   #1
sbskates
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question about training hours if you are a cat 3 and up

Last year i was doing about 9-12 hrs at most on average per week a mix of training rides workouts and races. . This year i am starting to do 20 hrs per week half of which will be early a.m. dvd trainer workouts . Anyone ever upped there hours that much and if it is done crrectly and one is not overtraining what kind of results happened how was your power endurance etc compared to before.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:09 PM   #2
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I can't help, being a lowly cat4 and all.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:16 PM   #3
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Big grocery bills and burnout...are two distinct possibilities.

What are your goals?
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Old 03-25-08, 05:23 PM   #4
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I was a 4 last year, doing a training crit and one hard 60-90 minute ride a week, so seriously about 2-2.5 hours a week(new house, new baby, etc). Upped to a 3 this year and have been averaging 12h/week for the last few months. My power is up, and I feel much stronger on rides, but no real challenges yet. Most of my rides have been on the trainer as I am up at 0430 on work days watching DVD's or Spinervals, with other days at lunch when the baby sleeps. I feel like taking an axe to my trainer sometimes, but not to the point of overtraining or burnout yet.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:36 PM   #5
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Guys that I ride with and are Cat 3 here in Portland Oregon are doing 5 days a week noon rides 1.5 h long, longer rides on weekend or racing, plus some specific work here and there.
20 h a week seems like a part time job, hope you get some good money out of it.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:37 PM   #6
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As soon as race season starts the 20+ hr weeks are over. In order to properly recover from 3-race weekends and hard rides during the week I have to take more days easy and short. Most of time I'm doing 2-4 hrs/day during the week.
That said, going from doing 10-15 hrs a week in past winters to doing 15-25 has made a huge difference. To all those who say base miles are useless... you're flat out wrong unless you race nothing but crits and never plan to race higher than cat 3.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:12 PM   #7
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Can't really help you. I race Cat 3 on an average of 8 hours per week. I wish I could up that to about 12 hours per week. More than that and I think I would be overtraining.

Have fun.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:15 PM   #8
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I just want to build really big motor first and foremost , then i know bringing that to a race will be good. Last year i was a bit disciplined but not a whole lot, 1/2 of my road time was with team training rides and usually i only really "worked out " maybe 45 mins a week which was intervals. i guess i saw enough results after just that i knew i needed to really look at my training for this year and be more focused. i went from struggling in crits to having top 5 finishes several times.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:50 PM   #9
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Nothing wrong with putting in "pro" hours if you have the time and inclination. The hardest part is recovery, so allow for extra time horizontally and eat, eat, eat.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:50 PM   #10
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Cat 3 here. I tend to train a lot in Jan/Feb, race lots in March/April, then sort of taper, doing a mini peak around June/July. Crits. This year, due to being in the ranks of the unemployed, I've almost hit my 2007 hours in 2008 (i.e. in March 2008 I've ridden about as much as I rode in all of 2007). I hope this parlays into a decent race or two. My weeks now average about 7-9 hours. Longest this year was 22 hours, and pretty much any week that was 14 hours or over was followed by a lighter sub-10 hour week.

For the last few years I was doing 0-4 hours a week, except in Jan/Feb in my 'training camps'.

I have a bunch of helmet cams on YouTube under sprinterdellacasa, many of them from 2007. You can watch the race and see how I did in each one. To put things in perspective I'll list the hours I rode the week before each of the Bethel races (and helmet cams):

Ronde de Bethel: 1:50 riding (3 days), 3 hours sweeping the day before, and working the race. Got 9th and I was sick.
Ris Van Bethel: 1:30 riding (2 days), 8th, not sick.
Following week: 0 hours, no race
Bethel CDP Gold Race: 2:43 (3 days), sat up in sprint. At this race I decided to work for a different team so I was not racing for a place.
Criterium de Bethel: 1:00 (1 day), sat up in sprint, felt good
Following week: 0 hours
Following week: 0 hours, raced in the rain, finished in field.

So I trained, in 7 weeks, about 7 hours. Racing adds 5 hours to the total.

I'm pretty sure my schedule each year was similar. 2005 was probably a bit heavier since I won a bunch of field sprints. 2006 I won the state Cat 3 crit gold medal (ditto 2002), neither on many hours.

I am not you but I know I recover pretty quickly, I know my limits, and I don't think I would benefit from more than 12-15 hours a week once I'm in decent form. 5-7 hours maintains my form decently. I become irritable, grumpy, and tired if I try and push more, unless it's racing.

Problem with really good form is you end up using your form on training rides, not races. My best year ever I raced to train - 3 days racing per week, typically 4 races. I used my form at races and placed constantly. On non race days I did a huge sprint ride (2+ hours of sprints every 7 minutes, 100-200 riders) or the Gimbles ride (basically the sprint people doing a 35-40 mile ride). I treated them like races too and wasn't afraid of spending "racing currency" there.

hoping for much more consistent racing in 2008,
cdr
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Old 03-25-08, 06:57 PM   #11
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Right now I'm only putting in about 8-10 hours a week and that is enough to place well consistently in cat 4-5 races. My base though was 7-8 weeks of 15h building to 20h weeks. I just don't have the time to train like that anymore now that school's started and I'm working again. More hard days and no bullsh*t miles. Every hour on the bike is used constructively.
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Old 03-25-08, 07:46 PM   #12
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Cat 3, 35+, train 8 to 10 hrs/week. I do fine in all Cat 3, 35+ races, and 123 crits (and I dont have nearly the Ws that lots of BF posters do). I'm going to find out this sunday how I do in P123 road races, but I'm getting over illness and a few weeks of very hectic business travel, so it might not be the best sample.

If you've got the time to train 15, 20+ hrs./week, go for it and make sure you do it correctly with your mix of intensity and do prioritize recovery.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:08 PM   #13
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23 years old, been riding for ~2.5yrs now, Cat2.

I find that I get in my best shape when I race hard, both days of the weekend, and do a SLOW, EASY recovery ride of two hours the next day. I make sure I get a LOT of sleep. That right there is the biggest factor, for me. Sleep, sleep, sleep. As long as I get enough sleep, I can train as long as there is daylight after I get home from work.

If I'm getting 8hrs or more a night, I can do 20+ hrs and still rock the weekend. I've recently "discovered" SST training, which is showing me nice gains in overall fitness so far. It's bringing my weight down, AND keeping me moderately fresh. I can stack three hard days in a row if the first is SST, and follow that with FTP and VO2 boosting workouts the following days*.


*It should be noted that I am NOT racing right now, and my training schedule eases up for races, particularly big ones.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:15 PM   #14
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My first thought is that 20 hours is too much. When I was a cat 2, I rode 10-15 hours a week. Quality, not quantity. (I'm an old guy now trying to get back in shape)

What do expect to gain from 20 hours a week ?? What's the rest of your life like ?? If you have 24 hours a day of free time, and can be off your feet, then it might be ok. How long are your races ?? Do you really need that much mileage ?? You can burn out mentally as well as physically.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:16 PM   #15
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why a 2 hour recovery ride?
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Old 03-25-08, 08:20 PM   #16
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During base I was doing 17-20 hours per week of zone II-III. Right now I'm doing between 14-18 hours while racing. Thats good enough to be in the top third of cat 3 races and mid-to-back of the pack in collegiate A's (road races).
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Old 03-25-08, 09:17 PM   #17
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Yeah that sounds pretty much like what I was doing. Last year as a 4 I rode 10 hours or so per week. This winter I rode 17 or 18 hours a week consistently, lots of base mileage. Now that I am racing on a regular basis that number is down a bit, but still getting in plenty of hours. I really do need to focus more on quality over quantity and stop just randomly riding for hours for the hell of it and putting in junk miles. I'm doing okay at cat 3 and collegiate A with that level of training. Maybe a cat 2 upgrade in my future?
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Old 03-25-08, 09:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
My first thought is that 20 hours is too much. When I was a cat 2, I rode 10-15 hours a week. Quality, not quantity. (I'm an old guy now trying to get back in shape)

What do expect to gain from 20 hours a week ?? What's the rest of your life like ?? If you have 24 hours a day of free time, and can be off your feet, then it might be ok. How long are your races ?? Do you really need that much mileage ?? You can burn out mentally as well as physically.
I have at least 6 100km crits, about that many 80km crits, 7 or 8 80+ mi RRs, a stage race, some weeknight track racing and maybe some XC/Marathon MTB racing coming up this summer.

The only way to prepare for long races is to put in the mileage. If you have years and years of miles in your legs, that's one thing, but with only two racing seasons under my belt, I just don't have that yet. And if I can do three hours of tempo instead of two, and come out the other side without breaking down, I'm certainly going to do those three hours. I've pushed 20hrs a week before and had no ill effects, and back then, I worked as a farm hand/"research assistant" on my feet at least 7 of my 8 working hours each day, out in soybean fields, under the sun.

In terms of what I do for a living...well, everything I do is computer based. I sit at a desk all day long, with my feet elevated and legs parallel to the ground, doing CAD/database/data management work. At work the most heavily taxed muscles I have are those that control my right index finger.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:01 PM   #19
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If you glean anything from this thread, it should be that nothing that works for someone else is guaranteed to work for you. We have cat 2's doing 10 hrs, cat 4's doing 20, 3's doing 15 and everything in between. You need to find out what works for you, how well you can recover from hard efforts, how much work you can put in before your body or brain gives. Trial and error are your friend. Make the best guesses you can based on what you know about yourself already, try to minimize the errors, and just go for it.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:12 PM   #20
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Last year I rode an avg of 12 hours/week from September through February as a cat 3 ('06 into '07). That includes races. No real plan other than ride as long as I could given the free time I had. Ended up with a lot of mindless zone 2/3 rides thinking time on the bike was better than not. Top 5 in local races was about it.

Got some help with structure this year and avg 11 hours/week from September through February ('07 into "08). The riding is much more focused and did interval training for the first time coming into race season. With the intensity came the need to make sure I recovered to be able to build on previous days and weeks of training. Decided to upgrade to a 2 based on solid results this year.

If you can ride the increase in hours and still recover, stay focused, you'll be an animal. If your body can't handle the increase you'll probably know it in a couple months. I realize you are looking for guys who increased the hours, but just don't forget about quality and recovery.

+1 what ZeCanon said
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Old 03-25-08, 11:19 PM   #21
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I did 6 28+ hour weeks with one rest week in the middle this winter (cat. 3, should upgrade). It brought me , so far as I can tell, a huge improvement in power at all levels over 1 min.

Last season (when I got all the points to get to 3 and, if I sacked up, 2) I averaged 13 hrs/week before the race season.

When I'm racing, I do a slightly higher volume than most. I've just found high volume works for me. But it's still only about 10-11 hrs/week if I am serious about the racing.
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Old 03-25-08, 11:30 PM   #22
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I'll let you know in a couple of months. Last week, I put in 20 hours on the bike. This week will be 22.5, and then 25 hours.

The first week seems to have brought some measure of added endurance. I did a century yesterday, felt strong throughout. Put in 2.5 hours today, with some hard climbing, and felt great.

Spring Break, oh yeah
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Old 03-26-08, 09:13 AM   #23
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Cat 3, almost enough points to be a 2, 6-8 hours a week if I'm lucky.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:19 AM   #24
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I clearly don't ride enough
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Old 03-26-08, 09:23 AM   #25
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Most of the CAT 3, 2, and 1 guys in this area train between 10 and 16 hours a week. Thats all you need
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