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Old 02-03-09, 06:01 PM   #1
Bob Dopolina 
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Training Cycles and Peaking

I posted this question in the RR forum before and it withered and died so I thought I'd try again here.

A few weeks ago I was sitting down with my new team (Team CKT) and we were talking about setting A, B and C races for 2009 and how to train for them (I was also explaining the concept of A, B and C races and how you can't peak for all of them to some present ).

Here's the problem. I've used 6 week cycles since...uh...forever. I know how to initiate a peak (for me), where it falls in my 6 week cycle and how I taper. My team mates that have any structured training are doing 5 or 4 week cycles. I don't know what to do with that. I can guess but I don't think that is good enough.

My questions:

1. How many weeks is 1 training cycle for you?

2. When you initiate a peak where does it fall within that cycle?

3. Describe your taper.

4. Anything else that seems relevant.

5. Why does it burn when I pee?

Thanks in advance and numbers are welcome.
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Old 02-03-09, 07:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
My questions:

1. How many weeks is 1 training cycle for you?

2. When you initiate a peak where does it fall within that cycle?

3. Describe your taper.

4. Anything else that seems relevant.

5. Why does it burn when I pee?

Thanks in advance and numbers are welcome.

1. 4-5 weeks, depends on how I feel. I'll let my body be a guide, if I'm feeling strong and rocking and rolling, I'll go for that fifth week unless I'm targeting an A race. BTW -- We're really in the meat of the "Spring Season" right now and I'm shooting for a peak within the next three weekends (only the shadow knows which one, muahahaha) and then I'm going skiing for 10 days (completely off the bike) at the end of February since we've got a three week break before racing resumes again on March 22nd.

2. It's strange, for me, I "micro-peak" usually the second week in a cycle.

3. Two days off at the start with lots of stretching, a nice easy ride, one day of short work (jumps, sprints, etc), day off, then rock and roll.

4. I suck.

5. I don't know, but I think a shot of vitamin P may take care of that for you.
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Old 02-03-09, 07:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
I posted this question in the RR forum before and it withered and died so I thought I'd try again here.

A few weeks ago I was sitting down with my new team (Team CKT) and we were talking about setting A, B and C races for 2009 and how to train for them (I was also explaining the concept of A, B and C races and how you can't peak for all of them to some present ).

Here's the problem. I've used 6 week cycles since...uh...forever. I know how to initiate a peak (for me), where it falls in my 6 week cycle and how I taper. My team mates that have any structured training are doing 5 or 4 week cycles. I don't know what to do with that. I can guess but I don't think that is good enough.

My questions:

1. How many weeks is 1 training cycle for you?

2. When you initiate a peak where does it fall within that cycle?

3. Describe your taper.

4. Anything else that seems relevant.

5. Why does it burn when I pee?

Thanks in advance and numbers are welcome.
1. block is 4 weeks - 23 hard days, 5 rest days.

2. Let me think. Build 3 weeks, Peak 2 weeks, Race 2-3 weeks. So I guess when I have Race peaks, I build up to two weeks before the race, taper slightly for two, then on the third just maintain/race. This is for Araces only. C races are training rides. B races are Training rides where I race a bit more intelligently.

3. Taper. Cut down from three to four hard workouts to two to three. Nail high end stuff hard. Few days before the race a few E2 rides, or a rest day, then day before the race an hour or so with a good solid interval above threshold and maybe some sprints.

4. The value of the pound is falling quite drastically right now, and so it would be a good time to purchase into that currency prior to it's rebound against the dollar.

5. Neurologically, nociceptive fibers are firing in the peripheral nerves supplying your boy parts and are carried to the brain via the lateral spinothalamic tracts prior to being distributed to various locales within the brain providing you with a sensation of both "burning" and "pain." Or, if that was not the answer you were looking for, try avoiding the "really" happy ending the next time you get a post ride massage.
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Old 02-03-09, 07:54 PM   #4
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I'm still figuring this stuff out, but it looks like I get three peaks in a season, maybe 12-16 weeks. That's with a full shutdown in between (light week or week off), with some endurance work coming out of it.

Maybe my terminology is off, but it looks like my peaks turn into plateaus that last for 3-4 weeks. I think I'm set to peak in three weeks in my current cycle, which started in December...
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Old 02-04-09, 08:06 AM   #5
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I'm a little surprised at not having been inundated with pretty charts and graphs. Was it something I said?

Let me give you an example of what I mean and maybe that will help you all tell me what you do differently.

None of these are real numbers. I'm going to use nice, simple numbers so as to not cloud the issue.

A typical week goes like this.

Mon: Recovery
Tues: Distance/Tempo
Wed: Training Race
Thurs: Tempo/Intervals
Fri: Recovery
Sat: Distance/Intensity
Sun: Distance/Intensity

That would be 1 week. Obviously there will be a lot of variation in there depending on the time of year and if I am doing some specific training for an upcoming event.

Now, the BIG cycles. Let's use imaginary TSS numbers with 1000 being the most I can handle at that point in the season without completely imploding. It will go something like this:

CYCLE 1
Week 1:500
Week 2:600
Week 3:700
Week 4:500
Week 5:650
Week 6:800

CYCLE 2
Week 7:550
Week 8:650
Week 9:750
Week 10:550
Week 11:700
Week 12:850

CYCLE 3
Week 13:600
Week 14:700
Week 15:800
Week 16:650
Week 17:800
Week 18:950

Taper. Peak. A races.

Sometimes, depending on how things are going, I will taper in weeks 17 and 18 and peak earlier. Also, these numbers are fictional and only meant to convey the basic idea.

Am I way off the mark here? This gives me 2 solid peaks in a season and a few smaller peaks for B races. It's worked for me for...a long time...and I am really hesitant to mess with it now.

Feedback, please.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:24 AM   #6
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If it works for you, I'd keep it. The thing I'd have to watch out for myself I get tired at the end of my 3rd week and am looking for the 4th week rest week--I'd have to spread my intensity out (which looks like what you are doing with keeping yourself below the supercritical 1000 TSS).

1 I'm just beginning to play with cycles this year. One cycle for me is 4 weeks with 4-5 days significantly reduced volume/intensity at the end. Fitness testing shoots me into the next cycle.

2 and 3 I can't comment on, yet.

4 fishing for redfish with topwaters is great fun.

5 the lady was a man, man?
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Old 02-04-09, 08:27 AM   #7
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I can only go about three weeks before I need a rest week. I tried stretching that to five weeks close to one of my two peaks last year and failed- I dug myself into a hole and had to rest in the "wrong" part of the cycle. Two peaks coincides with the races that I like. I stick as many of those four week cycles together as needed to get from the start to the peak for the macro cycle.

I'm 48. When I was in my late 20s/early 30s I didn't need to rest as often. But I took 8 years off cycling and got very out of shape. Since I started riding again I have been needing a bit less rest each year as my base condition has improved. I have no data to prove it but I think that if I had maintained my conditioning I would be able to handle longer cycles between rest weeks.

Tapering: for A races, I taper for four days- a couple days off, a couple easy rides with some openers. B races get a two day taper- go easy on the thursday group ride then off or very easy on friday.

Last edited by ericm979; 02-04-09 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 02-04-09, 09:17 AM   #8
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1. How many weeks is 1 training cycle for you?

4-6 weeks. Burnout, overtraining, injury, etc happen easier and easier as I go past 4 weeks without letting up.

2. When you initiate a peak where does it fall within that cycle?

Judging from the numbers in WKO+ a full 5 days of tapering can get me (mostly) out of a hole. But for a true peak, I probably need at least 10-14 days of true tapering to come into my best form. You can imagine what your CTL would look like though if you tried to do this before every race though.

3. Describe your taper.

Very low volume, multiple days off the bike, if I do anything it's low volume z1, or low volume z4-z7.

4. ---

My A races will get a full 10+ days of tapering, but the run of the mill early season races won't get more than 4-5 days. I probably wouldn't consider racing with less than 4-5 days of tapering either. Too much time and money goes into racing for me to show up with tired legs.
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Old 02-04-09, 09:29 AM   #9
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I think I get a lot of headroom from burnout in my long cycles with my low volume.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:24 AM   #10
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5. Why does it burn when I pee?

Thanks in advance and numbers are welcome.[/QUOTE]

What kind of bibs are you using? What saddle do you have? It could be a number of things...
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Old 02-04-09, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
I posted this question in the RR forum before and it withered and died so I thought I'd try again here.

A few weeks ago I was sitting down with my new team (Team CKT) and we were talking about setting A, B and C races for 2009 and how to train for them (I was also explaining the concept of A, B and C races and how you can't peak for all of them to some present ).

Here's the problem. I've used 6 week cycles since...uh...forever. I know how to initiate a peak (for me), where it falls in my 6 week cycle and how I taper. My team mates that have any structured training are doing 5 or 4 week cycles. I don't know what to do with that. I can guess but I don't think that is good enough.

My questions:

1. How many weeks is 1 training cycle for you?

2. When you initiate a peak where does it fall within that cycle?

3. Describe your taper.

4. Anything else that seems relevant.

5. Why does it burn when I pee?

Thanks in advance and numbers are welcome.
Don't wring it out. Just shake it a couple of times.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:52 AM   #12
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1. How many weeks is 1 training cycle for you?
--4 hard weeks; 1 week R&R; repeat.

2. When you initiate a peak where does it fall within that cycle?
--Week 4 of 4 is the best week; but usually peak after two 4 week cycles of "build."
(8 weeks base, 8 weeks build, peak)

3. Describe your taper.
--See below:

M: Rest.
Tu: Power Intervals; MAX effort, Pyramids 3:00 on/off, 2:00 on/off, 1:00 on/off, 2 sets followed by 2 sets of 1:00 on/off, cool down
W: Low intensity endurance ride: Outdoors preferable. Keep HR between 157 and 162 bpm.
Th: Warm up, three 90 second all out intervals, each followed by a 3 minute recovery.
F: Rest.
Sa: Warm up, one 90 second all out interval, 3 minute recovery, cool down
Su: Race!

4. Anything else that seems relevant.
--I'm allergic to tree nuts AND lactose intolerant. I manage the latter with lactase enzyme pills.

5. Why does it burn when I pee?
--The clap?
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Old 02-04-09, 11:12 AM   #13
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What is this peak you speak of? Since my return to cycling (2 years) its been a steady increase..... Not a single peak yet.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:38 AM   #14
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My question

5. Why does it burn when I pee?
Cause she lied, and you should use protection.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:39 AM   #15
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Cause she lied, and you should use protection.
Oh noez!!
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Old 02-04-09, 03:53 PM   #16
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Interesting read Bob. I've always been very structured although I havn't raced in a few years now I had a similar plan that worked nicely.

-Based on 16 weeks from A Race (eg Nationals)
-An older Rider who responds better to lower volumes (im much faster undertrained)
-A lot of years in my legs, at the time I was a 40 yr old Cat 2. Reason I mention this I really beleive this contributes to not needing as much training volume.
-A Sprinter, primarly racing Crits and Track.

I used to break it down by volume (hrs) with 70% of the volume being "Zone 2" type work either as Long rides or warmup for Race/Interval work. I might play with this as well depending on what I'm gettin ready for, eg Pre Masters Track Nats I dropped the Zone 2 volume to 60% of my total.

The taper might make more sense by percentage.

4 cycles of 4 weeks each.

Cycle 1 = 100% of target weekly volume
week 1 = 22% (of the total cycle volume)
week 2 = 27%
week 3 = 33%
week 4 = 18% (I respond well to big tapers)

Cycle 2 = 110% of weekly target volume, same percentage by week
Cycle 3 = 90%, same percentage by week
Cycle 4 = 80% (again big tapers worked very well for me)

End of Cycle 4 week 4 I would be very fast and rested.

Typical Week very similar to yours:

Mon: Recovery
Tues: Distance/Tempo, tried to make this a min 3 hr ride.
Wed: Training Race
Thurs: Track or Intervals
Fri: Distance/Tempo, tried to make this a max 3 hr ride.
Sat: Race or Intervals
Sun: Race or Intervals

I really like the pattern of 2 hard days then easy. It also fit my race schedule very well. Although if I started to feel flat I would change that up to alternate hard/easy.

Last edited by Voodoo76; 02-04-09 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 02-04-09, 05:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
5. Why does it burn when I pee?

Thanks in advance and numbers are welcome.
"My balls feel like a pair of maracas
My balls feel like a pair of maracas
Oh God I probably got the
Gon-o-ka-ka-khackus!"

As for the other stuff don't ask me. It usually takes me about a month to go from "base" to reasonable shape. "Peaking" from there is still a mystery to me. I can do exactly the same thing multiple times and get wildly different results.
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Old 02-04-09, 06:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
4 cycles of 4 weeks each.

Cycle 1 = 100% of target weekly volume
week 1 = 22% (of the total cycle volume)
week 2 = 27%
week 3 = 33%
week 4 = 18% (I respond well to big tapers)

Cycle 2 = 110% of weekly target volume, same percentage by week
Cycle 3 = 90%, same percentage by week
Cycle 4 = 80% (again big tapers worked very well for me)

End of Cycle 4 week 4 I would be very fast and rested.
Wow, you're tapering a long way out (8 weeks?). I couldn't do that.

Thanks for the example a 4 week cycles. 3 weeks of building followed by 1 week recovery, non?

When you go into a new cycle, which week do you feel best? What I'm looking at here is how to do a micro peak (B races) within a cycle. Where would it fall?
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Old 02-04-09, 08:26 PM   #19
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I just cut the volume the week of the race (for B races). Do a MAP test or something on Monday. Short SST Tuesday, 5' test on Wednesday, hard hills on Thursday (but only a couple), spin easy Friday.
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Old 02-04-09, 09:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Wow, you're tapering a long way out (8 weeks?). I couldn't do that.

Thanks for the example a 4 week cycles. 3 weeks of building followed by 1 week recovery, non?

When you go into a new cycle, which week do you feel best? What I'm looking at here is how to do a micro peak (B races) within a cycle. Where would it fall?
The long taper works for me, keeping in mind I only taper volume, intensity goes thru the roof. For me often less = more. I beleive that is an individual thing, was always easy for me to overtrain.

Yes, 3 week build up, 1 week recovery. I would feel best at the end of recovery, and sometimes thru the entire first week of the next cycle. Honestly though, I never set up B races, there was A and everything else.

One other thing I noticed with the long taper. I was physically and mentally ready to start all over again at the end, no burn out at all. Really helped my late season racing.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:56 PM   #21
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I find that if I don't do 3 days of active recovery every three weeks, I stop gaining anything. Weeks 4 and 5, if I only do the monday/friday easy thing, end up being useless. If I take some time to recover every 3 weeks (not a full week, just 3 days. Monday-wed) then I come back that thursday with a gain in fitness that I can then use for the next 3 week cycle. I see the same gains if I go to 5 weeks, but I see them less often so I figure that = less gains overall.
Sometimes I do 4 days easy if I feel I need it.
Every 3rd cycle I take a full week easy for mental reasons.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:37 PM   #22
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This thread is an interesting read - great question Bdop.

My training cycles are completely ad hoc based on work and family obligations. I usually look ahead a few weeks to my next forced time off the bike for a family vacation or a business trip, then try to ramp up both volume and intensity in the 2 weeks preceding the time off. I shoot for 4 - 5 week cycles, but sometimes get 3 or 6 wks instead.

Before an A race, I'll usually taper like so:

Sunday: no change from the usual - either race, or hard 3 hr ride.
Monday: recover ride
Tuesday: 90 minute hard group ride or hard intervals- same as a usual week.
Wednesday: recovery ride - on a normal week this will be a 90 minute hard workout usually with a bunch of sprints.
Thursday: same intensity, but about half the volume as my normal workout - often hill intervals of 5minutes. 60-90 minute ride.
Friday: off the bike completely
Saturday: 60 minute ride with a few sprints and few LT efforts of 5 minutes or so. I usually do about the same thing as a crit warm up.
Sunday: Target race.

That amounts to about a 4 day taper from my usually low volume schedule.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:49 PM   #23
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This thread is an interesting read - great question Bdop.

My training cycles are completely ad hoc based on work and family obligations. I usually look ahead a few weeks to my next forced time off the bike for a family vacation or a business trip, then try to ramp up both volume and intensity in the 2 weeks preceding the time off. I shoot for 4 - 5 week cycles, but sometimes get 3 or 6 wks instead.
Before an A race, I'll usually taper like so:

Sunday: no change from the usual - either race, or hard 3 hr ride.
Monday: recover ride
Tuesday: 90 minute hard group ride or hard intervals- same as a usual week.
Wednesday: recovery ride - on a normal week this will be a 90 minute hard workout usually with a bunch of sprints.
Thursday: same intensity, but about half the volume as my normal workout - often hill intervals of 5minutes. 60-90 minute ride.
Friday: off the bike completely
Saturday: 60 minute ride with a few sprints and few LT efforts of 5 minutes or so. I usually do about the same thing as a crit warm up.
Sunday: Target race.

That amounts to about a 4 day taper from my usually low volume schedule.

cmh - you crack me up. I cant tell you how many times I've started reading one of your posts not knowing who wrote it, and thought to myself "I dont remember writing that", then I look to see who was the author, and its you.

weird.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:02 PM   #24
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cmh - you crack me up. I cant tell you how many times I've started reading one of your posts not knowing who wrote it, and thought to myself "I dont remember writing that", then I look to see who was the author, and its you.

weird.
Just another aging weekend warrior doing the best I can on limited time and trying not to take myself too seriously.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:04 PM   #25
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One question about the OP's "setup". You said you were planning out A races with a team. I'm assuming you all don't plan to have the same A races all year long right? It would seem beneficial from a results standpoint to have 1 or 2 people treat any one race as an A and the rest B's or below.

If you target a hilly race, your light guys peak, if a flat crit, your sprinters, etc.
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