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Old 02-05-09, 02:41 PM   #1
ericm979
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How fixed is your workout schedule?

The thread about training cycles made me want ask this. When you are making your training plan, do you schedule a rest week every X weeks? Do you schedule specific workouts for specific days? How tightly do you stick to that schedule? (by rest week I mean the week that your rest period is in)

I'll give my answer:
I don't schedule rest weeks, except in the last month or two before an A race. I take them as needed. I tried scheduling them but too often I had a rest week when the weather was nice and things at work were slow, only to find the next week when I was supposed to be training again, it'd be raining and there'd be an emergency at work that sucked up my time. So the last few years I have not planned for any rest weeks in my annual plan and have taken them as needed and as weather and the rest of my life dictate.

For training I plan what I should do each week (base, endurance ride, which kind of intervals) but I don't plan which days to do them. I had a coach a couple year back and got a schedule that had specific rides on specific days. Not being able to do the assigned ride on the assigned day just added to my stress level. I quit after a month.
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Old 02-05-09, 03:15 PM   #2
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If I'm feeling a little tired before five weeks are up, I'll take a rest week. If not, I'll keep going up to five weeks but then I'll take a rest week no matter how good I feel.

Right now my body is telling me the fourth week is an ideal rest week. But I've been racing the last few weekends and still been doing my normal T/W interval sessions, so I'm not overly surprised. I do have a planned 10 day "off" period coming up in a few weeks while I go skiing.
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Old 02-05-09, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'm with you OP on not planning rest weeks. My rest weeks are planned for my by my wife, my boss, and Mother Nature. I do plan my individual workouts about a week in advance, and I am usually able to stick to that schedule. I plan them myself, I don't use a coach.
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Old 02-05-09, 04:15 PM   #4
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Guess it depends on how you define rest. My rest weeks still have a lot of Intervals, ect. Just a lot less volume. Sort of a scaled down version of a regular week.

Back to the original question, very structured. As work and other commitments became more time consuming I became more structured rather than less. As it helped me become more efficient with my shrinking training time.
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Old 02-05-09, 04:38 PM   #5
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I'm just in my second year racing, so I'm still figuring this out. My thinking thus far is, because of my life and job outside cycling, rest weeks will be forced on me on a regular basis. So I'll take them as they come (or as they are needed), otherwise I plan on training every week. Like cmh, I kind of come up with a plan for the week and then execute it.

I do run into motivational troubles if I try to play it day by day by the seat of my pants. If I plan out a week and then concentrate on executing that plan, my training is much more regular.
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Old 02-05-09, 04:56 PM   #6
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I take 1-2 days off a week, and every fourth week is a rest week. My training schedule for the past 3-4 years has been utterly inflexible.
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Old 02-05-09, 05:06 PM   #7
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I start every week with a plan. It's usually scrapped and revised by Tuesday night. Life happens.
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Old 02-05-09, 05:36 PM   #8
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My coach tells me what to do. Its normally 3 weeks of increasing volume followed by a rest week. I'm normally pretty fried by the time the rest week comes along.
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Old 02-05-09, 05:55 PM   #9
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I take 1-2 days off a week, and every fourth week is a rest week. My training schedule for the past 3-4 years has been utterly inflexible.
I thought you changed it up a bit when you had a certain visitor a few weeks back..
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Old 02-05-09, 06:03 PM   #10
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nope. trained monday - friday and took saturday and sunday off. hit all my numbers for the week.
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Old 02-05-09, 07:30 PM   #11
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I start every week with a plan. It's usually scrapped and revised by Tuesday night. Life happens.
+1 I have a yearly training plan but this week I will have worked about 80 hours, I'm considering it a forced rest week for the bike.
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Old 02-05-09, 08:33 PM   #12
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JRA all the way, baby.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:03 PM   #13
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I have a kinda-sorta weekly training plan which includes two "easy" days or recovery rides only but I ride every day, I feel more sore if I skip a day.

Every three-four weeks I'll have an easy week, no hard efforts and skip a day or two.
After that easy week I feel a lot stronger.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:58 PM   #14
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Very difficult for me to know what days are going to be what due to the same issues as most with the job, family, ect... I like to make sure I get in 3 days of short hard work @ 2hrs ea, 1 day long hard work > 2hrs, 1-2 days endurance, 1-2 easy. I just don't always know which day will be what.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:20 AM   #15
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Races will dictate my training this year. So some training 'cycles' will be 3 weeks on, 1 week off. Others will be 5 weeks on, 1 week off. But as far as training goes during the 'on' weeks, it's pretty dang regimented.

Typical week:

Monday: 60 min endurance pace
Tuesday: 90 min intervals (5x3-5's or pyramids)
Wednesday: 120 min SST (90 min SST + warmup/cooldown)
Thursday: 90 min Threshold (2x20's + warmup/cooldown)
Friday: off
Saturday: 240-300 min group hammerfest
Sunday: off or 60-120 min recovery (riding with my wife around the lake)
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Old 02-06-09, 08:32 AM   #16
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I'll bet the level of structure and regimentation is higher for the unmarried and childless posters.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:41 AM   #17
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I like to have a general plan for the year established by november.

I then work in 3-5 week mesocycles which I plan early in the season, each meso cycle builds upon the one that proceeds it but is often adjusted as the race season wears on. My goals for each meso cycle are based on the principles of specificity and targeting my weaknesses.

Each week I plan out my minicycles, either a few days or a few weeks before. I typically will set up a schedule outlining 4-5 workouts and their general purpose. These workouts may look like this for a Base3 week:
1. 1 hour at 89-92%
2. 1 long ride, 2800-3200 kjs, mostly tempo wattage. Solid and rythmic. Jen's time.
3. Low Cadence Hills. 3'x8 @ 70 rpm. 380-420w.
4. Sub LT work. 30' total @ 340-350w. (2x15')
5. tempo ride, 80-90% for 90'.
6. 60' core work, 2-3 workouts.

then I check off rides as completed.

I then further establish 2-3 day training blocks (micro-cycles) which are based upon my knowledge of how my body best responds to stress.
Monday gets the sub LT work (as it's a tought and more important WO), tuesday gets hills.

My recovery days come after 2-3 training rides (sometimes I'll do a 2-a-day, which means only one training day before some recovery).

I'll typically try and get 2 days per month completely off the bike and a solid 5 day recovery period every Meso cycle. One thing I've changed with great results is this: 1-2 days of full recovery, I do easy speedskills work day 2 or 3 and day 4 I'll do 20-25' of work at SST intensity, but short intervals. 3x7' maybe. Easy to do, mentally and physically but hard enough to keep the legs used to that intensity. Last year i found that 5-6 days of no intensity left the legs feeling like poo when I tried to get back into it. This has REALLY helped.

Weather, work, life schedules tend to play a role in how I plan my workouts, as well.

So,
Macro, Meso, Mini, Micro. Never losing sight of the big picture.

I love this quote from Vaughters and it is a big part of my training mantra:

"It's not about being anal-retentively perfect for 3 weeks, it's about being pretty damn close to perfect for months and years at a time".

(paraphrased!)

I always keep this in mind and take my recovery with as much, if not more, seriousness than most others. Building breaks into y training plan is one of the keys in delaying burnout, preventing injury and performing maximally.

I like to think I'm getting better at "learning my body" but planning R+R periods is a great safeguard against injury and mental (if not physical) burnout.

It's funny, even though I have more time than most to train, I'm training with less volume, more intensity and more specificity and planning than ever before. It is working brilliantly thus far. So I say that those with less time to train may actually not be at a disadvantage here, if planning is tight and well though out.


-L

Last edited by ldesfor1@ithaca; 02-06-09 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldesfor1@ithaca View Post
I like to have a general plan for the year established by november.

I then work in 3-5 week mesocycles which I plan early in the season, each meso cycle builds upon the one that proceeds it but is often adjusted as the race season wears on. My goals for each meso cycle are based on the principles of specificity and targeting my weaknesses.

Each week I plan out my minicycles, either a few days or a few weeks before. I typically will set up a schedule outlining 4-5 workouts and their general purpose. These workouts may look like this for a Base3 week:
1. 1 hour at 89-92%
2. 1 long ride, 2800-3200 kjs, mostly tempo wattage. Solid and rythmic. Jen's time.
3. Low Cadence Hills. 3'x8 @ 70 rpm. 380-420w.
4. Sub LT work. 30' total @ 340-350w. (2x15')
5. tempo ride, 80-90% for 90'.
6. 60' core work, 2-3 workouts.

then I check off rides as completed.

I then further establish 2-3 day training blocks (micro-cycles) which are based upon my knowledge of how my body best responds to stress.
Monday gets the sub LT work (as it's a tought and more important WO), tuesday gets hills.

My recovery days come after 2-3 training rides (sometimes I'll do a 2-a-day, which means only one training day before some recovery).

I'll typically try and get 2 days per month completely off the bike and a solid 5 day recovery period every Meso cycle.

Weather, work, life schedules tend to play a role in how I plan my workouts, as well.

So,
Macro, Meso, Mini, Micro. Never losing sight of the big picture.

I love this quote from Vaughters and it is a big part of my training mantra:

"It's not about being anal-retentively perfect for 3 weeks, it's about being pretty damn close to perfect for months and years at a time".

(paraphrased!)

I always keep this in mind and take my recovery with as much, if not more, seriousness than most others. Building breaks into y training plan is one of the keys in delaying burnout, preventing injury and performing maximally.

I like to think I'm getting better at "learning my body" but planning R+R periods is a great safeguard against injury and mental (if not physical) burnout.

It's funny, even though I have more time than most to train, I'm training with less volume, more intensity and more specificity and planning than ever before. It is working brilliantly thus far. So I say that those with less time to train may actually not be at a disadvantage here, if planning is tight and well though out.


-L
I am always impressed with how calculated you are with your training, thats a lot of dedication, makes me want to train smarter. If OBRA land was filled with guys like you I would quit riding my bike competitively
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Old 02-06-09, 08:59 AM   #19
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I'm a personal trainer by trade, so this stuff is part work and part play.

I learn a tremendous amount from my own training which I hope makes me a better trainer for my clients.

That said, my level of attentiveness is not reccomended! I am crazy. A certifiable nut. Thats why I hang out on the RBR subforum so damn much. Guys like Dr.O, Nomad, Subby, umd, zecannon, gstein....the list goes on for miles, make me feel a bit more normal.

In fact, part of this level of planning is to keep me less crazy and less obsessed. I do my work, put in my miles and then try to turn off the cyclist for a few hours at least knowing that my planning is sound.
I'm not doing very well, though.

My GF is incredible though and lets me get away with too much. I am really, really lucky. Great teammates and great outlets for my obsession help too. BF is one of those outlets. Thanks guys!

-Leo
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Old 02-06-09, 09:02 AM   #20
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build 1

mon am: 5x4mile intervals (2 hours)
mon pm: rollers-Weights-rollers(3 hrs) weights are all core/legs. sets of 100/3circuits
tues am: rollers (2 hours)
tues pm: rollers (2 hours)
wed am: spinervals 9.0 (2 hours)
wed pm: rollers-wts-rollers
thurs am: rollers (2 hours)
thurs pm: rollers (2 hrs)
fri am: 3x20s (2 hours)
fri pm: rollers-wts-rollers
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Old 02-06-09, 09:08 AM   #21
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My schedule is pretty loose. I have mental checkboxes for types of training I want to hit, and I rotate through those as much as possible. Two consecutive days completely off every week.

For the last few months, I've been averaging ~8.25 hours/week.
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Old 02-06-09, 09:20 AM   #22
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build 1

mon am: 5x4mile intervals (2 hours)
mon pm: rollers-Weights-rollers(3 hrs) weights are all core/legs. sets of 100/3circuits
tues am: rollers (2 hours)
tues pm: rollers (2 hours)
wed am: spinervals 9.0 (2 hours)
wed pm: rollers-wts-rollers
thurs am: rollers (2 hours)
thurs pm: rollers (2 hrs)
fri am: 3x20s (2 hours)
fri pm: rollers-wts-rollers
That is a **** load of work man.
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Old 02-06-09, 09:30 AM   #23
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That is a **** load of work man.
Dude, no kidding. That's over 20 hours/week right there!
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Old 02-06-09, 09:31 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
build 1

mon am: 5x4mile intervals (2 hours)
mon pm: rollers-Weights-rollers(3 hrs) weights are all core/legs. sets of 100/3circuits
tues am: rollers (2 hours)
tues pm: rollers (2 hours)
wed am: spinervals 9.0 (2 hours)
wed pm: rollers-wts-rollers
thurs am: rollers (2 hours)
thurs pm: rollers (2 hrs)
fri am: 3x20s (2 hours)
fri pm: rollers-wts-rollers
Okay what do you really do
cdr
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Old 02-06-09, 09:55 AM   #25
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For years I have followed a workout schedule that was ridged (must workout on tues, wed, thurs, sat, and sun) but found that real life would happen and I would miss workouts costing me TSS points for the week *thats a joke BTW *. If I couldnt do the workout planned (lack of time, raining outside, etc) I would just scrap the day.

Starting this past fall I changed my weekly organization of workouts to where I would set a goal to work out everyday regardless of what was going on with my real life with a max set of hours for the week (like 14). As an example if today was set as a 2x20 FTP interval day but I didnt have a free hour for the workout I would fall back to a plan B (or C, or D). Might mean I do plyometrics for 15 minutes instead. Maybe I could do a 20 minute trainer session as hard as I can go...... Just anything to keep the aerobic engine going and give benifit to my cycling. About 1/2 way thorugh the week I take a look at my "banked" training hours. If im on or above target I take a day off to handle personal stuff.

For December I got in 48 training hours for the month; previous December I did around 15 less. Its working out very well for me.

Far as rest weeks go I dont take them..... I balance easy and hard workouts every week and find that works pretty well. Now I might back off a little during the summer leading up to a big race but thats about it.

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