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Old 11-09-09, 04:15 PM   #1
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Making every mile count...

As sunset gets earlier and temps get colder, my riding time has been significantly decreased. I know I can get a light (looking into it) and I do have a set of rollers, however, I'd prefer to ride outside as much as I can. But, I can only get in about 20 miles before it is dark. I try to get in at least 1 long ride in on the weekends, but I would like to do more during the week.

I know that a lot of bfers, Waterrockets especially, are known for doing the most with the least training time. So what can you do on these relatively short rides to make the most of them? Intervals? SST? Hill repeats? I have always wanted to try intervals, but it is so hilly around here (rolling hills constantly) that it seems as if trying to put in a steady 20 minute interval would be impossible. The majority of my rides are SST or tempo rides however, I feel that on shorter rides I am wasting my time doing SST, but maybe I'm wrong. So what can I do to make the most out of these short rides? Thanks for any help/tips...
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Old 11-09-09, 04:27 PM   #2
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ride up and down steep hills until its too dark to see or you throw up what ever comes first...thats what I'd do...no wait I have rollers and a trainer...in that case then Ill watch internet TV while Im riding indoors anytime I want to

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Old 11-09-09, 04:45 PM   #3
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SST is what shorter rides are for.

20 miles is plenty for SST...

Double up on the endurance over the weekend, and do some SST during the week.
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Old 11-09-09, 04:47 PM   #4
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I don't enjoy rollers or trainers either. I'm considering a trainer purchase because I've lost my commuting hours, and I could make those hours up while the kids are sleeping and I'm on duty.

Anyway, forget warming up. I head out at 90-100% FTP from the first pedal stroke. I'll settle into an SST pace and get to the workout site.

Also, forget cooling down. You can do that when you get off the bike.

I do a lot of SST rides. It may just be 45 minutes at 90-95% FTP, but so be it. I get a lot of benefit from those.

Other great rides are the STUCI intervals (same time until can't improve -- Friel's "pace intervals"). 1125211 (AWC intervals with 5' between them). Hill repeats: 5x5x5 (rep/duration/recovery, paced to nearly fail on the last one).

The SST we vary a bit. Sometimes a rotating paceline, sometimes a weaker training partner is along, and I'll hammer the descents and recover slightly on the climbs, etc.

That's about it. I count the starts of the 1' intervals for sprint training. No recovery rides. No endurnace rides unless I get out for > 2 hours.
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Old 11-09-09, 05:13 PM   #5
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I don't enjoy rollers or trainers either. I'm considering a trainer purchase because I've lost my commuting hours, and I could make those hours up while the kids are sleeping and I'm on duty.

Anyway, forget warming up. I head out at 90-100% FTP from the first pedal stroke. I'll settle into an SST pace and get to the workout site.

Also, forget cooling down. You can do that when you get off the bike.

I do a lot of SST rides. It may just be 45 minutes at 90-95% FTP, but so be it. I get a lot of benefit from those.

Other great rides are the STUCI intervals (same time until can't improve -- Friel's "pace intervals"). 1125211 (AWC intervals with 5' between them). Hill repeats: 5x5x5 (rep/duration/recovery, paced to nearly fail on the last one).

The SST we vary a bit. Sometimes a rotating paceline, sometimes a weaker training partner is along, and I'll hammer the descents and recover slightly on the climbs, etc.

That's about it. I count the starts of the 1' intervals for sprint training. No recovery rides. No endurnace rides unless I get out for > 2 hours.
I can attest to the fact that WR gets every second out of his workouts and it pays off...WR I'm going to start joining you and Jonathan on your lunch workouts on Mondays and Fridays...
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Old 11-09-09, 05:32 PM   #6
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I don't enjoy rollers or trainers either. I'm considering a trainer purchase because I've lost my commuting hours, and I could make those hours up while the kids are sleeping and I'm on duty.

Anyway, forget warming up. I head out at 90-100% FTP from the first pedal stroke. I'll settle into an SST pace and get to the workout site.

Also, forget cooling down. You can do that when you get off the bike.

I do a lot of SST rides. It may just be 45 minutes at 90-95% FTP, but so be it. I get a lot of benefit from those.

Other great rides are the STUCI intervals (same time until can't improve -- Friel's "pace intervals"). 1125211 (AWC intervals with 5' between them). Hill repeats: 5x5x5 (rep/duration/recovery, paced to nearly fail on the last one).

The SST we vary a bit. Sometimes a rotating paceline, sometimes a weaker training partner is along, and I'll hammer the descents and recover slightly on the climbs, etc.

That's about it. I count the starts of the 1' intervals for sprint training. No recovery rides. No endurnace rides unless I get out for > 2 hours.
Thank you so much for the help. I don't have a powermeter, but I think I can estimate what 90-95% FTP feels like with at least some accuracy. The bit regarding no warm up is very interested. I generally warm up for the first 20 minutes or so (on a long ride of course), but I will start trying to go hard right from the beginning.

It is also interesting to me that SST on shorter rides is useful. I just kind of assumed that this was not the case. However, I'm glad it is as I like this type of efforts.

Now for my questions...

How would you determine when you "can't improve" on STUCI intervals? I assume you would need a powermeter for those...

When you said 5' rest inbetween 1125211 intervals is that between each set (ie 1'1'2'5'2'1'1' 5 minute rest 1'1'2'5'2'1'1') or between each individual intervals (ie 1' 5'rest 1' 5'rest 2' 5'rest 5' 5'rest 2' 5'rest 1' 5'rest 1' 5'rest).

Finally, on the hill repeats do you generally need a hill that is longer than 15 minutes? I wish we had those around here....

I'm doing a 20 mile ride tomorrow. I think I will do just an SST effort but w/ no warmup...

Thanks for the tips, keep them coming
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Old 11-09-09, 05:46 PM   #7
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Cx.
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Old 11-09-09, 05:47 PM   #8
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No $$ for a cx bike...
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Old 11-09-09, 06:01 PM   #9
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warm-ups are only necessary for hard efforts, so I agree you can get straight into SST within a couple minutes of leaving your house

cool-downs are a different story, I find there should be at least a short bit before climbing off, where you were able to let the body bring itself back down to sedentary living,

a 45' session of SST would only need a couple minutes of easy spinning in the neighborhood, whereas a couple hours of racing would need at least 10' of gentle coldown
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Old 11-09-09, 07:22 PM   #10
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Thank you so much for the help. I don't have a powermeter, but I think I can estimate what 90-95% FTP feels like with at least some accuracy. The bit regarding no warm up is very interested. I generally warm up for the first 20 minutes or so (on a long ride of course), but I will start trying to go hard right from the beginning.

It is also interesting to me that SST on shorter rides is useful. I just kind of assumed that this was not the case. However, I'm glad it is as I like this type of efforts.
Well, keep in mind that the intensity of SST changes according to duration. On the steady rides, you're supposed to go out hard enough that you're fading slightly throughout the ride. On a 45' ride, that's a pretty brisk SST...

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Now for my questions...

How would you determine when you "can't improve" on STUCI intervals? I assume you would need a powermeter for those...
You really can't do those with that protocol w/out a power meter. I'd just say to do two 10' intervals and two 8' intervals with 2' rest between them. You can also just do 2x20 or 2x10 with 5' recovery between each interval as a "normal" interval workout.

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When you said 5' rest inbetween 1125211 intervals is that between each set (ie 1'1'2'5'2'1'1' 5 minute rest 1'1'2'5'2'1'1') or between each individual intervals (ie 1' 5'rest 1' 5'rest 2' 5'rest 5' 5'rest 2' 5'rest 1' 5'rest 1' 5'rest).
Yeah, that's 1 on, 5 off, 1 on, 5 off, 2 on, 5 off, 5 on, 5 off... etc...

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Finally, on the hill repeats do you generally need a hill that is longer than 15 minutes? I wish we had those around here....
The hill I use is about 4:40. I was too brief in my description. I do 5 repeats that are about 5' long, with about 5' between them. Sometimes I just roll straight through the descent and head back up (maybe 2:45 recovery).

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I'm doing a 20 mile ride tomorrow. I think I will do just an SST effort but w/ no warmup...

Thanks for the tips, keep them coming
Have fun! You'll feel a little screwed in the first couple minutes -- don't go too hard. I guess you should watch your speed. For me, SST is around 20-21mph on flat ground (on the tops/hoods). So, don't start too hard and try to hold too fast of a pace. After about 4', my legs really come into their own, and I'm able to maintain that pace much easier. That's when I ramp it slightly, then get a little fatigued, and just fight the fatigue all the way back to the office.

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I can attest to the fact that WR gets every second out of his workouts and it pays off...WR I'm going to start joining you and Jonathan on your lunch workouts on Mondays and Fridays...
Looking forward to it. I'll be riding really light this Friday, but from home (vacation day). I imagine Jonathan will be taking it easy as well. Next Monday will be business as usual, although we'll be feeling like crap after Hugel. I wish your schedule had worked out differently, but I've given up my share for the same reasons this year -- it's all about the kids!

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warm-ups are only necessary for hard efforts, so I agree you can get straight into SST within a couple minutes of leaving your house

cool-downs are a different story, I find there should be at least a short bit before climbing off, where you were able to let the body bring itself back down to sedentary living,

a 45' session of SST would only need a couple minutes of easy spinning in the neighborhood, whereas a couple hours of racing would need at least 10' of gentle coldown
Yeah, my return to the office usually involves one traffic light and a left turn, so I end up getting cool down anyway. I'd still rather just have that two minutes of SST than two minutes of recovery though. I have about a 75m walk back in to the office from the bike racks, and a jaunt up the stairs. Good enough cool down for me. I agree on the races -- same with intervals. I'm usually limping home -- there's no way I do my last interval into the parking lot
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Old 11-09-09, 07:50 PM   #11
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warm-ups are only necessary for hard efforts, so I agree you can get straight into SST within a couple minutes of leaving your house

cool-downs are a different story, I find there should be at least a short bit before climbing off, where you were able to let the body bring itself back down to sedentary living,

a 45' session of SST would only need a couple minutes of easy spinning in the neighborhood, whereas a couple hours of racing would need at least 10' of gentle coldown
I find I do much better the next day if I just spin slow for about 2-3 minutes after an SST session or 60 minutes or so.

Gets the acid out. Then about 10 minutes of stretching after you get done. Very important.
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Old 11-09-09, 08:16 PM   #12
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Yeah, I just don't have time for that stuff. Stretching is more of a lifestyle than an exercise. I do stuff like tie my shoes with straight legs.
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Old 11-09-09, 08:28 PM   #13
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Thanks again for the help. Maybe instead of doing my "climbing" ride this week I will do hill repeats. There is a nice hill not too far from my house which would be perfect for repeats.
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Old 11-09-09, 10:28 PM   #14
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Now for my questions...

How would you determine when you "can't improve" on STUCI intervals? I assume you would need a powermeter for those...
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You really can't do those with that protocol w/out a power meter.
As I've said before, I don't have a powermeter, but I try to simulate this workout because I think it's a good one. See what you think.

I have a loop around here that is about a 4 1/2 minute lap and pretty wide open with no lights. I have a Garmin 705, which I set to calculate 'lap avg. speed' and 'lap avg. HR'.

The first interval is 3 laps at a mid zone 4 HR, hitting the 'lap' button at the start and finish. This establishes a 'lap avg. speed' target. This is the only work interval that I worry about HR. I then take one slow lap, and rest for maybe 7 minutes. At my 'start' line I take off again for another 3 laps hitting the 'lap' key at the start and finish and try to increase my 'lap avg. speed' by 0.1 mph. If I can, then I take another very slow lap to rest and do it again.

If I can't improve, then I take my rest lap and do the next work interval with only 2 laps. Trying to up my previous 'lap avg. speed' (the one I didn't hit) another 0.1mph. When I can't do that, I drop to 1 lap. When I can't improve over a single lap, I go home very, very tired.

You can do the same workout on a trainer or rollers/wind unit, probably to a more accurate degree and more closely resembling the Friel protocol with 12, 8 and 4 minute time periods.

Anyway, that's my ghetto STUCI workout.
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Old 11-10-09, 05:31 AM   #15
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That sounds like a good idea. I may have to look for a loop around here and start trying that.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:11 AM   #16
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Yeah, that's actually pretty good. I would consider the 2' recoveries though -- Friel was really intentional about keeping a limited recovery on there.

You've got a good method for figuring your progression though. My problem with speed pacing is that I'd set a good time with a steady pace, but when I get in trouble, I think I would cheat and hit any hills or headwinds harder. Then I would make up the speed, but with lower average power
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Old 11-10-09, 11:07 AM   #17
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Yeah, that's actually pretty good. I would consider the 2' recoveries though -- Friel was really intentional about keeping a limited recovery on there.
I thought Friel called out a 5' recovery on those. Wrong again, I guess.

Part of the longer recovery time is just the time it takes to get back to my 'start' line. As I think about it, though, maybe that isn't a big deal. It's a closed course, so as long as I stop and start each individual work interval in the same place, it shouldn't really matter in terms of avg. speed where the laps starts. My thinking was kind of a hold-over from doing 3 on/off intervals where the starting point of each interval plays a big role in the avg. speed, but these aren't long enough to account for an entire lap.

OK, protocol changed.
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Old 11-10-09, 01:04 PM   #18
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Yeah, the workout is here, under "Last Pacing Post." As you have just considered, I do mine on a loop with varying start points between each interval. I let the 2' recovery drive it entirely.
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Old 11-10-09, 03:41 PM   #19
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So I just got back from about 20 miles of SST w/ no warmup. It felt great. I tried to keep my power as constant as possible (normally I kill it on the hills and then recover) and it worked out good. I averaged 1.1 MPH faster than last week (granted it was 30F colder last week). Cardio wise I felt awesome, my muscles were getting pretty fatigued at the end, but thats to be expected.

However, as soon as I stepped off the bike, my muscles on the upper inside thigh (i guess the groin?) locked up and I couldn't walk. I had to get back on the bike and spin for 5-10 minutes. I can walk now but it hurts. Idk what is going on. I didn't change my fit and its not like this is my hardest ride ever. I've done way harder team rides, however they are never this steady, so maybe that is it? either way, it was a good workout, looking forward to some hill repeats tomorrow or friday.
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Old 11-10-09, 04:23 PM   #20
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Maybe you do just need some spin time before you get off the bike. I'm lucky that way, I guess, but I'll bet even just two minutes easy will set you up.

That's cool that the no-warm-up SST got you some more time in zone.
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Old 11-10-09, 04:27 PM   #21
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Alright so now that I've walked around a little and spent some time sitting at the comp, my groin muscles are still in excruciating pain. I can barely walk and can't make it up the stairs. Ahhh. What should I do?
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Old 11-10-09, 04:42 PM   #22
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That's strange. I've never had that happen off SST. Maybe try some gentle stretching?

Well, I guess the two changes were no warm-up and no cool-down. I don't need either, maybe you should add one back in and see if that fixes it. My training partners (four of them most days) all ride like me, so maybe it's adaptation too?

The other change would be increased time in zone too, I guess.
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Old 11-10-09, 04:54 PM   #23
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dont stretch, massage. heat first if possible.

the lack of warmup/cooldown is brutal on the body, particularly if you aint used to it (as WR is).

After a 90' crit in 38 degree rain, I didnt do a cooldown, as it was super cold/wet and I was cranky. As I took off my wet clothes in the parking lot, I got massive cramps in my hammys and calves, just from bending over.

Warmups/cooldowns are often part of workouts for a reason... THEY WORK!

good luck with the groin thing.... massage.

-L
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Old 11-10-09, 05:20 PM   #24
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Ya I've been trying to walk it off and it is slowly working. Maybe I will had in a cool down from now one, and steadily decrease it over time.
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Old 11-10-09, 07:33 PM   #25
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I guess I take this no warmup stuff for granted because I've been doing it for so long. If you can develop it, I think it's a good tool to have available for short rides. I've had really really good six-sprint workouts in 20 minutes start to stop (like setting a 5" power record kind of good). Almost puking at the end from the liver over-working, and no cramps or injuries.
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