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Old 11-09-13, 03:38 PM   #126
gsteinb
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Rather than building ftp by going easier than it, you can also build it by going harder than it. The added benefit there is you're sure to be working on some things you're certain to see in the kind of races you're doing on a regular basis. Stringing together a bunch of interval sets until you're getting in the kind of hard volume you'd see in a hard hard race. I've never soloed for 20 minutes in a crit. I've been in breaks that lasted more than 20 minutes, but obviously those are on and off affairs and more on and off as tactics dictate. Hitting it hard, and recovering fast. Most efforts that are solo are 3 minutes or less. I soloed the last lap labor day. That was a mile. 3ish minutes? I'd have to check the file, but I'm guessing there wasn't much Z2 in there.


That road race I didn't win last season? I wasn't winning it even if I had spent the whole winter preparing for it. And I the reason I didn't win wasn't because I couldn't ride for 3 hours in Z2. I'm losing to guys who are better designed for those kind of races.

One really needs to be an outlier on the lower end of the scale to be limited in a crit by lack of base. It isn't what causes guys to fail to make the winning move.

Last edited by gsteinb; 11-09-13 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-09-13, 03:54 PM   #127
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I think the biggest issue is the idea of "ride lots" that's fed to beginners. Riding 4+ hours a day will get you in shape, and ready to get fast through hard intervals, but a cat 4 who struggles at the end of a 1 hour crit would be better off working on building ftp and riding the occasional "long ride" (3 hours, no reason to ride over 4 hours if you don't race for 4 hours. my longest race is about 4-5 hours, so i rarely ride over 5 hours).

I personally have gotten realy fast from doing "moderate" 4 hour rides. I ride at 70-75% for 4 hours straight, and by mid january i'm ready to start working on z4, then in feb and march i start hard intervals and get into race shape. I also trained 5-10 hours a week of z1 last year and still managed to get decent results in hard p/1/2 races, so YMMV (however i was much more inconsistant. One day i could rock out and kill it, the next i was as weak as a kitten).

Right now my coach has me on a schedule similar to metcalfe's base. I do z3/z4 work during the week, where i can only get 1-2 hours of riding, then i go for longer rides during the weekend. However, i do not do 5 days a week of 2x20's. I don't get how he doesn't break down. if i was doing 2x20's at 92% every day then going out for 4+ hours for two days without any rest i would shoot myself.
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Old 11-09-13, 04:14 PM   #128
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One really needs to be an outlier on the lower end of the scale to be limited in a crit by lack of base. It isn't what causes guys to fail to make the winning move.
True. I bet the focus a lot of guys have on base and FTP work (i.e. not training specifically) is because FTP, at least in the lower cats - all the way through 3, depending on rider strength, but especially 4 and 5 - is an effective "shortcut" to improving recovery, VO2, etc without having to actually specifically work on those areas. After all, when FTP goes up, everything goes up. And it's way simpler for a newbie self-coached rider to plan and execute base training and long-interval FTP training like 2x20's, albeit perhaps not easy to execute these workouts well, than to plan and execute workouts that better address what it takes to make the winning move in a crit.

I guess what I'm saying is, a lot of guys have probably made it as far as cat 3 or even cat 2 by focusing on base and FTP, because they're reaping the benefits that come along with it. So when they stop getting podiums, they may think they are limited by the amount of base they're doing and pile it on, without realizing that base training is an incredibly inefficient (and past a certain point, ineffective) means of improving their ability to make the winning move in a crit.
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Old 11-09-13, 04:15 PM   #129
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Dear 33,

Thank you, again.
+1. Really good stuff, thanks guys.
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Old 11-09-13, 07:23 PM   #130
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Good insight Grolby.

The focus on "FTP", which has about 18 different testing protocols, developed out of the early days of power meters.

We are told this is the end all of all things bike racing. If it is, then there's a bunch of us that need to hand back a lot of jerseys and medals.

Some of the best riders in the world have comparatively meager FTP's. I'm fairly certain that Cavendish has a lower FTP than Tony Martin, and a lower w/kg. I'm also fairly certain that Cav has won a lot more races. Including Milan San Remo where you'd think all that base and FTP stuff would just rule.

I'll go back to my old adage about it's not what the watts are, it's when they are.
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Old 11-09-13, 08:33 PM   #131
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...it's not what the watts are, it's when they are.
This is part of the reason that CDR would clean my clock in a heartbeat if we were to race a crit together, in spite of the fact that I have a higher FTP. That, and the fact that unlike me, he knows what he's doing.

This discussion seems to be centered around the assumption that everyone races mostly crits, with Gary apparently arguing that base miles are a waste of time in that context, and rkwaki saying that he no longer does base miles, apparently due to the fact that he already has a metric sheot ton of them. Crits do seem to be the predominate type of race in densely populated areas like CA and metro NY (IMO, that includes CT, NJ and MA), probably because they're logistically easier to put on. Out here in Bum Eff Louisiana and the surrounding region, though, the norm seems to be a weekend stage race once a month, with a crit, 5-20km TT and a 40-90 mile RR depending on racing category. It appears to this racing noob that base miles are appropriate in this context.

So, are base miles BS across the board, or useful depending on a racer's situation? Serious question, not snark.
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Old 11-09-13, 09:13 PM   #132
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Yeah, it depends. Base is likely going to be a part of any successful road racer's training recipe, from whatever the hell I am, to someone like Cavandish. While Cav's threshold doesn't dominate relative to others, that doesn't tell us how important FTP development or maintenance is to his program. Surely he's got a huge focus on the AWC and ATP stuff though -- keeping his strengths maximized.

As a critter myself, my best season ever had a nice 6-week base combined with a viciously aggressive weight loss cycle. Followed that up with a pretty straightforward build and specificity phase, maybe 6 weeks of threshold stuff (both push and pull workouts), then 9 weeks of VO2Max moving into 1' intervals and sprints, while maintaining some threshold training in there once/week (again push some, pull some). Who will this work for? WR in 2009, but apparently not any other time. The only pieces of that I haven't replicated are the weight loss and the results -- I'm thinking about that for my next base block though...

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Old 11-09-13, 09:47 PM   #133
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This discussion seems to be centered around the assumption that everyone races mostly crits
No, I think you're not quite seeing the point, which is that decisions about "base" and what to do with it are highly dependent upon your goals, and your goals should be informed somewhat - once you reach a certain level of experience - by your strengths. That doesn't necessarily mean I should only race crits, but it does mean that focusing my season around the big, very hilly road race and training for big, 20 minute climbing efforts is likely to be unproductive and frustrating. Someone like Fudgy or nutso might make a very different decision then me, and for good reason. They're very different bike riders.
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Old 11-09-13, 10:13 PM   #134
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grolby - Got it. I was just confused by what appeared to be an out-of-hand rejection of any usefulness of base training by an experienced, successful racer (Gary), though he was addressing their usefulness as preparation for crits. I freely admit being too inexperienced to know what my strengths are.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:05 AM   #135
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This is part of the reason that CDR would clean my clock in a heartbeat if we were to race a crit together, in spite of the fact that I have a higher FTP. That, and the fact that unlike me, he knows what he's doing.

This discussion seems to be centered around the assumption that everyone races mostly crits, with Gary apparently arguing that base miles are a waste of time in that context, and rkwaki saying that he no longer does base miles, apparently due to the fact that he already has a metric sheot ton of them. Crits do seem to be the predominate type of race in densely populated areas like CA and metro NY (IMO, that includes CT, NJ and MA), probably because they're logistically easier to put on. Out here in Bum Eff Louisiana and the surrounding region, though, the norm seems to be a weekend stage race once a month, with a crit, 5-20km TT and a 40-90 mile RR depending on racing category. It appears to this racing noob that base miles are appropriate in this context.

So, are base miles BS across the board, or useful depending on a racer's situation? Serious question, not snark.

No assumptions. I'm saying, as I have other places, one needs to train for what they're doing. Here I'm adding that what most guys call base isn't very useful, as they tend to go way too easy. And even if your races are longer and require more training volume working on focused harder stuff still has it's place. The paradigm of 5 hour rides in the basement of zone 2 can be better spent doing other things.

Last edited by gsteinb; 11-10-13 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 11-10-13, 08:26 AM   #136
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Umm, you know it's winter when every board is talking about base


http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.c...y;so=ASC;mh=25
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Old 11-10-13, 08:38 AM   #137
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When road guys troll tri forums it usually means they can handle a higher training volume.
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Old 11-10-13, 08:38 AM   #138
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Reverting to our baser instincts...<rimshot>

ETA: Dang, they get a bit contentious over there.

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Old 11-10-13, 09:20 AM   #139
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When road guys troll tri forums it usually means they can handle a higher training volume.
a higher z2 training volume or a higher z4 training volume? I was told that i can't do z4 and z5 without 2000 miles of z2 first.

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Reverting to our baser instincts...<rimshot>

ETA: Dang, they get a bit contentious over there.
nice one

otoh, how long before rkwaki posts something from Basic Instincts?
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Old 11-10-13, 11:20 AM   #140
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It's actually 3000. Get it right stupid face.
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Old 11-10-13, 11:21 AM   #141
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Reverting to our basic instincts...<rimjob>
No need to thank me.
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Old 11-10-13, 11:41 AM   #142
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No need to thank me.
rkwaki didn't chime in (yet), but his Mini-Me did.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:12 PM   #143
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I'm far from an expert but my biggest gains were during a 2 month span were I did mostly z2 work. I'd go out and do z2 for 3-5 hours and bury myself for the last hour, or half hour. Prior to that, I just rode hard every ride (but put in less miles).
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Old 11-10-13, 05:16 PM   #144
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I've never soloed for 20 minutes in a crit.
I've lapped the field solo on more than one occasion.

Back in the day, I would JRA from the end of September until January. I would take 2-3 weeks off completely, then get on the fixed gear. No road bike work until 1,000 miles on the fixed gear. Build the form first. Weekend group rides and workout on the race course (Wells Ave.). I'd start the season pretty strong, and then fade by June. More rest, then hit it for the remainder of the season. Old school.
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Old 11-10-13, 06:56 PM   #145
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I'm far from an expert but my biggest gains were during a 2 month span were I did mostly z2 work. I'd go out and do z2 for 3-5 hours and bury myself for the last hour, or half hour. Prior to that, I just rode hard every ride (but put in less miles).
When you use scientific terms you lose us.
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Old 11-10-13, 07:03 PM   #146
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When you use scientific terms you lose us.
seems like things are looking up.
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Old 11-10-13, 08:19 PM   #147
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When you use scientific terms you lose us.
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Old 11-10-13, 08:27 PM   #148
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How did you get a hold of my blueprints!
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Old 11-10-13, 11:30 PM   #149
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How did you get a hold of my blueprints!
Hey, if you draw it, that up-ship.com man will find it, computer-picture take it, and write it on the thing your eyes are seeing right now in your house or at work on a computer or pocket telephone, if you look at the right place on the tube thing Al built.

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Old 11-11-13, 01:03 AM   #150
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What do you guys think about the psychological aspect of base miles. I know right now I feel a lot better psychologically than I did this time last year when I had almost no miles in my legs from a hiatus. I can hold wheels a lot better now and I know that I can follow people more because my fitness is "good". Like if someone started riding hard last year, I might be more willing to give up earlier because I think I'm getting worked over by them, whereas after a full season and some base under my belt, I know that if I'm struggling hard right now then the other person is too so I can hold it and wait until they let up or they blow up and I can come around.

I'm not so sure base is terrible or great.
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