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Old 11-11-13, 04:42 AM   #151
gsteinb
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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.
Some guys can do that. Most can't. There are a number of guys we race against that getting away is their only chance to win. One guy I'm friends with is wildly strong. But it's the only bullet in his gun. He can win some big races, but more often than not he doesn't. It's important for folks to know where they stand in that regard from a tactical and training perspective. For me, there would be questionable value training to be a lap the field kind of guy when I can win a higher % of races by training in other ways.


I've had a great deal of success using a variety of training methods. A decade ago when I started this comeback I was on a modified Friel plan. And in the year before I started working with a coach I put up a 900 hour year, massive base. Great weight work. I won a ton of races. A bunch of point series titles. A season title on the track. States. Everything, I thought, pretty much except nats. But the truth is in the bigger masters races, including nats, I probably lacked the high end to ride the break. To bridge to the big boy break with the ex pro and the two former and current champions. I was not as good as those guys. Hindsight says I didn't win the cat 2 race at Somerville. I missed the break at Nats. I won the field sprint at Tather, but missed the winning break.

And even if I really didn't have that lack, or it was obtainable by adding it into summer training, the absolute truth is I did a ton of training then and there's no question I'm as good if not more gooder now. On wildly less hours. So plan B, for a guy who is too old to go pro and who's races are 45-90 minutes, with an outlier or two at a few hours, makes a hell of a lot more sense. There's not doubt that those 4 hour rides are more pleasant than some of the 90 minute suffer sessions on a tighter schedule, but of course suffering is also a limiter that can be trained.

Last edited by gsteinb; 11-11-13 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 11-11-13, 06:56 AM   #152
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rkwaki didn't chime in (yet), but his Mini-Me did.
He's not my mini-me he's my protoge...


I am not paid to work the weekends....
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Old 11-11-13, 08:22 AM   #153
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Some guys can do that. Most can't. There are a number of guys we race against that getting away is their only chance to win. One guy I'm friends with is wildly strong. But it's the only bullet in his gun. He can win some big races, but more often than not he doesn't. It's important for folks to know where they stand in that regard from a tactical and training perspective. For me, there would be questionable value training to be a lap the field kind of guy when I can win a higher % of races by training in other ways.


I've had a great deal of success using a variety of training methods. A decade ago when I started this comeback I was on a modified Friel plan. And in the year before I started working with a coach I put up a 900 hour year, massive base. Great weight work. I won a ton of races. A bunch of point series titles. A season title on the track. States. Everything, I thought, pretty much except nats. But the truth is in the bigger masters races, including nats, I probably lacked the high end to ride the break. To bridge to the big boy break with the ex pro and the two former and current champions. I was not as good as those guys. Hindsight says I didn't win the cat 2 race at Somerville. I missed the break at Nats. I won the field sprint at Tather, but missed the winning break.

And even if I really didn't have that lack, or it was obtainable by adding it into summer training, the absolute truth is I did a ton of training then and there's no question I'm as good if not more gooder now. On wildly less hours. So plan B, for a guy who is too old to go pro and who's races are 45-90 minutes, with an outlier or two at a few hours, makes a hell of a lot more sense. There's not doubt that those 4 hour rides are more pleasant than some of the 90 minute suffer sessions on a tighter schedule, but of course suffering is also a limiter that can be trained.

Great post.
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Old 11-11-13, 04:58 PM   #154
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Me too. I'm struggling with my offseason plans. This was my first year racing, and I'm hooked. I want to maximize my time and push myself, but I don't really know what I'm doing training wise, but I just can't afford to get a coach right now. I think this coming season I'll come up with a loose training plan on my own and hopefully get some pointers from forum members about refinements. I think most people here are helpful and certainly know more than I do about training.
I hope your race was fun. First 6 months cycling and looking foward to next year CAT5 in May. Downloaded a winter training program that stresses on staying at sub-threshold for first 8 weeks before start hard intervals. Good luck with your winter training and next season race.
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Old 11-11-13, 06:49 PM   #155
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Well I tried it, and I think I got really burned out on Z2... Heck I even got ovvereached some since I started having issues sleeping and had to take a week off. I don't have an issue doing Z2 on my 'ez' days or in some part of a long weekend ride (which will be all mixed up zone wise anyway) - but being a CAT5 with a long way to go I will stick with SST being my easiest 'hard day' for now. If I had to do Z2 every day for 2+ hours again like I was doing I would throw my bike off a cliff. Not going there again for a while at least- although I see value in doing it as a short 'base cycle' to change out from high end work for a few weeks or something. I will probably revisit this next year after more racing and miles on the legs. - Im only doing 20 /30 min crits anyway, maybe a few TT (20K) for fun.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:07 PM   #156
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Gary, good points, no disagreement at all. Specificity is easier to do these days with the tools and methodologies available now. One does not need to train like a pro to race at my age, yet I race against guys who do. I think I see this more in my age group than you do in yours as I have to deal with retirees who live for this stuff.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:57 PM   #157
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I think I see this more in my age group than you do in yours as I have to deal with retirees who live for this stuff.
And yet...you take their candy.

My salient point:

Specificity>EVERYTHING

Chris Hoy was not the biggest badass on the planet because he did a lot of Z2. He was the biggest bad ass because he picked a goal, assessed the needs to meet those goals, developed a plan, and executed.

What I read here is "I read a book by a guy who doesn't know me or my goals and or strengths and weaknesses who has a plan for a generic rider with a vague goal that may or may not be mine and I will follow it because he's a smart guy".

It's why I asked about the Z2 stuff. Defend your thesis.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 11-11-13 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 11-11-13, 08:11 PM   #158
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Chris Hoy was not the biggest badass on the planet because he did a lot of Z2. He was the biggest bad ass because he picked a goal, assessed the needs to meet those goals, developed a plan, and executed.
Good genetics helps a lot. For some folks a lot of slow twitch work does more harm than good. For others it is their only chance.
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Old 11-11-13, 08:41 PM   #159
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I have nothing to add except IGGY POP SIG HERE ^^^^ and now that song will be in my head for a month.
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Old 11-11-13, 09:02 PM   #160
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Good genetics helps a lot. For some folks a lot of slow twitch work does more harm than good. For others it is their only chance.
Aside from PED's you're not going to prove your DNA wrong.

But we make assumptions on our DNA based on TODAY!

TODAY! I'm not a very good sprinter. I seem to be a good steady state guy. TODAY!

Until you've got a bunch of years and well directed training in the bucket TODAY! is simply, today.

Yeah, if you destroy everyone in the sprint in your first five races you're probably a sprinter. That kind of predisposition is rare. It doesn't preclude other things. Cavendish only had a sprint. Turns out he was good at the Madison and team time trail as well.

Realizing that some may be confused considering my selectivity comment above, it's not about what you think you might be good at (pointed at newer racers) but rather what you'd like to be good at.

I've got Nats wins or podiums in what are very different disciplines, ranging from less than a minutes work to nearly an hour. I'm a genetic schlub. But I focused hard on what I wanted to do.

Maybe the equation is better stated as focus + specificity > EVERYTHING.

As this relates to base people should have a plan well beyond Z2 and a firm, concrete, well understood reason of how Z2 incorporates into their end product. Or if it's a bit of a waste of time.

All travel plans should be based on getting "there".
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Old 11-11-13, 10:22 PM   #161
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Not sure if this has been covered and maybe more 41 or for newer racers but base is important for injury prevention. Coming back from a ligament repair and being physically unable to exercise for 2 years, base is safe. It builds not only the big cycling muscles, but strengthens the tendons and stabilizing muscles; ones that will only be strengthened with long efforts. Its the same for beginners, and I'm not sure if it helps the veterans as much. Going right into hard intervals and tempo work without developing cycling legs is a recipe for injury.

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Old 11-11-13, 10:33 PM   #162
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time for some simple rules

if you race races that are under 3 hours, only do a big ride every now and again, and instead focus on ftp building work stuff during the winter, followed by more specific stuff

if you have 8 hours a week, do not do a z2 only diet

if you are riding 30 hours a week, you can porbbalyt only do a z2 diet.

if you're like me and get somewhere between 13-20 hours a week go for a nice mix. do some sst/ftp work during your shorter rides and then go do true z2 on your long ride (only if you actually need to ride 4+ hours cuz you racing 4+ hours. my longest race will be something like 115 miles next year, it's nice to feel comfortable on the bike for that long).

If you got a coach listen to him....unless he's a dumbass, then stop paying him money
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Old 11-12-13, 09:03 AM   #163
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Well I tried it, and I think I got really burned out on Z2... Heck I even got ovvereached some since I started having issues sleeping and had to take a week off.
I almost always take a week off from every three. If I know I have travel coming up, I'll stretch or compress it a bit and adjust intensity and volume accordingly. But, even with low z3 or high z2 stuff. I really never train targeting below z3 except for the rare once/year long ride I do.

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Realizing that some may be confused considering my selectivity comment above, it's not about what you think you might be good at (pointed at newer racers) but rather what you'd like to be good at.
For me, it was also discovering what I was already good at. I've shared many times about thinking I was a sprinter, but always getting 3rd in sprints, then getting a power meter and discovering my 1' power through looking at my profile, finally changing my strategy and training to exploit it for wins.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:48 AM   #164
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I'm a genetic schlub.
I'm not buying that. You might not be a genetic super-freak, and you have done a huge amount of work training. Having said that, you are not what most people would refer to at a genetic schlub. No Cat 1 is.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:54 AM   #165
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I'm not buying that. You might not be a genetic super-freak, and you have done a huge amount of work training. Having said that, you are not what most people would refer to at a genetic schlub. No Cat 1 is.
Me me me me me!!!!!
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Old 11-12-13, 12:13 PM   #166
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I'm not buying that. You might not be a genetic super-freak, and you have done a huge amount of work training. Having said that, you are not what most people would refer to at a genetic schlub. No Cat 1 is.
True enough. Your perspective gets re-calibrated when you go up against the freaks and super freaks.
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Old 11-12-13, 12:17 PM   #167
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You could ask everyone in the pro peloton and most will tell you they have crappy genetics. No one wants the 'gifted' label.
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Old 11-12-13, 12:40 PM   #168
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Old 11-12-13, 12:55 PM   #169
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time for some simple rules

if you race races that are under 3 hours, only do a big ride every now and again, and instead focus on ftp building work stuff during the winter, followed by more specific stuff

if you have 8 hours a week, do not do a z2 only diet

if you are riding 30 hours a week, you can porbbalyt only do a z2 diet.

if you're like me and get somewhere between 13-20 hours a week go for a nice mix. do some sst/ftp work during your shorter rides and then go do true z2 on your long ride (only if you actually need to ride 4+ hours cuz you racing 4+ hours. my longest race will be something like 115 miles next year, it's nice to feel comfortable on the bike for that long).

If you got a coach listen to him....unless he's a dumbass, then stop paying him money
Sounds good.

Fwiw I never said anyone should do 8 hours of z2 only a week.. or z2-only for that matter.

Even in the Friel book, a bunch of the workouts in "Base" are around form sprints, cruise intervals, etc.

Build phase is when the real Specificity/intensity happens, at least that's my plan.
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Old 11-12-13, 02:15 PM   #170
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I have just finished one season of racing and have ridden a bike my whole life plus very active in other sports. I sit easily at about 12% body fat but can get to 8% or so with restriction. I am built like a triathlete.

Here is my dilemma during base building:

Last year during base, I focused on lots of miles around high tempo and dropped a good deal of weight. Frankly, I lost it too fast/not enough protein and lost muscle mass during the process. I was still very fast at the beginning of the season, which is early February here, but it caught up with me trying to hold my weight around 150. By mid season, I was feeling gassed at the end of crits. I so want to be a climber and I can climb decently as I placed 3rd last year in the state hill climb tt (19 miles at about 8%). But the reality is that there are many more crits and so I want to do well there this year. So my team has been consistently putting me into the sprints on the weekend hammerfests and I am doing well and learning. I have begun to lift again and work on sprinting. I know that a caloric surplus is needed to build muscle and I spent much of my twenties lifting, though never trying to get huge.

Long story short: Do I spend the next month eating huge (I am a hardgainer) and lifting etc. then get weight down later or get my weight down now(slowly and lots of protein aka Rkwaki style) while building strength?

I know that there is a lot of controversy regarding lifting but I feel it has helped me already.

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Old 11-12-13, 02:39 PM   #171
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I'm not buying that. You might not be a genetic super-freak, and you have done a huge amount of work training. Having said that, you are not what most people would refer to at a genetic schlub. No Cat 1 is.
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True enough. Your perspective gets re-calibrated when you go up against the freaks and super freaks.
Genetics apply to more than power production.
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Old 11-12-13, 02:42 PM   #172
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I've been reading a bunch of books that touch on that very point.
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Old 11-12-13, 03:28 PM   #173
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I have just finished one season of racing and have ridden a bike my whole life plus very active in other sports. I sit easily at about 12% body fat but can get to 8% or so with restriction. I am built like a triathlete.

Here is my dilemma during base building:

Last year during base, I focused on lots of miles around high tempo and dropped a good deal of weight. Frankly, I lost it too fast/not enough protein and lost muscle mass during the process. I was still very fast at the beginning of the season, which is early February here, but it caught up with me trying to hold my weight around 150. By mid season, I was feeling gassed at the end of crits. I so want to be a climber and I can climb decently as I placed 3rd last year in the state hill climb tt (19 miles at about 8%). But the reality is that there are many more crits and so I want to do well there this year. So my team has been consistently putting me into the sprints on the weekend hammerfests and I am doing well and learning. I have begun to lift again and work on sprinting. I know that a caloric surplus is needed to build muscle and I spent much of my twenties lifting, though never trying to get huge.

Long story short: Do I spend the next month eating huge (I am a hardgainer) and lifting etc. then get weight down later or get my weight down now(slowly and lots of protein aka Rkwaki style) while building strength?

I know that there is a lot of controversy regarding lifting but I feel it has helped me already.
Any weight/muscle you gain will not turn into sprint power. Doing time in the gym is fine, but realize those gains may or may not show up on the bike. Maintain weight through the winter, do lots of work ON the bike, and drop weight in the month or two leading up to key events. I had no issues maintaining a 500 calorie deficit and making gains in training.
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Old 11-12-13, 03:41 PM   #174
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I will agree with all the points above. For me a lot of it is genetic. Part of why I lifts weights the way I do is because I like it
As much of a knucklehead as I can be when I was training to race both my on and off bike work was very focused, and effective as I had enough experience to know what works for me

Doesn't mean it would work for you.

I've seen lots of big guys who can't sprint to save their lives, I've also seen a lot of real thin climber types that can't climb...
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Old 11-12-13, 04:19 PM   #175
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All travel plans should be based on getting "there".
Agreed.

But getting there is very individualistic. There are many paths and the best one for you might not be the best one for someone else. And for some people "you can't get there from here" is the only answer.
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