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Old 11-03-13, 03:37 PM   #1
Lspade
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I dislike Joe Friel and Chris Carmichael

I just finished reading both "The Cyclists Training Bible" and "The Time Crunched Cyclist" to help me train more efficiently next year. The things I learned from these books are:

--scheduling workouts will make riding my bike less fun

--I want a power meter but my wife won't let me buy one

--it is not possible to be the best racer all year long

--I want to win races

Ok, so I learned a lot more than that but I still need your assistance to help me understand my "weakness". I have competed in 14 cx races this season and have no trouble attaining the "holeshot" even if I start in the second row. I usually finish the first lap in the top 5 or 6 places and feel great but then I hit a wall and watch as the cyclists pass by me effortlessly. I usually finish in the top 25-50% of the racers (as opposed to my early season tactic of starting slower and finishing towards the back).

WHY can't I sustain a hard effort for more than a few minutes? What is my "weak link"? I spent the entire summer riding in long fast group rides with minimal high intensity workouts which apparantly hasn't worked for me so I need to to get more organized with my training.

Thanks!
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Old 11-03-13, 03:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lspade View Post
I just finished reading both "The Cyclists Training Bible" and "The Time Crunched Cyclist" to help me train more efficiently next year. The things I learned from these books are:

--scheduling workouts will make riding my bike less fun

--I want a power meter but my wife won't let me buy one

--it is not possible to be the best racer all year long

--I want to win races

Ok, so I learned a lot more than that but I still need your assistance to help me understand my "weakness". I have competed in 14 cx races this season and have no trouble attaining the "holeshot" even if I start in the second row. I usually finish the first lap in the top 5 or 6 places and feel great but then I hit a wall and watch as the cyclists pass by me effortlessly. I usually finish in the top 25-50% of the racers (as opposed to my early season tactic of starting slower and finishing towards the back).

WHY can't I sustain a hard effort for more than a few minutes? What is my "weak link"? I spent the entire summer riding in long fast group rides with minimal high intensity workouts which apparantly hasn't worked for me so I need to to get more organized with my training.

Thanks!
You answered your own question in red. Your weak link is being able to sustain a hard effort for more than a few minutes. If you are specifically training for 'cross, a four hour ride with a few blips into Z4-Z5 is not going to help. It sounds like maybe you should focus more on shorter rides with longer efforts at high intensity rather than long rides with minimal efforts. I believe there is a sticky with some workout recipes. Try some of the threshold/VO2 workouts, throw-up, repeat, then go win some races.
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Old 11-03-13, 04:12 PM   #3
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I wouldn't say I dislike either one, but I found it both cute and amusing Carmichael took most of the credit for Lance's wins, explaining everything in long winded dissertations and making millions in the process.

You're not alone of the powermeter, I just got clearance after years of cycling.
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Old 11-03-13, 04:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lspade View Post
--I want a power meter but my wife won't let me buy one
Powertaps have had a decent price drop recently.

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--scheduling workouts will make riding my bike less fun


WHY can't I sustain a hard effort for more than a few minutes?
Don't schedule every workout if you are worried about losing the fun. Do longer intervals/hard efforts, but not too often. Read the stickied workout recipe thread.

I dislike Charmichael too ..... for his role in junior doping.
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Old 11-03-13, 06:22 PM   #5
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I'm not a big fan of Carmichael. There's a telling scene in one of the many doping books where Carmichael is helping in the background of the Tour announcing (by… I forget his name but I actually recognize it. Al Michaels?). Lance wins the stage. Michaels (or whoever) doesn't have anything to point out so no story other than Lance wins. Carmichael says "he knew the corner, he reconned it in March or May" or something like that. Michaels seizes that, they do this story on how Lance reconned the finish and knew he could go hard through the last corner.

Bob Roll is watching the whole time. After the story gets done he asked Carmichael "So he reconned the course?" "Yeah" "And he knew where the barriers were going to be placed?" "Uh" "You mean he came up the climb, he knew where they'd paint the line, where they'd set up the crowd control barriers, how wide the route would be, all that?" "Uh"

If you've ever arrived early at a race, like really early, you might be able to guess within 10-20 meters where the line will be. In some races there's literally 400-500 meters of variance (Prospect Park). If there are crowd control barriers then there's even more variability.

It's obvious from the story just what the author (and Bob Roll) think of the coach.
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Old 11-03-13, 07:28 PM   #6
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I wouldn't say I dislike either one, but I found it both cute and amusing Carmichael took most of the credit for Lance's wins, explaining everything in long winded dissertations and making millions in the process.
no, that's called the red herring tactic. Carmichael was the nominal coach, which covered up for Lance's real coach, a certain Dr. Ferrari
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I dislike Charmichael too ..... for his role in junior doping.
bingo, and this. And he not only facilitated it but injected it into riders who wanted nothing to do with doping...

-----

now to make this on point. No idea what your fitness is, but you really haven't mentioned how you are preparing for the races as far as training is concerned.

As for why you can't sustain hard effort for more than a few minute? Well, there are different levels of "hard effort", and some of them you probably can't sustain for more than three minutes while others you can go for 20+ minutes or so. But it sounds like you had enough for one strong surge and basically blew out the gasket afterwards.
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Old 11-03-13, 07:55 PM   #7
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Don't schedule every workout if you are worried about losing the fun. Do longer intervals/hard efforts, but not too often. Read the stickied workout recipe thread.
Wow, that is a good simple solution.

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You answered your own question in red. Your weak link is being able to sustain a hard effort for more than a few minutes. If you are specifically training for 'cross, a four hour ride with a few blips into Z4-Z5 is not going to help. It sounds like maybe you should focus more on shorter rides with longer efforts at high intensity rather than long rides with minimal efforts. I believe there is a sticky with some workout recipes. Try some of the threshold/VO2 workouts, throw-up, repeat, then go win some races.
"threshold/vo2 workouts" is the answer I was looking for! Thanks. And I forgot about the workout recipe page. It is actually part of the reason why i got the books, so I could understand what z4, vo2 max, etc means. I am going to check it out now.
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Old 11-03-13, 08:08 PM   #8
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As for why you can't sustain hard effort for more than a few minute? Well, there are different levels of "hard effort", and some of them you probably can't sustain for more than three minutes while others you can go for 20+ minutes or so. But it sounds like you had enough for one strong surge and basically blew out the gasket afterwards.
Ya, the 20+ min efforts destroy me.



...I didn't know that Charmicheal was such a drug pusher. I mean junior doping? Is that for real?
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Old 11-03-13, 09:10 PM   #9
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Ya, the 20+ min efforts destroy me.



...I didn't know that Charmicheal was such a drug pusher. I mean junior doping? Is that for real?
My bet is that your main issue is recoverability, not lactate threshold (20 min efforts), per se. I mean, it's doubtful that you would even go continuously for 3 min in a CX race (i've never done one, so i don't know), but the ability to recover from 60-second efforts and do it again if probably where you should look. And microbursts are focused on that. But then again, you are probably getting some good training in races, too. Without knowing more, it's quite hard to direct you where to look. The other thing is that 14 races is a lot (i guess you've been racing for 7 straight weeks?), and you may want to take a break from racing for a while, etc

-----

As for Carmichael, http://velonews.competitor.com/2006/...-to-court_9763

apparently Carmichael settled out of court.
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Old 11-04-13, 04:42 AM   #10
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Do 30-30s. They make me feel like I am doing a cross race. Or do a < 2 min hill and repeat X 10. Both remind me of cross. Oh yeah probably the biggest recommendation: Practice your starting sprint (I don't know though, perhaps this is already a good skill for you, if not then REALLY work on it). As I am sure you know your placement before the first turn is what easily dictates the rest of your race. If you are not in the top 20 by the time you hit that corner then you are out of winning contention. At my one cross race so far this year I got staged at the back for being day-of-reg. I spent 45 minutes of straight up passing people in order to go from 90th to 21st place. If you are not through that corner and you can't already see the leader: race over (One reason I frickin hate cross).

Alright so that this doesn't sem like it should totally be in the cross racing section: I concur, frickin doper enablers. Go get a coach!
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Old 11-04-13, 09:48 AM   #11
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My bet is that your main issue is recoverability, not lactate threshold (20 min efforts), per se. I mean, it's doubtful that you would even go continuously for 3 min in a CX race (i've never done one, so i don't know), but the ability to recover from 60-second efforts and do it again if probably where you should look. And microbursts are focused on that. But then again, you are probably getting some good training in races, too. Without knowing more, it's quite hard to direct you where to look. The other thing is that 14 races is a lot (i guess you've been racing for 7 straight weeks?), and you may want to take a break from racing for a while, etc
I am confused. I recall reading that lactate threshold training teaches your body how to dump acid build up faster. This is recoverability correct? So I dont get how short bursts differ from longer threshold efforts if they both require your body to dump lactate acid as fast as possible.


And you are correct that I have been racing for about 7 weeks. I understand that my body is becomming more and more fatigued but what I want to know is what happens if I continue racing through the entire season? If I continue racing (which will fatigue me even more) and then recover won't I have larger gains than if I started my recovery period right now?

By the way, this was my race schedule:
Week 1- raced Tuesday
Week 2- raced Tuesday, twice Saturday
Week 3- raced Tuesday, Sunday
Week 4- raced Saturday, Sunday
Week 5- raced Tuesday, Sunday
Week 6- bad crash prior week so no racing
Week 7- raced twice Sunday
Week 8- raced Sunday
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Old 11-04-13, 10:01 AM   #12
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Alright so that this doesn't sem like it should totally be in the cross racing section...
Good point, I supposed I should have mentioned that the same thing happened in the three crits I raced earlier in the summer. I start off easily in the lead group then suddenly hit a wall and fall back with the slower guys. In fact, any race I have ever done I EASILY (not exagerating) jump ahead of everyone but then slowly fall back. Maybe it is adrenaline?
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Old 11-04-13, 10:23 AM   #13
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I am confused. I recall reading that lactate threshold training teaches your body how to dump acid build up faster. This is recoverability correct? So I dont get how short bursts differ from longer threshold efforts if they both require your body to dump lactate acid as fast as possible.


And you are correct that I have been racing for about 7 weeks. I understand that my body is becomming more and more fatigued but what I want to know is what happens if I continue racing through the entire season? If I continue racing (which will fatigue me even more) and then recover won't I have larger gains than if I started my recovery period right now?

By the way, this was my race schedule:
Week 1- raced Tuesday
Week 2- raced Tuesday, twice Saturday
Week 3- raced Tuesday, Sunday
Week 4- raced Saturday, Sunday
Week 5- raced Tuesday, Sunday
Week 6- bad crash prior week so no racing
Week 7- raced twice Sunday
Week 8- raced Sunday
As for your first question, long LT intervals operate at a near steady state, right at your lactate threshold. Micro-burst, 30/30, etc operate at significantly high intensity followed by very low intensity. During the off period, your body gets to clear the excess lactate built up as a result of the anaerobic effort, whereas in a long LT interval your lactate levels are steady.

as for your second point, that is predicated upon the notion your body can handle all the stress. You don't know if it could, and no one else knows either. Best to play it safe and take at least a rest week to recyperate.
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Old 11-04-13, 10:46 AM   #14
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As for your first question, long LT intervals operate at a near steady state, right at your lactate threshold. Micro-burst, 30/30, etc operate at significantly high intensity followed by very low intensity. During the off period, your body gets to clear the excess lactate built up as a result of the anaerobic effort, whereas in a long LT interval your lactate levels are steady.

as for your second point, that is predicated upon the notion your body can handle all the stress. You don't know if it could, and no one else knows either. Best to play it safe and take at least a rest week to recyperate.
Thank you for helping me understand this stuff. Your answers are much appreciated.
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Old 11-04-13, 11:13 AM   #15
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I got clearance from my girlfriend on a powermeter by just buying it and later telling her I bought one. She already hates my cycling addiction so this didn't make things worse/better lol.
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Old 11-04-13, 11:19 AM   #16
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Unfortunately, there's probably not a lot you can do right now. Most fitness for cross is carried over from what people did before the season. The guys who are winning now will probably keep winning through the series. They have most likely been racing road &/or MTB's as well. If you haven't, you will be at a disadvantage. The one thing you can control is efficiency. Improving your lines/handling, not braking, etc... can go a long way in speeding you up.
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Old 11-04-13, 11:21 AM   #17
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You can win cross races having good technique and mediocre/terrible fitness. Theres a guy in NEO who couldn't even keep up on a Z2/Z3/Z4 tempo group ride with us(we'd drop him repeatedly) late last season but is doing pretty damn decent in cat2 cross. He has really good technique, doesn't overly slow down for every corner and knows how to get over the barriers quick.

Experience man, it helps!
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Old 11-04-13, 11:27 AM   #18
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I got clearance from my girlfriend on a powermeter by just buying it and later telling her I bought one. She already hates my cycling addiction so this didn't make things worse/better lol.
if you need clearance from a girlfriend to spend your own money you're doing it wrong.
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Old 11-04-13, 11:29 AM   #19
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I got clearance from my girlfriend on a powermeter by just buying it and later telling her I bought one. She already hates my cycling addiction so this didn't make things worse/better lol.
I'll never understand this.
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Old 11-04-13, 11:33 AM   #20
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I'll never understand this.
Is also a bad sign, imo, for going forward.

My wife pretends to not like my cycling, but when I'm hurt and home she sure seems to prefer me out riding!
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Old 11-04-13, 11:54 AM   #21
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I'll never understand this.
I'm trying to compromise a little here, we'll see how it goes.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:07 PM   #22
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if you need clearance from a girlfriend to spend your own money you're doing it wrong.
You and I both know you have it made with mama...
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Old 11-04-13, 12:21 PM   #23
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my girlfriend lets me spend all i want, it's the wife that keeps me in check ... ba da bump.
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Old 11-04-13, 01:26 PM   #24
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OP, are you sure you read the Friel book?

Anyway I didn't read the rest of the thread, but what I got from the first post is that you lack Endurance/Base.

Now's the time to work on it!! (unless you're training for CX, in which case you should grab a cold one or something)
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Old 11-04-13, 02:03 PM   #25
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OP, are you sure you read the Friel book?

Anyway I didn't read the rest of the thread, but what I got from the first post is that you lack Endurance/Base.

Now's the time to work on it!! (unless you're training for CX, in which case you should grab a cold one or something)
ahahhahah
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