Training & Nutrition - Legs Blowing up but breathing feels fine - 60 mile ride
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04-05-10, 11:40 AM
Im at a loss at what needs to improve with my current conditioning. Current fitness level is about
10 hours of riding per week since Jan/Feb, with the last two weeks at about 160 miles each.
I went on a 'Team Fast ride yesterday' for the first time, and felt great for most of the ride. My breathing was never
labored, or my heart never felt like it was going to explode. However, there were two spots in
the ride where I felt I should have been able to hang onto the pace-line, but my legs blew up and
I ended up getting shelled.
At each of these occurences:
1) the pace line was holding a good 22-26mph pace over the past few miles
2) the pace line started picking up speed above what the tempo for the day was
3) 2 or more people would come from the back and their passing speed ended up being the paceline speed.
I usually ended up being in the back after everyone passed, and by then I was giving it all i could just to hang on (32mph+ by then.) My breathing wasn't any harder, but my legs just cooked to the point where
continuing that pace any longer was impossible.
The first time this happened was within the 2 hour mark, so I think nutrition was not the cause.
Previous day was a rest day - plenty of sleep and good food with no time on the bike
What kind of training can I take advantage of to avoid having that 'cooked leg' feeling so quickly?
04-05-10, 12:19 PM
sounds like you were out of your league and that kind of riding doesn't even sound like fun. those guys were NOT riding the way you expected them to.
04-05-10, 12:22 PM
1. Put in more training miles.
2. Increase the strength in the Posterior chain (Hamstrings, Glutes, Hips, Legs & Lower back).
“A strong man is strong on the back of his body.”
3. Increase the strength in the abs & obliques.
In fact increase your strength/strength endurance right across the body.
Increasing the pull on the bars. Strengthen deltoids, upperback/lats, triceps & arms in general.
04-05-10, 12:40 PM
The ride was actually quite fun, and I'd do it again today if my body would let me. The main puller was a cat-3 racer. Im looking to register for my first cat-5 crit a week from tomorrow. But getting back to the issue......
Im guessing that my lactate is not clearing out fast enough. My average cadence for the 62.xx miles was 86.. so Its not a mashing issue. Also, they were nice enough to wait for me. When I hooked back up with them I had no problems with the 22-26mph pace for the 20+ miles in between their surges. When the leader pushed it to 30+ for sustained periods- that's when I was in a world of hurt of not being able to clear the lactate fast enough to continue that pace. What kind of drills can I work on to increase my ability to clear lactate at this level of exhertion. Or, is this a base training issue?
04-05-10, 01:23 PM
If one particular rider is able to shell you out the back, its not just his greater ability to clear lactate but his max applicable force is greater due to his increased strength levels.
Scroll to page 121. In fact from page 119 you may find interesting.
Interval training will increase your lactate threshold, for most athletes.
04-07-10, 08:07 PM
Yeah, do it some more! That's why that ride exists - to put the hurt on the participants. That's how they got so they could do that.
You say your breathing wasn't any harder but your legs were cooked. I'm guessing you still had a lot in the tank, but didn't know it. Go out on this ride again, only next time when they surge, you kick your cadence way up until your breathing is fast and deep - about all you can handle. Judge your cadence by your breathing. Pedal fast enough that your breathing is just under the panting level. 100-105 should do it.
You'll be at lactate threshold, which should be fine because these surges don't last long and as long as you stay at the back you'll be OK. The high cadence will spare your legs. That's the point of it. So you'll be trading oxygen (free and unlimited) for muscle glycogen (limited). You'll also notice that the high cadence will enable you to respond better to natural surges in the line and you'll hold your wheel tighter.
If you come to the front, hold the speed, which will drive you anaerobic almost instantly, then roll off to the left and let the next guy take it. Those little anaerobic intervals will help a lot, too.
You can practice on your own. Get out on the flat, get aero, and bring it up. Experiment with position, breathing, and cadence while watching your speed. You should have 15 minutes of steady state to fool around with various parameters. Find out what combination makes you the fastest and keeps your legs alive. Then once a week you can do 15 minute intervals like that if you can find enough room on the road. Do three intervals with 10 minutes of easy spinning between them.
There's another defensive tactic you can try in the line. Get more aero. You can still hold the hoods, but get your forearms parallel to the ground. Bring your knees in. See if that helps or if it restricts your breathing too much.
04-07-10, 10:50 PM
sounds like your cadence is a little low too me. spin, spin, spin and use your aerobic system as much as possible and save your legs 'til you really need them.
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