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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-06-12, 12:28 PM   #1
CJ C
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Create a Training Routine for Me

Since I will not be able to commute to work anymore this year, plus canceled my gym membership, and i have small windows of time to work out. I need to come up with a tough workout to kickstart this slow fatty into some serious speed. I found this workout and may try it; http://www.bicycling.com/training-nu...l/go-back-back
But would like to hear what you guys can come up with before I settle on that one. Here are my parameters that I have (time wise);
Tuesday- 1 hour
Wednsday- 1 hour
Thursday- 1 hour
Saturady- 2 1/2 hours
Sunday- 2 1/2 hours

All days I will have to start at 5:30am cant start earlier i need my 7 hours of sleep, and cant change my kids bedtime either. The week days I have to be back at the house at 6:30 to get ready for work and weekends need to be back at 8am for family stuff. cant use monday (work reasons) and friday i want to use as a rest day (friday is always my rest day)

Any ideas and help will be much appreciated.
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Old 07-06-12, 12:31 PM   #2
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Goldfinch linked me to this thread which had a 100 mile training routine. Peek at it and see if you schedule allows for you to follow it.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14417065
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Old 07-06-12, 12:34 PM   #3
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When the kids go to bed is there another adult there that can be with them so you can get out at night? I don't now if that gets you anything more than going out in the morning though. And now that I think of it going in the morning is probably better for you.
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Old 07-06-12, 12:44 PM   #4
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_The Time Crunched Cyclist: Fit, Fast, and Powerful in 6 Hours a Week_

Beginning century plan.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Time-Crunc.../dp/1934030473
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Old 07-06-12, 12:45 PM   #5
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How fit are you? The regimen you linked to is quite challenging...

But the good news is that the amount of time you have available is enough to get seriously fit.
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Old 07-06-12, 02:39 PM   #6
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When the kids go to bed is there another adult there that can be with them so you can get out at night? I don't now if that gets you anything more than going out in the morning though. And now that I think of it going in the morning is probably better for you.
no night training, for my safety i dont want to ride at 9-11pm

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_The Time Crunched Cyclist: Fit, Fast, and Powerful in 6 Hours a Week_
Beginning century plan.
www.amazon.com/The-Time-Crunched-Cyclist-Powerful-Athlete/dp/1934030473
thank you!!! I will see if I can get it on the wife's kindle.

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How fit are you? The regimen you linked to is quite challenging...

But the good news is that the amount of time you have available is enough to get seriously fit.
I dont know how to gauge "fit" anymore. I am not even close to what i was in my hay day, but 100x more fit than three years ago.
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Old 07-06-12, 02:50 PM   #7
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Also i forgot to add;

*I cant have a trainer, I bought one last fall but my neighbors downstairs were having issue with the sound/vibration. Had to sell it.

*I tried doing the HRmax test recommended here but because of all the stop lights and traffic i cant get a long enough stretch of road to do it.

*cant jog/run knee injury last fall from jogging keeps me from jogging. (sucked as i finally started to somewhat enjoy jogging)
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Old 07-06-12, 07:30 PM   #8
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I am going to go out of place here and recommend finding a good coach if your budget allows it. I travel a great deal for work and have a highly variable schedule. Sometimes it changes on a moments notice. I found a coach who is also an airline pilot, and as such he understands travel and it's limitations. I have been working with him now two months and am extremely pleased with my
progress. I happen to train with power, but many coaches will do hr and perceived exertion training. He is able to tailor a plan to my schedule, and readjust it if I miss days,or want to work out a day he had for a rest.

We communicate through email and I post all my rides to training peaks for his analysis.

It really keeps me going knowing his going to nosing he is going to be on my ass if I slack off, and he keeps upping the bar on me just when I get comfortable. I am positive I would not have come this far in this time without him.

Maybe you can find one that meets your needs too.
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Old 07-06-12, 08:47 PM   #9
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*I tried doing the HRmax test recommended here but because of all the stop lights and traffic i cant get a long enough stretch of road to do it.
I was going to say this is where the trainer would come in. Set it up outside on a sidewalk with kids helping out. You really only need 20mins for a HRmax test, but cyclists don't usually need to know that. What you're looking for is "threshold", which would be a similar test, but different in some aspects.

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I need to come up with a tough workout to kickstart this slow fatty into some serious speed.
Is this your goal, then, to just ride faster? Or is there more to it? Competition? A specific course? Distance? Time?

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Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
But would like to hear what you guys can come up with before I settle on that one. Here are my parameters that I have (time wise);
Tuesday- 1 hour
Wednsday- 1 hour
Thursday- 1 hour
Saturady- 2 1/2 hours
Sunday- 2 1/2 hours
Does this mean you only have 8 hours per week for all training? Or just the "speed" training you're looking for?
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Old 07-06-12, 09:06 PM   #10
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*I tried doing the HRmax test recommended here but because of all the stop lights and traffic i cant get a long enough stretch of road to do it.
Chris Carmichael (of _The Time Crunched Cyclist_) built his zone definition system around a pair of 8 minute time trials and finding the required 3-4 mile stretch of road without traffic lights should be a lot easier than finding someplace you can ride for 30 (Friel approximates lactate heart rate off the last 20 minutes of a 30 minute all-out effort) - 60 (the gold standard) minutes.

The results may be more accurate too. Although individual variation in anaerobic work capacity mean the numbers won't be as good as if you did the longer effort at 100% it's a lot easier psychologically and therefore may be closer to a true 100%.
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Old 07-06-12, 10:45 PM   #11
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The workout you linked to looks pretty similliar to what I've been trying to do. Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist isn't that much different.

My current schedule usually looks something like this:
Monday- Rest or easy recover ride
Tuesday- 1 hour high intensity trainer session
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 1-1.5 hour high intensity road ride consisting of hills or intervals
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Group ride of 80-110km, either hilly terrain or flat and faster
Sunday- Moderate ride with friends and wife, or mtb, or hiking.

The guys I'm riding with have been sufficiently impressed with my progress that they've been asking about what I'm doing and a few are starting to join the Tuesday evening trainer sessions. I've also started bumping into a few on the hills I use on Thursdays.

I can understand the neighboors issues with a trainer early in the morning. Look for an extremely smooth one. Or, move it outside. A parking lot will do. I've heard of parents bringing their trainer to the kids soccer games and such. Drop off the rug rats, assemble trainer, get in a quality work out, be there the minute the kids are done, transport all back home. One of those book mounts that hooks over the handle bars would allow the use of an ipad or pod to view and listen to your favorite workout.
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Old 07-07-12, 05:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
Since I will not be able to commute to work anymore this year, plus canceled my gym membership, and i have small windows of time to work out. I need to come up with a tough workout to kickstart this slow fatty into some serious speed.
Does it need to be cycling specific? If not i'd suggest p90x or any of those workout video programs to alternate with bike rides.
Each session is about 40-50 min, no need for specific gear (a pair of sneakers and space in front of a TV), most routines are low impact so no issue with joints/knees, can alternate with bike rides so it doesn't get boring.

I know first hand of three people who did that recently. One did 3 days p90x and 3 days gym weight lift per week, the other two did 3 days p90x and 3-4 days bike rides outside per week. The gym guy lost weight fastest.
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Old 07-07-12, 11:49 AM   #13
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I am going to go out of place here and recommend finding a good coach if your budget allows it
Sadly the budget doesnt allow it, hence the canceling of my gym membership.


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I was going to say this is where the trainer would come in. Set it up outside on a sidewalk with kids helping out. You really only need 20mins for a HRmax test, but cyclists don't usually need to know that. What you're looking for is "threshold", which would be a similar test, but different in some aspects.
This is a very good idea i really like it. But trainer was sold, and money isnt there to buy a new one.

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Is this your goal, then, to just ride faster? Or is there more to it? Competition? A specific course? Distance? Time?
good question, i guess yes the goal is to ride faster. as if i ride faster i can go farther in my allotted time. and to get faster i will have to work at it which will improve my fitness. also if i go faster then looking strava segments wont be so devastating

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Does this mean you only have 8 hours per week for all training? Or just the "speed" training you're looking for?
that 8 hours is the only time i have for any training or riding

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Chris Carmichael (of _The Time Crunched Cyclist_) built his zone definition system around a pair of 8 minute time trials and finding the required 3-4 mile stretch of road without traffic lights should be a lot easier than finding someplace you can ride for 30 (Friel approximates lactate heart rate off the last 20 minutes of a 30 minute all-out effort) - 60 (the gold standard) minutes.
3-4 mile stretch of road without traffic lights? thats going to be tough, i have a traffic light ever 0.5 of a mile until i get about 10 miles out from my place then i get a light every mile or 1.5miles

i may have to schedule a day to drive out somewhere to find a good spot for this.
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Old 07-07-12, 11:59 AM   #14
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The workout you linked to looks pretty similliar to what I've been trying to do. Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist isn't that much different.
I can understand the neighboors issues with a trainer early in the morning. Look for an extremely smooth one. Or, move it outside. A parking lot will do. I've heard of parents bringing their trainer to the kids soccer games and such. Drop off the rug rats, assemble trainer, get in a quality work out, be there the minute the kids are done, transport all back home. One of those book mounts that hooks over the handle bars would allow the use of an ipad or pod to view and listen to your favorite workout.
I am swinging by a book store today and check out the time crunched book. if its cheap i am grabbing it. How long have you been on that training? how long before your riding partners noticed the change?

LOL at the bring the bike and trainer to the kids games/practices, its actually a great idea.

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Does it need to be cycling specific? If not i'd suggest p90x or any of those workout video programs to alternate with bike rides.
I know first hand of three people who did that recently. One did 3 days p90x and 3 days gym weight lift per week, the other two did 3 days p90x and 3-4 days bike rides outside per week. The gym guy lost weight fastest.
I would really like to try the P90x, but living in a old three flat walk up, neighbors complained about wife's workout tapes when we first moved in, so she just does yoga now.

if we ever move to a new place i think we may choose the first floor. but then the reason i always pick top floor is because of sound.
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Old 07-07-12, 12:02 PM   #15
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In the meantime, work on perceived effort. Tuesday, ride the hour at tempo - that is the speed you think you can maintain for the hour so that when you finish you don't think you could have gone much faster. With a bit of practice you will get the feel of how to make this a consistent effort. Wednesday, one hour at an eay, recovery, pace. Thursday, another hour at tempo. Saturday, a nice steady ride, not hard enough to get out of breath but hard enough to know you're working. Sunday, similar to Saturday but incorporate a decent amount of climbing and push yourself in the hills.

That should be OK with Monday and Friday as rest days. And it should enable you to see plenty of improvement while you're working out your LTHR etc.
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Old 07-07-12, 08:11 PM   #16
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In the meantime, work on perceived effort. Tuesday, ride the hour at tempo - that is the speed you think you can maintain for the hour so that when you finish you don't think you could have gone much faster. With a bit of practice you will get the feel of how to make this a consistent effort. Wednesday, one hour at an eay, recovery, pace. Thursday, another hour at tempo. Saturday, a nice steady ride, not hard enough to get out of breath but hard enough to know you're working. Sunday, similar to Saturday but incorporate a decent amount of climbing and push yourself in the hills.

That should be OK with Monday and Friday as rest days. And it should enable you to see plenty of improvement while you're working out your LTHR etc.

I like this training. Is there anything to exchange or do instead of hills? its flat as a pancake where i live.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:24 PM   #17
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In the meantime, work on perceived effort. Tuesday, ride the hour at tempo - that is the speed you think you can maintain for the hour so that when you finish you don't think you could have gone much faster. With a bit of practice you will get the feel of how to make this a consistent effort. Wednesday, one hour at an eay, recovery, pace. Thursday, another hour at tempo. Saturday, a nice steady ride, not hard enough to get out of breath but hard enough to know you're working. Sunday, similar to Saturday but incorporate a decent amount of climbing and push yourself in the hills.

That should be OK with Monday and Friday as rest days. And it should enable you to see plenty of improvement while you're working out your LTHR etc.
That seems like a lot of "tempo" work realative to the limited time for training. And, absolutely zero zone 5 work. If CJC wants to see serious speed improvements, he might be better served by the higher intensity work outs suggested by Carmichael, et al. These are intended to force adaptation by the body that tempo work will not be as effective at. If however, CJC is looking to build base, that much tempo work and easier zone 1-2 work may work well.
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Old 07-08-12, 02:16 AM   #18
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That seems like a lot of "tempo" work realative to the limited time for training. And, absolutely zero zone 5 work. If CJC wants to see serious speed improvements, he might be better served by the higher intensity work outs suggested by Carmichael, et al. These are intended to force adaptation by the body that tempo work will not be as effective at. If however, CJC is looking to build base, that much tempo work and easier zone 1-2 work may work well.
You may be right, though with the recovery ride on the Wednesday and the steady ride on Saturday he'd be spending a fair bit of time in or below z1. It's difficult to prescribe for someone one doesn't know and whose fitness one knows nothing about! LOL. However, when I was about a year into my return to the bike, and short of time because I was working away from home, I had good results with three one-hour tempo sessions during the week and one long, steady distance ride at the weekend.

Personally I wouldn't suggest anyone bothered with z5 work until they were confident they had a big base. I recently read an article about the training schedule of the German Olympic track squad. Their pursuiters, doing a fairly short but intense event, spent an
amazingly short time on top-end speed work - their training was almost all sub-threshold. Of course, they were training pretty much full-time.

CJC, if you have no hills then I'd substitute some lower cadence, higher geared intervals during the Sunday ride. Maybe five minutes at a time when instead of spinning you are changing up and trying to get on top of a big gear. Not too big - you need to be careful of your knees. Doing some sprints, in the drops, will also help and will also keep it more interesting when just riding along. I try to sprint in the drops and out of the saddle for racing practice. It isn't really my game, I can't sprint out of sight on a dark night, but one does improve.

And training purely on the basis of perceived effort isnt altogether a bad idea. Of course it isn't as scientific as power, but it does get one used to listening to one's body and gauging one's effort. Eddy Merckx didnt have a HRM.
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Old 07-08-12, 03:52 AM   #19
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. How long have you been on that training? how long before your riding partners noticed the change?
Pretty much got stuck back into it in April and have a good three months on it now. Riding partners started noticing a change by the third or fourth week. Only I was noticing the difference over a few weeks where I worked my way up from our local "D" group through the "C's" and up to the "B" group of our local Saturday Parking Lot Worlds. I'm pretty comfortable with those guys now and am happy contributing at the front, in the middle or helping others work their way back to the group without fear of getting dropped myself.


The trade off is, that you can't maintain high intensity focused training for a long period and the gains can disappear as quickly as they're gained when you don't already have a well established aerobic base.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:49 AM   #20
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I read somewhere that (I think) 85% of all lances training was in the tempo zone.

I know in my plan currently I only have one day a week where I do intervals in the threshold zone.
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Old 07-08-12, 01:31 PM   #21
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The Pro's require a greater base. They spend much more time on the bike each week. Even at a lower percentage of total milage, their time spent at high intensity levels will equal or exceed what a recreational cyclist will attain when high intensity represents a greater percentage of their total.

A year ago I would have pulled out one of my old training books and began with lots of long slow distance and base building. And in fact, that is more or less what I did. But, I started reading some of the stuff from kiwi and aussie coaches that suggested "serious recreational" cyclists, who have limited time to train, are better served by spending a greater percentage of their time concentrating on high intensity speed and strength work and using their weekend rides to attempt to consolidate those gains. Then I saw Carmichael suggesting a similiar approach.

The idea that, to ride faster you need to practice riding faster made sense and I started really pushing for intense speed and strenght work.

Of course there are pro's and con's to both approaches. As already mentioned, the gains of a high intensity program can be difficult to maintain long term if you don't already have a pretty good base. Also, you need to be aware of your body and not injure yourself. It also involves plenty of rest and recovery. You're either "ON" or you're "OFF", with the exception of one weekend ride that for me is a distance at tempo ride. It's probably not the right choice for someone who wants to train more than 3 to 5 days per week. Or, for those who can't afford to return from their rides in pieces.

On the flip side, programs that focus on a greater percentage of tempo riding will also see gains and may build a better base. However, the speed and strength gains may not be as great (less of a concern if you're on flat land, more of a concern on hills) and you may be prone to reaching a plateau earlier than you might if you're spending more time alternating between high stress and recovery.

To be honest, I wouldn't "sell" what I've been doing to everyone. I'm seeing scary fast gains. BUT, I feel I'm more susceptible to illness and injury than I've been in the past. And have suffered a couple of forced "off" periods. I also spend a significant amount of time feeling sore and spend quite a bit of time stretching throughout my days.

I knew that speed and strength to weight issues would be my limiting factor to reaching my goal. So, that's what I'm focusing on. If the OP or anyone else has different priorities or issues, a different approach would be equally warranted.

Basically, if you get out and ride "hard" and "push" yourself beyond your comfort zone, you're going to see gains. How those gains manifest themselves will be representative of how they were achieved.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:32 PM   #22
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CJC, if you have no hills then I'd substitute some lower cadence, higher geared intervals during the Sunday ride. Maybe five minutes at a time when instead of spinning you are changing up and trying to get on top of a big gear. Not too big - you need to be careful of your knees. Doing some sprints, in the drops, will also help and will also keep it more interesting when just riding along. I try to sprint in the drops and out of the saddle for racing practice.
I tried that one time to crank at a 65-70 cadence, had some sore legs the next day. I will take that tip and throw it in the mix more often. Thank you.
I do some sprints in drops during my ride, its sprinting away from stop lights to keep from getting stuck behind a bus in traffic or when i see a light about to change and am tired of stopping. my rides are never boring, between dodging cars, potholes, commercial trucks, crappy streets. then after getting to the MUP gauntlet its a constant dodging, slowing, stopping, sprinting, and catching the view. Very rarely do i get a stretch of road where i could just chill, zone out or cruise at a constant speed.

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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
Pretty much got stuck back into it in April and have a good three months on it now. Riding partners started noticing a change by the third or fourth week. Only I was noticing the difference over a few weeks where I worked my way up from our local "D" group through the "C's" and up to the "B" group of our local Saturday Parking Lot Worlds. I'm pretty comfortable with those guys now and am happy contributing at the front, in the middle or helping others work their way back to the group without fear of getting dropped myself.
you jumped three level of group rides? thats darn good. I am hoping one day time will free up where i can get in on group rides. at my pace though i hope there is an "E" group.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:42 PM   #23
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Basically, if you get out and ride "hard" and "push" yourself beyond your comfort zone, you're going to see gains.

Maybe once a month i come back from a ride where i thought "hmm i could have push harder". Most my rides when I get back i am spent, and curse having to carry my bike up the stairs. I think if my last 3-5 miles are not limping torture then i failed to push myself enough and try to add a sprint or two before i get back.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:44 PM   #24
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now my internal debate is do i go with the training i linked to (and big fred rec for the CC book) or Chasm54 training?

i guess i could alternate the two?
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Old 07-08-12, 08:35 PM   #25
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you jumped three level of group rides? thats darn good. I am hoping one day time will free up where i can get in on group rides. at my pace though i hope there is an "E" group.
Two might be more accurate.

Keep in mind, this is a completely informal parking lot brigade with anywhere from 30-60 riders on any given Saturday. Also, having had plenty of group riding experiene in the past, I probably overtrained before joining them for my first ride.

My first couple of weeks were spent well within my limits with the slowest, most organized and cooperative of the groups. Let's call them the "Crusty Old Men's Brigade". They typically do around 60km of mixed moderate hills and flats. Definately ride in a no drop style and regroup at the top of each hill. Speeds with them on the flats usually wouldn't exceed 36kph unless there was a tailwind. I found myself well within my limits with them.

Then I spent a few rides with a slightly faster group who take a flatter route (toward the airport and returning along a waterfront). Speeds with them would average high 20's to maybe low 30's for the ride and group speeds on the flats would frequently be high 30's to just north of 40kph. But, with only two climbs to speak of in a 70km ride, I would arrive home with fuel still in the tank. We'll call them the, "Standard Group".

Now I'm riding with a group that was doing 80km of hills when I started with them, but, have been doing 100+ of those same hills for the last three weeks. Around 1,500 meters of climbing depending on the exact route. The "Hilly 'hundred Bunch". Total ride average speed is down, but, mainly due to cold temps and few slower riders joining us this week. This is no longer a no drop ride. Regrouping takes place at about three strategic points along the route, or, if things get stretched out. But, if you aren't in sight, the group typically agrees, "he's a big boy, with a tube and a phone. He'll be fine." and carries on. Speeds on the flats are routinely in the upper 30's and everyone is expected to rotate through the front, even if only for a short pull, just to keep the line rotating smoothly. Average ride speed is around 25kph and most of the guys are riding this as a tempo ride. The first week I did the 100+ with them I wasn't worth anything the rest of the day and had to tap reserves to complete the final hill. Three weeks later, I can actually contemplate afternoon commitments and return home with a bit of fuel left in the tank. These guys will consider a five hour goal for a similiarly hilly century as an absolutely reasonable expectation and are encouraging me to do the same. Right now I have a six hour goal for this November's Taupo Cycling Challenge. I'm reasonably confident, that barring illness, physical injury and bike mechanical I will comfortably complete that. I'll save five hours for next year.

Group rides can be fun. IF you find a group you get along with.
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