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Old 05-12-09, 11:01 AM   #1
The Weak Link
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Of training schedules

Let me preface by saying that I'm not complaining. Which means that I'm complaining and feel the need to InterWhine.

I got dropped on the "recovery ride" of my bike club yesterday. So I sat down to look over Joe Friel's "Cycling Over 50" to see if he had any good recommendations on getting better at this sport.

Here is one of his sample schedules:
M--interval rides with 8X10s, 2X4s, 5X8s for one full hour with 20 seconds of rest between each.
Tu--hill repeats, minimum suggested gain 1000' per repeat. Do 10 times. For warm-up.
W--tempo ride, going 110% of your fastest TT ever.
Th--weight training and steroid injections (injections optional).
F--meet with divorce lawyer.
Sa--repeat whichever ride caused the most pain from the week.
Su--recovery ride, 50 miles unless you have time for a long one.

OTOH this is my schedule:
M--"recovery ride" (go as fast as you can with hammerheads who are dogging it).
Tu--daughters volleyball practice.
W--whatever kind of ride I want to do as long as it's wrapped up by 1PM.
Th--feel tired from yesterdays ride. Go to daughter's volleyball games.
F--lift some light weights if in mood. Babysit grandkids maybe.
Sa--AM ride, sometimes with a club (always get dropped).
Su--AM church, afternoon nap.

I guess I want someone to suggest a way to get stronger on my limited schedule that doesn't involve using drugs or losing weight. I really don't find Joe Friels' book all that helpful.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:18 AM   #2
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Question for you.
What is a Monday recovery ride when Sunday all you did was church and a nap, which sometimes can be the same thing.

Oh and I think weight lose has to be involved in there somewhere.
I would use that book as a fire starter myself! He sounds scary.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:26 AM   #3
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Well, Joe's book is not that scary, IMO, but it's not quite as bad as portrayed, either. He is asking for a lot of riding, and it's hard to argue that he's asking for work that won't help us.

This is where a consultation with a trainer or coach might help - to look at the time you realistically have, and to decide what are the most useful things to do.

Be sure to stipulate, no illegal or questionable drugs outside the normal recommended recreational dosages. I find that works for me.

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Old 05-12-09, 11:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
OTOH this is my schedule:
M--"recovery ride" (go as fast as you can with hammerheads who are dogging it).
Tu--daughters volleyball practice.
W--whatever kind of ride I want to do as long as it's wrapped up by 1PM.
Th--feel tired from yesterdays ride. Go to daughter's volleyball games.
F--lift some light weights if in mood. Babysit grandkids maybe.
Sa--AM ride, sometimes with a club (always get dropped).
Su--AM church, afternoon nap.
Looks good to me.

As regards getting dropped, I would suggest an electric assist motor on the bicycle, and as regards Monday recovery rides after church on Sunday, I know those amens, hallelujahs and dancing in the aisle take a lot of energy!
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Old 05-12-09, 11:36 AM   #5
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I feel your pain. Literally. While I get in more rides than you, Joe's schedule is just too much like training for me. I have often said, "I don't train, I just ride." Consequently, I'm about the same rider I was 5 years ago. Yeah, yeah. I know there's not one 60+er in 1000 who can ride as much as I do (this isn't saying much) but it's still frustrating that I'm not "all I can be". Oh, well. That's me, I guess.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:39 AM   #6
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I feel your pain. Literally. While I get in more rides than you, Joe's schedule is just too much like training for me. I have often said, "I don't train, I just ride." Consequently, I'm about the same rider I was 5 years ago. Yeah, yeah. I know there's not one 60+er in 1000 who can ride as much as I do (this isn't saying much) but it's still frustrating that I'm not "all I can be". Oh, well. That's me, I guess.
It's me, too, honestly! I can even not working get in not much more than a few rides a week, but not with the kind of structure he's asking for. I can arrange a hard ride, then an easy one, then a long one, but that's about as much organization as I can manage right now. I am a better rider than I was, but that just shows where I started.
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Old 05-12-09, 12:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Let me preface by saying that I'm not complaining. Which means that I'm complaining and feel the need to InterWhine.

I got dropped on the "recovery ride" of my bike club yesterday. So I sat down to look over Joe Friel's "Cycling Over 50" to see if he had any good recommendations on getting better at this sport.

Here is one of his sample schedules
...
F--meet with divorce lawyer...[joke, right?]
...

OTOH this is my schedule:
...

I guess I want someone to suggest a way to get stronger on my limited schedule that doesn't involve using drugs or losing weight. I really don't find Joe Friels' book all that helpful.
I'm time-limited and the one thing that gets me out on the bike regularly is that I commute year-round early in the morning. My ride is 14 miles and what pushes me to train harder than my commute, in the nice weather months of May to October, is to expand my commute to prepare for two centuries in July and October. What keeps me to maintain the training is to follow a strict schedule:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I do a ten week training program that I saw published in BICYCLING MAGAZINE years ago, and retrieved from the Mt. Diablo Cycling Club website, though it has been removed the last time I looked. There are two variations, called Easy Century Training, or With Strength to Spare. I do the latter one, and it is about the most time I can spare to train. Fortunately I commute, so that's where I do it by lengthening my usual 14 mile distance. I find that the schedule motivates me to do keep up, and it's very satisfying to plug the data into my Excell spreadsheet and watch the charts expand...

I don't consider myself a strong rider, but I did my best century (actually 107.5 miles because I got lost ;-) in 6:58 at about 15.4 mph, with about 40 miles in a paceline and about 60 miles solo. My modification of the plan is to make Sunday my rest day, and Saturday is my century day. This won't print on the Forum as a nice table, but I think you can figure it out:

WITH STRENGTH TO SPARE:
Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Weekly
Easy* Pace* Brisk* Pace* Pace* Pace* Mileage
10 12 14 Off 12 40 15 103
10 13 15 Off 13 44 17 112
10 15 15 Off 15 48 18 123
11 16 19 Off 16 53 20 135
12 18 20 Off 18 59 22 149
13 19 23 Off 19 64 24 162
14 20 25 Off 20 71 27 177
16 20 27 Off 20 75 27 177
17 20 30 Off 20 75 32 194
19 20 30 Off 10 5 Easy Century 184

1,516

EASY CENTURY TRAINING:
Week Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Weekly
Easy* Pace* Brisk* Pace* Pace* Pace* Mileage
1 6 10 12 Off 10 30 9 77
2 7 11 13 Off 11 34 10 86
3 8 13 15 Off 13 38 11 98
4 8 14 17 Off 14 42 13 108
5 9 15 19 Off 15 47 14 119
6 11 15 21 Off 15 53 16 131
7 12 15 24 Off 15 59 18 143
8 13 15 25 Off 15 65 20 153
9 15 15 25 Off 15 65 20 155
Cent Week 15 15 25 Off 10 5 Easy Century 170

1,240
FWIW

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-12-09 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 05-12-09, 12:34 PM   #8
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Recovery rides and I am always the first one back to base- But as I ride solo- I don't rate the opposition.
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Old 05-12-09, 02:15 PM   #9
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I've found with my schedule (and New England weather) it's impossible to structure any kind of riding. It used to drive me nuts, then last years weather was so bad that my milage decresed by 50% for the year. So this year my plan is to just ride when I get the chance and not worry about it. I'm not even keeping milage. Of course then I don't ride with anyone so I never get dropped!
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Old 05-12-09, 02:23 PM   #10
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I'm currently toying with the idea of giving up training schedules. I'm not a Cat 1-5 (take you pick) rider, not even interested in riding with a fast club. Rather, I like riding lots of miles, feel good when I push myself, and sometimes like to go fast on the straights (that's anything over 20 mph for more than a few miles). Otherwise, I'm content to just keep riding until I can't ride anymore. I'm leaving the "serious" training to those who want to compete.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:28 PM   #11
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Looks good to me.

As regards getting dropped, I would suggest an electric assist motor on the bicycle, and as regards Monday recovery rides after church on Sunday, I know those amens, hallelujahs and dancing in the aisle take a lot of energy!
now that's funny!
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Old 05-12-09, 03:31 PM   #12
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Recovery rides and I am always the first one back to base- But as I ride solo- I don't rate the opposition.
perfect solution to Weak Links problem--ride solo
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Old 05-12-09, 03:42 PM   #13
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Of course then I don't ride with anyone so I never get dropped!
I ride with myself and get dropped all the time!
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Old 05-12-09, 04:24 PM   #14
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I've found with my schedule (and New England weather) it's impossible to structure any kind of riding. It used to drive me nuts, then last years weather was so bad that my milage decresed by 50% for the year. So this year my plan is to just ride when I get the chance and not worry about it. I'm not even keeping milage. Of course then I don't ride with anyone so I never get dropped!
My schedule allows me to only ride in the early morning as a year round commuter of 14 miles. IMO the early morning temps around Boston are not continuously inviting enough to extend my mileage until May through October. I think early morning riders get an extra four weeks of winter.

BTW are you from Hopedale? On extended rides I sometimes get out to nearby Milford.

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Old 05-12-09, 05:27 PM   #15
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On the serious side, I find Friel's books not that helpful. Although, I am sure he is a great coach.

I suggest you negotiate with the Monday "recovery" ride hammerheads. Suggest to them that the best way to recover is to use you as the "canary in the coal mine". Their goal is not to drop you. That will assure their recovery and provide you with a reasonable workout.
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Old 05-12-09, 05:34 PM   #16
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I ride with myself and get dropped all the time!
Geeze I don't know what your complaining about DF, I got dropped by a tiny girl on a pink schwinn stingray going up a steep hill, so I did my best to stick on to her wheel, that'll teach her
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Old 05-12-09, 06:53 PM   #17
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On the serious side, I find Friel's books not that helpful.
I used his book as my guide last season. I lost 20 lbs and my speed went way up. It did take some dedication, I found my only way to get the time in was at 6AM - and even on the weekends this was the case. Some mornings if my schedule was light I would get a 2 hour ride in and be at work by 9:00AM. I used a HRM religously from May through July and used it to set my pace. I got a whole lot stronger but I am not sure I want to do it again.

This season I have used the HRM twice, I am getting up at 6AM again(this morning it was 38 degrees). You don't need Friels book to ride well but IMHO he does offer a good plan for those who want to follow it. I will probably resurect the training plan I constructed last year - but right now I just don't feel like it...
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Old 05-13-09, 03:33 AM   #18
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I'm currently toying with the idea of giving up training schedules. I'm not a Cat 1-5 (take you pick) rider, not even interested in riding with a fast club. Rather, I like riding lots of miles, feel good when I push myself, and sometimes like to go fast on the straights (that's anything over 20 mph for more than a few miles). Otherwise, I'm content to just keep riding until I can't ride anymore. I'm leaving the "serious" training to those who want to compete.
+1
I ride solo and have no plans on racing anyone anywhere so training is not in my plans. I ride my bike and try to everyday at least 22 miles.
Last night I went out to scope a new route and found brand new pavement which might bump up my ride 5 or so more miles . can't wait to try it out tonight, going to be so smoooth!
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Old 05-13-09, 10:04 AM   #19
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I used his book as my guide last season. I lost 20 lbs and my speed went way up. It did take some dedication, I found my only way to get the time in was at 6AM - and even on the weekends this was the case. Some mornings if my schedule was light I would get a 2 hour ride in and be at work by 9:00AM. I used a HRM religously from May through July and used it to set my pace. I got a whole lot stronger but I am not sure I want to do it again.

This season I have used the HRM twice, I am getting up at 6AM again(this morning it was 38 degrees). You don't need Friels book to ride well but IMHO he does offer a good plan for those who want to follow it. I will probably resurect the training plan I constructed last year - but right now I just don't feel like it...
As I recall and I may have you confused with another 50+ guy, you had sore knees last season.

With respect to Friel, some of his concepts and ideas are great. His Tweets on Twitter and blog are very good. The problem I had with his book is the point of departure. When you decide you want more power and endurance, how hard and fast do you increase intensity without injury for your level of fitness and flexibility today. I made a program and started doing some intervals. Guess what...sore knees. Shocking.

I hired a coach and the first thing he did was to test me and then work on my spin and monitor my ability to recover. Interval work...but at a level that I could handle and recover from. When I could spin fast and smooth at the easier targets, we increased the challenge. My knees and back felt great and I was improving.

Fast forward to today, 1 1/2 years later, I can do very intense intervals, steep hills and high cadence without injury and recover for the next day. My riding position is lower, more powerful and aerodynamic. I suspect if Friel met me, did a history and tested me, he would have taken me in the same direction. Books are great sources of information if interpreted correctly. What was important to me was not in the book. I needed objective 3rd party advice. YMMV
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Old 05-13-09, 10:25 AM   #20
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As I recall and I may have you confused with another 50+ guy, you had sore knees last season.
I have had knee troubles in years past - but not in the past several years. I did try to help several of those people who did have knee problems with some of the things that have worked for me. Basically I have found what works for me and my body mechanics which are guarenteed to be different from yours.

What Freil suggests in the two books I have of his has more to do with getting your heart rate up than over stressing your joints. What he does suggest or at least what I built my program around was periods of high intensity (read high heart rate) work outs mixed with low intensity (read low heart rate) workouts. Cadence, speed and grade are all part of what makes up the intensity. I suspect you do this as well - not every workout is at your max.

I agree that a good and knowledgeable personal training will do better than a book, no argument there. But not everyone has access to a personal trainer either financially, time or just plain availability.

In general this is one of those hot button topics some people are religious about.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:38 AM   #21
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I have had knee troubles in years past - but not in the past several years. I did try to help several of those people who did have knee problems with some of the things that have worked for me. Basically I have found what works for me and my body mechanics which are guarenteed to be different from yours.

What Freil suggests in the two books I have of his has more to do with getting your heart rate up than over stressing your joints. What he does suggest or at least what I built my program around was periods of high intensity (read high heart rate) work outs mixed with low intensity (read low heart rate) workouts. Cadence, speed and grade are all part of what makes up the intensity. I suspect you do this as well - not every workout is at your max.

I agree that a good and knowledgeable personal training will do better than a book, no argument there. But not everyone has access to a personal trainer either financially, time or just plain availability.


In general this is one of those hot button topics some people are religious about.
It is not a hot button topic for me. If a book works, that is great. Quite frankly, whatever works is fine by me. I wish my competitors would stay away from coaches and read more books.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:51 AM   #22
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So, are you guys getting paid to train or something?
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Old 05-13-09, 10:56 AM   #23
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So, are you guys getting paid to train or something?
The only way I would get paid to train is by an employer who does not want me to drive.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:46 PM   #24
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So, are you guys getting paid to train or something?
I am somewhat on the same schedule as Hermes. I was an All American athlete in Track and Field while in college. After many years of playing softball and basketball long term injuries to one of my ankles led me to cycling. I rode solo by myself for around 12 years then began group rides. The group rides left me wanting to get better and to stay with the faster riders, then to beat the faster riders. In May of 2007 my weight was 227 and I decided that I would begin a program to start to race that would take two years. During 2007 I lowered my weight to 205, cut back on my 2nd love (beer), and attempted to self train via Friel's and Dr Micheal Ross's books. In 2008 I took it a notch higher and committed more time to train and began racing, which also meant loosing 15 more lbs to get to 190. I was a high school track coach for 7 years and thought I could make up my own workouts using Friel's book as a resource. The result in early 2008 was encouraging until I overtrained, came back too soon, overtrained again and basically wrecked 18 months of work. I finally began to ride strong again last fall and decided that following a book to reach my goals wasn't going to do it. I hired a local coach to assess my ability, fitness, comittment and to make up my training progarm. Attempting to follow Friel's methods and workouts didn't work for me due, in part, to him painting intervals and efforts in a "broad brush". It seemed everytime I re-read the book I became more confused. I'm not getting paid to train, but I do allow for, and have my wife's support, the 8 to 14 hours of training each week.

Last night I raced in a 31 mile race, finished in 3rd place and won $14! I guess I'm a pro now. Taking a third place against 25 others riders is not very significant, however, in my mind and sprit it is everything that I am. On the last lap of 15 in last night's race I was tired, I started to tell myself that I raced well and to just ride to the end with the middle of the group. About 1/2 mile from the finish the "competitive juices" took over and I was at a place that I dreamed about while doing 2+ hours workouts last winter while on a trainer in the basement. I don't remember any pain as we sprinted to the end, I only remember trying to go a little faster than everyone else, then, the race was over. I'm happy in the direction my riding has taken me and look forward to doing it for at least 4 or 5 more years. My commitment and reasons for riding are not the same as most who visit this great place, my passion for riding may be less than others, however my training program is a tool to realize what I need from cycling.
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Old 05-13-09, 12:49 PM   #25
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Last night I raced in a 31 mile race, finished in 3rd place and won $14!
Do they send you a 1099?

Congratulations!!
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