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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 01-16-13, 11:18 AM   #1
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Speed work - if any ?

I am curious as to what type of speed work do you guys do (if at all any)? Any group rides ? What do your days between the long rides look like in terms of mileage ?
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Old 01-16-13, 11:39 AM   #2
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I just work out much like a racing cyclist. Intervals, climbing, etc. I don't worry too much about mileage, but it's generally between 50-100 kms per workout.

If you can go fast, you can go far, generally speaking.
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Old 01-16-13, 12:15 PM   #3
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I'm still a greenhorn when it comes to LD, but I think the balls-out sprinting that I did while commuting really helped build up my strength and quickness for the longer rides last year. Group rides (in particular riding with people who are a little faster than yourself) are always a good idea.
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Old 01-16-13, 01:07 PM   #4
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Every weekend a competitive group ride, 52 weeks a year unless there's an event. Sometimes down to 35 miles in winter, but usually 60 or more miles. Weekly mileage varies with the season here. In spring and summer, 150 miles/week seems a good minimum. I also used to do speed and climbing intervals midweek, but got too old for that. Now I mostly do zones 1-2 and a little 3 midweek and save the hard work for the group ride.

A year-round group ride, gradually increasing mileage and elevation gain starting in January, seems the key element. It helps a lot if at least some people are faster than you are.

In a few minutes, I'm going to do my first Tempo interval of the year on my rollers. I'll do just one for 15 minutes at 70 cadence, zone 3. It's 26 out. Yesterday I did some one-legged pedaling intervals. I'll do a couple Tempo intervals on Wednesday until the end of February. That'll get a good start on the season. On Thursday, I'll do high cadence short intervals in spin class until April when skiing's over and I can get out on the road for longer, lower intensity rides more easily.

I focus more on speed and strength than I do on endurance. I just gradually increase the length of my speed and climbing workouts until they're at least an Imperial century.
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Old 01-16-13, 04:02 PM   #5
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I just go ride my bike. Yeah, I know I ought to be seriously training and all that, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having fun.
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Old 01-16-13, 04:42 PM   #6
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I just try to go out and do some long climbs at a decent tempo at least a couple of times a week. I have noted before when I was doing a lot of that over the summer that my sprint got really good. Unfortunately my climbing still wasn't up to where I would like it to be, I need to lose at least 20 pounds for that.
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Old 01-16-13, 08:37 PM   #7
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A wise man once said to me: "FTP is the tide that lifts all boats."
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Old 01-16-13, 09:54 PM   #8
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15 minute time trials you say?
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Old 01-17-13, 08:30 AM   #9
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15 minute time trials you say?
There is an unending amount of discussion online and elsewhere about what makes for the most effective interval duration, frequency, and specific intensity for raising FTP. Some coaches recommend longer(15-25 minute), sub threshold (zone 3) intervals and others recommend somewhat shorter (4 to 8 minute) intervals a bit above threshold (zone 4).

Either can work, I am sure - what is probably most important is coming up with a formula that one actually doesn't mind doing so they actually get done.

Personally, I favor 1 or 2, 15-20 minute intervals done once or twice a week. With an intensity scaled back slightly to just below what i would actually race such a short time trial at. I basically have a few climbs and sections of road that I like to test myself on. For a person who does no speedwork otherwise, even if you did just one or two of these intervals a week, it would produce real gains in 'cruising speed' (zone 2 speed that you actually ride during randonees, etc.).
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Old 01-17-13, 08:50 AM   #10
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I just go ride my bike. Yeah, I know I ought to be seriously training and all that, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having fun.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I rando because I like to ride, and I want to keep it that way.

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Old 01-17-13, 09:45 AM   #11
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Couldn't have said it better myself. I rando because I like to ride, and I want to keep it that way.

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That's a strange thing to say. I almost always am in fact riding my bike when I'm doing intervals.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:59 AM   #12
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I believe his point being that he thinks it would become too much like work, a philosophy I understand.
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Old 01-17-13, 10:17 AM   #13
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I believe his point being that he thinks it would become too much like work, a philosophy I understand.
These long intervals I do aren't all that painful. They are sub-threshold after all. They are definitely hard enough that they require some motivation, but it's not a suffer fest by any means. I sorta get around any drudgery by making the intervals themselves fun. And racing can be fun, even if you are just racing yourself. You just have to get into a bit. Strava makes going hard a bit more interesting because it makes it convenient to see how you are progressing (or not) and how others are doing.
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Old 01-17-13, 12:46 PM   #14
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does strava have a LCWW division?
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Old 01-17-13, 01:05 PM   #15
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does strava have a LCWW division?
No, but it really should.
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Old 01-17-13, 01:13 PM   #16
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a good 15 minute time trial would be from my house to Rte 26 and back. You in?
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Old 01-17-13, 01:39 PM   #17
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a good 15 minute time trial would be from my house to Rte 26 and back. You in?
Too much traffic, especially at the turnaround. TTs are best done on quiet roads.
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Old 01-17-13, 01:53 PM   #18
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I ride the indoor velodrome during the winter. Usually go into the speed workouts, even though it's too early in the season, but I stop riding the track in March and get onto the road. But riding pace lines on the track is a good thing for longer distances, as it builds up your technical proficiency in a pace line, and even if you're not doing interval workouts, just cruising in a pace line is good, as the pace tends to creep up into high 30/low 40 kmh. I like doing tempo pace lines at about this speed for an hour during the off-season.

Yes, you can just ride, but unless you are an ex-racer, I think it really helps to have a higher default/comfortable cruising speed. For example, when I rode PBP, the strategy was to start with the 84-hour group in the morning, and to just ride mostly daylight hours and get some sleep during the night. This eliminated having to start with the 90-hour group the previous afternoon, which means riding all night the first night. I don't think riding all night is fun at all. If you can maintain close to a 25-kmh average, you can cover 400 km each day, mostly in daylight hours, which lets you sleep at night, lets you finish in three days, giving you about a 65-hour finishing time (and leaves you with a good one-day safety margin in case something goes wrong.

So the faster you can cruise comfortably, the more fun you will have. I plan to do LEL the same way, as basically a 4-day bike tour, all expenses paid, with a free place to sleep each night. But in order to get this speed, you need to do a little speed work.

Also, the faster you go, the better chance you'll have of snagging an empty bed!

One more thing: back in the old days of pro racing, they used to have a LONG race called Bordeaux-Paris. It went all night, and the riders would pick up a motorcycle pacer some time at night for the second part of the race. I remember that one young rider won handily because his coach worked on his speed behind a motorcycle, lots of short, fast efforts to build up cruising speed. You don't need train long distances to build speed. You go fast to build speed.

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Old 01-17-13, 01:54 PM   #19
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Time trials are something I'd like to get into this year... never done one, but the idea of "knocking down a sub-hour 40[km]", as Sixty Fiver puts it, is intriguing.
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Old 01-17-13, 02:52 PM   #20
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I just go ride my bike. Yeah, I know I ought to be seriously training and all that, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having fun.
And for some of us training is fun.
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Old 01-18-13, 09:25 PM   #21
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That's a strange thing to say. I almost always am in fact riding my bike when I'm doing intervals.
I LIKE to ride. I DON'T LIKE to do intervals (at least on the road). And yes, structured training makes riding too much like work. I get enough of work 8-5 M-F. My so-called training program ("ride a lot") is sufficient to let me finish mid-pack on pretty much any rando event I do, and have fun both while I'm doing it and while I'm preparing. Yes, I could finish faster if I trained more seriously. So what?

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Old 01-19-13, 01:16 AM   #22
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I LIKE to ride. I DON'T LIKE to do intervals (at least on the road). And yes, structured training makes riding too much like work. I get enough of work 8-5 M-F. My so-called training program ("ride a lot") is sufficient to let me finish mid-pack on pretty much any rando event I do, and have fun both while I'm doing it and while I'm preparing. Yes, I could finish faster if I trained more seriously. So what?

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So you are who you are, that's what. Congratulations on your talent. I know it for a fact that I would not have any fun on a brevet if I didn't train. I call it banking the pain. I do it enough, I can have fun on the brevet, just a blast with friends. It can be a shattering experience to be undertrained. I know people who have DNFed. They didn't like that at all.

Until I retired, I had very little training time to "ride a lot," nor the weather in which to do it. So I had to make every training session count. The annual plan. Microcycles, mesocycles, macrocycles, all that crap. But it worked, so I did it, and am very glad that I did. I'm also very thankful for all the information I've been able to glean from these forums, which helped my training and riding to be a little more effective. There comes a time when you can't train more, and can't train harder, so you just have to train (and ride) smarter.
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Old 01-19-13, 11:17 AM   #23
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So you are who you are, that's what. Congratulations on your talent. I know it for a fact that I would not have any fun on a brevet if I didn't train. I call it banking the pain. I do it enough, I can have fun on the brevet, just a blast with friends. It can be a shattering experience to be undertrained. I know people who have DNFed. They didn't like that at all.

Until I retired, I had very little training time to "ride a lot," nor the weather in which to do it. So I had to make every training session count. The annual plan. Microcycles, mesocycles, macrocycles, all that crap. But it worked, so I did it, and am very glad that I did. I'm also very thankful for all the information I've been able to glean from these forums, which helped my training and riding to be a little more effective. There comes a time when you can't train more, and can't train harder, so you just have to train (and ride) smarter.
So we've each found a system that works. (In my case "system" may be something of a misnomer.) That's one of the cool things about rando in particular: there's more than one "right" way to do it.

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Old 01-19-13, 12:44 PM   #24
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I fall into the 'pay in training now so i can enjoy the event later' camp. So that's the main reason I put some effort into riding hard in my everyday rides. The truth is though that I really do like hammering the occaisonal section of road. Fast is fun. It's not drudgery the vast majority of the time.
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Old 01-19-13, 03:30 PM   #25
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If you are racing they are essential. If you are riding brevets they are helpful but not required. If you are struggling to finish brevets within the time limits you are hurting yourself if you're not doing them. Luis pretty much nailed it. If you want to finish brevets more comfortably and with less stress you should be doing some kind of speed work. If you are finishing comfortably mid-pack and your happy with that there really isn't any point is there?
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