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  1. #1
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    Keeping at/below 80% MHR when there are hills?

    I live in a hilly(ish) part of town, and I'm attempting to keep my rides at 80% MHR or below for the winter.

    After a couple rides I've realized:
    * I've base trained terribly. Having a HRM is telling me I've been riding too hard all the time.
    * It's DERN hard to keep the heart rate around 150 when there are hills. How do you folks do it? Swallow pride, gear whay down and take forever? Get off and walk if need be? --Avoiding the hills requires driving somewhere, and that seems contrary to why I bought a road bike. Ideas?

    (trying the 'go slow now to go fast later' approach)

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    Be careful, you may die of boredom. And yeah, base training requires extreme slowness. Just know you are on your plan, and you don't need to make any excuses to anyone.

    Stay out of the hills.

    What training program are you following? <80% isn't anything I heard. I thought you were supposed to go even easier for the base training (65-70%) and then add some interval work. Not that I'm an expert.
    ...

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Trainer or rollers? Cross-trainer at the gym? Ride more? If you ride enough, you should be able to ride hills and keep your HR down to that level. Though you won't be fast, you won't die of boredom, either. Try to get it up to 8 hours/week or something like that. If you're already doing that kind of mileage, just tone down the ego business and ride a little slower three or four days per week. Keep your butt in the saddle.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    It's pretty easy for me to keep my HR down below 80% of max ... my Max HR is extremely high for my age, and it takes some effort to get anywhere near it.

    But I learned to climb hills by taking it easy up the hills. I can climb just about anything now by pedalling slowly ... and most of the time, I'm nowhere near my granny gear anymore. I monitor my breathing when I climb. If I start to puff even a little bit, I slow down until my breathing is under control again, and I try to keep my breathing normal and under control on all the hills.

    Learning that was a breakthrough for me. Before I learned that, I'd blow up halfway up a hill and have to walk the rest of the way because my quads and lungs were on fire and my heart was beating so hard I was literally seeing red (this is how I know what my Max HR is). And at first using the slow-down technique really slowed me down ... I could make it up hills, but I did it at about 5 km/h. Nevertheless, that was still faster than walking. But I've been working with that technique for about 3 years, and I'm gradually picking up my pace so that now I've about doubled (or tripled in some cases, depending on the hill and how energetic I am) my speed going up hills. And still my heart rate is in a very comfortable range ... usually.

    As odd as it may sound, slowing down has helped me speed up.

  5. #5
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex View Post
    I live in a hilly(ish) part of town, and I'm attempting to keep my rides at 80% MHR or below for the winter.

    After a couple rides I've realized:
    * I've base trained terribly. Having a HRM is telling me I've been riding too hard all the time.
    * It's DERN hard to keep the heart rate around 150 when there are hills. How do you folks do it? Swallow pride, gear whay down and take forever? Get off and walk if need be? --Avoiding the hills requires driving somewhere, and that seems contrary to why I bought a road bike. Ideas?

    (trying the 'go slow now to go fast later' approach)
    Boy, did you start this thread at a good time and thanks. I'm having the same problem besides a nagging knee. I talked to a few riders yesterday and they said the same thing, slow down and take a break. I just bought a new bike as well and I wanted to get going on it, but I guess I'll have to wait, good luck.
    George

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    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex View Post
    I'm attempting to keep my rides at 80% MHR or below for the winter.
    Um... why? Base training in this fashion is great if you have oodles of time on your hands to ride. But 1-2 hrs per day, 5-6 days per week @ L2/Endurance pace will not build an aerobic base that will be a sufficient foundation for maximal improvement in intensity come spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    base training requires extreme slowness.
    Um... no. It requires steady riding, not slow riding.

    Want an aerobic base?

    1 day per week ride for 1-1 1/2 hours STEADY @ 92-95% of threshold heart rate (the shorter you ride, the closer to 95% you go) (research Sweet Spot Training) (provided you've tested for LTHR to get maximal effectiveness from your HRM). One other day per week ride 2x20 intervals @ 95-100% LTHR, or 3x20's @ 95%. Then on any other days ride L2.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  7. #7
    Mmmmm Donuts! FatguyRacer's Avatar
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    Gear down and spin up. I have a 12-27 on one of my wheelsets. There isnt a hill in Maryland i cant get up on a 39x27.
    John

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    In both of the books mentioned above, to supplement the Endurance riding (80% or less MHR) they encourage weight training. I believe this is where you would keep your anaerobic strength , while not getting burned out in the saddle with year around anaerobic training. I could be wrong but this is how I understood it
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    Building a base with less hours?

    I have been reading some articles in line with what you said about building a base without ton's or hours from Carhmichael.

    Anyone else know that this works for a fact, like poster above mentioned

    Baiscally going hard as well as doing some long endurance rides in the winter.

    Mark

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    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    I can say that from my experience last year - yes it works. While I have quite a bit of saddle time, a good portion of it remains/will remain training threshold intensity during the week. (about 3 hrs per week is threshold specific)
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  11. #11
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    I'm pulling info out of Bike Racing 101; in the 'building endurance' chapter it talks about keeping rides at under 80% MHR. Shrug.

    I can gear down and maintain 80% mhr, it's just so. hard. going. 4. mph....

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Be careful, you may die of boredom. And yeah, base training requires extreme slowness. Just know you are on your plan, and you don't need to make any excuses to anyone.

    Stay out of the hills.

    What training program are you following? <80% isn't anything I heard. I thought you were supposed to go even easier for the base training (65-70%) and then add some interval work. Not that I'm an expert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
    I can say that from my experience last year - yes it works. While I have quite a bit of saddle time, a good portion of it remains/will remain training threshold intensity during the week. (about 3 hrs per week is threshold specific)
    Any additional resources you can point me to to develop a Winter base plan using this system, or could you provide some more details.

    Minimum hours weekly to build a base using system above:

    1) Minimimum # hours Z2 - Endurance to bring about Aerobic benefits, changes in body.
    Also what is ideal goal to strive for in hrs weekly.

    2) # Hours at threshold weekly

    3) Does training at hire intensity interrupt or hurt the endurance riding if done in same week? I know it does on the acutal ride if you spend too much time in Z4 instead of staying in Z2.

    4) Are you simply maintaining level of aerobic fitness from the prior year with this method or actually improving?

    Example: would you now be able to run or ride at X MPH but at lower HR as in a true base?

    4) Supply an example weekly plan.

  13. #13
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Shark, I don't think there are minimums or maximums. The more base you have, the more time you can spend at higher intensities. It's a pyramid. Overall, like for the year, the size of the pyramid changes, not the shape. But as the training mesocycle develops, the shape changes, too. But the size will vary according to your goals and the time available. What's base for you is going to be a lot less than what's base for a pro.

    All that said, I find I can ride well enough to keep up with other fit cyclists with my totally average genetics by riding about 10 hours per week, max. Of that, 1.5 hours are at LT threshold, 20 minutes over threshold, 1 hour in Z1, and the rest distributed between zones 2 and 3, and including a variety of pedaling drills. Plus weight lifting, which I don't count, but maybe 40 minutes of intense weight work per week max. If I were racing, I'd need more of everything.

    Starting from scratch this week:
    Monday - off
    Tuesday - 30' Z1 bike + weights
    Wednesday - 45' Z3 on the cross trainer or StairMill
    Thursday - 1 hr. Z2 bike + weights
    Friday - 30' Z2 cross trainer or StairMill
    Saturday - off
    Sunday - Hard group ride, 3 hours in all zones. How hard kind of doesn't matter. You'll be your own limiter.

    Then gradually shifting from the cross trainer to the bike and reducing midweek intensity as strength, endurance, and butt hardness increase. By February it'll be all bike and weights. Mostly quit the weights in May or the month before your season really gets serious. Increase time about 25% per week, but every 4th week drop back a bunch, so your total increase will only average 10%/wk. This may not be what you've read about, but it works.

    Intensity during a week will improve the quality of your endurance sessions in that same week. Even during your endurance rides, bump your legs hard a couple of times, just don't stay there more than a minute.

    Yes, my speeds in Z1 and Z2 go up markedly, and go up (so far!) every year.

    The trick is to be consistent. Stick to your schedule. Ramp down the workouts if you feel tired, but do them. Missing three days in a row sets you back 3 weeks. Monitor your morning resting heart rate. Don't worry if your legs are sore a lot. They may be. Only worry if your legs are really hurting when you're on the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
    Um... why? Base training in this fashion is great if you have oodles of time on your hands to ride. But 1-2 hrs per day, 5-6 days per week @ L2/Endurance pace will not build an aerobic base that will be a sufficient foundation for maximal improvement in intensity come spring.



    Um... no. It requires steady riding, not slow riding.

    Want an aerobic base?

    1 day per week ride for 1-1 1/2 hours STEADY @ 92-95% of threshold heart rate (the shorter you ride, the closer to 95% you go) (research Sweet Spot Training) (provided you've tested for LTHR to get maximal effectiveness from your HRM). One other day per week ride 2x20 intervals @ 95-100% LTHR, or 3x20's @ 95%. Then on any other days ride L2.
    Yeah, but how do you get out everyday to ride? Answer: by building a base. While all of what you're saying sounds good in theory, it's very difficult to ride steadily and consistently without a good base. I've been exercising since I was practically born, and I have only recently started improving very rapidly. My workouts used to be all above 80% of my heart rate and my workouts never got any easier. What happened was that my heart rate would just stay really high throughout the workout even after I slowed down. My workouts just made me tired and sleepy all the time, which makes it difficult to get up the next day and workout again.

    Base building might be boring, and getting overtaken by other cyclists really isn't fun, but you will definitely notice a difference if you go out everyday. It's also good for evening out your peddle stroke and working on your form.

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    Every day riding - This is challenging with Kids, work schedule, and Limited light. I also do some triathlons so need to work in runs and swims.

    I guess one could be really diciplined and hit a trainer early AM or late PM, but I am not that guy yet.

    I do enjoy spin classes though, so if I Kept HR down this should count towards weekly hours.

    Do people feel spin classes equate similarly to trainer time?

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    this scheudle above seems doable.

    I assume you set workouts or drills in these time slots as the season progresses and also add in Intervals, Hill work, correct?

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Absolutely. The group ride can provide most or even all of the hill work and intervals. The purpose of that Z3 cross trainer time is to stress you and get you over that long period where nothing much happens. Then you gradually move into all bike time with pedaling drills and longer Z2 rides, then adding some Z3 midweek, then some midweek LT intervals if you're up to it. The main thing is consistency. Workouts can be short. Hit the bike at 5 and have dinner when you come home. I seldom manage more than a 2 hour ride during the week. But less is OK, too. You just won't be as fast! It's all a matter of degree, with the percentage improvement dropping off rapidly as the hours increase. If you're fit, you can double your hours and only get 5% improvement. But you won't be able to do 150 mile rides in the mountains on only 5 hours of training per week. But you can with 10!

  18. #18
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex View Post
    I'm pulling info out of Bike Racing 101; in the 'building endurance' chapter it talks about keeping rides at under 80% MHR. Shrug.

    I can gear down and maintain 80% mhr, it's just so. hard. going. 4. mph....
    Keep with your program, it works. I did my first base training program (3 months!) this year and it did wonders for me. I also live in the hills and I often had to drive 30-40 minutes to get to a spot where I could do a relatively flat 50-60 miles.

    You can also use a trainer which my coach said was actually better since I was constantly peddling and could perfectly manage the heart rate. I went to spin class with my hrm as it's more entertaining than my trainer. I just didn't do all the standing / high resistance stuff the instructor was doing, I just did my own thing.
    just being

  19. #19
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    The other option is commuting. If you can commute 100 miles per week, you can forget all about structured training programs! Distance = strength. I know 2 women who commuted 60 miles round trip per day. That's 300 miles/week right there! Most of us can only dream of that kind of mileage, but how many of us know people who commute 1.5 hrs. each way/day? One time I was out on a day ride when most folks were working. During rush hour, 25 miles from home, I pulled up beside my neighbor in his Z-car. I took low traffic back roads and he took the freeway. He beat me home by 15 minutes. He paid $50,000 for his car and I bet my bike will save me $50,000 in health care.

    Yes, spin classes are great.

  20. #20
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    Yeah, but how do you get out everyday to ride? Answer: by building a base. While all of what you're saying sounds good in theory, it's very difficult to ride steadily and consistently without a good base. I've been exercising since I was practically born, and I have only recently started improving very rapidly. My workouts used to be all above 80% of my heart rate and my workouts never got any easier. What happened was that my heart rate would just stay really high throughout the workout even after I slowed down. My workouts just made me tired and sleepy all the time, which makes it difficult to get up the next day and workout again.

    Base building might be boring, and getting overtaken by other cyclists really isn't fun, but you will definitely notice a difference if you go out everyday. It's also good for evening out your peddle stroke and working on your form.
    What I'm saying, is that many folks can NOT get out every day to ride, which makes long SLOW miles a stupid proposition. I ride 6-7 days per week, around 2500 km per month (I'd add that I work a military schedule with a wife and 4 kids in grade/junior high school - so riding these amounts takes commitment from me AND my family, early hours on the bike and consistent goal setting and a solution based mentality).

    I'm confident that I have a pretty quality aerobic base and I am able to ride pretty significant distances in the "base training" mentality. The difference is that when many books/coaches talk about their pro athletes doing "lots of miles at endurance pace" for base training, their "lots of miles" is a whole LOTs of miles. The typical working cyclist isn't getting out to ride 17-20 or more hours per week. If they're lucky, they're doing 8-10 hours per week. That's 2 1/2 days of my week, and less of a pro's week in "base" (2 @ 4 hour days, and then some extra).

    Because on reduced hours your recovery time is increased, you're better served doing upper intensities (threshold level, but not necessarily beyond that) on 2-3 days of the week, while still working in some endurance time on the rest of the days. If your heart rate is remaining high on even the lower intensity rides, then you are more than likely not recovering properly - but not necessarily overreaching.

    If I had to drop to 10 hours per week, I would make 3-5 hours of that week involve training the upper end of the L3 into L4 (SST/Threshold). 1 day would be an easy 1 hour recovery spin, the rest is long ride endurance time. There's plenty of variations on SST/Threshold training to help break up the monotony. The trick is making sure you're accurately training SST/Threshold AND riding at a LOW enough intensity on the days that you're not. I'm not going to advocate that you train SST/Threshold every day, 5-6 days per week. That's plain silly. Your body won't recover and you will eventually burn out/over reach and then overtrain. But 2 days per week of QUALITY threshold power improvement sessions every week during the base season are vital to next spring's performance.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Why are you doing base training in Oct?
    From what I've read, base training woud usually be 6-12 weeks long, and given that the cycling season really does not begin until March or later, January would be the ideal month to begin a real base training regimen. I would focus on general fitness during this time of the year....perhaps some jogging and weightlifting routines. Tennis, handball, racquet ball, basketball, indoor volleyball would all be great ways to stay in shape and not burn yourself out by worrying about bicycling specific fitness all year long.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    Why are you doing base training in Oct?
    From what I've read, base training woud usually be 6-12 weeks long, and given that the cycling season really does not begin until March or later, January would be the ideal month to begin a real base training regimen. I would focus on general fitness during this time of the year....perhaps some jogging and weightlifting routines. Tennis, handball, racquet ball, basketball, indoor volleyball would all be great ways to stay in shape and not burn yourself out by worrying about bicycling specific fitness all year long.
    Reading doesn't make as large a difference as riding. Because only cycling specific training produces cycling specific gains. I once took Oct.-Feb. off due to work pressures, and it took me over a year to get it back. I find I can take about a month off and do other training, like hiking, etc., but that's it. The longer you base train, the deeper your base is. It's that simple. Although many find they can get truly amazing improvements in a short time by blood doping. <g> You won't get stale if you vary your training. Some cross training, some weight lifting, some pedaling drills, some just plain riding.

    But that all depends on the level at which you want to ride. I like to be at my best and get better every year. I find less to be unsatisfying. YMMV

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    "provided you've tested for LTHR to get maximal effectiveness from your HRM"

    LTHR - I can just take my average Heart rate on a 20 min TT correct?

    If not then what numbers should I use

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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Reading doesn't make as large a difference as riding. Because only cycling specific training produces cycling specific gains. I once took Oct.-Feb. off due to work pressures, and it took me over a year to get it back. I find I can take about a month off and do other training, like hiking, etc., but that's it. The longer you base train, the deeper your base is. It's that simple. Although many find they can get truly amazing improvements in a short time by blood doping. <g> You won't get stale if you vary your training. Some cross training, some weight lifting, some pedaling drills, some just plain riding.

    But that all depends on the level at which you want to ride. I like to be at my best and get better every year. I find less to be unsatisfying. YMMV
    My basic point is to incorporate as much "cross training" as you can during this time of the year. No one advocates a complete stop in training as that would be a sure way to the back of the pack. However, working in some running or other sport can help keep one from going stale, especially when LSD is the primary focus...and a 20 week long base period is asking a lot...at least it would be asking a lot of me. YMMV.
    Last edited by ModoVincere; 10-26-07 at 02:50 PM.

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the shark View Post
    "provided you've tested for LTHR to get maximal effectiveness from your HRM"

    LTHR - I can just take my average Heart rate on a 20 min TT correct?

    If not then what numbers should I use
    That's correct. But warm up first in Z2 with a couple of 1.5' intervals. And ride it like a real TT, all out at the end, because your early HR will be below LT, so your finishing HR needs to be above LT. I find I can do this quite accurately on rollers with only a 10 minute TT. Besides your LT will vary a bit during your training cycle and even during a ride. My LTHR is usually higher 2 or 3 hours into a ride. But only by a few beats, so the TT thing is plenty good enough to establish zones.

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