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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-26-08, 05:48 PM   #1
dgasmd
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How to fit all the training

The more I look at doing some things to improve my riding, the more I realize I should structure my riding sessions with specific purposes. I do ride recreationally only, but because I don't race doesn't mean I don't want to improve and be able to go far and fast. I have read a bit about training for strength and speed and it seems to emphasize training aimed at competition only. I know it is applicable to what I am asking, but I don't want to turn my rides into a scheduled "training session" only and feel like a race horse.

What I already do:
I got the distance part down as I have been able to ride solo for 120 miles (taking some short breaks in between of course). I ride 3-5 times per week depending on work. One long ride on the weekends. My regular rides are either a 42 mile loop or a 62 mile loop. The longer ride is based on how I feel that day between 90-120 miles. All flat pretty much. Closest hills are about 2 hours away, and quite frankly doubt I enjoy long, slow, painful uphill riding. I average about 19 mph for all my rides.

What I want to improve:
I wished I was faster altogether for the same length of riding I already do. I wished I could ride faster for the same rides I do and still feel good at the end. I don't enjoy the feeling like I need to puke at the end. Remember, I enjoy riding just for riding, and I have not intention on racing/competing now or ever!

I just need a few suggestions of what/how I can incorporate in some of my rides to improve my performance and speed altogether.
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Old 01-27-08, 05:22 AM   #2
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Sounds like you'd prefer to keep it fairly loose, so what you could do is devote some portion of your rides to riding differently than you normally do by upping the intensity. For example on your 42 mile ride you could decide that from mile 15 to mile 30 you're going to fartlek(speed play)--you could incorporate many things into that such as sprinting for signposts, riding for a minute or two or three at a certain mph above what you normally ride at, pushing bigger gears and/or higher cadence than normal for some length of time--basically just pushing harder than usual and recovering repeatedly for that 15 miles. On your 62 mile loop you might devote 20 minutes toward the end to riding at a steady state but somewhat faster than you normally do at that stage.

Hard to say, really though, without knowing what your style of riding normally is.
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Old 01-27-08, 06:32 AM   #3
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It sounds like you just want to improve your endurance riding pace. The best way to do that is to work on your lactate threshold/functional threshold -which is essentially the absolute hardest pace you can hold for an hour.

The good news is that you don't need to do 100% effort hour long suffer-fests to get adaptation benefits. What I'd propose you do is get a heart rate monitor (you can get a perfectly functional HRM for 20 bucks) - now I know this is a little bit like actually training, but in effect that's what you're asking...

You need to determine your lactate threshold heart rate, which would involve something along the lines of a flatish 30 minute time trial. The last 20 minutes of that time trial would show your your lactate threshold heart rate.

Then one or two days a week use the HRM on your rides, and try to stay in the range known as the sweet spot (geeky acronym is SST for sweet spot training).



Here is an article on it: http://www.fascatcoaching.com/sweetspot.html

If you don't wanna do all that, just ride lots - hard.
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Old 01-27-08, 11:24 AM   #4
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I'd say you need to find a social group ride for the long weekend rides. One where the group rides at a pace you really have to work at to keep up currently. Trying to push when solo and stay motivated can be a big challenge. Get in with a group and you have to push to keep up.
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Old 01-27-08, 11:50 AM   #5
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You don't need no stinking monitor or any other gadgets. Just remember the basic principles of training like progression, periodization and specificity.
  • Progression means work a little harder, faster or longer each week. Always force yourself to work harder, but do it gradually so you don't hurt yourself or get discouraged. Keep a journal so you can track this.
  • Specificity means work on that which you want to improve. If you want to go faster on long rides, then train by going faster on long rides. If you want better high capacity performance then do intervals. If you want more strength, try climbing while seated. And so forth.
  • Periodization means work on one thing at a time. For example, endurance, strength, stamina, cadence, whatever. Every couple months, switch what you're working on to keep challenging your body. I work on intervals and sprints in the winter, when I'm riding fewer hours. I work on endurance in the summer when I want to take longer rides
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Old 01-27-08, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Just remember the basic principles of training like progression, periodization and specificity.
  • Progression means work a little harder, faster or longer each week. Always force yourself to work harder, but do it gradually so you don't hurt yourself or get discouraged. Keep a journal so you can track this.
  • Periodization means work on one thing at a time.
Don't forget that periodization also means periods of rest and recovery. After working harder each week for three or four weeks, have a light, recovery week to allow the body to reap the benefits of the work you've done.
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Old 01-27-08, 09:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
Don't forget that periodization also means periods of rest and recovery. After working harder each week for three or four weeks, have a light, recovery week to allow the body to reap the benefits of the work you've done.
Yeah, your definition is better than mine. And periodization also refers to training schedules that develop peak performance at a certain time of the year.

I'm not sure what to call the idea of working on one thing at a time, and switching every so often. But it's an important concept for those of us who are more interested in training for all around fitness rather than for a specific race or event.
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Old 01-28-08, 01:10 AM   #8
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This is very interesting to me. You wish you were faster. Why? Because you don't realize it, but on the bike you are competitive. Nothing wrong with that. It's built in. It's part of why bicycling is so much fun. People like a challenge.

So yes, a group ride. Even a "no drop" group ride is competitive. I think group rides are an absolute gas. It isn't racing, because the break almost never goes up the road. What would be the point in that? But it will challenge you and make you a better rider. And you really have fun doing it.

So I guess I should include caveats: group ride may involve riding at high speeds very close together. If your bike handling skill aren't so good, you should tell the ride leader. Always wear a helmet. Make sure your bike is in top condition and you have tubes and a pump. Ride smoothly. Telegraph your intentions. Try not to irritate anyone.

I guess I'm saying it's all drinking whether it's from the bottle or from a glass.
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