Winter Training-Spring Brevet's
I'm interested in doing my first Brevet's this spring and would like some advice on how others train during the off season to help them maintain their miles and endurance during the off season. Currently, I do weight training, swimming,other cross training cardio exercises such as running, and classes at my local health club. Does anyone follow a regimen during the off season that has helped them prepare for the start of a new season? When is the best time to get back on the bike and how should I go about building my mileage so I'm ready? I want to make sure that I build my mileage gradually without overtraining. Any thoughts and suggestions would be helpful.
I live in Chicago.
Well, for cycling-specific muscular endurance, you'll get the best results spending aerobic time on the bike. Even frequent short rides will go a long way towards maintaining cycling endurance built during the season.
Here's my program, which is focused on endurance and TT speed more than sprint-type speed. When you start building depends on when you plan to begin competing. A very general rule of thumb is that you'll plateau at any specific training after 2 months... so, for example, you might shoot for 2 months base (aerobic/endurance), 2 months build (endurance/strength). I think the usual recommendation is to increase mileage 5 - 7% a week. To avoid overtraining, be consistant (daily workouts, even if every other day is recovery), and be moderate in intensity. Focus on building this time of year... no sore legs yet, just comfortably tired.
I'm looking to do my first Brevet (200K) on May 1st, 2004, with the 300K following two weeks later. During the winter months I plan on doing a combination of riding on my trainer and riding outside when the weather permits as well as weight training and swimming. This is my first year at following any type of winter training schedule so I'm not sure how well the schedule below will workout for me.
Originally Posted by roadbuzz
You recommend doing a base (aerobic/endurance) workout. Would 2-3 days a week of spinning class and two days a week riding 30-40 miles on the trainer or outside be a good start.
I think March would be a good time to start building the mileage. Hopefully, by then the weather should permit more outside rides and less spinning classes. My goal would be to ride 250 + miles a week by the end of April.
What do you think?
I think you'll be dead and hate your bike by the time May rolls around!
Okay, I don't know what kind of shape you're in now, or what you've been doing over the last year, so I'm making some assumptions... that looks like a pretty tough training schedule to me. My understanding is that spinning classes are pretty intense... classify them as work-out days. 30-40 miles is enough time/distance that it also qualifies as work-out, unless you're riding d@mn easy. Does this schedule include enough recovery time? Remember... recovery is when you get stronger.
250 miles a week is a lot, even if you've been training regularly for several years, and you should plan on at least a 1 week taper prior to the Brevet, if you want to do your best. Again, the mileage and effort is wasted if you don't allow adequate recovery.
Finally, it's kind of the reverse of the usual training schedule... sort of a base2/build schedule now, base later.
What do I think? It looks like weather and daylight hours, rather than your goal, drive your training plan. (Granted, we all do that to some extent.) Just don't overlook the value of the really easy, totally aerobic miles, especially since you're targetting distance events. And you need to do them now, so they can serve as a foundation for the harder, longer work you'll roll in later. I think your plan can work, but you might consider fewer spinning classes for now, to make room for more base work.
Good luck with it!
I agree with roadbuzz that you appear to be trying to combine too many different activities together without prioritizing and risk burnout or overtraining.During the offseason I suggest you focus on/prioritize building strength/muscle balance in the weightroom and take a break from basebuilding dropping back on the aerobics to perhaps some maintainence rides.
When you start basebuilding drop way back on the weights and prioritize slow easy consistent rides perhaps 30-40 miles.From there like was said gradually build up your base and weekly milage.I am more familiar with touring than brevets(week to 10day tours) but have built up to daily training milages of 130-140 where I was doing that once a week plus a few shorter rides putting my weekly milage at 200 or more.
Generally I would kind of leapfrog using the rule of thumb you can do individual rides approx of twice your base miles.For instane I built a base of 30 with an occasional 40 then did a 7day tour with milages of 60-70.After that I upped my base to 40-50 then did a 4day tour with milages in 90's.After more base building I started upping the distances more rapidly as this coincided with the end of summer in So. Fl so it was somewhat cooler but not much.
Anyway I hope all this helps some as I actually train very instinctively not following a set schedule. PS. Let me add as I see you brevets are now less than 4 months away I would think it is time to start basebuilding as that schedule I mentioned took place over about that same time frame.If you are constraining by winter I guess an indoor trainer is your best option but someone could probably advise you better on this as I have never actually ridden one.
Last edited by RWTD; 01-08-04 at 08:26 AM.
Roadbuzz and RWTD,
Thank you both for your input on training during the off season. This is my first year that I am serious about training for a long distance season/long distance events, so I'm not sure what the best approach is to take to adequately prepare myself for a successful season without over training. I realize that there is no one "fits all" approach to training that works for everyone. I can tell you that I'm in okay shape. From a weight perspective I am not overweight and my level of exercise is moderate.
The information both of you provided has given me some direction on how to tailor a plan for training so I see results.