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  1. #1
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    "Lance Armstrong Performance Program" confusion

    Is anyone familiar with the Lance Armstrong Performance Program? I was excited about following his 7 week program, but am a little confused about exactly what he means in the training assignments.

    For example, the Intermediate week 1, Tuesday assignment says ‘1 hour in Zone 2 with 10 minutes Tempo on flat terrain”. Does that mean to do the Tempo, plus the 1 hour in zone 2, or as part of it?. Am I riding for 60 or 70 minutes total? I’m assuming this also excludes warm up and cool down. The wording sounds like you do 60 minutes total. BUT, he defines Tempo as being done in Zone 3, so the two are mutually exclusive. This confusion progressively increases, until the end of week 7, when one of the assignments calls for 90 minutes in zone 2, with 60 minutes Tempo. Do I ride for 90 or 150 minutes total?

    Unfortunately, he does not elaborate on any of these points in the text.

    Another small point of confusion is with the meanings of the terms ‘Range’ and ‘Zone’.
    They seem to use these terms interchangeably. Sometimes he says work in Range 1, other times Zone 1. I’m not sure if he is referring to power range vs heart rate zone. He doesn’t use these terms consistently. I really wanted to follow his program to the letter. I wish he would be a little more precise in his language.

    Has anyone had success with this program?

    I am an intermediate rider. I will be doing a 3 mile TT tomorrow to determine my threshold power and maximum heart rate per the instructions in the book.

    Thanks
    Last edited by RudeDog00; 12-09-08 at 02:11 PM.

  2. #2
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    I started out with that program and found it very helpful. It took a while to get used to how they write the workouts, but I eventually figured it out (not sure how, but I do remember figuring it out somehow, somewhere.)

    The '1 hour in Zone 2 with 10 minutes Tempo on flat terrain' means:

    Warmup for 10 minutes or so
    Ride 30 minutes in zone 2
    Do 10 minutes tempo
    Ride 20 minutes in zone 2
    Cool down for 5 minutes or so

    So the one hour is your total workout time. I do my warmup and cool down separately, and you could space it out differently, but that's how I did it.

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    I read it just the other way - do an hour in zone 2 plus an additional 10 minutes of tempo.

    I did about a month of that program a year and a half ago, and then when I found a group to ride with in my new town, I ended up blowing it off, since it was more fun to ride with the group on weekends than stickt to the plan. I do think that the program did have a benefit anyway, it got me back in semi-decent shape after a long layoff. (or maybe it was just riding 6 days a week )
    ...

  4. #4
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    I can't find my source for that info, but from looking over the workouts again, the only time this discrepancy makes any substantial difference is with the Sunday ride in the Intermediate plan.

    In which case, I'd do the 150 minutes instead of 90. (Going from a 60-70 minute ride during the week to a 90 minute ride on Sunday isn't much of a difference.)

    For weekday rides, whether you're counting 12 second sprints, 3 minute intervals, or 10 minutes of Tempo, it won't make much difference if it's included within, or in addition to, 60 minutes of light riding.

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    I was leaning towards doing it the longer way, since the program seems to be a little low on volume anyway, and I am really training for a fast century. My goal is to get my speed up enough so I can finish the century in under 6 hours.

    At least I'm not the only one to find the wording to be a little confusing.

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    I just finished the TT. I planned to ride the first mile at about 180 watts, figuring this was just a little below my lactate threshold. I started out in the gear I was wanted to use for the whole ride, but I had so much adreniline going at the start that I spun up to over 120 cadance and 350 watts. It seemed very easy to pedal for about the first 1/2 mile until reality hit and I had to back off to about 100 cadence and 180 watts. I ramped it up to about 200 watts for the next mile, and planned to let it all hang out on the final mile. I started ramping the power up at the 2 mile mark peaking at around 359 watts for a sprint to the finish.

    After finishing, I had a throbing head-ache like I never expirenced before, and the veins in my head felt like they were going to burst. My blood pressure must have been through the roof. I could also feel the lactic acid in my blood making me feel a little green around the gills, so to speak. Not barf level, but close. I did a short cool down ride home. My wife said I looked pale, but after a shower I feel very good and back to normal.

    As you can tell from the numbers, I've got a lot to improve. This was my first TT. It will be fun to do this test again at the end of the 7 weeks to see how much I've improved. I'll post the results, if I stick to the program. Here's where I stand right now.

    Entire workout (199 watts):
    Duration: 8:35
    Work: 102 kJ
    TSS: 24.5 (intensity factor 1.31)
    Norm Power: 203
    VI: 1.03
    Pw:HR: -4.21%
    Pa:HR: -0.55%
    Distance: 3.004 mi
    Min Max Avg
    Power: 0 359 199 watts
    Heart Rate: 0 185 167 bpm
    Cadence: 87 121 101 rpm
    Speed: 0 26.4 21.0 mph
    Pace 2:16 0:00 2:51 min/mi
    Last edited by RudeDog00; 12-10-08 at 08:00 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloomBikeShop View Post
    I started out with that program and found it very helpful. It took a while to get used to how they write the workouts, but I eventually figured it out (not sure how, but I do remember figuring it out somehow, somewhere.)

    The '1 hour in Zone 2 with 10 minutes Tempo on flat terrain' means:

    Warmup for 10 minutes or so
    Ride 30 minutes in zone 2
    Do 10 minutes tempo
    Ride 20 minutes in zone 2
    Cool down for 5 minutes or so

    So the one hour is your total workout time. I do my warmup and cool down separately, and you could space it out differently, but that's how I did it.

    I've never understood what he means by "tempo."

    Road Fan the Naive.

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    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    I've never understood what he means by "tempo."
    It's listed in the workouts section. It's basically riding at about 80 rpm at about 80% of your max HR, while staying seated.

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    He also defines "Tempo" as being Range 3, and according to the table on page 73, this means from 88%to 90% MSHR, and 81% to 85% FT Average Power. Since my MSHR came out to 169 bpm, and my FT average power was 199 in the time trial, this translates to a heart rate ranging from 149 to 152 bpm, with a power ranging from 161 to 169 watts.

    This brings up the next point of confusion...149 to 152 bpm AND 161 to 169 watts is a VERY NARROW RANGE; I doubt that I will be able to keep BOTH my heart rate and power in this range at all times. I'll try it later on my ride, but I'll be amazed if it works out that way.

    I made a spreadsheet to calculate the min/max heart rate and wattage for the ranges; PM me if anyone wants a copy.

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    This is an old post but I am also having some confusion with this plan.

    In the book he refers to the zones being a percentage of maximum sustainable heart rate. I did my two 3 miles time trials and managed an average HR of 168 for both efforts.

    I am customizing my Garmin Edge 500 to fall within his zones, but it seems that going by MSHR makes the heart rates of these zones pretty low. I mean if zone 5 is supposed to be an all out effort, Carmichael has zone 5 as +94% of MSHR which for me would be 157-158bpm and that's only 85% of my max HR. Those numbers seem way to low, am I missing something?

    The chart he provides for training zones follows:
    Range, %MSHR
    1, 50-70
    2, 50-91
    3, 88-90
    4, 92-94
    5, 94+

    Zone 2 runs over zones 1 and 3 which I don't understand, there is nothing for 90-92, so I setup the training zones on my garmin as follows.

    Z1 - 50-70
    Z2 - 70-88
    Z3 - 88-91
    Z4 - 91-94
    Z5 - 94-100

    So I guess thats ok, but again the low heart rates by doing it all based off of MSHR annoys me. I don't feel like I am doing whats right and im confused. Carmichaels zones are frustrating me.
    Last edited by greatnate; 05-10-10 at 06:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    I think I am just going to give up on what Carmichael has listed for zones, follow this, and adapt it to his program.
    Last edited by greatnate; 05-11-10 at 08:04 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Since this thread I've found Friel's plans and explanations a lot clearer than the Lance Program. He gives a way to set zones based on LT OR on maxHR. I know my LT, but not my maxHR.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 05-11-10 at 05:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greatnate View Post
    I think I am just going to give up on what Carmichael has listed for zones, follow this, and adapt it to his program.

    That link is a great resource and, I believe, pretty darn accurate for calculating and describing the different zones. Good idea using this to adapt to your program.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Since this thread I've found Friel's plans and explanations a lot clearer than the Lance Program. He gives a way to set zones based on LT OR on maxHR. I know my LT, but not my maxHR.
    I am assuming he has a book. Care to link on amazon?

    I found it, the cyclist training bible.

    Thanks
    Last edited by greatnate; 05-12-10 at 09:06 AM.

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