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Old 04-28-10, 02:26 PM   #1
Tall Cool One
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Chris Carmichael Time Crunched Cyclist Interval Question

I am basing my training on the New Century program. I am using this program to prepare for a 65 mile Ride For The Cure event on July 10 which will be at the end of week 8.

I plan on doing 2 local group rides each week. The rides usually get my heart rate up pretty good because the pace of the groups is a little beyond my normal comfort zone at times (not a bad thing in my opinion).

If I am scheduled to let's say do 3 8 minute steady state intervals at 92-94% of my field test average and I go out on a group ride that week and spend 24 minutes in that zone on the group ride, should I scrap that interval session that week and spend that time in my endurance miles HR zone?
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Old 04-28-10, 04:23 PM   #2
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you need to spend the time at that HR but (I believe), you need to do it 3x per week. If you do it on a group ride that's all well and good and you can substitute that for a set of intervals.
Do two days of intervals during the week and your longer weekend ride with some high HR time at the weekend, but dont skip a set of intervals during the week in preparation for the weekend, you still need to do the time at high HR 3x per week to see progress.
For me it seems that two sessions of intervals during the week on the trainer (wiht 48 hours rest between), and then one or two longer weekend rides works well. Ideally I would try to do a hard group ride and a longer slower paced ride at the weekend but I dont always have the time to commit.
disclaimer - I am a newbie to this, look for confirmation from others also.
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Old 04-28-10, 04:27 PM   #3
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how long/intense are the group rides? If you're surging/closing gaps/trying like hell to not get dropped, then yeah, that counts as an interval workout in my mind (and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express --I did read the book though). Just make sure you get your long rides in--
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Old 04-28-10, 04:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
how long/intense are the group rides? If you're surging/closing gaps/trying like hell to not get dropped, then yeah, that counts as an interval workout in my mind (and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express --I did read the book though). Just make sure you get your long rides in--
Agreed. I'm doing the Competitor program and felt like group rides where you're digging to hold wheels and then having to recover in the pack were a decent (if not superior) substitute.
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Old 04-28-10, 09:32 PM   #5
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For years I've done the group ride alternative. I use a recording, downloading HRM and just look at my time-in-zone. If it's about what the program calls for, just from the group rides, I don't do any high HR intervals. If I'm shy, I do them. However I still work the fundamentals on my own: FastPedal, one leg pedaling, muscle tension intervals, zone 1 recovery, all the usual stuff, along with the usual solo base miles.

But that means I'll use different group ride strategies during the pre-season. Sometimes I'll get on the front and pull for 15 minutes, fast enough so no one goes around me. Sometimes I'll sit in. Sometimes I'll do hill sprints and dawdle until the pack comes up. These aren't necessarily the most social things one can do, so one has to watch out for the feel of the pack. Don't want to turn it into a race simulation, either. It's just training, and supposed to be fun for everyone. But mostly, the climbs take care of any high HR work you need to do.

I read the book, too. But I don't race. I just like to ride fast with my buds and not get dropped. OTOH, they don't want to get dropped, either, so we have fun. So that's my racing substitute. If I trained exactly like in the book, I couldn't have my fun on the weekends all winter and spring. Summer is for just plain hard rides where we do what we can, what we've prepared to do with our little training rides rather than doing solo intervals.

But I use that book, other materials, and my logs to decide what I need to work on during any given week. Probably more answer than you wanted, but wanted to lay out another approach to training.
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