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Old 10-25-10, 07:45 PM   #1
stevehollx
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Adapting Friel's training plan for endurance racing.

I'm starting to map out a training plan for a race in July of next year. Last year it took me 12.5 hours, and I'm shooting to shave a couple hours off of the time for this year.

I'm looking to do some periodization as per Friel's training plan. I'm basing this on a 350 hour/year (8 hour a week) plan.

Now, it seems like the plan is really based around shorter races, since it doesn't really mention getting in long hours closers to race day. I'd anticipate I'd need to be ramping up to 7-9 hour rides before the race. I understand the weekly training hours will increase during this phase, which is fine.

How do I adapt Friel's logic to an endurance racing plan, though? What part of the cycle should I adapt to have longer rides? Would this be done in the Base, or Build phases? What parts of that phase should I be removing in lieu of more hours being spend on the weekly long endurance ride?
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Old 10-26-10, 08:40 AM   #2
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No need to ride long. More important to do climbing repeats, especially longer climbs. So a day of speed work, a day of climbing repeats, a recovery day, and a long moderate ride day. Maybe other shorter moderate rides as recovery allows. That's the usual thing. You should ride a century or double here and there to test your fitness and fueling plans. For long rides, I get most of my training from one 60-100 mile group ride per week, ridden at my limit. Then I distribute a day of formal intervals and recovery and moderate rides through the week as my recovery allows. However, I'm lucky at having a compatible group to ride with. Most folks have to do the more usual thing.

I like ramping up to about 200 miles/week in the last couple of months before the A ride. A lot of those miles are in zone 2, flat rides.

I once tried the Friel plan, except riding longer distances, and I overtrained in just a few weeks. Most important thing is getting used to riding fast. You can only do that by riding fast. You can't do that by riding long.

I know racers swear by formal intervals, but it seems to me that I've gotten better results by getting most of my interval training from riding hard over terrain and keeping track of my total time-in-zone by downloading from my Polar. Then I can tailor my efforts to my periodization plan.
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Old 10-26-10, 10:58 AM   #3
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I'm starting to map out a training plan for a race in July of next year. Last year it took me 12.5 hours, and I'm shooting to shave a couple hours off of the time for this year.
These kinds of remarks indicate that you do not have years of aerobic development. Otherwise there would not be any "hours" to shave.

Hence my advice would be "ride more." The other side of the coin dictates, that no good training plan consists of single type of riding. (usually)

Based on info supplied: "who knows?" - good luck.
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Old 10-27-10, 06:45 PM   #4
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Friel does mention in his book that for century riders and endurance riders that the intensity during the base period should be higher, however he never goes into any detail on it. I agree with the OP, the book is totally geared towards short ride races and crits and no mention of anything endurance based so it's tough to know what to do.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:36 AM   #5
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Rain?

I more or less followed the plan to get ready for RAIN.

I simply threw in long distance rides whenever I had the time and let the intervals suffer because of it. Personally, Friel's tapering was to much for me when getting ready for a longer ride (160 miles in a single day). If I didn't ride a least a century every week I started feeling out of shape.
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Old 10-28-10, 09:17 AM   #6
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I more or less followed the plan to get ready for RAIN.

I simply threw in long distance rides whenever I had the time and let the intervals suffer because of it. Personally, Friel's tapering was to much for me when getting ready for a longer ride (160 miles in a single day). If I didn't ride a least a century every week I started feeling out of shape.
That's some good information. Thanks.

I think my plan of attack is to replace one of the long/medium-exertion endurance rides with what will be an increasingly longer duration to build up to 6-9 hour rides.

Theoretically, when should I do this substitution and start ramping up to longer rides, though? Should I:
I. Start ramping up at the base period and have that long duration maintained through build blocks until right before race week?
II. Or should I keep base with reasonable distances, and start increasing towards long duration rides during the build cycles?
III. Ramp up to long durations during base, but then throttle the durations back during the build phase since intervals/intensity will increase in this phase?
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Old 10-28-10, 12:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stevehollx View Post
That's some good information. Thanks.

I think my plan of attack is to replace one of the long/medium-exertion endurance rides with what will be an increasingly longer duration to build up to 6-9 hour rides.

Theoretically, when should I do this substitution and start ramping up to longer rides, though? Should I:
I. Start ramping up at the base period and have that long duration maintained through build blocks until right before race week?
II. Or should I keep base with reasonable distances, and start increasing towards long duration rides during the build cycles?
III. Ramp up to long durations during base, but then throttle the durations back during the build phase since intervals/intensity will increase in this phase?
What you'll run into is the same thing fishermba is alluding to. You have a limited amount of hard riding per week in you. The amount varies with the individual. That was LA's biggest talent: the ability to recover. He puts on muscle very quickly, so he could rebuild overnight. You'll just have to see what you can do. Most folks find that going long every week pretty much eliminates the interval training. Interval training is what makes you fast and strong. That's the main reason that one sees so many slow LD riders. They're permanently undertrained because they're too tired to train hard. There's a fine balance.

I used to run into that every summer. The big mountain rides would come around and I'd start doing them almost every weekend - the 100-300 mile, 5,000'-20,000' type of thing. My fitness would steadily drop off. That's why I advised as I did. The Friel plan isn't just for crits. You do have to test your long ride ability, just be sure to recover and don't do too many of those if you are looking for a fast time.
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Old 10-28-10, 12:43 PM   #8
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+1 to carbonfiberboy's statement regarding burnout with to many miles. Putting in miles that count will get your much further then laying on the junk miles.

Your plan is to shave a couple hours of a race. A couple questions -
1. What is the distance of this race
2. Is it hilly, flat, stage race, time trial, etc
3. What was your limiter? Are you slow on hills, peter out on endurance towards the end, have problem holding pace?

Depending on your answers your choices on what to focus on during base and build may differ.
e.g. if you are struggling in the hills then hill strength workouts during base + threshold hill repeats during build would be smart, however if you are rocking the hills then tempo work with intervals on the flats would provide more benefit.

Also, one thing to note. Your current training plan is 350 hours. Are you splitting those hours up through the week to keep you body "dosed" with training or are you lumping them into long weekend rides?

--Colin
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Old 10-28-10, 12:53 PM   #9
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If memory serves me correct, friel was saying that endurance guys need to go higher intensity early in the base period because the boost in VO2max will be beneficial so perhaps early in your base period you should be going intense and then later in the base period start adding the miles in? Maybe we should put a call in to Friel!
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Old 10-28-10, 01:00 PM   #10
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+1 to carbonfiberboy's statement regarding burnout with to many miles. Putting in miles that count will get your much further then laying on the junk miles.

Your plan is to shave a couple hours of a race. A couple questions -
1. What is the distance of this race
2. Is it hilly, flat, stage race, time trial, etc
3. What was your limiter? Are you slow on hills, peter out on endurance towards the end, have problem holding pace?

Depending on your answers your choices on what to focus on during base and build may differ.
e.g. if you are struggling in the hills then hill strength workouts during base + threshold hill repeats during build would be smart, however if you are rocking the hills then tempo work with intervals on the flats would provide more benefit.

Also, one thing to note. Your current training plan is 350 hours. Are you splitting those hours up through the week to keep you body "dosed" with training or are you lumping them into long weekend rides?

--Colin
Colin makes a good point. Being in condition for a fast LD ride is essentially being able to repeat. You don't get much payback by going really hard on the flat because of the power = speed^3 thing. So your average goes up fastest by putting it out on the climbs, where wind resistance is not so much a factor. So you have to be able to recover, again and again. IME the ability to recover during a ride is directly related to acquiring the ability to recover from successive rides during the week. That seems a little odd and I don't know the science behind it, but that's my experience.
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Old 10-29-10, 10:37 AM   #11
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So you have to be able to recover, again and again. IME the ability to recover during a ride is directly related to acquiring the ability to recover from successive rides during the week. That seems a little odd and I don't know the science behind it, but that's my experience.
My experience is much more limited than Cfb's, but it tells me the same thing. The ability to recover is huge, and intense efforts during the week is what lets you do that on the weekend.
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