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  1. #1
    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    2011 trianing plan questions for an intermedate Cyclist

    I've been reading base building for cyclists and I'm working on designing my program for the 2011 season

    my issue is it seems if I work out 3 days a week during my pre-base as suggested for an intermediate athlete it really take a huge chunk out of my time.. 3 hours to be exact out of a 6:45 week as suggest by training peaks.

    Since my events are generally 2 hours long and in my upper zones, does it make sense to be to be doing shorter rides all the time than my events will be.

    Or should I not worry about longer rides during my pre-base phase

    I also have the following questions

    1. how many hours is a good range for an intermediate cyclist?

    I picked 400 hours this season but maybe I need to train more since I'm moving up to at Cat 4 in roads and my mtb events were less than stellar.

    2. should I count the hour in the gym the same way as an hour on the bike? I noticed TP (training peaks)seems to assign a very low time in the gym when the VC (virtual coach) assigns a strength workout

    3. I'm fairly strong gym wise and can leg press 3 times my body weight and squat 1.5 times my bodyweight.

    anyone have any one the bike force workouts I could substitute for a gym day?

    I did ask theses questions on training peaks but it can take days to get responses which is kinda a let down considering it's a paid service
    Last edited by Smallguy; 10-29-10 at 06:39 AM.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I'm guessing a little, because I don't completely understand you. By "work out" you mean weights? Yes, 3 hours of weights/week is crazy IMO. More time on bike. That much weight time really takes it out of me, so I don't have as good or as long bike workouts.

    I'm not familiar with the TP software. Time-wise, strength workout impose a terrific training load, meaning that one can overtrain very easily by adding intervals to weeks with long hard strength workouts. OTOH, they do almost nothing for one aerobically. Studies show that conventional weight training do not improve TT times and have minimal effect on sprinting, compared to more effective training.

    So no, an hour in the gym is not the same as an hour on the bike. It's different. Whether one can count it or not depends on one's goals. With your goals, I'd say don't.

    I think 400 hours is good. But what were your total hours last year? You don't want a huge yearly bump, unless you're starting from very little, in which case 400 is already a huge bump. Quality of training will always be more important than volume.

    I'll tell you what I do, though there are plenty of folks on here who disagree. Do your regular bike workout, whatever it is. Then do weights immediately after, but only what you can fit into 20-30 minutes. So 1 set of high rep, relatively low weights, moving quickly, never letting your HR drop too much. Concentrate on core work - squats, back, pushups, sit-ups, rows, and your weak points if any - calf raises, benches, dumbell presses. Each set to failure or almost. FI, 30 squat reps at bodyweight would be fantastic. Only twice/week. Three times overworks me, but YMMV.

    If you think your core is weak, you could try 2-3 sets as above, circuit style, slightly lower weights, failure on only the last set. That really ups the training load, though. You could do that, combined with mostly endurance miles through December, then cut back to one set then to nothing when your season starts.

    On-bike force workouts - sure.

    1) One-legged pedaling on the rollers. Or when climbing, if you don't have rollers. 2 minute intervals. Make it hurt.
    2) Muscle tension intervals - on a long, steady hill, climb at 50 cadence, sub-LT, 3 X 10 minutes. No upper body movement.
    3) Stomps - in a big gear, take the bike down to 10 mph, then accelerate as hard as you can for 10-15 seconds. 5 minutes between repeats, can do many times.
    4) Standing sprints - come up to a hill seated cruising, then on the hill shift up (depending on steepness) and come out of the saddle, exploding for 45 seconds. 5 minutes between repeats, can do many times. Not really a force workout, but does make one stronger.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    Thank you for the suggestions

    I'm going to start out with 2 sessions of gym time a week and one day of strictly power yoga or core work and see how I feel.... it may end up being 2 much we will see

    I trained 350 years last season coming off an IT band injury so I was conservative

    I'll certainly try the on the bike force drills as I believe I need to transfer my gym strength to the pedals more efficiently... i do not own a power meter so I can't truly back that up



    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I'm guessing a little, because I don't completely understand you. By "work out" you mean weights? Yes, 3 hours of weights/week is crazy IMO. More time on bike. That much weight time really takes it out of me, so I don't have as good or as long bike workouts.

    I'm not familiar with the TP software. Time-wise, strength workout impose a terrific training load, meaning that one can overtrain very easily by adding intervals to weeks with long hard strength workouts. OTOH, they do almost nothing for one aerobically. Studies show that conventional weight training do not improve TT times and have minimal effect on sprinting, compared to more effective training.

    So no, an hour in the gym is not the same as an hour on the bike. It's different. Whether one can count it or not depends on one's goals. With your goals, I'd say don't.

    I think 400 hours is good. But what were your total hours last year? You don't want a huge yearly bump, unless you're starting from very little, in which case 400 is already a huge bump. Quality of training will always be more important than volume.

    I'll tell you what I do, though there are plenty of folks on here who disagree. Do your regular bike workout, whatever it is. Then do weights immediately after, but only what you can fit into 20-30 minutes. So 1 set of high rep, relatively low weights, moving quickly, never letting your HR drop too much. Concentrate on core work - squats, back, pushups, sit-ups, rows, and your weak points if any - calf raises, benches, dumbell presses. Each set to failure or almost. FI, 30 squat reps at bodyweight would be fantastic. Only twice/week. Three times overworks me, but YMMV.

    If you think your core is weak, you could try 2-3 sets as above, circuit style, slightly lower weights, failure on only the last set. That really ups the training load, though. You could do that, combined with mostly endurance miles through December, then cut back to one set then to nothing when your season starts.

    On-bike force workouts - sure.

    1) One-legged pedaling on the rollers. Or when climbing, if you don't have rollers. 2 minute intervals. Make it hurt.
    2) Muscle tension intervals - on a long, steady hill, climb at 50 cadence, sub-LT, 3 X 10 minutes. No upper body movement.
    3) Stomps - in a big gear, take the bike down to 10 mph, then accelerate as hard as you can for 10-15 seconds. 5 minutes between repeats, can do many times.
    4) Standing sprints - come up to a hill seated cruising, then on the hill shift up (depending on steepness) and come out of the saddle, exploding for 45 seconds. 5 minutes between repeats, can do many times. Not really a force workout, but does make one stronger.

  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallguy View Post
    Thank you for the suggestions

    I'm going to start out with 2 sessions of gym time a week and one day of strictly power yoga or core work and see how I feel.... it may end up being 2 much we will see

    I trained 350 years last season coming off an IT band injury so I was conservative

    I'll certainly try the on the bike force drills as I believe I need to transfer my gym strength to the pedals more efficiently... i do not own a power meter so I can't truly back that up
    That's good thinking. I believe it is possible to transfer gym strength to the bike. That's the thing that's not tested in those studies. They stop the study in the middle, as it were.

    So 400 is conservative. But that's OK. Being a little undertrained is always better than being overtrained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallguy View Post


    I trained 350 years last season

    thats pretty impressive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallguy View Post
    I'll certainly try the on the bike force drills as I believe I need to transfer my gym strength to the pedals more efficiently... i do not own a power meter so I can't truly back that up
    It sounds like your legs are more than strong enough. If you want to race and get faster on the bike you need to ride more. 400 hours isn't a lot. I would recommend at least 500 if you have the time and that is hrs on the bike not in the gym. If you're racing 2 hr events you should be doing longer rides, particularly during your base period. If you don't have access to a powermeter, try and find a long (at least 20min) steady hill where you can measure your avg speed and use this to gauge your progress.

    Doing weights might be appropriate to fine tune your sprint or if your legs are abnormally weak or you're old. Since none of those apply I don't think the gym work is helping. Depending on how you're lifting it could easily be hurting your cycling performance as your legs will need a recovery day and you'll be missing out on quality rides.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    It sounds like your legs are more than strong enough. If you want to race and get faster on the bike you need to ride more. 400 hours isn't a lot. I would recommend at least 500 if you have the time and that is hrs on the bike not in the gym. If you're racing 2 hr events you should be doing longer rides, particularly during your base period. If you don't have access to a powermeter, try and find a long (at least 20min) steady hill where you can measure your avg speed and use this to gauge your progress.

    Doing weights might be appropriate to fine tune your sprint or if your legs are abnormally weak or you're old. Since none of those apply I don't think the gym work is helping. Depending on how you're lifting it could easily be hurting your cycling performance as your legs will need a recovery day and you'll be missing out on quality rides.
    I find all our races start with a brutal hill at the start

    it is either a long steep fire road or a loose steep climb that is tech

    I tend to get spit out the back on the climbs then I have to catch others on the single track sections where it is more difficult to pass

    I believe it is my muscular endurance that is holding me back because I start the climbs strong but tend to fade and get caught.

    hill repeats are going to be my focus in my build phase this season.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallguy View Post
    I tend to get spit out the back on the climbs then I have to catch others on the single track sections where it is more difficult to pass

    I believe it is my muscular endurance that is holding me back because I start the climbs strong but tend to fade and get caught.

    hill repeats are going to be my focus in my build phase this season.
    I would say the hill repeats are a good plan. For maximum benefit your legs need to be reasonably fresh when you do them so no gym for the two days before hill work. Also bear in mind you're probably also racing against guys 20 lbs lighter than you so the hills are always going to be tough at your weight (same as mine).

    When you do your hill work you can also work on your pacing. If you don't have a powermeter you can try and keep your speed constant on a steady hill.

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