So this winter I really want to get on the ball with my bike training, I am competing in the Assault of Mount Mitchell with one of my cycling buddies, and I want to finish it in a decent time... It's a 102 mile ride, which I can do without a real problem, here's the problem though, over the course of the race I have to climb 11,000 feet!
I've been hitting the bike trainer every day that I don't ride, and I do as follows. 20 minutes at my aerobic threshold, then 15 minutes at my aerobic threshold, then 10 minutes as hard as I can go, then 5 minutes as hard as I can. I take a 5 minute break between the installments, and afterwards I cool down for a while.
Does this sound good? If not can you recommended one specifically for climbing? Thanks for your time reading this.
Originally Posted by theschwinnman
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This is in late May, right? So spend the winter building base. Don't ride hard more than once a week. Work on your pedaling technique. Get some volume in. Best, develop a periodized training plan that peaks you for the Assault.
You can skip the 10 and 5 min intervals. They improve short term power and events like this are all about sub-threshold power over a long time. For winter base I would suggest doing more traditional base training (lots of L2 and L3 stuff). But trainer riding is different: it's so incredibly dull that anything you can do to make it less tedious is good. 20 min intervals are good at raising threshold power. But do work on base- you'll need plenty of endurance for a ride this long.
As soon as you can, get out and do long climbs. That's the bread and butter for these kinds of events and you'll need to learn pacing. If you can do some days with 10k' of climbing that'd help. But I've finished in the top 10 or 20 in similar events without many long days in training.
You can train to get good at it, or you can train to develop your full potential. I'm making this distinction because, if in a season you train smart and develop your true full potential, you will soon discover that you can't maintain that level indefinitely. Top athletes train hard in order to be at their best for their main event of the season, and use the off season to recover. This is where the not riding hard during the off season comes from.
If you have not done formal training (like me) any training will be good. If you see hills in your future, do 'em 'till you love them. For hills you need condition and guts, and on a pinch guts will serve you better.
We got some big mountains around here. When I do them my only regret is not being able to go to the bottom and start again. One of my goals for next year is to do some of my favorite hills, twice
Building base? I'm rather new to the hardcore riding/racing scene.
I don't mean to sound arrogant but what is the rational behind not "riding hard more than once a week"?
And for the pedaling technique, would it be appropriate to hook my fixie up to the trainer to work on that?
Thanks for the replies so far.
Not riding hard more than once a week is essentially so that you can do more volume without overdoing it. The bigger the base you build of Z2 and Z3 time, the bigger the pile of hard stuff you can stack on top of it will be. Every rider has a different amount of training that they can take, so you can sort of feel your way in that direction.
I use a program that preps me for several events/year that are similar to yours. I start off at around 7 hours/week now and build up to 12 hours in very early spring. More is always better, but that's has proven to be sufficient for me. In general, you can finish a long ride that is equal in time to your current total weekly time. To do the ride with style, your weekly time should be double that of the ride. This ratio breaks down for rides of over about 7 hours IME. It's just not necessary to train more for longer rides than that, as long as you're not doing stage races.
No, don't put your fixie on the trainer. They spoil your technique for riding geared bikes, though they do help your technique for riding fixed. For fun with the trainer, try riding an interval of 15-45 minutes once a week, at a steady cadence of 115 or greater, while staying in Z2. That'll keep you occupied until about February, when you can start riding one-legged intervals on the trainer. At some point this winter, try riding 2 X 0:20 Z3 intervals at a 70 cadence on the trainer, about 10 minutes rest between them. Once a week, but no more than 3 weeks in a row, or until you stop getting faster. Base training doesn't mean easy. Pile it on, but be careful not to overcook yourself. If you start getting slower, take a week off.