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  1. #1
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Last week before century ride- what to do?

    Ok, since I'm now riding the Palm Springs century with a group, I'm just going to ride it companionably as a member of the group. No one will give a hoot if someone takes off on their own, but we'll probably stick together for the most part.

    Having originally read The Time Crunched Cyclist, I've been following that interval program during the week, with way more time & miles on the weekend. My plan for this week before the century was two easy 40-50 mi rides on the weekend, yoga Mon, intervals Tues, swim or second intervals Wed and off Thur & Fri, then the Century ride on Friday.

    Now I'm about 40% through Friels Training Bible and Im getting a little mixed up. Im wondering if I should actually try for a little more intensity on this weekends rides? On Sat I have two options- a group ride 20 mi climb at 4-5% grade, about 2800 ft, total distance 44 mi -OR- group ride 25 mi climb at 4-6% grade 3600 ft climb, total distance 46 mi. I'm wanting to do the longer ride with more climbing, is that too much do you think?

    Also, what say you on the second interval ride the day after the first? Too much? Ok, if I feel like it. No matter what else I do, Sunday will be an easy 40ish mile ride with just a few little hills.

    H

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    The last week before an event (that is challenging for your level of fitness) should be a taper and recovery week. Eat well, sleep plenty, and ride at a recreational pace. Hard training right before an event is like cramming all night before your college finals, it really costs you as much or more than you gain. Now if you ride a century every week and they are like a Sunday stroll to you, then just continue training and make the day before the event a recovery day.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    The last week before an event (that is challenging for your level of fitness) should be a taper and recovery week. Eat well, sleep plenty, and ride at a recreational pace. Hard training right before an event is like cramming all night before your college finals, it really costs you as much or more than you gain. Now if you ride a century every week and they are like a Sunday stroll to you, then just continue training and make the day before the event a recovery day.
    Not sure what you're saying. I don't ride a century every week but I also don't think it will be that challenging, either. A 44 mile ride with a few thousand feet of climbing would be about half my recent normal distance (ie for the month of Jan). The two interval sessions are my normal weekly sessions which are planned to continue through Feb.

    I guess what I'm asking is: should I be doing two low effort rides (for me this would be keep HR at 135 or less) or is it ok to do one harder (ie more intense) ride at half my normal distance? My pace won't be fast but because of the duration of the climb, it won't be a 135HR ride, either. Ave HR will be around 145 with peaks in the 160-170 range, which for me is a solid effort punctuated by periods of hard work.

    Im ok with skipping the interval sessions, but it is not my impression that a Thurs interval ride (my normal second interval day of the week) has any negative impact on my Sat ride (Fri is always off). I thought moving it to Wednesday would be better with the century, but honestly I think even a Thurs interval session would be no problem. But then again, I don't really know, having never been in this exact situation before.

    H

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't expect to train for new gains during the last few days before a big event. Ride at a lower intensity to allow your body time to rest, heal, and grow from earlier training. I've seen people make the mistake of trying to make gains during the last week by increasing, rather than tapering off, their training regimen and wind up performing poorly due to fatigue, overtraining, or even overuse injury. I'm a big proponent of adequate amounts of active rest. The last few days before an event are a good time to put the training log away, leave the HR monitor at home, turn Strava off, and just go out and ride for enjoyment. Ride enough to stay tuned up, but not so much that you are ever tired, sore, or fatigued. The length of this period depends on your personal fitness and recovery rate and the intensity of the event. Ideally, your timing should be that you arrive on the day of the event at your peak of recovery, strong and refreshed mentally and physically.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Make the Thursday ride relatively mellow the week of your century, maybe more of a tempo ride rather than intervals. You'll be fresh for the 100 and kill it.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    The longer, harder route. Push a little, but not too much. Monday off. My tradition is to do the final taper on my rollers: Tuesday, 1 hr. zone 2 with 3 X 1 X 2 power intervals. Wednesday, 1 hr. zone 1 with 2 X 1 X 2 power intervals. Thursday, 45 minutes zone 1 with one 1' power interval. Friday rest for a Saturday century. Go to bed early on Thursday.

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    Ideally the week before an event you should have already backed off a little.
    What I would suggest is a schedule like this
    Mon-Off
    Tues- Easy endurance 1.5hrs
    Wednesday 2-3 hrs with some high end work out.
    Thursday Off
    Friday 1-1.5 hrs With your race/event set up. Some short sprints (4-5x 20sec with full recovery) then 1x5-10 all out.
    This way you get all your energy systems primed and ready to go. You race/event equipment gets check ed out so no surprises on the road and you're ready to!
    Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    The longer, harder route. Push a little, but not too much. Monday off. My tradition is to do the final taper on my rollers: Tuesday, 1 hr. zone 2 with 3 X 1 X 2 power intervals. Wednesday, 1 hr. zone 1 with 2 X 1 X 2 power intervals. Thursday, 45 minutes zone 1 with one 1' power interval. Friday rest for a Saturday century. Go to bed early on Thursday.
    So I did the longer route as you suggested. I'm really glad I did. See my post in the thread about hill climbing progression for some details on my hill climbing epiphany. But the other reason I'm glad I did it is that we had pretty good headwind, about 20-25 mph, for most of the 30-35 mile climb. It was no big deal. People keep telling me the Palm Springs ride can be tougher than it looks because there's often a headwind for the first 25 miles or so. I wasn't exactly freaked out by that, but was thinking it could be a big problem for me. Of course it still could, a 30-40-50mph winds are a different thing altogether. But now I feel pretty confident about any kind of reasonably likely headwind. If it doesn't not knock me down, it will only make me stronger.

    Im still not sure what I'm going to do for the rest of the week. I'll see how my legs feel in the am, maybe just an easy 30 mi tomorrow. Yoga Monday. Probably one set of trainer intervals Tuesday and then I may just take Wed, Thurs and Fri off and sleep a lot.

    Thanks as usual.

    H

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    So I did the longer route as you suggested. I'm really glad I did. See my post in the thread about hill climbing progression for some details on my hill climbing epiphany. But the other reason I'm glad I did it is that we had pretty good headwind, about 20-25 mph, for most of the 30-35 mile climb. It was no big deal. People keep telling me the Palm Springs ride can be tougher than it looks because there's often a headwind for the first 25 miles or so. I wasn't exactly freaked out by that, but was thinking it could be a big problem for me. Of course it still could, a 30-40-50mph winds are a different thing altogether. But now I feel pretty confident about any kind of reasonably likely headwind. If it doesn't not knock me down, it will only make me stronger.

    Im still not sure what I'm going to do for the rest of the week. I'll see how my legs feel in the am, maybe just an easy 30 mi tomorrow. Yoga Monday. Probably one set of trainer intervals Tuesday and then I may just take Wed, Thurs and Fri off and sleep a lot.

    Thanks as usual.

    H
    Very nice. But don't take the whole time off. Taper Wed. and Thurs. about like I said. Easy, but with a tiny bit of intensity to keep the snap in your legs. Exact thing doesn't matter, but something like that. That was Dirk Friel's exact advice IIRC - that's where I got it - but no need to be quite so anal about it. Looking forward to hearing about it.

    You've inspired Stoker and I to do more on the weekends. 70 today on the tandem, another 45 tomorrow, our third week of back-to-backs. Maybe 100 riders today (no rain). We astonished ourselves by coming in far behind the fast boys, but well ahead of the second wave, all by our lonesomes. Which is not so bad on a tandem. We're never by our lonesomes. We tried hard to stay on the bike as much as was consistent with maintaining - that's the secret.

  10. #10
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    I'm confused. Is the century on Friday or Saturday?

    The week preceeding is a taper week. Which simply means less than what you might otherwise do for gains. Not dissimilliar to a recovery week. It's great that yo did the longer ride on Saturday. That was still substantially less than you were doing previous weeks. So, a significant decrease in accumulated fatigue. It's already Sunday evening here, but, may not be too late for you to recieve this before your Sunday ride. But, whatever it is, just don't kill yourself. At this point, you can't make significant gains. You can only stuff yourself up by going too long, too hard. So, anything shorter and easier than normal will suffice.

    Monday-Off, or Yoga, or whatever other than riding.
    Tuesday-Yes to High Intensity Intervals, but, shorten their duration. Remember that high intensity for short durations is quicker to recover from than longer duration stuff at lower intensities?
    If the Century is Fri. Wed-Off or other nonstressful activity, Thur.-A light spin of 45 minutes or so. Fri.-Wake up itching for a good ride.
    If the Century is Sat. Either, Wed.-Off, Thur.-Short Intervals, Fri.-Easy Spin Or, Wed.-Short Interval session Thur-Off, Fri-Easy Spin.

    If it were me............ I would be equally concerned with making sure I have a nutrition and hydration plan in place and that I was prepared to utilize this century to prove that the plan works for the next century, which is the real "A" event.

    And, utilizing the reduction in training time over the weekend and week to make sure I have a good plan drawn up for a post event recovery, followed by a fitness test and a training plan to span to the next event, that provides for some more gains, but, also suffient recovery to prevent burnout.

    You've been on the Time Crunched Plan. That usually demands a 3-4 week recovery after 8-11 weeks of training. You probably haven't developed enough base to avoid that extended recovery and your extra milage on the weekends, while excellent for building base also adds to the total fatigue that you've been exposing your body to. Without really getting into a detailed examination of your mileage and exertion levels I can't really suggest what an ideal transition/bridging plan would look like. But, I'm currently viewing that as a bigger hurdle to your long term aspirations than next weeks century.

    You've done your homework for next weeks mid-term quiz. Start focusing on the "A" event and being ready for it.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  11. #11
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    I'm confused. Is the century on Friday or Saturday?

    The week preceeding is a taper week. Which simply means less than what you might otherwise do for gains. Not dissimilliar to a recovery week. It's great that yo did the longer ride on Saturday. That was still substantially less than you were doing previous weeks. So, a significant decrease in accumulated fatigue. It's already Sunday evening here, but, may not be too late for you to recieve this before your Sunday ride. But, whatever it is, just don't kill yourself. At this point, you can't make significant gains. You can only stuff yourself up by going too long, too hard. So, anything shorter and easier than normal will suffice.

    Monday-Off, or Yoga, or whatever other than riding.
    Tuesday-Yes to High Intensity Intervals, but, shorten their duration. Remember that high intensity for short durations is quicker to recover from than longer duration stuff at lower intensities?
    If the Century is Fri. Wed-Off or other nonstressful activity, Thur.-A light spin of 45 minutes or so. Fri.-Wake up itching for a good ride.
    If the Century is Sat. Either, Wed.-Off, Thur.-Short Intervals, Fri.-Easy Spin Or, Wed.-Short Interval session Thur-Off, Fri-Easy Spin.

    If it were me............ I would be equally concerned with making sure I have a nutrition and hydration plan in place and that I was prepared to utilize this century to prove that the plan works for the next century, which is the real "A" event.

    And, utilizing the reduction in training time over the weekend and week to make sure I have a good plan drawn up for a post event recovery, followed by a fitness test and a training plan to span to the next event, that provides for some more gains, but, also suffient recovery to prevent burnout.

    You've been on the Time Crunched Plan. That usually demands a 3-4 week recovery after 8-11 weeks of training. You probably haven't developed enough base to avoid that extended recovery and your extra milage on the weekends, while excellent for building base also adds to the total fatigue that you've been exposing your body to. Without really getting into a detailed examination of your mileage and exertion levels I can't really suggest what an ideal transition/bridging plan would look like. But, I'm currently viewing that as a bigger hurdle to your long term aspirations than next weeks century.

    You've done your homework for next weeks mid-term quiz. Start focusing on the "A" event and being ready for it.
    The century is next Sat. We will be in Palm Springs Fri-Sun. Our riding group is up to 5 for the event. You will be pleased to hear that today's ride was 11 sensible riders, none of the squirrelly people. I got out ahead of everyone and lost track of them for awhile but with the wind we did eventually ride in a nice pace line for the last 10 miles of so of the uphill. I felt very good about everyone out there today and had zero problem riding near them, in fact enjoyed it.

    I started training for this ride 12 weeks ago, but was not very intense for the first three weeks, having been off the bike for six weeks at that point. I got the trainer in mid-Dec, so have only done intervals for 6 weeks and after this week, I think I'm going to stop the intervals because the weekend rides will be harder. I took two weeks off during the 12 week training- thus it was 10 weeks of training over 12 weeks. From Palm Springs to Wildflower, I have 2 weeks planned off. One we will be in Mexico and I will literally be almost 100% inactive for the entire week (except we are sailing once or twice with a friend). I will take a second week of reduced training, including no weekend riding because we will be off sailing on our own boat. So that will be eight weeks of training, then after the Wildflower, two weeks of whatever I feel like and then another two weeks vacation- not a beach vacation that time, but no work outs either.

    I feel pretty good about my nutrition & hydration, have had no issues on the long rides I've done or today. For me it is 100 cal/hr at the beginning and 200 cal/hr once I've been out there awhile. Ave is 160 cal/hr. I eat Fig Newtons because they are packaged so compactly I can easily carry many hours worth stashed on my body. Also Gatorade diluted with water. This combo has worked very well on my 75, 80 & 90 mile rides plus today's ride. Plus I really like Fig Newtons.

    I am a complete master of the easy ride, so when I say Sunday easy ride, I mean it. It usually makes me feel better if I'm sore, but I rode more than I intended today, so I have to keep it short tomorrow. I will go with Mon Yoga, Tues & Wed Intervals, Thurs off. I don't usually ride at all on Fridays, but I can go for an easy ride in the am before we leave for Palm Springs. I'm not 100% sure what the point of that ride would be though? Especially since I'm usually off Fri.

    Tomorrow I will try to hash out some sort of training plan for phase 2, I worked on it a bit yesterday. Once I get into my work week, there may not be too much time to work on a plan. I'm a little unsure of how to break hill training into a logical progression but I suppose I will figure it out.

    H

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    The century is next Sat. We will be in Palm Springs Fri-Sun. Our riding group is up to 5 for the event. You will be pleased to hear that today's ride was 11 sensible riders, none of the squirrelly people. I got out ahead of everyone and lost track of them for awhile but with the wind we did eventually ride in a nice pace line for the last 10 miles of so of the uphill. I felt very good about everyone out there today and had zero problem riding near them, in fact enjoyed it.
    That's great to hear. The commaraderie of a good group ride can be a great experience. I think a lot of beginners never get to experience the positive side of the equation because both fitness levels and handling skills can be so different amongst those of realatively little experience. It's as riders get closer to each other in fitness, bike handling and situational awareness that the benefits really start to manifest themselves. Instead, beginners get an experience of always working to hard or waiting on others, never experience the benefit of the draft and are constantly concerned or worried about seperation, bike handling and situational awareness when actually riding close enough to have a casual conversation with neighbooring riders. It's a bit like skiing. While lying on your side on the bunny slope, you have to be able to recognize the look on people's faces that are coming down from higher on the mountain and realize that there's somthing up there of great value, that's worth learning all this for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post

    I feel pretty good about my nutrition & hydration, have had no issues on the long rides I've done or today. For me it is 100 cal/hr at the beginning and 200 cal/hr once I've been out there awhile. Ave is 160 cal/hr. I eat Fig Newtons because they are packaged so compactly I can easily carry many hours worth stashed on my body. Also Gatorade diluted with water. This combo has worked very well on my 75, 80 & 90 mile rides plus today's ride. Plus I really like Fig Newtons.
    That's sorted than.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    I am a complete master of the easy ride, so when I say Sunday easy ride, I mean it. It usually makes me feel better if I'm sore, but I rode more than I intended today, so I have to keep it short tomorrow. I will go with Mon Yoga, Tues & Wed Intervals, Thurs off. I don't usually ride at all on Fridays, but I can go for an easy ride in the am before we leave for Palm Springs. I'm not 100% sure what the point of that ride would be though?
    Given your other posts, it sounds as though you may not be training on both Tues and Weds. But, if you were. The point of that Friday ride would be: Following two days of intervals, all be them less fatiguing than normal, your muscles would be recovery and healing over the next 48 hours. That would probably lead to new bnods being formed between both muscle and connective tissues and things tightening up just a little. The purpose of the Friday ride would be to loosen up those bonds. For lack of the correct scientific terms, to unglue the muscle fibers from each other and the surrounding connective tissue. You could possible substitute some other active stretching exercise. But, since you're focused on cycling and participating in a cycling event the next day, going for a quick spirited loosening up ride makes as much or more sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    I'm a little unsure of how to break hill training into a logical progression but I suppose I will figure it out.
    I'll post a couple thoughts on this over in your hill climbing thread.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  13. #13
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    TUESDAY UPDATE

    Yesterday I encountered a little glitch. My quads were weak in yoga, this is not something that ever happens to me, I was a little concerned. The yogi asks me what's wrong, and that convinced me that something WAS wrong. I wonder if I should just take the rest of the week off. I send off urgent message to cycling friend who advises me to stay the course, do the intervals, just abort if not going well.

    So I did and had a great interval session on the trainer this am. Towards the end, I'm pedaling happily to my favorite cool-down song (Kashmir by Led Zeppelin), the sun is rising between the palm trees (I ride trainer on back patio) and the only thing I can think of is how much I love this freakin trainer.



    I guess I lost track of what I was doing, I was supposed to do 2min on/2 min off x4, two sets. But it looks like I slipped a 5th interval into the first set somehow.



    H

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