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Old 03-16-14, 12:43 AM   #1
CanadianBiker32
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Effects of Amateur doing a Pro Cyclist training schedule

Just like some feedback of what would happen if an amateur cyclist who does local events and other ones here and there.
Took on a training schedule similar to the top pros, that is if time frame allows for that

so a schedule like this for example
1 hour a day is high intensity stuff. If my memory serves it's something like this.

Morning: 3 hour ride with about 20-30 minutes of harder efforts or intervals.
Break, rest & eat:
Mid-day: 45 minutes of running, weights or other exercise.
Break, rest & eat:
Evening: 3 hour ride at moderate pace. Or, 4 hour ride at slow pace.

This is done about 6 days a week.

Now would it be possible for that cyclist to see great gains on a big devoted training schedule like this?
Or would there be a major possibility for burnout or a decrease in fitness

as considering the pros are born that way and have the natural ability to endure more

Like some feedback on this.
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Old 03-16-14, 03:41 AM   #2
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This is not good training advice, and I can guarantee you, pros are not doing an hour a day of high intensity stuff. If one tries to do high intensity stuff everyday, one fails to recover, and puts out mediocre power day after day. Make the easy days easy, and the hard days hard. Trying to make all days hard just ignores the need for your body to recover, and therefore destroys your fitness in the long term.

These articles come to mind off the top of my head:
The Intensity Trap | CyclingTips
8 Things That Make The PROs Different | CyclingTips

But really, if you want a good answer to your question, you need to read something like Friel's "The Cyclists Training Bible".

There is no training plan that is the same, or mostly the same, day after day, week after week, because that would be counter-productive.
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Old 03-16-14, 06:31 AM   #3
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Burnout.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:08 AM   #4
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Burnout.
Understatement of the century.

More like "legs fall off after four days - if it takes that long".
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Old 03-16-14, 10:15 AM   #5
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There are two major differences between pros and most of us: VO2max and recovery ability. These are both genetic talents. If you really knew how a pro trained, which you don't and which most of us don't because they don't tell, and tried to train like that you would burn out in a couple weeks. There are pros without tremendous talent in the former, but the latter talent is essential.

OTOH, it doesn't hurt to see what you've got. The worst is that you'll have to take a couple weeks off.

The program you quote is not off the wall. 500 miles/week or more for some pros. 75 hard in the morning, 75 moderate in the afternoon. Hey, give it a try.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post

so a schedule like this for example
1 hour a day is high intensity stuff. If my memory serves it's something like this.

Morning: 3 hour ride with about 20-30 minutes of harder efforts or intervals.
Break, rest & eat:
Mid-day: 45 minutes of running, weights or other exercise.
Break, rest & eat:
Evening: 3 hour ride at moderate pace. Or, 4 hour ride at slow pace.

This is done about 6 days a week.
This looks like a recipe for overtraining and eventual burnout... And how could an average "weekend warrior", who has a full-time job and other daily responsibilities follow such a training routine for 6 days per week ??
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Old 03-16-14, 12:48 PM   #7
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I think Mom and Dad would evict me from the basement after about a week of that schedule, assuming I survived that long.
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Old 03-16-14, 01:16 PM   #8
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I doubt there is much of a genetic component to 'recovery ability'. To train like a pro you need to love cycling and be willing to do what it takes to allow yourself to train full time. For most Pro riders that means accepting a fairly low standard of living. It would be difficult to train 25-30 hrs/wk and still hold down a regular job. They're either training or resting.

Most riders could train at similar levels to a pro but it's not something that happens overnight. It might take 3-5 yrs of progressive increases in training time to get there however. During that time you could achieve dramatic increases in power and VO2Max which are both very trainable. Pretty much any racer capable of reaching the Cat 3 level could progress to the Pro/1/2 races with sufficient training. The problem is not many like cycling enough to train with as much volume as is required.

If you go on Strava there are a number of pros who post there ride data, including power. They don't necessarily post all their rides but there are certainly stretches of how they train during a week. You can start with Taylor Phinney, Dominique Rollin, Ted King and I'm sure there are many others.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I doubt there is much of a genetic component to 'recovery ability'. To train like a pro you need to love cycling and be willing to do what it takes to allow yourself to train full time. For most Pro riders that means accepting a fairly low standard of living. It would be difficult to train 25-30 hrs/wk and still hold down a regular job. They're either training or resting.

Most riders could train at similar levels to a pro but it's not something that happens overnight. It might take 3-5 yrs of progressive increases in training time to get there however. During that time you could achieve dramatic increases in power and VO2Max which are both very trainable. Pretty much any racer capable of reaching the Cat 3 level could progress to the Pro/1/2 races with sufficient training. The problem is not many like cycling enough to train with as much volume as is required.

If you go on Strava there are a number of pros who post there ride data, including power. They don't necessarily post all their rides but there are certainly stretches of how they train during a week. You can start with Taylor Phinney, Dominique Rollin, Ted King and I'm sure there are many others.
Do you race?
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Old 03-16-14, 08:35 PM   #10
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Do you race?
About 5-10 times/yr, mostly crits. Why?
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Old 03-16-14, 08:38 PM   #11
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About 5-10 times/yr, mostly crits. Why?
Well, I find your statement that reaching the pro/1 level is possible for anyone who can train enough suspect. I just started last year and find it hard to believe but what do I know.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:44 PM   #12
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Well, I find your statement that reaching the pro/1 level is possible for anyone who can train enough suspect. I just started last year and find it hard to believe but what do I know.
Are you a Cat 3? I said if you could get to Cat 3 you could, with sufficient training, go up a Cat or two. I also said it would be difficult to train at that level unless you weren't working.
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Old 03-16-14, 09:12 PM   #13
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It doesn’t take much at all really to get to cat 3, per the rulebook. I hear that there is a big jump to cat 2 (let alone cat1) and I see guys who dominated cat 4 now as pack fodder in the 3s. I believe that I give more deference to genetics.

<shrug>
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Old 03-17-14, 02:33 AM   #14
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For the pros, training like that is their job. They get paid to do it and have at their disposal a wide range of services and products. The best have an overwhelming desire to succeed and will do whatever it takes to win.

Sure, you can train like them. Give it a go and tell us how it turns out.
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Old 03-19-14, 07:04 PM   #15
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You would first have to work up to that heavy a training schedule, or you'll either injure yourself, or run yourself into the ground.

If you DO work up to it, then you should be fine - and see a large increase in fitness. However, you might want to start with something like Carmichael's (CTS) program - that will give you a taste of high intensity.

Cheers
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Old 03-20-14, 09:09 AM   #16
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Where's the resistance training ? The rest days? What's your diet ? This isn't similar at all to what a real athlete does. As others say, you're asking for overuse injuries with that schedule.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
Just like some feedback of what would happen if an amateur cyclist who does local events and other ones here and there.
Took on a training schedule similar to the top pros, that is if time frame allows for that

so a schedule like this for example
1 hour a day is high intensity stuff. If my memory serves it's something like this.

Morning: 3 hour ride with about 20-30 minutes of harder efforts or intervals.
Break, rest & eat:
Mid-day: 45 minutes of running, weights or other exercise.
Break, rest & eat:
Evening: 3 hour ride at moderate pace. Or, 4 hour ride at slow pace.

This is done about 6 days a week.

Now would it be possible for that cyclist to see great gains on a big devoted training schedule like this?
Or would there be a major possibility for burnout or a decrease in fitness

as considering the pros are born that way and have the natural ability to endure more

Like some feedback on this.
Many pros are regular contributors to Strava. While you can't necessarily assume they post all of their rides, seldom will you see them do more than 3 hours in a given day.

As others have pointed out, the body is incredibly efficient, which means that in many cases if you push it too far or improperly, it gets so efficient that you won't see any gains and at a certain point will start to protect itself from potential damage. Thus, just riding hard day after day is likely to generate a decrease in power, stamina and efficiency. And that doesn't even take into account that eating becomes critically important anytime you're doing high intensity training. Not eating ride is what gets as many people in trouble as not training enough.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:35 AM   #18
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That training "template" looks awful.

Pro's have taken the time to adapt their bodies to that kind of stress. They have the capacity to do it, and the drugs to recover from it.
Riding 6+ hours on a regular basis as a beginner is a recipe for disaster.
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