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Base training at 15hr/week

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Base training at 15hr/week

Old 11-12-17, 02:53 AM
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Base training at 15hr/week

Hi all, with the off-season coming, I'm starting to plan for my next season with a good base training. Traditionally the literature calls for very long hours riding in Z2/Z3. There are lots of sites/posts offering advice for the time crunched cyclist with "base training plans" of as low as 8hr/week. I am wandering what approach to take if I fall in the middle: I can put out about 15hr/week in the saddle, but the thing is that this is the exact amount of time that I already put in my high interval season training. Will I see any improvement next season by logging in the same weekly hours I already log but at half the intensity? Should I be looking at these shorter hours base training programs? What does the typical amateur racer do for base training? I live in a place where weather is not an issue, so I can spend long hours outside this time of the year without trouble.
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Old 11-12-17, 09:15 AM
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There's really not enough information to answer that question; I think the most important thing in the offseason is a short break in intensity (or time off) so the body can heal, and that's typically followed by base but some sites and trainers questions its benefits and say you can skip it.

If you're a consistent rider and already have volume (i.e. consistent riding, high CTL) I think you can skip it. Timing is the most important thing, you want to peak during race season, not at Christmas.

As for what the average amateur does, most do it because its a thing they're told the pros do; but really most don't do enough volume for it to be any benefit. As an injury prone 45 yo I do it just because it helps my body ease in better.

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Old 11-12-17, 10:13 AM
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Well, if you're doing the HIIT stuff properly a lot of the time you're noodling, and when it's go time you're in zone crankin. Base training is different in that it's hours and hours in your aerobic zones which does some different stuff that may not benefit you right way, but you will notice once you start doing intervals again come build time. Done right, for me it seems to add repeatability and depth (the ability to go about as hard deep into a ride). You also don't really cut out all intensity, you just like sorta dial it back. Like instead of doing vo2 work I'll do 4-5x20 tempo during a 5hr z2 ride, like with one interval per hour, and the rest in z2. It's less polarized, but tempo 4.5hrs deep can feel pretty bad. I'm not going to say 15hrs isn't a lot of work, because it is, but I seem to get the most out of base when I'm doing 20+hrs a week. It's something that works best when you have a lot of time to pedal and have optimized day to day recovery.

Anyway, the answer is, it depends. How long are your races, what are your long-term goals, how long have you been riding, can you handle the monotony of long rides mentally, are you good at keeping on top of nutrition, etc.
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Old 11-12-17, 10:43 AM
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15 hours is a good amount to do a lot. A different coach might tell you differently what to do based on a lot of things like...

What kinda races do you plan to be competitive in - age, class, location...?
How old are you (maybe answered above)?
How much sleep do you get?
What is your diet?
Do you have weights/gym available?

If you are male < 25 you can do high intensity more than if you are older. The program might be lift more and sleep more. One approach is to bulk up in the off-season.
Focus on speed and power over base.
If you are dong long 90 mile plus races (I expect you would not be doing those and asking here) doing more base miles would be more important.
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Old 11-12-17, 07:46 PM
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yes, do z2 as much as you can stand it.

it will feel easy for the few few hours, but after about 2 it gets hard.

and if you're consistent enough the first week or three will feel easy, but as you load up the CTL you will start to feel it. it works (as base - after that you of course need intensity, but that's a discussion for late january or so)
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Old 11-13-17, 04:02 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys, yes I know what Base trainng is, and I don't mind long Z2 at constant wattage, and I do know that after 3hrs 65% of FTP starts to hurt as if it was a VO2Max interval. And as a matter of fact I try to have one of these rides weekly in my regular training. My main question is whether replacing my high intensity interval training with mostly these Z2 exercises but keeping the total weekly time the same will be beneficial at all. I do not have more than 15hr/week.

However I had not thought about TheKillerPenguin approach of adding some lower intensity intervals to a Z2 long ride, I may try this to keep the time constant.
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Old 11-13-17, 04:10 AM
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I've been doing a 42km loop with 300 metres of climbing .... the first 20km is uphill

I ride this loop 4-5 times per week and the route takes me approx 1 1/2 hrs but I ride at Tempo and give it my best

On weekends, I try and ride 2 longer routes (80-100km) with approx 800-1100 meters of climbing (where I live in the UK, hills are few and far between)

I also commute daily to work (20-30km per day depending on which sites I work at) and I average more than 1250km per month and over 8000 meters of climbing per month

I find that this 42km route has made me a lot stronger and fitter as I ride it often with strong headwind and tailwind (it's a loop so 1/2 will be easier than the other half)

I'm training to do long Audax rides and will do a few 200-300km rides in the new year

so my advice is find a loop with decent hills on decent roads and ride it 5 times a week at speed and with fast cadence
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Old 11-13-17, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by dim
I've been doing a 42km loop with 300 metres of climbing .... the first 20km is uphill

I ride this loop 4-5 times per week and the route takes me approx 1 1/2 hrs but I ride at Tempo and give it my best

On weekends, I try and ride 2 longer routes (80-100km) with approx 800-1100 meters of climbing (where I live in the UK, hills are few and far between)

I also commute daily to work (20-30km per day depending on which sites I work at) and I average more than 1250km per month and over 8000 meters of climbing per month

I find that this 42km route has made me a lot stronger and fitter as I ride it often with strong headwind and tailwind (it's a loop so 1/2 will be easier than the other half)

I'm training to do long Audax rides and will do a few 200-300km rides in the new year

so my advice is find a loop with decent hills on decent roads and ride it 5 times a week at speed and with fast cadence
I live in a hilly area and my strength being climbs I'm logging in > 6000mts ascent during ON weeks... I don't think adding climbs to my base training will have any benefits later in the season.
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Old 11-13-17, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by potuz
Thanks for the replies guys, yes I know what Base trainng is, and I don't mind long Z2 at constant wattage, and I do know that after 3hrs 65% of FTP starts to hurt as if it was a VO2Max interval. And as a matter of fact I try to have one of these rides weekly in my regular training. My main question is whether replacing my high intensity interval training with mostly these Z2 exercises but keeping the total weekly time the same will be beneficial at all. I do not have more than 15hr/week.

However I had not thought about TheKillerPenguin approach of adding some lower intensity intervals to a Z2 long ride, I may try this to keep the time constant.
I think it would be. Anecdotally I find that stacking long days back to back (to back!) seems to work best for adaptation. What feels only sort of bad on day one can feel awful on day 3. Keep in mind that you really need to be good about nutrition, kj tend to be a good deal higher doing base than intensity, because you can spend so much more time in zone.
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Old 11-13-17, 09:35 AM
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Even if it doesn't end up helping your level, at least it'll prevent you from burning out by march doing 15 hrs / week of interval training?
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Old 11-13-17, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by potuz
I live in a hilly area and my strength being climbs I'm logging in > 6000mts ascent during ON weeks... I don't think adding climbs to my base training will have any benefits later in the season.
you do 6000 meters a week?

thats very good, so my advice to you is that if you want to get fitter and stronger, nothing will help you except drugs
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Old 11-13-17, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dim
you do 6000 meters a week?

thats very good, so my advice to you is that if you want to get fitter and stronger, nothing will help you except drugs
drugs or rest. I wouldn't expect a lot of base adaptation is left to be had in someone with 15 hours/18k climbed on usual weeks.
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Old 11-13-17, 05:53 PM
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That's a lot of climbing. Sheesh. I'd imagine the OP has other holes in their power profile that could benefit from more focus.
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Old 11-13-17, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
That's a lot of climbing. Sheesh. I'd imagine the OP has other holes in their power profile that could benefit from more focus.
you said what I said!
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Old 11-13-17, 06:47 PM
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I don't have many original ideas left in me.
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Old 11-13-17, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by potuz
...What does the typical amateur racer do for base training?...
Originally Posted by potuz
...I'm logging in > 6000mts ascent during ON weeks...
I don't think for this forum those are the same.

I asked above what you are trying to do. As you gave us mts, I'm thinking you are not a USA racer.
So what is your goal? Kermesse, crit, road race...
I have a bias most rest too little and ride too much. They would do better lifting weights and gaining power and mass in the off season (sleep needed) and then racing it off. But if you are truly doing long road races/ hill races you may be right there now. Just that is not the typical USA racer on this forum from what I have learned.
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Old 11-13-17, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
I don't have many original ideas left in me.
I seem to bring them out of you.
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