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How do you guys approach off-season training?

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How do you guys approach off-season training?

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Old 10-03-18, 10:02 AM
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Radish_legs
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How do you guys approach off-season training?

Some of you are very experienced and know your "level". I'm wondering if I have another level. Or am I about as good as I'll ever be (I'm a masters racer). I could try and increase my volume for this upcoming year. I do need to increase my FTP to be competitive in the local A crits. But there could be diminishing returns, in terms of what I accrue from my time investment. I tend to do the same group rides year round, including the Tues/Thurs hammerfest. Maybe I should shut some of that down and do more trainer work, which would be more efficient training?
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Old 10-03-18, 10:19 AM
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Firstly, how long have you been at it?

In my experience, it only really takes a couple months of training to get *mostly* back FTP-wise. I do get better and certainly much sharper/faster, but my FTP starts to plateau and as such I only test from November until April or May at the latest.

That's all assuming that you keep some baseline level of fitness, which I do by riding a little bit less and mostly unstructured. I move into base mode about 3 months before racing starts, and then just kind of do whatever between my last race and then.
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Old 10-03-18, 10:38 AM
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I think it really depends on your strengths, weaknesses, training history... If your goal is really to get to another level, it may be worthwhile to invest in a coach who will look at you and build a plan to fit your needs. (This is not an attempt to re-open the coaching discussion. Some people benefit, and some don't need one.)
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Old 10-03-18, 10:39 AM
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Just finished 2nd race season. Picked up the bike in 2014. Raced a few races in 2017 as Cat 5 & 4. Upgraded to 3 in early 2018 season. Peaking around 300w FTP. Riding about 7,500 miles this year and also last.
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Old 10-03-18, 11:23 AM
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Hunter Allen Power Blog: The Next Level
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Old 10-03-18, 11:24 AM
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I usually make October unstructured. I might do a CX race or two, but for the most part I just commute and go on longish rides for funzies. Mid-November, I'll start putting together more of plan.
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Old 10-03-18, 11:30 AM
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I think it's a good time to experiment. Do a 4 week cycle or two of volume, or VO2 or Micro intervals, something different. Change up your days on/off. There is no racing to get in the way of recovery & you may find a different training pattern that is adaptive for where you are at this point in your development.
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Old 10-03-18, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
That's a good article. But kind of depressing too. That's a LOT of work.
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Old 10-03-18, 11:52 AM
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For most of us our top level is determined by the amount of motivation and discipline we've got, along with the time we have to dedicate to the sport. The genetic ceiling is something you pretty much don't need to worry about, I would just about guarantee that you could grab gains if you did the right type and amount of work. I think the real the question to ask yourself is how much time and energy do you reallllllly want to spend on getting to that next level. Like how worth it is it to you, does the next level look like an extra 5w on FTP or 50w on FTP? Are you OK with potentially having less fun to be more fit? These practical questions have more bearing on what you can accomplish than any theoretical genetic limiter.
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Old 10-03-18, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
That's a good article. But kind of depressing too. That's a LOT of work.
use it as guidance and scale the principles to your circumstance.
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Old 10-03-18, 05:44 PM
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If you haven't trained consistently and progressively for at least 4-5 years, then you very likely have another level. Just usually takes increasingly more work to get there.
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Old 10-07-18, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I usually make October unstructured. I might do a CX race or two, but for the most part I just commute and go on longish rides for funzies. Mid-November, I'll start putting together more of plan.
Same - except sub "hike" for CX.

Last October I tried to just "keep going" in the hopes that I would push myself to some Next Level.. CTL never dipped below 65, hit 100-ish by January, but by July I was (physically) toasted. I felt like I had anemia or something (I didn't).. so I think it was basically not resting in between seasons that did me in this year.
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Old 10-09-18, 11:08 AM
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Watching topic.

I usually try to take a few vacation days while the kids are in school in mid-Fall early winter and then ride for 6 to 7 hours while everyone is gone for the day. Usually fit in 3 to 4 metric centuries and full centuries or longer. Then I'll rest and start another training plan where total hours goes down, but intensity goes way up.

For a while I've lived under the guise of "more is more". My 20 min power leaped up as I trained formally, but has slowed once I have constantly spent more time on specificity in the 1 minute to 8 minute power range. I did do a few TT things, but that went away when the series went bankrupt and sent our money back.

So, I've got some snap and some matches for hammer rides and RR style stuff.......but I struggle morphing those gains into 20-min power.

I just don't train in that power-duration much. During a plan I get ONE under/over workout in that power range per week. Rest is power intervals.

Not sure as a Cat 4/5 already approaching 300w for 20min, how useful focusing on a 20min number is if I don't have a TT anytime soon.

I'd be happy stagnating at 300w for 20min, but gaining another 20 or 30w at 1min, 3min, 5min. For example, if I can do 3min repeat work at 330w right now....moving that to 350+.
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Old 10-09-18, 01:41 PM
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My gf likes to travel so I usually have a few 4-5 day blocks off the bike scheduled during the off season. This year they included a wedding in Truckee/Tahoe, camping in Zion NP and (next weekend) a trip to Austin to visit my sister.

One thing that has been different this year is I've done more monster rides in the 6-8 hour range in preparation for the Grizzly 100. Really I've done the two longest rides (time-wise) of my life this off season, and I'm still hitting good numbers despite lower overall volume and CTL. I think my body likes them and I'll try to keep it up once every 4-6 weeks in season.
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Old 10-09-18, 02:45 PM
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This is a great time to ride up at the lake. You could do a loop in the morning and be back in time for brunch. Just sayin'.
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Old 10-16-18, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Some of you are very experienced and know your "level". I'm wondering if I have another level. Or am I about as good as I'll ever be (I'm a masters racer). I could try and increase my volume for this upcoming year. I do need to increase my FTP to be competitive in the local A crits. But there could be diminishing returns, in terms of what I accrue from my time investment. I tend to do the same group rides year round, including the Tues/Thurs hammerfest. Maybe I should shut some of that down and do more trainer work, which would be more efficient training?
this is just a question of what you want to spend your time on. For years I've been not following a strict plan but have had fun doing group rides and achieved a pretty good level of ability. Would I be "better" with more structure? Probably, and I'm moving that direction. Even if I only maintain my current ability but decrease my fatigue I'll call it a win.

Having a full-time job, two kids, a wife and a (relatively successful) bike-racing hobby is a lot to juggle.
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