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Yearly hours and how to break them down - what do your coaches say?

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Yearly hours and how to break them down - what do your coaches say?

Old 08-21-09, 04:55 AM
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Yearly hours and how to break them down - what do your coaches say?

I'm in the process of evaluating my training for this season. I've settled in on the yearly hours for next year, which will be down a bit from this year. I have historically followed Friel's hourly out lay. That is, through the base periods hours increase (with a recovery week ), they stay relatively steady through the intensity phases (though lower than the base periods) and then my racing periods pretty much have me just listening to my body and keeping the hours pretty high and racing three or four times a week. I continue to take days off, and do recovery weeks (lower volume). So the question is: is there an advantage to the staggered hour approach, or would one be better off to take the same hourly total and simply do X hours each week (keeping the recovery week and days, or course)?

By way of example an 850 hour schedule looks like this (up until the first race period)
14.5
16.5
20.0
22.5
12.0
18.0
21.5
24.0
12.0
19.0
23.0
25.0
12.0
21.5
21.5
21.5
12.0
20.5
20.5
20.5
12.0
18.0
14.5
12.0
12.0


Interestingly doing 18 hours a week, with 12 on the recovery weeks comes out to about the same yearly totals. And 20 hour weeks are really pretty easy for me to get in. It's the 27+ hour weeks of the higher hour schedules that are tough to manage. Hell I could probably do 25 hour weeks through the whole winter if I really put my mind to it. Though 20, week in and week out, makes most of life easier to manage, and with 12 hour recovery weeks I still come in with more yearly hours than I have now.
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Old 08-21-09, 05:54 AM
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For about half those weeks, you take a day off a week, you're doing close to 4 hours a day? Is that right? If you take two days off, 5 hours a day?

Jeepers. I do maybe 3 weeks of training before my first race, based on your weekly schedule, if I don't get sick. One week if I do. I do 8-12 hours on a good week, 0-3 on a bad one, and for a week or two in CA 20-30+ hours. I'm delirious with fatigue if I work and try and ride an hour a day. 2 hours, forget it. And I usually take a day or two off each week, even on the high hour weeks.

I've seen you race so I figure this isn't intraweb fiction, but holy smokes, if that's what it takes...

cdr
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Old 08-21-09, 06:25 AM
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Most of the off season I took saturday and sunday off. I'd have to look, but I'd say that I've generally taken two days a week off all year, usually back to back. And that since memorial day I've raced 3-4x/week, and averaged 17 hours.

Last edited by gsteinb; 08-21-09 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 08-21-09, 06:38 AM
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those are slacker hours.
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Old 08-21-09, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
those are slacker hours.
hahaha.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:00 AM
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I'm lucky. I can be competitive in the 3's (top tens, win smaller races) on 7-8 hours a week. God, I wonder what I would be like with 15+ hours of structured training.

Divorced, but strong!
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Old 08-21-09, 07:02 AM
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with that kind of volume I think the staggered approach would be better. it allows you to stress your system through progressive volume increases then adapt/build during the recovery week.
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Old 08-21-09, 08:37 AM
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You need a coach. If you are actually serious, there is nothing anyone can do to help you without looking at data from your powermeter.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:14 AM
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Sigh. Can a mod delete this thread. Silly me thinking there could actually be a training discourse on BF
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Old 08-21-09, 09:16 AM
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now, now.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:21 AM
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Well I'm not sure where I was asking anyone to do anything for me. The inquiry is the advantages of a program that followed a staggered approach versus one that had a slightly higher volume but lower weekly hours. I'm pretty sure I need neither a coach nor a piwermeter to engage that conversation. I'm certain I don't need either to win 25-40 % of my yearly races.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
Well I'm not sure where I was asking anyone to do anything for me. The inquiry is the advantages of a program that followed a staggered approach versus one that had a slightly higher volume but lower weekly hours. I'm pretty sure I need neither a coach nor a piwermeter to engage that conversation.
i concur.

Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I'm certain I don't need either to win 25-40 % of my yearly races.
i like your style.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:30 AM
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When I'm regularly putting in the 17-20 hour weeks, my recovery weeks are 15, but it's all lower intensity.

I'm a 6-days-per-week year round, excepting injury or sickness.

I like the steadier schedule when I can get into a rhythm and just keep it at 18-20. It also allows me to keep some normality in the family schedule from week to week, and my wife knows what to expect without having to "brief the plan" every Sunday.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:30 AM
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Not sure hours are a great way to look at training stress/adaptation any more. With the exception of higher Cats where races are usually > 60 miles most of us can get away w balancing higher intensity & lower volume. I think the focus by coaches is increasingly being placed on stress, not hours or miles.

But this is where it gets sketchy, because there are so many different approaches. I was reading a thread on the wattage forum where a nationally competitive TTer was putting in 6-7 hours per week but every hour had an IF > 1. Sounds like a program prescribed by the Marquis de Sade.

Others like Charles Howe (great writeup on why/how) to train with power and allocate your time prescribe lots of L2 (as does Peter Keen of British Cycling) and a more traditional build progressing from lots of L3-4, to L5, L6, over time. Here is Charles's paper if you are interested.

https://www.trainingsmartonline.com/i...g_Training.pdf

Others like Morris prescribe L5 and then moving onto L4 with a block approach. Last guys like Hunter Allen say you should be stressing all energy systems L2-7 as you prep for race season, with no real progression of hours, but rather a steady progression of TSS/CTL followed by an appropriate taper.

Not trying to pick a fight here but I would say that hours are nothing more than a dependent variable based on the stress you are trying to impose to drive the physiological adaptation you are looking for in the end.

Last edited by LT Intolerant; 08-21-09 at 09:36 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-21-09, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
When I'm regularly putting in the 17-20 hour weeks, my recovery weeks are 15, but it's all lower intensity.

I'm a 6-days-per-week year round, excepting injury or sickness.

I like the steadier schedule when I can get into a rhythm and just keep it at 18-20. It also allows me to keep some normality in the family schedule from week to week, and my wife knows what to expect without having to "brief the plan" every Sunday.
Thanks. Exactly my issue, though it'll be work related. My concern is if going from A to B is a mistake or apples to oranges, or macintosh to delicious.

LT I get the stress thing, but hours is the only metric I can post that makes sense. What im proposing is keeping the hours relatively steady, but increasing the stress as the off season progresses.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
Last guys like Hunter Allen say you should be stressing all energy systems L2-7 as you prep for race season, with no real progression of hours, but rather a steady progression of TSS/CTL followed by an appropriate taper.
My plan for the year - after my break in October -

12, 13, 14, 15 hrs.... SST 1x week after hitting 13 hours/wk, 2x wk @ 15 hrs pr week. 2 months of Z1-2, with 2/wk 60-90 min SST (Dec-Jan). Every 3rd wk will be 1 "easy" (3-4x4 with 10 min rest) VO2 workout , and January I'll start hitting the Sat AM hammer rides, and first week of Feb should be structured VO2 workouts, dropping 1 SST day and doubling up on the 7am/10am Sat rides.

Once I hit the 15-17 hrs/wk, I ramp CTL/training load by increasing intensity, not hours. I just can't get any more hours out of the day.

By the time I get to racing (planning on a Late Feb/March-June season next year because of a mid-summer move), I'll hold 15-17/wk steady (15-ish in a race week, 17-18 in non-race weeks)

I tried 2x20's and 3x20's twice this year and had no success - and burned out both times, just from trying to find a course to do them on. Won't repeat that this year and going back to what works for me.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
LT I get the stress thing, but hours is the only metric I can post that makes sense. What im proposing is keeping the hours relatively steady, but increasing the stress as the off season progresses.
I get it that not everyone has or wants a PM. Cyclists have trained for years wt them and done great things.

To that end I think the best coaches would say (paraphrasing here) that the key is "time in zone". That is to over the course of roughly 6 weeks progressively increase your time in the zone you want to see gains in. Maybe for you its Threshold (TH). For someone else it might be above TH. For other it might be Tempo (TE) or Anaerobic Capacity (AC).

To that end an experienced cyclist using Time in Zone and Rate of Perceived Exertion can get what they want for the hours they spend. Time in Zone becomes your independent variable with overall hours being more of a dependent variable.

Last, I think you've raised an interesting issue. Do you maintain high intensity (>TH) during the off-season (hell yeah if you race PsychoCross), or do you spend lots of time in the Sweet Spot (high end TE, low end TH) and maintain TH power. Probably a discussion for another thread.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
Probably a discussion for another thread.
Yes... I predict it will arrive in ~2 weeks! I believe September is the "Base using LSD vs SST vs ???" thread month.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
My plan for the year - after my break in October -

12, 13, 14, 15 hrs.... SST 1x week after hitting 13 hours/wk, 2x wk @ 15 hrs pr week. 2 months of Z1-2, with 2/wk 60-90 min SST (Dec-Jan). Every 3rd wk will be 1 "easy" (3-4x4 with 10 min rest) VO2 workout , and January I'll start hitting the Sat AM hammer rides, and first week of Feb should be structured VO2 workouts, dropping 1 SST day and doubling up on the 7am/10am Sat rides.

Once I hit the 15-17 hrs/wk, I ramp CTL/training load by increasing intensity, not hours. I just can't get any more hours out of the day.

By the time I get to racing (planning on a Late Feb/March-June season next year because of a mid-summer move), I'll hold 15-17/wk steady (15-ish in a race week, 17-18 in non-race weeks)

I tried 2x20's and 3x20's twice this year and had no success - and burned out both times, just from trying to find a course to do them on. Won't repeat that this year and going back to what works for me.
NVW you are an animal! If I did your program I' be catatonic in my off-the-bike hours.

That said as I eyeball your program it maps nicely to the conventional wisdom which is to build a solid base using SST, then ramp up time at the higher end of TH or L4 (while decreasing volume), using vo2 wkts to pull up FTP as you start to see diminishing returns.

This has worked for me although after 3 yrs I've seen FTP gains start to level off (can you say genetic ceiling). The good news is I've been able to set PRs for 1 and 5 min power so I may still have some headroom there. Sadly 1 & 5 min usually doesn't translate into results the way that FTP does.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
Yes... I predict it will arrive in ~2 weeks! I believe September is the "Base using LSD vs SST vs ???" thread month.
Ha! I'll have my eyes peeled on Sept 1st. I think we need a pool on the exact time of the day the thread appears. I say 8 EST.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by LT Intolerant View Post
Ha! I'll have my eyes peeled on Sept 1st. I think we need a pool on the exact time of the day the thread appears. I say 8 EST.
I don't think it will be until after labor day...

btw, I didn't see you at the end of the ride on Tuesday, did you peel off?
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Old 08-21-09, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I don't think it will be until after labor day...

btw, I didn't see you at the end of the ride on Tuesday, did you peel off?
I'm in for $5 on Sep 1, 8 am est so pick a date and time!

I flatted at the back (blowout) when we hit the glass on the road by the High School. My spare didn't have the right valve extender so I had to ride back to the car (7 miles) on my flat. Thank god for tubulars.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:36 AM
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g, I am not in your league but when I had the opportunity to train with Jay Gump he did focus on steady hours per week to build a consistent schedule but varied the intensity greatly. He believed this allowed his athletes to effectively balance the demands of family, career and training.

FWIW
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Old 08-21-09, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
My plan for the year - after my break in October -

12, 13, 14, 15 hrs.... SST 1x week after hitting 13 hours/wk, 2x wk @ 15 hrs pr week. 2 months of Z1-2, with 2/wk 60-90 min SST (Dec-Jan). Every 3rd wk will be 1 "easy" (3-4x4 with 10 min rest) VO2 workout , and January I'll start hitting the Sat AM hammer rides, and first week of Feb should be structured VO2 workouts, dropping 1 SST day and doubling up on the 7am/10am Sat rides.

Once I hit the 15-17 hrs/wk, I ramp CTL/training load by increasing intensity, not hours. I just can't get any more hours out of the day.

By the time I get to racing (planning on a Late Feb/March-June season next year because of a mid-summer move), I'll hold 15-17/wk steady (15-ish in a race week, 17-18 in non-race weeks)

I tried 2x20's and 3x20's twice this year and had no success - and burned out both times, just from trying to find a course to do them on. Won't repeat that this year and going back to what works for me.
that's a big saturday.

I loves me some 10 a.m. in the winter, get up early, make pancakes with the family while it warms up from 30 deg F to 35 deg F, then roll out to find the group, get an hr. of hammering in, peel off and go home to sit in front of the fire. Ahhh, winter training, cant wait.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
Yes... I predict it will arrive in ~2 weeks! I believe September is the "Base using LSD vs SST vs ???" thread month.
discussing lsd vs. sst before labor day is so faux pas.
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