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Question about overall training plan

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Question about overall training plan

Old 12-17-09, 10:28 AM
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Question about overall training plan

Ok, so I have been reading "Base Building for Cyclists", I have been reading "Racing & Training with Power" and I have gone through the "Cyclists Training Bible."

I have a good idea on how to train any specific component of my cycling - be it skills, FTP, overall speed, etc. So far so good.

However, applying it is working out to be a little harder and where I could use some help.

For one, I dont race so I have no particular area I need to target - as a relative beginner to road riding (been riding a few months, have a FTP of around 200-210W, typically maintain 20mph on flats), I could certainly stand to improve everywhere, but especially my overall power and speed. I am currently working on a century riding plan and targeting a sub-5 hour century. After that, my next target is a sub-hour 40k TT but I also want to improve max speed, sprints, etc. - ie, just get all-round faster.

So how does one go about creating a training plan that covers all elements? Is it even possible?

And if so, what would be a good split - eg, 1-2 days of endurance/tempo rides, 1-2 days of intervals, etc? Any suggestions on a good weekly mix?

TIA,
V.

PS: I have read the stickies, and read other posts related to training. Group rides I cannot do, for the simple reason that for the bulk of the year, I am on a rock where I am the only guy on a road bike in a sea of beach cruisers. So I need a training regimen I can follow by myself.

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Old 12-17-09, 01:15 PM
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Training but no racing? You're mad. That's like revising for exams you won't sit, its more pointless than I can possibly explain. You won't be able to do it, either. To drive yourself through a training session so hard you nearly black out, that needs motivation, you don't do it for the hell of it.

If all you do is go for a bike ride... just do that! It's great fun, keeps you fit, and doesn't cost much. And because all features of it are good, you'll probably keep at it too.
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Old 12-17-09, 01:24 PM
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Do more than just "go through" the training bible, read it, it will answer every question you had in your post. The template for the annual training plan is great to help get an overall outline of your training year. Use your sub 5hr century as one A "race" and the hr 40k tt as another A "race" and build your plan around those.
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Old 12-17-09, 01:42 PM
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If you actually read the training bible thoroughly enough it will tell you that you should not be doing structured training in your first couple of years riding a bike. Just get the miles in.
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Old 12-17-09, 01:50 PM
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I believe the general consensus is that you should ride for a year prior to setting up any type of training regiment, which I think Friel mentions. Unless you are coming from some other endurance sport you probably do not have the base to do intervals without really wearing yourself out. In regards to doing a sub 5 hr century, that is easy to do by just riding unless there is a ton of climbing.
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Old 12-17-09, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 45suited View Post
I believe the general consensus is that you should ride for a year prior to setting up any type of training regiment, which I think Friel mentions. Unless you are coming from some other endurance sport you probably do not have the base to do intervals without really wearing yourself out. In regards to doing a sub 5 hr century, that is easy to do by just riding unless there is a ton of climbing.
Just ride, ride some more, and ride even more. Setting up a rigid, structured training plan in your first or second year of cycling is just going to burn you out. You'll benefit more from just riding and finding your limits. Ride when you feel good, rest when you are tired. Go do long miles with the fast guys.

I'm not saying a structured plan isn't going to make you faster, it will. But I've seen far too many first and second year racers get coaches, get real fast, then you don't see them next year because they burnt out.
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Old 12-17-09, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
Ok, so I have been reading "Base Building for Cyclists", I have been reading "Racing & Training with Power" and I have gone through the "Cyclists Training Bible."

I have a good idea on how to train any specific component of my cycling - be it skills, FTP, overall speed, etc. So far so good.

However, applying it is working out to be a little harder and where I could use some help.

For one, I dont race so I have no particular area I need to target - as a relative beginner to road riding (been riding a few months, have a FTP of around 200-210W, typically maintain 20mph on flats), I could certainly stand to improve everywhere, but especially my overall power and speed. I am currently working on a century riding plan and targeting a sub-5 hour century. After that, my next target is a sub-hour 40k TT but I also want to improve max speed, sprints, etc. - ie, just get all-round faster.

So how does one go about creating a training plan that covers all elements? Is it even possible?

And if so, what would be a good split - eg, 1-2 days of endurance/tempo rides, 1-2 days of intervals, etc? Any suggestions on a good weekly mix?

TIA,
V.

PS: I have read the stickies, and read other posts related to training. Group rides I cannot do, for the simple reason that for the bulk of the year, I am on a rock where I am the only guy on a road bike in a sea of beach cruisers. So I need a training regimen I can follow by myself.
Read all that stuff you're reading and go "cool".

Then just ride. The stuff in bold means that you have no reason to worry about this right now. Also 20mph and 200 W seems a little off.
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Old 12-17-09, 05:30 PM
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41?
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Old 12-17-09, 10:14 PM
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That's like revising for exams you won't sit, its more pointless than I can possibly explain. You won't be able to do it, either. To drive yourself through a training session so hard you nearly black out, that needs motivation, you don't do it for the hell of it.
Not to be snarky, but thank you for providing an opinion in an area where I didnt need it. As for motivation, I'll just add that beating other people in a race is not the only motivation that drives people. I dont race and am new to biking - that doesnt mean I have not done anything competitive or know nothing about pushing myself hard physically. Newbie in one area != newbie in everything.

Originally Posted by nitropowered View Post
Just ride, ride some more, and ride even more. Setting up a rigid, structured training plan in your first or second year of cycling is just going to burn you out. You'll benefit more from just riding and finding your limits. Ride when you feel good, rest when you are tired. Go do long miles with the fast guys.

I'm not saying a structured plan isn't going to make you faster, it will. But I've seen far too many first and second year racers get coaches, get real fast, then you don't see them next year because they burnt out.
Thanks for that considered post (and to others who have chimed in with similar opinions as well - I have quoted just one post for brevity but my comments are directed to all).

"Just ride for the first year" seems to be the consensus opinion here - I did read that as well, but I guess I was trying to accelerate my development. It is impossible for me to ride with anyone else for the better part of the year, given where I am, so I need some kind of a structured plan to help me push myself - getting burned out isnt really a worry: having a goal gives me something to work towards. I have an extensive background in serious competitive sports (jujitsu, squash and ice hockey), so it is a little hard for me to just sit back and pootle along without trying to "compete" against someone - even if it just my own previous best times.

My underlying thought was that completing a 5 hour century would give me a good base to start harder training with - do you guys think that is sufficient or should I just suck it up and stick to another 6 months or so of base building?

The thing with Friel's book is that it assumes your training regiment to be built around a set of events whose dates are fixed. I dont have a particular date by which I want to do my sub-hour 40k. I just want to get there. And I dont know what an appropriate amount of training time would be, that would get me there.

And RTC - not sure what you mean about the 2 numbers not matching. They are not from the same ride (ie, I dont go 20mph @ 200-210W), if that is what you mean. The FTP numbers are estimated from the power distribution curve as I havent done any formal FTP testing yet (will do so when I finalize my training plan).

Cheers,
Vandit
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Old 12-17-09, 10:48 PM
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To be somewhat contrarian (and to answer the OP's question): yes, you can set up a structured training program to work on all phases of your riding development. Being more or less an "all arounder" it's pretty much what I do. It's a bit off of your goals though, which seem to be geared more to longer efforts. You'd probably meet those doing 20 minute TT intervals and SST work.

The mix will depend a bit on your age and recovery, and the amount of days you can ride. 2-3 days of SST/Intervals mixed with 2-3 days of endurance stuff with one or two days "off" weekly would probably have you seeing improvements pretty quickly. I'd probably avoid any real "periodization" at this point and just work on building the engine.

Biggest thing is active rest and recovery; if you feel wasted or tired there's usually not a lot of benefit in pushing things.

For now just do 2-3 days of "structure" and see how you like it. Good on ya for doing your research BTW.
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Old 12-17-09, 11:38 PM
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what ex said. I'll add, an on on off on off on off weekly split worked pretty well for me as well in my first season of riding. Basically tempo monday, 2x20's tuesday, sst or 5x5' intervals thurs, then a long group ride saturday. Do that for a month and see how you feel. Just don't over cook monday and save energy for the rest of the week. This should get you going in the right direction...
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Old 12-18-09, 01:52 AM
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If you want to do these TT's in the times you've set yourself, you really should enter them. In the UK, TT's are very available, not sure what it's like in the US. For example our club runs a series of Thursday evening "10's" through the Summer, and there are open events all over the UK at weekends. But I do recommend them- you won't cause trouble by lack of riding experience, and while at first you'll be competing against yourself, you may find after a while you are competing against the friends you make that these events.

But I stand by what I said regarding training. You can't "accelerate development" like that. It takes years to develop yourself as an endurance athlete, and the first couple of years are best spent doing long rides, getting the endurance base to build it all upon. You won't do yourself any favours getting burned out in the space of a few months- you'll just get bummed off and find some other expensive hobby to consume your time. Take time and let yourself grow into it.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
The mix will depend a bit on your age and recovery, and the amount of days you can ride. 2-3 days of SST/Intervals mixed with 2-3 days of endurance stuff with one or two days "off" weekly would probably have you seeing improvements pretty quickly. I'd probably avoid any real "periodization" at this point and just work on building the engine.
Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
But I stand by what I said regarding training. You can't "accelerate development" like that. It takes years to develop yourself as an endurance athlete, and the first couple of years are best spent doing long rides, getting the endurance base to build it all upon. You won't do yourself any favours getting burned out in the space of a few months- you'll just get bummed off and find some other expensive hobby to consume your time. Take time and let yourself grow into it.
Fair enough. That was actually my concern as well - on one hand, it is easier for me to get motivated when I know I have a killer balls-to-the-wall workout than over yet another 2-3 hour endurance/tempo ride, but I understand the concept of paying dues first... which is why I was wondering if it is possible to build the base and also work on improving FTP at the same time.

I think one take away from all the comments is quite clear - I should not compromise on my endurance base. I'll try perhaps a day or two of interval-type training mixed with my regular base-building riding and see how that goes. It works well, then great... if not, I'll ease up on the intervals and stick to base-building for now. I am hoping my better-than-average breathing efficiency (I breathe <8l/min at rest/mild activity) will have some benefits when it comes to aerobic fitness (plan is to get my VO2 Max tested at some point soon)... let's see.

I do plan to do a few TTs whenever I can get off the island, actually. I have a long way to go before I get to a sub-hour 40k TT, but it gives me a long-term goal to work towards. Given why I ride, a TT is precisely the sort of event I'd love to excel in.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to provide your feedback!

Cheers,
Vandit
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Old 12-18-09, 06:20 AM
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also, as you ride more with the PTap, you'll get a better sense of your strengths/weaknesses.

If you find that your CP5' sucks, then that might be a good area to begin to focus on as the race season comes up.

If you cant sprint for spit, then that would be a bigger priority as the season approaches.

You've gotten lots of great responses already, so I just wanted to add a little to the already great tastin stew of ideas here.

kick a$$, man!

-L
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Old 12-18-09, 12:45 PM
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40K is less than 25mi. Doing a 25 in under an hour is do-able. I did it without tribars in my first year riding hard! It's pretty painful though. Best of luck!
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Old 12-18-09, 12:55 PM
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Sub hour 40k in first year riding sans aerobars?
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Old 12-18-09, 08:43 PM
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I agree with most of what is said. I'm beginning my 2nd year riding. I'm at have an FTP of about 260watts. I road all year this year amassing over 4500mi. I just now completed my first 8 weeks of indoor training with my coaches. Yes, I plan to race next season at the ripe age of 41yrs old. I would not rush out to get a training program unless you plan to race. Get a good base and then find some good training rides. See if you like that kind of riding versus longer touring type rides. I really like the competition but it hurts and is hard work. I am very new and there is a lot to learn about you and your bike.
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