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No go for the Training Bible?

Old 01-05-10, 05:15 PM
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No go for the Training Bible?

I got the Cyclist's Training Bible a few months back and I have read about the whole thing. I have a friend who was a pro and he said I should stick with "ride lots" method because I am starting my second racing season this year. He said that I can get a lot of performance gains from just riding a lot in my first two years. Any opinions? Yes I know these topics have been discussed many times but I just wanted some opinions for my situation (cat 5 but starting cat 4 soon).

Also if it's not too much trouble what part of training should I be in right now? Base? Prep?
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Old 01-05-10, 05:22 PM
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Your friend may be fast but he's wrong. Ride Lots is really just a way for more experienced people to be condescending. "I'm so awesome that I need a training plan, but you're just a noob, so ride lots."

Riding lots will make you faster. Training correctly will make you faster than that.

You've read the book? Find your target race or time period and work backward to see what period you should be in. It only works if you start at Base though... base provides, well, a base, for LT and anaerobic fitness.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mobike_moexcite View Post
He said that I can get a lot of performance gains from just riding a lot in my first two years. Any opinions? Yes I know these topics have been discussed many times but I just wanted some opinions for my situation (cat 5 but starting cat 4 soon).
You might get gains from JRA, you might not. You will if you follow Friel's program.

Originally Posted by mobike_moexcite View Post
Also if it's not too much trouble what part of training should I be in right now? Base? Prep?
If you are asking this question, you need to read the book again. Periodization is a "start at the end and work backwards" process.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:37 PM
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Cool nice to have someone else's opinions to consider, I will look at the book again and see where I am. Quick question about picking training objectives. My goal is to get faster, duh, and end up at cat 3 by the end of this year. Would I just find out how many points I need to upgrade and just throw in some important races? Thanks again for the help though, nice to be among people who aren't stingy about sharing their "secrets".
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Old 01-05-10, 05:43 PM
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If you don't have a specific race, I would put your peak near the highest density of races you're capable of doing well in (a bunch of crits in 1 month, or a few road races back to back, etc.) Err on the side of peaking later, because if you do it right, you'll be at or near burnout shortly after you've peaked.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mobike_moexcite View Post
Would I just find out how many points I need to upgrade and just throw in some important races?
Not much secret about what you're asking, basic stuff.

If you're looking to upgrade to 3 by the end of the year, you should be assessing what your strengths and weaknesses are and schedule accordingly. If you're a crit guy and there's a block of upgrade qualifying (check the USAC rulebook for specifics) crits in a certain month, pick that as your goal and work your training schedule backwards.

Stage races are a good source of upgrade points BTW, if you can compete for GC.

Highly suggest reading through Botto's sticky at the top of the thread. Lots of info there.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
If you don't have a specific race, I would put your peak near the highest density of races you're capable of doing well in (a bunch of crits in 1 month, or a few road races back to back, etc.) Err on the side of peaking later, because if you do it right, you'll be at or near burnout shortly after you've peaked.
I'll let you take over from here.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mobike_moexcite View Post
He said that I can get a lot of performance gains from just riding a lot in my first two years.
Well, that's true, but it really depends upon how much riding you've been doing prior to taking up racing, how hard you tend to ride when you 'ride lots,' and plenty of other factors. But just for example, just tooling around for hours without breathing hard will be of limited use. Last season was my second season of racing, and I used the Training Bible to inform the training plan I came up with. I thought it was really helpful, and I'm using it this season, too.

I think that if you read Friel's book again more closely, you'll see that he actually addresses your worries. He specifically notes that he doesn't think certain workouts should be attempted by newer racers, either because they will not very productive or because of the risk of injury to less-developed muscles and tissues. Even if you do decide to train without intervals or a strict plan to periodize, having a plan about how you'll ride, when you'll ride and when you'll rest will make your training more effective, and that's a really good use for Friel's book.
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Old 01-05-10, 07:19 PM
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Thanks! I'm off to read the book again, l appreciate the help and good tips for peak performance Brian and Racer Ex.
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Old 01-05-10, 07:25 PM
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I 'rode lots' my first two years. I never left the 'untrained' category on the wko charts. My coach had me in Cat3 territory within three months on a structured training regimen.
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Old 01-05-10, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Stage races are a good source of upgrade points BTW, if you can compete for GC.
Unfortunately you can only get upgrade points for the internal races of a stage race as a 4. Only from a 3 to a 2 does winning the overall GC get you upgrade points.
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Old 01-05-10, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
I'll let you take over from here.
I just feel honored that you agree.
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Old 01-05-10, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
Your friend may be fast but he's wrong. Ride Lots is really just a way for more experienced people to be condescending. "I'm so awesome that I need a training plan, but you're just a noob, so ride lots."
Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
You might get gains from JRA, you might not. You will if you follow Friel's program.
My understanding was that Friel recommended that a new rider/racer should JRA for the first year or two before beginning a structured training plan.

Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Stage races are a good source of upgrade points BTW, if you can compete for GC.
Not for the 4->3 upgrade it's not. GC only counts for cat 3 and up.
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Old 01-05-10, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by spinwax View Post
Unfortunately you can only get upgrade points for the internal races of a stage race as a 4. Only from a 3 to a 2 does winning the overall GC get you upgrade points.
I should have read the whole thread, you beat me to it. It is worth adding that for those who can count GC, the points are very plentiful and go very deep. I'm targeting many stage races for this year

Btw, I registered for Callville and grabbed a houseboat.
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Old 01-05-10, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
My understanding was that Friel recommended that a new rider/racer should JRA for the first year or two before beginning a structured training plan.
He's got a year under his belt, wants to improve, and has taken the time to research a structured plan. Given that he has a fairly big goal (upgrade to 3), and my own experience with structured training in a similar situation (5 to 3 in less than a season), it's likely he'll improve quicker with a plan than without; certainly he's likelier to get his upgrade if he integrates his racing and training into some type of systemic approach.

FWIW I've seen far more burnout and debacles from JRA (and less success) than I have from a plan; too many "ride lots" guys ride too much and don't allow for recovery periods. If nothing else, a structured plan (which can include JRA days) forces you to schedule rest and will help keep you from doing stupid things like 3 hour slamfests the day before a race.

But I'm a Wooden guy: "Failure to plan is planning to fail".

Last edited by Racer Ex; 01-05-10 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 01-05-10, 09:49 PM
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Read the chapters on assessing your strengths, do the exercises (it'll take an evening), and read the chapter on goal setting.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
He's got a year under his belt, wants to improve, and has taken the time to research a structured plan. Given that he has a fairly big goal (upgrade to 3), and my own experience with structured training in a similar situation (5 to 3 in less than a season), it's likely he'll improve quicker with a plan than without; certainly he's likelier to get his upgrade if he integrates his racing and training into some type of systemic approach.

FWIW I've seen far more burnout and debacles from JRA (and less success) than I have from a plan; too many "ride lots" guys ride too much and don't allow for recovery periods. If nothing else, a structured plan (which can include JRA days) forces you to schedule rest and will help keep you from doing stupid things like 3 hour slamfests the day before a race.

But I'm a Wooden guy: "Failure to plan is planning to fail".
I think that riding for some time before starting a structured plan is more for the mental aspects than the physical ones. I guess it depends on the person. If the person wants the instant feedback of doing well immediately or they might lose interest/get frustrated, I could see going to a more structured approach sooner. On the other hand I was more interested in the "fun" of riding than just trying to win and upgrade, so I took a more gradual approach. Now a few years in I'm ready for the structure. It seems to me that for many people if they just jump right in they would be more likely to burn out after a short time. I want to be in this for the long haul.

I would say that a person making a decision of whether to JRA or start structured training needs to assess their goals and motivations, and also determine whether or not they are still making progress without it.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:26 PM
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I remember reading about JRA in the beginning from the book, but racer ex has some good points. I think I got a lot of JRA in my first year so I will give planning a go. Maybe getting specific is what I need to get to the next level in the sport. When I discovered this sport it was something I knew I wanted to do for a long time so I understand what you are saying umd. It's kind of hard to explain but I feel that if I can progress a bit up the ranks there may be more fun in it. I will however do anything to keep from burning out so I will keep the fun in it!
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Old 01-05-10, 10:31 PM
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I should add that it doesn't have to be one or the other. You can start taking some concepts from structured training without making things too rigid. Start figuring out what works for you, how you respond to workouts, make sure you get rest, etc. Also a good time to figure out what you are good at and what to focus your training on. If you wanted to start a plan right now, do you know what you want to peak for? It didn't sound like it. Do you know your power profile, what kind of events you are good at and like to do? Crits, time trials, RRs? You can take it a step up from JRA without going full bore into a "training plan."
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Old 01-05-10, 10:31 PM
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btw, the guys in this thread that are telling you to get specific, are the guys who are winning races.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
btw, the guys in this thread that are telling you to get specific, are the guys who are winning races.
You don't think the pro that recommended more "JRA" for a while was succesful?

For what it's worth, I'm not saying not to "get specific," just playing devil's advocate. I've gotten a coach and am on a training plan myself but I'm glad I took some time to "wander" a bit first.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I would say that a person making a decision of whether to JRA or start structured training needs to assess their goals and motivations, and also determine whether or not they are still making progress without it.

Road Nazi does not agree. Everyone should be on structured training plan, have coach, SRM, and aspire to be Cat1 in not more than 2 seasons.

Originally Posted by umd View Post
You don't think the pro that recommended more "JRA" for a while was succesful?
Some pros are dumb as dirt and never lived up to their potential because they didn't know how to train.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 01-05-10 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
You don't think the pro that recommended more "JRA" for a while was succesful?

For what it's worth, I'm not saying not to "get specific," just playing devil's advocate. I've gotten a coach and am on a training plan myself but I'm glad I took some time to "wander" a bit first.
of course not. but pro's are not regular joe's. they also have a lot more time available to jra.

and I do agree that jra will almost always improve the new-ish rider. but will it improve a rider for cat 3 racing, faster than a structured plan?
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Old 01-05-10, 10:50 PM
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My next big purchase is possibly a powermeter so that will have to wait. I'll determine my strengths and weaknesses soon when I read it again. On a related note umd, you recommended I shave a while back so I can get to cat 3 faster and I finally did haha. We'll see how that part pans out. I'll try a few of the workouts to get a feel for them too.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
of course not. but pro's are not regular joe's. they also have a lot more time available to jra.

and I do agree that jra will almost always improve the new-ish rider. but will it improve a rider for cat 3 racing, faster than a structured plan?
Of course a structured plan will improve a rider faster, but I think it's important to have a good psychological and physiological base. Anyway, I rode the JRA train to cat 3 incorporating various training plan ideas along the way as they made sense and fit into what I wanted to do. But I can tell that I've taken that as far as I could and if I want to improve anymore I need more structure. I could have added more structure last year and I'd probably be further along, but I'm still glad I did it the way I did it. But that might not be for everyone, which is why I recommended assesing goals and motivations.
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