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Time Crunched Base Building

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Time Crunched Base Building

Old 01-31-10, 01:48 PM
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Time Crunched Base Building

So I tried to find another thread to post this in, but I didn't want it to get buried with a bunch of other stuff, so I'm starting a new one. Hope thats okay.



This is my first year racing, and I know a lot of people are in to the whole "JRA, thats enough for now" thing, but I really need structure or else I stray from my goals, so I got the Training Bible, went through it, and set up a plan from that. However, with all of this talk here of base building, I feel like I haven't been able to commit enough time to that phase, and I'm a bit worried that it will come back and bite me down the road. I'm much more interested in RR's than crits, so the endurance is going to be really important to me.

SO. For those who are time crunched, and can't commit 20 hours a week to base training, how do you deal with it? I know some people love SST, but what are other opinions?

For those who are very strict about your base hours, can you imagine what your next best alternative would be if those hours were suddenly cut?

I'm pretty much stuck on the trainer during the week. I leave for work before the sun comes up and come home after its down. Night rides would be dangerous around here I think, although I haven't tried them, but still. I do tempo rides, some high cadence spin ups, some longer intervals, what I think is SST (i'm using HR only, so these are all rough estimates) etc. I'm not doing crazy all out efforts, but I'm definitely not staying in zone 2 the whole time. I also do a little bit of stuff at the gym (core stuff, squats, DL, and step ups, a little bit of upper body stuff, and I'll do some plyometric things sometimes as well) and some running, mainly just because I like both of those things.


The weekends I have more time and as such, have been doing 3ish hours on Saturday, usually at a Z2/Z3 pace and a 2 hour fast group ride on Sundays (being my first year racing, and only training by myself, my group riding skills are severely lacking, so this is a necessity, even if its a hammerfest all winter)


My question is this, would it be more useful to do longer hours on Saturday at an easier pace, even as the season is getting closer? Say 100 miles at a slow pace, even when I'm technically supposed to be in a "build" period. I want to have my version of a peak in mid June, but I start racing in early March. How do people reconcile this if they can't just stick to base miles?

What about incorporating base miles in all season along with the more intense intervals as the time gets there. As we get more light, I'll be able to do longer rides after work, but that will also be prime race time, so is it more useful to be doing endurance work 3 days a week in June and July and then harder efforts 2 days a week for example?

I know theres not a hard and fast answer for this, and I'm probably overthinking it, but I'd still really like to hear thoughts from the strict base mile folks. Ze, umd, etc. and the folks that are time crunched and trying to make it work anyways.

-Dan

(ps - sorry for the book, if you read it all...thanks. haha)
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Old 01-31-10, 02:05 PM
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If you're time-crunched, your "base" will be SST. Best bang-for-the-recovery-buck out there.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:07 PM
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A couple recommendations:
1) make saturday longer, say 5 hours. You get benefits from rides that long that you will find nowhere else. Continue those rides until you start racing, and on any non-race weekends after that. As I've said before, you can get to 80% on "base" alone, which is more than enough to race. The shorter rides you get in during the week will bump your race fitness up as well.
2) do the hammerfest on Sunday, then drag yourself along for another 2-3 hours. Same reasons as above. I have a saturday group ride that is similar, I stick with it for about 1.5 hrs then cruise with a small group of teammates for another 4 or so. Just make sure you bring a ton of food to refuel after the hammerfest.
3) find a few guys to do both 1 and 2 with. Don't let them turn the rides into races, if they start picking it up just let them ride on their own.
4) If 1 and 2 are possible, don't ride on Monday.
5) if you want to peak in June, you should be in base through early March. And honestly, with your limited hours, you should be as base-like as long as possible. Don't bother switching to a 'build' phase, you're already riding like you're in one.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:11 PM
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No reason to do 100 slow miles on Saturdays. A 3 hour steady tempo ride is more than enough.

Since this is your first year racing, you'll be a Cat5. The 4's and 5's typically have races that are a lot shorter than the 1/2/3s. Spending 5-6 hours riding slow is a very poor use of your "timem crunched schedule" in my opinion.

I'd keep your weekends the way they are.

Spend two days a week doing hard 2x20 min intervals on the trainer for the next few weeks. Do another day of "cruise intervals" (from the Friel book). A few weeks before you start racing you can throw some shorter intervals in or sprints, but in my opinion, 20 min intervals will be your best return on investment.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sxevegan
No reason to do 100 slow miles on Saturdays. A 3 hour steady tempo ride is more than enough.

Since this is your first year racing, you'll be a Cat5. The 4's and 5's typically have races that are a lot shorter than the 1/2/3s. Spending 5-6 hours riding slow is a very poor use of your "timem crunched schedule" in my opinion.
Wrong on three accounts. 1) you do not target the same systems with a 3 hour tempo ride as a 5-6 hr endurance ride 2) he is not time crunched on saturdays and 3) 20 minute intervals are not optimal. See my post in training status (I think that's where it is)
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Old 01-31-10, 02:22 PM
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Those are exactly the type of recommendations I was hoping for, and sort of what I expected. I can definitely extend Saturday rides, I'll just have to drag my butt out of bed and make sure that I do them. I was thinking on the drive home today that maybe I should extend my group ride hours. Maybe I'll ride to and from the ride. Its like 20 miles either way I think, so that'll give me another few hours.

Baseish hours will be extended until March for sure. To recap, more or less keep up what I'm doing during the week and then extend the hours on Sat/Sun? Finding people to ride with might take me a little bit longer, but it will happen eventually.

I have 3 races this year that are planned over 60 miles. I'm not completely sure that 3 hours tempo is going to completely compare me for races of that length. Thats what actually inspired this question. Crits? Sure. But its the longer ones that I think might start to give me trouble, and those are the ones I'm more interested in.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:22 PM
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I believe this is the post to which Ze refers: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...l#post10262112
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Old 01-31-10, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dc1215
I have 3 races this year that are planned over 60 miles.
I don't believe that, because I've never seen a Category 5 race that was over 60 miles. Can you link to the race flyer that claims this?
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Old 01-31-10, 02:25 PM
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One other thing. If I'm at 12ish hours now, but have a full week coming up where I'll be in North Carolina with nothing to do but ride and hang out with my dog, could I realistically bump it up to 20-22 hours for that week, or would that be too much of a jump and asking for sickness/injury?
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Old 01-31-10, 02:26 PM
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If you bump up the volume by that much, I'd be wary of throwing too much intensity in there.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:30 PM
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Battenkill is like 63, The Quabbin Reservoir Race is 60, and Hilltowns is 56 (oops, thought this one was a little longer than it is)

https://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?EventID=9655

https://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?EventID=9832

https://www.bikereg.com/Results/2009/...-Hilltowns.asp


Not sure where you're from, maybe I just happened to pick long east coast races to start. Haha. Also, reread what I wrote, I sort of made it seem like they were significantly longer than 60 miles. I didn't mean to insinuate that.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:30 PM
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Thanks for the link. Interesting the Dr. Coggan said the exact opposite not long ago. 2.2% compared to 7.9% is tough to argue with
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Old 01-31-10, 02:34 PM
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Everyone will react differently to a jump like that. You should be able to bump it up to about 20 and be just fine. Just make sure when you get home that you take plenty of time to recovery, regardless of whether you're feeling terrible or fantastic.

And as bdcheung said, I'd keep intensity at a minimum.

The old myth of "take your longest race and add 20%, and that's how long your longest rides should be" is complete BS. Training is about targeting systems, stressing those systems, and then allowing the systems to recovery and rebuild stronger than before. 3 hours and tempo and 5 hours at endurance pace (not JRA!) target different systems. There are numerous advantages I could ramble on about that only begin after about 4 hours or so in a moderately fit cyclist. I've talked about most of them in the past though.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sxevegan
Thanks for the link. Interesting the Dr. Coggan said the exact opposite not long ago. 2.2% compared to 7.9% is tough to argue with
I'd love to see a link to that. The science seems pretty sound - you simply can't go hard enough for 20 minutes to get maximal fiber recruitment (and thus stress).
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Old 01-31-10, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon
I'd love to see a link to that. The science seems pretty sound - you simply can't go hard enough for 20 minutes to get maximal fiber recruitment (and thus stress).
https://groups.google.com/group/watta...86339c8e5aa56e

Specifically:

On Jan 18, 8:46 pm, Mike Saif <micheals...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Dr. Coggan's alternate hypotheses of training VO2max at just above
> VO2max instead of spending time at or below, got me thinking. Could
> the same apply to training FTP or are their physiological differences
> that come into play? For instance, with an FTP of 270, instead of
> doing 2x20 min intervals at let's say, 250-260 watts, I think I could
> do 4x10 min intervals at maybe 275-280 watts. Would this nudge FTP
> higher? It's obviously the same amount of time training FTP, but I
> guess the question is, is 10 min long enough for an FTP interval?


1) Again, my hypothesis isn't that it is better to train at >100% of
VO2max, but rather that it may be better to assure that you achieve
100.00% of maximal cardiac output, vs. "surfing along" at slightly
below that level.
2) As for 4 x 10 min efforts, if you search this list you will see
that this has been discussed a number of times in the past. To cut to
the chase, my personal experience (which seems to coincide with that
of others, e.g., John Verheul) is that such sessions are *less*
effective at increasing functional threshold power than, e.g., 2 x 20
min (or Rick Murphy's "steady pressure" approach of 1 x 40+ min).

Andy Coggan
---------------------------------------------

I can't say that scientifically 2x20 (or any other workout) is the BEST, but it has worked well for me. I think I'll put in some 5-8 min intervals on my trainer tonight though
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Old 01-31-10, 02:52 PM
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Coggan is talking about training at >100% VO2max, not training at 105-110% FTP.

In his second point, he doesn't really say much beyond "4x10 isn't as effective as 2x20".
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Old 01-31-10, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
I don't believe that, because I've never seen a Category 5 race that was over 60 miles. Can you link to the race flyer that claims this?

https://www.gmsr.info/pdfs/7-10-09%20Flyer.pdf
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Old 01-31-10, 03:02 PM
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Thanks, that is interesting. Not 100% applicable, but interesting.

I like the 8x5's because 1) they are more mentally manageable 2) I get the same amount of time in the correct zone and 3) in theory, I'm getting more time in the correct zone since 2x20's apparently are a bit too low...
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Old 01-31-10, 03:04 PM
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Endurance Pace and not JRA meaning strictly Z2 correct? I'm looking for a deal on a power meter, but doubt it will happen in the next few weeks, but for the time being, I should stick with a Z2 HR right? At least its more specific than RPE (i can't judge that at low intensity anyways)
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Old 01-31-10, 03:06 PM
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HR is great for endurance work. Just keep in mind that you might get a little bit of drift towards the end of a ride.

For a 5 hour ride, for a cat 5, zones 1 and 2 are perfect.
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Old 01-31-10, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon
Thanks, that is interesting. Not 100% applicable, but interesting.

I like the 8x5's because 1) they are more mentally manageable 2) I get the same amount of time in the correct zone and 3) in theory, I'm getting more time in the correct zone since 2x20's apparently are a bit too low...

Without a powermeter, how would you recommend pacing some 8x5's? I'm pretty intrigued and would like to give them a try over 2x20's come build phase time.
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Old 01-31-10, 05:06 PM
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^ I tried something similar to this last season (8x4min) and found that PE just at or above my 20 min pace was ok with the short recovery. It is not precise and so it will be off, but at least you will be close. Once you find PE pace that works, keep an eye on cadence and trainer speed for a tangible metric to compare over several weeks.
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Old 01-31-10, 05:07 PM
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once you train with power, it will change everything.....

Until then, I might find a 3-4 mile loop that is un-interupted by traffic/stopsigns/etc. AND is as flat and windless as possible.

Use the loop by starting at the same place for each of the 5' intervals. Ride "just a bit harder" than you would for a 20' interval. At the end of 5' note where on your loop you stop the clock. If on subsequent intervals you dont make it to this point on the course, then you didint pace it right. If you make it further on subsequent intervals....

You can also use your spedometer for each of these intervals.

Be sure to hold the same position on the bike, too.
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Old 01-31-10, 05:14 PM
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Leo has it right. Pacing is key. If you're doing 8x5, the first 2-3 should feel pretty damn easy. Maybe a little tough in the last minute. If you do it right, the same power on intervals 5-8 is going to hurt like hell.

If I was doing them by heart rate, I would be looking to hit LTHR right at the end of the first one, minute 4 of the second, minute 3 of the third, minute 2 for 4th, minute 1 5-8. The 60s recovery will be enough to bring you down pretty low, but as you fatigue it will shoot up faster. You should be finishing the last few a couple beats over LT.

Easiest way to do them right without power is on a trainer. Find a gear and cadence that puts you just above threshold, and hold it.
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Old 01-31-10, 05:20 PM
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I keep forgetting to mention: Don't start with 8x5 unless you've already been on a steady diet of LT work. Start with 5 or 6x5. The last one is going to hurt anyway. Work your way up. If you jump straight into 8x5, the last few are going to be useless.
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