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Old 12-08-10, 06:34 PM   #1
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Need some help with training plan - annual hours, type of plan...

Last year was my first complete season, and I feel that I progressed rather well for not having any training plan other than riding and doing group rides, and some racing.

1. What amount of annual hours should I aim for? Last season, I rode roughly 7-10 hours per week, but absolutely no specific training routines. It was made up of:

Mon: off
Tue: 1.5 Hard group ride
Wed: Hard crit - 40mins
Thur: 1.5 Hard group ride
Fri: off
Sat: off or sometimes easy spin
Sun: 75% of the time was a fairly hard, 2 hour group ride in the mountains.

Friel in the Bible mentions(IIRC) riders with less than 5 years of total riding should just ride and not follow a structured plan. What do you guys think?

2. Traditional plan vs. low volume/high intensity ( Time Crunched Plan ). What do you guys suggest, if I do structure a training plan for this year, I should follow? I'm worried about burning out after 10 hours per week ( I experienced it twice last year ) while at the same time want to get the most improvements from the time I can train.

I've gone back and calculated my hours of training (per the Bible - riding + weight training) and this is what I came up with. I'm kind of surprised at the numbers - I thought they would've been higher:

Cycling time from 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 226hours
Weight training time from 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 104hours
Running time from 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 20hours

Total training time 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 350hours

Now, Friel mentions not increasing your total annual training time by more than 15%. By following his suggestion, that would bring me to 402.5hours.

Going back on last year, I really didn't do any structured training plans/workouts. It was mainly group rides, crits, and solo rides ( recovery rides were probably 50% of my solo rides).

Friel mentions, just as a base line for cat5 racers, annual hours of 200-350 annual hours of training. Now, I'm not sure if I should go by my last years hours, and increase by 15%, or use his baseline this year since I assume the intensity will be greater, as well as more structured.

What do you guys think?

Thanks for any help!!

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Old 12-08-10, 08:18 PM   #2
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You've been very heavily biased towards short intense variable efforts. I'd recommend some long rides at a steady pace... especially at this time of year. 3-4 hrs... good pace so you are tired at the end but not dead. Probably alone... unless you can find someone that can/wants to ride at your steady pace. 3 times a week for 12 weeks (minimum), with easy spinning or nothing on other days. Then work in some FTP intervals for a few weeks before you start the group hammerfests again... and don't do more than 2 hammerfests per week.

# of hours is really a poor indicator, since a steady 4 hr ride can easily be less draining than a 2hr ride where you are seeing cross-eyed and coughing blood. I don't think TSS even comes close to gauging the difference.
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Old 12-09-10, 02:37 PM   #3
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rruff's last paragraph says it all. You were kicking your butt for three days in a row then off two days then kicking your butt again. You really need some long steady workouts. Its always good to have some goals during the year so you can plan your training to peak at certain times. Its hard to peak more than 2 to three times a year, but it depends what your peaking for. Most coaches have two to three week build periods with a recovery week built in.
Recovery weeks are lower in volume and a not much lower in intensity, if at all. Its difficult to give you exact hours or cookie cutter plan without knowing your time for training, how you respond to different training, mental and physical stress levels when not training and so on. The worse thing you can do is over train. Keep a log of your resting HR same time everyday and look for changes to nip over training in the bud.
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Old 12-09-10, 02:56 PM   #4
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Old 12-09-10, 03:13 PM   #5
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You're doing a lot of hours relative to me, although I haven't added up my 2010 hours, but my initial guess is 100-150 hours more than me, and 250 hours more than 2008 I think (my normal year for 2004-2008 seemed to be ~150 hours). Your schedule looks like mine except I go hard Monday, race Tues, ride or race Wed, and take Thu and Fri off.

I can't give you any input other than to race a lot. You'll get tons of speed that you simply cannot get on group rides, not unless they're very structured. Motorpacing would do the same thing, but with less motivation (but more control over the speed). Many good riders will motorpace for a couple weeks before huge events. It builds speed like racing but you can really push the workload to the limit.

Make sure you recover enough and replenish your body properly (diet; be aware of things that prevent the absorption of other things, like milk prevents your body from absorbing something from green tea).

Good luck on your second full season.
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Old 12-10-10, 06:44 PM   #6
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Some additional thoughts...

I've gotten huge gains starting out by doing a lot of intensity with pretty low volume... very similar to you. The problem is that this peaks quickly and then plateaus. Even though I later did long rides as well, something was missing. I didn't see additional improvement until I avoided the high intensity stuff altogether for an extended period, just doing endurance rides. This is base training and it's a good idea to not avoid it. It's actually pretty easy as well... you can do a lot of volume without getting too stressed. Then map out a schedule of build periods working back from your target events. Friel and others do a pretty good job of describing that. IME it doesn't take much training to get the high intensity part, once you have a solid endurance base.
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Old 12-17-10, 02:15 PM   #7
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"Now, Friel mentions not increasing your total annual training time by more than 15%"
I'm pretty sure it is 50% not 15%.

I need help with base 1 weekly training schedule too.
I do long steady rides on sat and sunday. Speed skills during commute to work. What should my trainer efforts be for base 1 and 2. Thanks
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Old 12-17-10, 02:26 PM   #8
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You want to race fast - race often.
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