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How many workouts can you do in a week?

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View Poll Results: How many hard workouts can you do in a week?
1 workout
0
0%
2 workouts
3
8.33%
3 workouts
12
33.33%
more than 3
21
58.33%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

How many workouts can you do in a week?

Old 09-24-12, 10:48 AM
  #1  
Fat Boy
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How many workouts can you do in a week?

I don't have a lack of will to train. I have a lack of recovery. I want to be able to go out and crush it several times a week, but that's just not reality. I figure I've got 2 good hard training days a week in me. If I push it to 3, then I'm on borrowed time. I can maybe to that one week, but I'll pay for it later.

From any given really hard workout (be it strength or on the bike) I takes me a good 2 recovery days before I'm ready to go hard again. Sometimes 3. I did a hard CX practice on Saturday. I had about 50 minutes of zone 5 HR time total. Then on Sunday I took off early to get some miles in. I went to the closest mall to ride the ring road around it. I figured I'd try to put in 30 minutes of SST. After 4 minutes, I bailed on it. Legs just will not support even that effort. After that, I road at an endurance power for 90 minutes and I'll do the same today (maybe dip into zone 2 HR, but mostly zone 1). Maybe I'll be good to go tomorrow, but maybe not until Wed. This gettin' old stuff sucks.

So here it is, how many times a week can you do a hard workout?
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Old 09-24-12, 11:06 AM
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I ride 7 days a week, usually take a day off every 45 days or so. I can usually get 4 training days in, sometimes 5 if I'm fully recovered and it's very structured, the other days are easy spins. I think most people should be able to get in a solid 4 days of training workouts a week as long as its structured. 5 days are possible, but really depends on the individual and history. Usually m rest, t train, w train, th rest, f rest, sat race or train, sun race or train. It really depends on the efforts though and your level of recovery. I struggled with this at first when I first got this coach. But after a couple months I adapted and it's really not that hard anymore.

For example, this last week I did 1.5hr with 4x4min VO2 tues, 2hr with 20 sub 15 thres 10 super 5 max wednesday, 2.5hr super hard group ride sat, and 5.5hr endurance sunday. I don't feel 100% today, but I really don't feel that bad. I know after an easy spin today, I'll be ready to go again on tuesday.
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Old 09-24-12, 11:07 AM
  #3  
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I would have taken a recovery day if I'd done 10x5 VO2Max intervals. That's a tough workout. Next time try a recovery ride the day after and you should be good to go the following day. By trying an SST workout following a VO2Max workout you're just delaying when you can go hard again.
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Old 09-24-12, 11:08 AM
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Do you ride with power? A hard-ish workout for me is around 150 TSS points. I come home and feel tired from that, but I can still walk around. 200 and 300 days are still possible, but they take more time to recover.

The 7 day week always vexed me. I'd say I can do 2 hard days per week for forever, 2 days of recovery in between would be ideal. So, if a hard day is a Tuesday, then the next hard day would be Friday. But I always go hard on Saturday, so I should probably not go hard the day before, right? If so, then that makes it 2 hard days a week, Tuesday and Saturday, which is actually pretty nice and leads to some pretty good gains.

Another thing, after training with power for over a year now, I've found that easy days are generally the same, but hard days can be done harder as the season progresses. So whereas earlier this year, 210 TSS points on a Saturday was pretty dang hard, it now takes 300+ TSS points to generate the same feeling (and yes, I'm still testing and updating FTP), and even then I'm handling it better.

I'd say I can do 2 hard workouts per week, with 3 per week only sometimes.
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Old 09-24-12, 12:42 PM
  #5  
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To the OP, perhaps a focus on recovery might pay dividends to the number of days per week you can train.

I can give an example to what lack of sleep can do... my seven week old daughter delights in waking up 5-7 times a night wanting Daddy or Mommy to play. It's very easy to feel how quickly your recovery and performance degrades with lack of sleep.

There's a lot of good info on the Internet and on this site about recovery.
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Old 09-24-12, 12:48 PM
  #6  
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Pretty typical week for me during the season is intervals tuesday and thursday, then races, or hard group rides, saturday and sunday. So typically 4 hard days a week.

The way my schedule is usually set up is in a 4 week block, so the workouts get progressively harder the first 3 weeks, and then one easy week. Repeat.
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Old 09-24-12, 01:13 PM
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5

long saturday and sunday, shorter and more focused Tues, Wed, Thurs.
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Old 09-24-12, 01:14 PM
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Usually four. During the week a block of two days with intervals and a group ride with a couple hard climbs, and in between some SST and more climing.
Then on the weekend a big day with a whole lot of climbing, and a 4 hour endurance ride. If it's the second or third week I have been doing this, the endurance ride will be tough and I'll know the next week should have a few days off. This schedule has me doing 800-1000 TSS/wk.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:17 PM
  #9  
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OP didn't post his age... but my experience and many other 40+ geezers tells me that as you get farther from 40 and closer to 50, your recovery time increases. I can get 3 or 4 truly quality days out of most weeks. Add a couple of "junk miles" days for volume.
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Old 09-24-12, 05:46 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees
OP didn't post his age... but my experience and many other 40+ geezers tells me that as you get farther from 40 and closer to 50, your recovery time increases. I can get 3 or 4 truly quality days out of most weeks. Add a couple of "junk miles" days for volume.
See that's the problem...I'm 39. At 50, I guess I'd understand a reduced training capacity, but damn...

HMF and I are on a similar program. I like to go hard at least 1 day of the weekend, so that really only leaves 1 other day I can really train hard during the week. I tried to do two days in a row this weekend, because I really do feel like there are advantages to doing some work(like SST) when you aren't completely recovered. I do ride recovery rides...like today. Yesterday I was just trying to stretch a bit.

I'm really on top of my diet and I don't know a lot more of what I can do to aid recovery (well, I do, but....). I just have to be honest about how much gas is in the tank. I can ride quite a bit of endurance/tempo, which I do, but the really high intensity stuff really zaps me.

I do train with power. I use Golden Cheetah and Bikescore (instead of TSS). I can sustain 500-600 Bikescore weeks and will overload up to 800 Bikescore points/week. There's no way I could do 4-5 hard days in a week, though. Some of you guys are animals.
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Old 09-24-12, 07:40 PM
  #11  
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When I'm building, I'll do Longer LT intervals, a hill repeat day, shorter anaerobic interval workout, and a long/hard ride with teammates. Also, a few easy-pace rides and one day off the bike altogether. When the races start, I may only do one moderately hard workout during a week when I might do both a Tuesday-night crit and a weekend road race.
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Old 09-24-12, 09:27 PM
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depends.
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Old 09-24-12, 09:49 PM
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3, but I'm 58 and do hard work these days.

I just ate a Ding Dong.
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Old 09-25-12, 06:03 AM
  #14  
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If I do a stage race of 8 days, then I guess every workout is hard (to a point).

When I am building for races, there is maybe one actual recovery day a week and only bits of super deep stuff.
Lots of mod-hard stuff that I'd consider hard.

So I guess the question would be, what quantifies "hard"?
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Old 09-25-12, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy
I can ride quite a bit of endurance/tempo, which I do, but the really high intensity stuff really zaps me.
Then you need to cut your training volume. Less endurance/tempo, more high intensity stuff. Stress over quantity. Make sure you get a lot of rest after high intensity days. Do two or three of them in a row, then a rest day. Don't forget rest weeks that are really rest weeks. You don't do a club hammerfest during a rest week.

Tempo is addictive. You're getting a good workout, building base strength, and your road speed gives plenty of positive feedback. That's all well and good for base, but it's doing nothing for your speed. In fact, if you're not resting enough, you're digging yourself a hole that inhibits building speed.
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Old 09-25-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy
I do train with power. I use Golden Cheetah and Bikescore (instead of TSS). I can sustain 500-600 Bikescore weeks and will overload up to 800 Bikescore points/week. There's no way I could do 4-5 hard days in a week, though. Some of you guys are animals.
I can't remember how bikescore and TSS compare, but if I remember right it's pretty similar. 600-800 would be a fairly large week. And incredibly impressive if only doing 1 maybe 2 hard rides a week. What this tells me is you are going too hard on your non hard days. This would lead to the fatigue and non repeatability of the interval days.
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Old 09-25-12, 08:53 AM
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4 or 5.
In the fall/winter I do more days/time with less intensity. In the spring and through the summer I generally do 4 days that are more intense and focused shorter rides. Part of that is also being able to be available for family stuff during the week as well as getting lots of recovery and rest time. I'm 46.
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Old 09-25-12, 09:32 AM
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some pretty ambitious racers in here. there is no way i could sustain more than 3 true hard workouts per week for more than a few weeks at a time.
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Old 09-25-12, 09:46 AM
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I prepared for Nationals doing between 8-12 hours per week.
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Old 09-25-12, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd
Then you need to cut your training volume. Less endurance/tempo, more high intensity stuff. Stress over quantity. Make sure you get a lot of rest after high intensity days. Do two or three of them in a row, then a rest day. Don't forget rest weeks that are really rest weeks. You don't do a club hammerfest during a rest week.

Tempo is addictive. You're getting a good workout, building base strength, and your road speed gives plenty of positive feedback. That's all well and good for base, but it's doing nothing for your speed. In fact, if you're not resting enough, you're digging yourself a hole that inhibits building speed.
Originally Posted by Creatre
I can't remember how bikescore and TSS compare, but if I remember right it's pretty similar. 600-800 would be a fairly large week. And incredibly impressive if only doing 1 maybe 2 hard rides a week. What this tells me is you are going too hard on your non hard days. This would lead to the fatigue and non repeatability of the interval days.
When I say endurance/tempo, I'm talking a 'normal' ride. On an endurance ride, I'll ride at zone 2 power/zone 1 HR, these rides last 1.5-2 hours. If I ride tempo on one of these rides, then I'll be in zone 3 power/zone 2 HR. Really, these are not particularly hard rides. I _should_ be able to sustain a fair bit of this type of work. I understand what people say about riding too hard on easy days and I don't _feel_ as if I'm doing that. On my 1 hour recovery ride yesterday, I had an average of 132 watts. Hell, my mother could damn near ride that...

What's a 'hard' workout? That's a pretty good question. Anything that leaves you dragging ass for a while, I guess. 2x20's, ZCI's, VO2max & anaerobic intervals all count. I _cannot_ do 2 of these on successive days. I might be able to do one of these followed by an SST day, but that's the most I could take. If I were doing a stage race, I'd be shagged by day 3.

As far as measuring my workload. I ride 8-12 hours a week. This includes a 4-hour Saturday with either a club hammer ride or CX practice (the CX practice is harder). If I'm racing on the weekend, then that will be my hard weekend ride. This is either 2 crits or a CX race. A 'normal' week comes in at about 500-600 Bikescore. A 700-800 Bikescore week is big for me. A rest week is 200-300 Bs. I've been traveling a lot with work, lately, so that pretty much messes up everything, but my training tolerance opinion isn't based off just the last couple months, it's based off the last couple years and full training cycles.
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Old 09-25-12, 10:51 AM
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Forget about your mother, we're talking about you.

You can't do back to back hard effort days because you are doing too much riding like your mother. You are stuck in the belief that you have to get xTSS every week, that you need to train every day. If you have 8-12 hours per week including racing, then you need to focus every minute that you spend on the bike. Every workout has a purpose. When I trained for Nats I stopped commuting, stopped group rides, stopped midweek training races. Focus. I got hella fast. You CAN do back to back hard days, but you will need a rest day before and a rest day after, and you'll need a rest week every few weeks.
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Old 09-25-12, 10:55 AM
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How's your diet?
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Old 09-25-12, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy
I do train with power. I use Golden Cheetah and Bikescore (instead of TSS). I can sustain 500-600 Bikescore weeks and will overload up to 800 Bikescore points/week. There's no way I could do 4-5 hard days in a week, though. Some of you guys are animals.
Yea that's exactly what my weekly load looks like. Lately I've been trying to push it up to just over 700 per week, but 600 is about standard. 130 of that comes on Tuesday, 300+ on Saturday. All other days I just pedal my bike.

I read this article recently that totally changed how I think about training. I can't even remember where I found it (probably here) but since I found it I've restructured my training to what it is now. www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.htm
In it, the authors do a meta-analysis of all these different studies of experienced athletes that were willing to change their training. Basically, the athletes went from a standard distribution of time at intensity (say, 50-30-20, endruance-threshold-vO2max) in a given training week, to mostly endurance with some over intensity, and almost no time at threshold (i.e. 70-10-20). Every study showed gains in well trained athletes that were already doing very well. I highly recommend reading it for the details. I've been setting PR's the past two weekends and I attribute it to spending less time doing medium hard rides and more time in Z2.
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Old 09-25-12, 11:34 AM
  #24  
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I guess I could say my new philosophy is to make the hard days really effin' hard compared to the rest of your week, and then rest or ride endurance the other days. As the season progress, make the effin' hard days even harder (easy to measure with power). With this kind of set-up, 2 days a week seems to just end up being the natural equilibrium.
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Old 09-25-12, 11:36 AM
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It also matters what you're doing between intervals. Are you riding at tempo between your 2x20's? Probably a bad idea unless that's what the plan is designed to do.

Between all intervals riding should be at endurance pace, your energy should be going to the purpose for the day. My coach used to yell at me for riding too hard between intervals. I got the point when the 'ride at endurance pace' comments started getting all caps and bolded...
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