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Creating off season training plan

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Creating off season training plan

Old 08-31-14, 07:07 AM
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akinsgre
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Creating off season training plan

I'm trying to put together an off-season training plan now and would like any advice you all are willing to give.

This year, I raced a few times on a one-day license. My goal for next year is to license as Cat 5, upgrade to Cat 4 by early July.

Fortunately I work at home on a very flexible schedule so I can train almost as much as my legs will let me.

I'm 47 and have been riding a lot for the last two years. My mileage is about 180 a week which is 10 - 11 hours. I have a HR meter but no power meter, and don't think I can afford one.

My tentative plan is:

9/14 - 10/1: Mostly rest. 2 - 3 Active Recover rides per week. Some swimming, running and kayaking.
10/2 - 12/31: Base. Building from 10 hours/week to 15 hours/week. ( Zone 2 )
1/1 - 2/24: More intense Base (High Zone 2 - Low Zone 3)
2/24 - 4/15: Build Phase (First Race is roughtly 4/15)
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Old 08-31-14, 04:16 PM
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Maybe guys with more experience will chime in (I've only trained one season), but 3 months seems very long to stay in zone 2. I'd probably build the z2 hours for a month, and have a good bit of threshold or just sub threshold by the end of December. Actually I'd probably include some z4 from the start, but I don't think that's typical good advice.
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Old 08-31-14, 05:36 PM
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Try reading The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel. Lots of good training plan info there.
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Old 08-31-14, 05:56 PM
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when you start/end zone x really depends in when you want your peak(s).

another vote for the training bible.
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Old 08-31-14, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Try reading The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel. Lots of good training plan info there.
Thanks. I read a lot from Joe Friel's website. Book is on order.
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Old 08-31-14, 08:28 PM
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starting a structured training program in october seems very early for someone of your experience level.
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Old 09-01-14, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Try reading The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel. Lots of good training plan info there.
Forgive me, but Coach Friel while right on the money on most topics discussed in his book is way wrong on some basic areas, such as the number of hours needed to train respective of the category one races in. He'd have you believe you can do start with 5-8 hrs a week (200-250 hrs per season). That is just not true unless you don't mind being peloton fodder. His weight training advice is way too hard, unless you are in your 20's or 30's. You will spend a good chunk of time recovering from that rather than putting time on the bike. He does not mention the importance of aerodynamics and how to a achieve an aero position suitable for racing. This is something others have covered much, much better. Even my 25 year old book by Greg Lemond has more on-target advice. The other issue I have with Friel's methods is the periodization concept, which in my opinion only applies to riders spending 15-20 hrs a week or more. For most of us who train with much less time, there really is no 'downtime'. sure, you change the intensity of course, to increase the aerobic base, etc etc. But if all you can do is put 8 hrs a week, does that mean that during the transition phase you should put only 4-5? I think that's the advice that gets most beginners the crappy results that make them quit the sport. Heck, if you are going to race and want decent results -i.e. not get dropped, you should plan on riding a whole lot more than you are currently. As fitness improves, sure you can relax some of that, but by then you will want to upgrade and the cycle continues....
But it is a good introduction.
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Old 09-01-14, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pecos View Post
Heck, if you are going to race and want decent results -i.e. not get dropped, you should plan on riding a whole lot more than you are currently. As fitness improves, sure you can relax some of that, but by then you will want to upgrade and the cycle continues....
But it is a good introduction.
Thanks for the differing opinion.

Like I mentioned in my original post, I can put in a fair number of hours. I think that 13 - 15 isn't too much of a stretch. Most of the plans I've read about include the periodization concept. What should I watch for if I'm riding less than 15 hours during my base period?

Also at 10 hours current, when I build base and go from 10 - 15 hours per week, I plan on building around 10 percent per week. However, I'm a little unsure about how I should break down the workouts through the week. Any intervals? Should there be a couple really long rides and then a few shorter rides? 6 rides per week?
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Old 09-01-14, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pecos View Post
Forgive me, but Coach Friel while right on the money on most topics discussed in his book is way wrong on some basic areas, such as the number of hours needed to train respective of the category one races in. He'd have you believe you can do start with 5-8 hrs a week (200-250 hrs per season). That is just not true unless you don't mind being peloton fodder.
paging waterrockets
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Old 09-01-14, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
starting a structured training program in october seems very early for someone of your experience level.
My target race is early August. I'd like to have upgrade to Cat 4 by then, but I know that I can just finish early races to get the upgrade. So I'd like to be peaking in late July.

If I don't start a structured program until later in the winter, what do I do from now until then?
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Old 09-01-14, 06:49 AM
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Hello. Run the biggest stairs you can find with a 50lb weight in a backpack. Then sprint hills with same weight, then power squat weight lifting+add leg press, and dead lifts. Work up to your max. do this 3 times a week. sprinting on your fixed gear -UP HILLS!!! donot make anything EASY! Harder is BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers-Marty.
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Old 09-01-14, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 7844martin View Post
Hello. Run the biggest stairs you can find with a 50lb weight in a backpack. Then sprint hills with same weight, then power squat weight lifting+add leg press, and dead lifts. Work up to your max. do this 3 times a week. sprinting on your fixed gear -UP HILLS!!! donot make anything EASY! Harder is BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers-Marty.

qft.

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Old 09-01-14, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 7844martin View Post
Hello. Run the biggest stairs you can find with a 50lb weight in a backpack. Then sprint hills with same weight, then power squat weight lifting+add leg press, and dead lifts. Work up to your max. do this 3 times a week. sprinting on your fixed gear -UP HILLS!!! donot make anything EASY! Harder is BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers-Marty.
At the risk of sounding dense.. are you serious? If so this sounds great. Just doesn't sound like anything I've heard of before for off-season training. I thought the idea was to rest the legs and do any weight training around non-cycling specific workouts.
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Old 09-01-14, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pecos View Post
Forgive me, but Coach Friel while right on the money on most topics discussed in his book is way wrong on some basic areas, such as the number of hours needed to train respective of the category one races in. He'd have you believe you can do start with 5-8 hrs a week (200-250 hrs per season). That is just not true unless you don't mind being peloton fodder. His weight training advice is way too hard, unless you are in your 20's or 30's. You will spend a good chunk of time recovering from that rather than putting time on the bike. He does not mention the importance of aerodynamics and how to a achieve an aero position suitable for racing. This is something others have covered much, much better. Even my 25 year old book by Greg Lemond has more on-target advice. The other issue I have with Friel's methods is the periodization concept, which in my opinion only applies to riders spending 15-20 hrs a week or more. For most of us who train with much less time, there really is no 'downtime'. sure, you change the intensity of course, to increase the aerobic base, etc etc. But if all you can do is put 8 hrs a week, does that mean that during the transition phase you should put only 4-5? I think that's the advice that gets most beginners the crappy results that make them quit the sport. Heck, if you are going to race and want decent results -i.e. not get dropped, you should plan on riding a whole lot more than you are currently. As fitness improves, sure you can relax some of that, but by then you will want to upgrade and the cycle continues....
But it is a good introduction.

strongly disagree.
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Old 09-01-14, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 7844martin View Post
Hello. Run the biggest stairs you can find with a 50lb weight in a backpack. Then sprint hills with same weight, then power squat weight lifting+add leg press, and dead lifts. Work up to your max. do this 3 times a week. sprinting on your fixed gear -UP HILLS!!! donot make anything EASY! Harder is BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers-Marty.
are you still ****ed up from last night or are you starting early for the holiday?
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Old 09-01-14, 09:30 AM
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Meh. For a cat five your target race should be anything you enter.

And I don't ride more than 8 hours a week all that much. It depends on what one's events are and what they're going with their training hours.
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Old 09-01-14, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by akinsgre View Post
Like I mentioned in my original post, I can put in a fair number of hours. I think that 13 - 15 isn't too much of a stretch. Most of the plans I've read about include the periodization concept. What should I watch for if I'm riding less than 15 hours during my base period?
What was your avg no of hours prior to the racing season this year, what was the avg hours before? I am not a coach, far from it, I'm still learning, almost on a daily basis, but you also don't want to overdo it and end up tired due to overreach from doing too much too soon. You should increase your workload, time and otherwise more than 10-12% over previous, and that is assuming you're fairly young and recover well. There is no magic recipe, I'm afraid you will have to find out by trial and error. But do err on the safe side. Better to slightly undertrain than overtrain.

Originally Posted by akinsgre View Post
Also at 10 hours current, when I build base and go from 10 - 15 hours per week, I plan on building around 10 percent per week. However, I'm a little unsure about how I should break down the workouts through the week. Any intervals? Should there be a couple really long rides and then a few shorter rides? 6 rides per week?
Sounds like you are serious about self-coaching. If you plan to peak in July-August next year then as you already have figured it out, now is the time to start. If you can spend 10-15 hrs and not feel totally trashed by the 2nd or 3rd week I'd say you have an excellent level of fitness already. 10% increase per week sounds aggressive but if your body and mind can handle it then go for it. As for intervals, I wouldn't waste time on the hard stuff, super anaerobic efforts like sprinting, or cross-over intervals that are best left till later. I'd concentrate on muscular endurance intervals, like 2x10x5 and no more than once a week, the rest being Z1/Z2 stuff. If you do most of your riding on the road and you have decent hills that also should be enough.

Originally Posted by akinsgre View Post
9/14 - 10/1: Mostly rest. 2 - 3 Active Recover rides per week. Some swimming, running and kayaking.
10/2 - 12/31: Base. Building from 10 hours/week to 15 hours/week. ( Zone 2 )
1/1 - 2/24: More intense Base (High Zone 2 - Low Zone 3)
2/24 - 4/15: Build Phase (First Race is roughtly 4/15)
This sounds very good. I don't know your abilities but this seems as a great start. I know I couldn't have done so much my first 2 seasons, but I was fat, didn't eat right.
My only comments, if I may, and with full disclosure that there are far savvier fellow riders on this board, if to lengthen your base to mid January. The longer the base the longer the peak period. Your build phase seems long, for a beginner, make sure you schedule rest every so often. That is the most dangerous phase of the training. Be careful and always ask yourself the questions: how do I feel? am I recovering quick enough? how's my mental state? am I ready for more or should I back off? A training plan should be flexible and allow you to make corrections as you go. Don't be hung on number of hours, time spent on HR zones, power output, etc. Go by feel, mostly.

And, think about getting a coach. A lot, if not most of what I'm regurgitating here I had to learn the hard way or from a coach. Trust me, getting it from a coach is better, less error prone and in the long run cheaper and more effective.
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Old 09-01-14, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by akinsgre View Post
My target race is early August. I'd like to have upgrade to Cat 4 by then, but I know that I can just finish early races to get the upgrade. So I'd like to be peaking in late July.

If I don't start a structured program until later in the winter, what do I do from now until then?
If you were a teammate of mine I'd offer the following suggestions:
1. Do group rides, hopefully with other (more experienced) racers or with a group that has at least a couple (more experienced) racers. Benefit: learn a bit more on how to ride in a group, pick up tips and tricks, learn stuff the hard way (like not letting gaps go etc), learn some of the subtleties of the season etc ("that first set of races is great for upgrading, then there's a bunch of hard road races, then blah blah blah"). Also learn to ride harder than comfortable. I've done two rides with the club I race with and I got shelled both times (most of the group were Cat 4s, 5s, and non-racers; I'm a Cat 3). A group will be naturally competitive and as long as it's not too crazy it'll benefit you as a racer.

2. I'd do some longer rides, esp if your schedule allows it. I would do some small training cycles, like bigger hours for a week or so in Sept, Nov, Dec, Jan. Since I promote races in Mar/Apr I rarely get more than 8-10 hours in all of Feb. I try to do well in Mar/Apr and even when I can't ride a lot in Feb if I can get a big month in Jan then it all works out. Pretty much all my rides are JRA rides ("just riding along") but I'll do efforts here and there, chase a truck or two, etc. I typically average 12-15 mph on my 2+ hour rides during the winter, maybe 16-17 mph if it's a fast hour. My peak speeds might be nothing or if I'm feeling it I might have hit 30-35 mph on a flat (not a sprint, typically surging hard to stay with traffic passing me). No specifics because I don't think specifics are really necessary. I rode when I had time, I didn't when I didn't, and I did JRA rides for all of them. I would try to do several FTP tests (20 minute efforts) and usually only complete one or two a winter - the rest I sit up after 3-4-5 minutes because I don't feel like pushing beyond that.

3. Remember that the limiter for newer racers isn't the actual fitness in a crit (climbs in RR are different, fitness is key there, as well as base genetic traits/talent). The limiter is knowing how to ride/race in a group, using the draft, and dealing with peak speeds.

4. With a winter where I'm doing a peak of maybe 40-50 hours (Jan) with an average of more like 15-20 hours (Oct-Dec), and a "recovery" 8-10 hour month (Feb), I'll be pretty good in March/April, good enough to win Cat 3-4 races. In 2010 I did 150 hours between mid Oct (when I started riding after my first ever bad crash in early Aug) and end of Feb, and I barely rode in Feb. I upgraded to Cat 2 by Aug of that year, using points I earned between March and June. I raced into September but I upgraded because we wanted to start a family and so my focus switched to prepping the house for that.

5. I've almost never "burnt out" or blew up after a peak. My season has a couple natural breaks (mid/late April, a week in July or Aug, then end of season) so I work those 1-2 weeks of "life getting in the way of racing" into my schedule. When I tried to peak for March/April I only started feeling a bit toasted in late September, debating whether I should race in early October or not. The critical thing here is that I pretty much never do mentally taxing training, i.e. intervals. I race for my speed work and do base/aerobic stuff when I'm training. This way I don't expend a lot of mental energy.

6. Even with only 2-2.5 hours of training a week this year and last I've won a number of field sprints and one training race (M45 or Cat 3, training race was a Cat 3-4-5 where my teammates were recently upgraded 3s and they wanted to help me in return for helping them get their Cat 3 upgrades). This spring I placed in one sprint pretty highly (4th in the race) and ironically I never got to sprint because I was so boxed in (tactics > strength, per usual). I pretty much rode to the line without sprinting, trying to thread my way through slowing riders, but unable to really unleash a sprint.

So go out and do whatever this winter. A new rider will gain fitness in leaps and bounds. Adjust your position as you get more fit and more able to ride longer/lower on the bike (typically as your core, legs, glutes get stronger you'll move your bars out and down).

Get your 10 race finishes as a 5. You can even upgrade to Cat 3 without placing, although I think it's better to do well in a few Cat 4 races before upgrading to 3.

A teammate of mine started racing this year. He thinks about how to race, not just training stuff, and he upgraded to Cat 4 by May or so. In July he upgraded to Cat 3 although he hadn't placed in a true Cat 4 race (he won a training race that was mainly Cat 4-5s). Just last week he got a strong 3rd in his first race as a Cat 3. He's strong, yes, but he also races smart. He wants to learn race craft, he thinks about how he could have raced differently, he tries different things (he won a training race in a break but he also directed an experienced Cat 3 leadout teammate and got 3rd in the race), he's willing to work for his teammates to learn what it's like to do other things in a race.

Don't worry about equipment except making sure you have good fit on the bike, clipless pedals, and reasonable tires. Gearing, if it's not weird, shouldn't be a problem (11-25 should get you through most stuff, regardless of cranks). If you want to splurge get a powermeter or light+aero wheels.
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Old 09-01-14, 10:17 AM
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too bad both will just be ignored b/c they aren't what the OP wants to hear; though the following may help

Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
strongly disagree.
you need to sign off as: MDCatV, actually cat-2; director of a regional elite squad
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
Meh. For a cat five your target race should be anything you enter.

And I don't ride more than 8 hours a week all that much. It depends on what one's events are and what they're going with their training hours.
and your sig should read: gsteinb, master's soul crusher

-------
Originally Posted by akinsgre View Post
At the risk of sounding dense.. are you serious? If so this sounds great. Just doesn't sound like anything I've heard of before for off-season training. I thought the idea was to rest the legs and do any weight training around non-cycling specific workouts.
he probably is; but many deranged would tell you they sincerely believe what they are saying
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Old 09-01-14, 11:03 AM
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Champions are made not Born. How bad do you want to be a CHAMPION? Every day -train. Every minute think about what you can do to become a Champion. Otherwise you are a casual CLUB rider! Cheers, Marty.
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Old 09-01-14, 12:34 PM
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calm down.
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Old 09-01-14, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 7844martin View Post
Champions are made not Born. How bad do you want to be a CHAMPION? Every day -train. Every minute think about what you can do to become a Champion. Otherwise you are a casual CLUB rider! Cheers, Marty.
lol
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Old 09-01-14, 01:47 PM
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Whew. I just finnished 50 sprinting Intervals uo my favourite 200m hill, on my fixie street bike with low air pressure in the tires to make it harder!!!!!!! sorry were you discussing something with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-01-14, 01:55 PM
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Whew. I just finnished 50 sprinting Intervals on my favourite 200m hill, on my fixie street bike with low air pressure in the tires to make it harder!!!!!!! Sorry were you discussing something with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEXT TOPIC- Dead lifting is next. topic for discussion. 1. Start with the bar-45lbs.- 20reps. 2. Then add two 45lb plates-135lbs -15 reps. 3.two more 45lb plates =225lbs-12 reps. 4. tw0 more 45lb plates-315lbs.-8 reps. 5. two more 45lb plates=405lbs-5 reps. 6. two more 45lb plates=495lbs.-2 reps. Then reverse order removing weight- 5, 4,3,2,1.
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Old 09-01-14, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 7844martin View Post
Whew. I just finnished 50 sprinting Intervals on my favourite 200m hill, on my fixie street bike with low air pressure in the tires to make it harder!!!!!!! Sorry were you discussing something with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEXT TOPIC- Dead lifting is next. topic for discussion. 1. Start with the bar-45lbs.- 20reps. 2. Then add two 45lb plates-135lbs -15 reps. 3.two more 45lb plates =225lbs-12 reps. 4. tw0 more 45lb plates-315lbs.-8 reps. 5. two more 45lb plates=405lbs-5 reps. 6. two more 45lb plates=495lbs.-2 reps. Then reverse order removing weight- 5, 4,3,2,1.
what drugs are your favorites?
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