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Off season training

Old 11-25-13, 07:18 AM
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johnpitts01
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Off season training

I've been riding seriously for 2 years now.
This winter I want to target my fitness time to improve my cycling.

Specifically hill climbing (both road and mountain bike) as well as balance.

I will be 59 in Feb.

An average riding week for me from March to November is:
3-4 x per week urban (Philly)bike ride on a mountain bike.
1 x per week 18-15 mile road bike ride.
Saturday single track MTB ride 2-3 hours
Sunday road bike ride 50-65 miles 18 mph pace.

Any advice, real life experience, recommendations is appreciated.

Should I spend my time on a trainer? Spinning at the gym? Non specific muscle building? Balance board?

Thanks

John
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Old 11-25-13, 07:40 AM
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My thoughts are this. I live and ride in the Philadelphia area all year long. But, the miles do drop off in winter months. I still find that riding in the winter has it's benefits including taxing my system in different ways. I do, however, find that doing time on the trainer, while driving me crazy, is helpful when I just can't get out. I also use the winter months to work on strength building and focus on those muscles that don't get as much work from cycling. This allows me to bring things a bit back into balance. It's a personal preference, but I avoid fitness clubs and the "gym" like the plague. It takes too much time to get there and even more time to be even moderately social with those already there. (I have better places to spend time being social.) I'm also not fond of using equipment that others have sweated over before my use. But, if you can tolerate all of those things and will actually use the equipment, go for it.
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Old 11-25-13, 08:11 AM
  #3  
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I'm a much slower rider than you are, but my best starts to the riding year came after a winter of twice-a-week spin classes. It really kept the biking muscles in trim. Second best was after the winter when I worked out with a personal trainer twice a week. I didn't lose any weight, but I was definitely stronger and looked slimmer.

Comment from a friend: "You lost weight." Answer: "No, I just moved it around a little."

I just can't do trainers. It's loud and scarily boring. Maybe this winter.
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Old 11-25-13, 08:24 AM
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I'm going to try to try to try spin classes this winter. I did one the other day, and I survived. 60 minutes of very loud music with someone shouting directions I could barely understand over the noise. However, there was some motivation to being with others - most of whom could not fix a flat if their life depended upon it, if they even have a bike. We have supposed "disinfectant" which everyone faithfully uses by wiping the machinery before and after the activity, and I end up sort of "doing my own thing." I am by far the oldest person in the class, but that doesn't bother me much.

I also regularly do swimming, walking and pretty intense resistance exercises and targeted stretching.
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Old 11-25-13, 10:32 AM
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There's no reason to stop riding in the cold months, I was out yesterday. You just have to dress for the tempature. More layers, winter gloves, shoe covers, and a balaclava are musts. You probably have most of what you need already. Of course rain, snow, ice, etc means workingout inside. But there is nothing nicer than putting in a few miles on a sunny winter day. You'll feel alive, and everybody will think you're nuts! So hit the gym\spin when you need to, ride when you can.
BTW, I was riding yesterday, 29 degrees, just a few miles north of Philly.
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Old 11-25-13, 10:50 AM
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No experience lately with other training modes, I am fortunate to be able to ride year round here. If you have the kit for cold weather, your bike is set up for you to be comfortable with the slush and road salts that get on everything, then I would say to ride if possible, if not the trainer is your friend, a member here, Billydonn, posts a yearly thread about his groups regular trainer sessions with a coach and several other friends of his, you might find it and read a few posts there. Trainers or rollers can be boring as all get out, I personally prefer rollers and can take them for a while, if I cannot get out for several days. Others here can better tell you about cross training with weights, walking, treadmills and others modes of maintaining fitness.

Best of luck with your winter workouts, hopefully you an find a happy medium to keep the hard won fitness you have achieved.

bill
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Old 11-25-13, 12:19 PM
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On trainer everyday for the last month or so . I do nothing but interval for 30-45 minutes . Keep it short and simple and you will not feel the borden .
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Old 11-25-13, 05:38 PM
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Riding rollers during the winter improved my technique in a hurry. Trainers are better for strength, altho I can't stand them. I'd sooner spend 20 minutes on rollers and do kettlebell exercises for strength.
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Old 11-26-13, 09:51 AM
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Some additional info

My winter weekly routine usually looks something like this unless the weather is really miserable:

Mountain bike ride 60-90 minutes 2-3 x per week. (Urban philly ride or single track)
Mountain bike ride 2-3 hours 1 x per week on the weekend. Single Track.

If the weather is above 35 with little wind I will go for a 2-3 hour road bike ride on the weekend in place or maybe even in addition to the weekend MTB ride.

I just hate to be cold. And road riding below 35 degrees makes me cold no matter what I wear.


So what I am looking for is something for 2-3 times per week to supplement my reduced winter riding.
I am thinking it should be something other than biking - trainer or rollers.

I have done some spinning in the past and liked it. Just not sure if spinning will help me climb better come spring.
Trying to determine what I should do over the winter with those 2-3 days available to make me a better climber come spring.

A local bike shop / sporting goods store D & Q has bicycle specific power training available. 3 separate sessions two days per week. Sounds like exactly what I am looking for. But none of the sessions available fits my work travel schedule. I need some flexibility to work on my own. I can't fit a rigid training schedule into my work calendar.

John

PS: I rode the mountain bike yesterday. I don't mind the cold to a point, especially on the MTB.
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Old 11-26-13, 09:34 PM
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Day one, "chest and back", next day, "everything else" at the gym. Third day, two hours out of the saddle on my Spinner Spin bike while watching something informative on You Tube. Rinse, and repeat. Two days off a month.

I got slim this bike season (62 at 143 lbs, 6% BF), and pretty fast for an old guy, and intend to keep the edge for next season. I don't handle cold weather, but will ride on a fair, sunny day in Middle Tennessee.
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Old 11-26-13, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
There's no reason to stop riding in the cold months, I was out yesterday. You just have to dress for the tempature.
In many cases that may be true. Several years ago, I started having problems with Reynaud's Syndrome in cold weather. As a result, my rides are much shorter, and I seldom ride when the temperature is below 10F, regardless of how many layers I can pile on or warming devices I can slip into my mittens and socks.
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Old 11-26-13, 11:19 PM
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Climbing specific stuff in the winter. My opinion is that the time to build climbing power is in the spring. You don't want to be building power in the winter so much, because you'll peak in February, and what good will that do you? IOW, what people normally do to build power is intervals of various sorts, and that works, but now doesn't seem to be the time to do that.

So I focus on building strength and pedaling dynamics in the winter. If I am reasonably gym-strong and can put power to the pedals efficiently, when I add intervals in the spring that should enable me to climb better. And it does seem to work.

For maybe 10 years I've followed this sort of a program:
Weights: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...g-for-cyclists
although I've changed that a little the last couple of years - I'm always changing stuff seeking better results. Now I do as above, but when I can do one circuit set well, I add a second circuit set with the same weights. When I can do that, I add a third set. By then, it should be mid-February. Then I quit with the sets of 30 and, using the same exercises, I do the usual progression of hypertrophy and strength until the serious intervals start. Then I drop back to 1 set of 30 until it's time to stop that, too. During all this, I try not to gain weight.

The other thing I do is rollers:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16108339

I often do a spin class once/week and then lift after. I also usually do weights after my fast spin or OLP work. Doing weights after the aerobic work is definitely the way to go to build cycling strength. It's only necessary to do weights twice a week. Even once a week works well enough.
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Old 11-27-13, 08:02 AM
  #13  
johnpitts01
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What is Z

Carbonfiberboy:

In your rollers thread what is the Z value?



Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Climbing specific stuff in the winter. My opinion is that the time to build climbing power is in the spring. You don't want to be building power in the winter so much, because you'll peak in February, and what good will that do you? IOW, what people normally do to build power is intervals of various sorts, and that works, but now doesn't seem to be the time to do that.

So I focus on building strength and pedaling dynamics in the winter. If I am reasonably gym-strong and can put power to the pedals efficiently, when I add intervals in the spring that should enable me to climb better. And it does seem to work.

For maybe 10 years I've followed this sort of a program:
Weights: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...g-for-cyclists
although I've changed that a little the last couple of years - I'm always changing stuff seeking better results. Now I do as above, but when I can do one circuit set well, I add a second circuit set with the same weights. When I can do that, I add a third set. By then, it should be mid-February. Then I quit with the sets of 30 and, using the same exercises, I do the usual progression of hypertrophy and strength until the serious intervals start. Then I drop back to 1 set of 30 until it's time to stop that, too. During all this, I try not to gain weight.

The other thing I do is rollers:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16108339

I often do a spin class once/week and then lift after. I also usually do weights after my fast spin or OLP work. Doing weights after the aerobic work is definitely the way to go to build cycling strength. It's only necessary to do weights twice a week. Even once a week works well enough.
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Old 11-27-13, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by johnpitts01 View Post
Carbonfiberboy:

In your rollers thread what is the Z value?
Ah, Z is an abbreviation for Zone, as in training zone. I base my zones of my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR):
Zone 1 = up to 72% of LTHR
Zone 2 = 73% - 82%
Zone 3 = 83% - 91%
Zone 4 = 91% - 100%
Zone 5 = over LTHR
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Old 11-27-13, 10:51 AM
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Second 60 minute spin class at 5:40 this am. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-29-13, 07:03 AM
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I really hate trainers. About 3 times a week I set stunner on kill and do 20 to 30 minutes of hill climbing. I can't take any more than that so I just try to retain some "leg" in the winter. Instead of the bike I go hiking.
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Old 12-02-13, 10:08 AM
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The holiday weekend here in Philly was pretty nice.
Was out on the road bike every day but Saturday. I opted for my first spin class of the season on Saturday.

I felt pretty strong on the Sunday group ride.
Thanks Carbonfiberboy for the training recommendations. I will do something like you've outlined starting this week.
But riding a bike outdoors will almost always take priority.
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Old 12-02-13, 12:08 PM
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I ride a trainer Jan-March and usually take to the road in March when temps are 35 minimum. All I want to do is run the pulse up and hold it there for an hour about 3 per week. Hate it, but moreso if I dont. It really does take the humiliation and sting out of that first ride or 3.

I may get back to weight training to check the effects on road biking.
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Old 12-07-13, 02:27 PM
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What's off season?
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Old 12-07-13, 02:40 PM
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I have always had best winter results using a trainer and high resistance intervals 3 times per week. They are followed by 30 minutes of upper body and core work on a TRX. Twice per week I do plyometrics.
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Old 12-07-13, 02:44 PM
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Yesterday 3rd 70 minute spin class. I survived. Swam for one hour prior.

Today - 45 minutes TRX, walk in 9F, snow and ice.
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