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Training plan

Old 08-31-18, 09:37 AM
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Training plan

What is the best training plan to be able to improve on group rides in the 45-50 mile range? I already have the stamina for the distances, but don't have the speed for the groups that I'm trying to hang with.

My main question has to do with frequency of rides and rest. For example, if I ride 150 miles per week, I can do that in 3, 4 or 5 days, like this -

5 days:
Four 25’s, one 50
4 days:
Two 25’s, two 50’s
3 days:
Three 50’s

What do you think?

And I fairly randomly picked the 150 miles/week. Should I go more? Or is that too much?
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Old 08-31-18, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff
What is the best training plan to be able to improve on group rides in the 45-50 mile range? I already have the stamina for the distances, but don't have the speed for the groups that I'm trying to hang with.

My main question has to do with frequency of rides and rest. For example, if I ride 150 miles per week, I can do that in 3, 4 or 5 days, like this -

5 days:
Four 25s, one 50
4 days:
Two 25s, two 50s
3 days:
Three 50s

What do you think?

And I fairly randomly picked the 150 miles/week. Should I go more? Or is that too much?
Since speed is your problem, not distance, training for distance is not going to get you what you want. You need to spend time going as hard as is required to hang on those group rides.
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Old 08-31-18, 10:52 AM
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The answer kinda depends on group dynamics, your strengths and weaknesses and how much time you have to increase your fitness and whether the training plan would incorporate group rides. Training plans aren't about distances, its about working on specific adaptions that are most easily addressed with intervals of varying lengths.
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Old 08-31-18, 10:56 AM
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Volume, duration and intensity are the three variables in any training plan.

Volume = miles or hours per week or month
Duration = miles or hours per workout
Intensity = how hard you go - measured with a heart rate monitor, power meter, etc.

The plans above address volume and duration but they do not address intensity. You get faster by increasing intensity.

Tempo, threshold intervals and group rides where you try to keep up with the big boys are going to make you faster.

Up your intensity. Ride harder and faster, not longer.


-Tim-
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Old 08-31-18, 10:57 AM
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Once you can ride a decent bit, you can typically ride a whole lot more if you take care of your exertion levels and nutrition. That you can't hang with a group over a particular distance is an issue of your aerobic fitness rather than your endurance.

I'd do your rides on whatever day you have your group rides. Keep doing the group rides and you'll likely get better. On another day you could try some 5-20 minute intervals at various intensities and work on improving across the board.

Also take notice of when and where you're getting dropped. Can you ride more efficiently (out of the wind, closer to wheels, etc)? Can you manage your efforts (less surging, more gradual accelerations, staying seated, starting difficult hills at the front rather than the back) or nutrition better?
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Old 08-31-18, 11:24 AM
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All good responses and points well-taken. ..

How would that advice come together for a weekly plan?

I'm 55. I can do a 40-mile group ride at 16 mph. I want to be able to do a 40-mile group ride at 17-18 mph. I probably have 12 hours a week to dedicate to it.

What would be the best use of that time for someone in that situation?

I can go on three 45-mile rides with groups that average 17+ and simply learn by doing and being pushed.

Or I can go on one 45-mile group ride like that and train on my own with a mix or shorter and longer rides.

What would you advise? I realize there are many ''depends'', but I'm looking for ''If I were you, I might try this each week and see how it goes.''

I
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Old 08-31-18, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff
All good responses and points well-taken. ..

How would that advice come together for a weekly plan?

I'm 55. I can do a 40-mile group ride at 16 mph. I want to be able to do a 40-mile group ride at 17-18 mph. I probably have 12 hours a week to dedicate to it.

What would be the best use of that time for someone in that situation?

I can go on three 45-mile rides with groups that average 17+ and simply learn by doing and being pushed.

Or I can go on one 45-mile group ride like that and train on my own with a mix or shorter and longer rides.

What would you advise? I realize there are many ''depends'', but I'm looking for ''If I were you, I might try this each week and see how it goes.''

I
I would say you could do it right now, today. You're not talking about a quantum step, just a gradation up. Take Rubiksoval's advice: stay out of the wind, dose your effort, pay attention to eating and drinking.
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Old 08-31-18, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff
I can go on three 45-mile rides with groups that average 17+ and simply learn by doing and being pushed.

Or I can go on one 45-mile group ride like that and train on my own with a mix or shorter and longer rides.
Three might be pretty intense and you would have to pay very close attention to recovery - nutrition and plenty of sleep.

My advice is to get a free subscription to Training Peaks and learn to use the Performance Management Chart. This will help you manage volume and intensity without overtraining and risking injury.

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/w...agement-chart/

I would also recommend loosing weight if you have any to loose. Weight loss is the number one thing to boost performance on the bike.

Or you could do what @caloso recommends. Just go out and ride hard. Today. Don't make excuses. Get on the bike, choose the more difficult route and ride it for a PR. This sounds trite but it is really the issue in a nutshell.


-Tim-
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Old 08-31-18, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by chicagogal
Since speed is your problem, not distance, training for distance is not going to get you what you want. You need to spend time going as hard as is required to hang on those group rides.
Originally Posted by TimothyH
Three might be pretty intense and you would have to pay very close attention to recovery - nutrition and plenty of sleep.

My advice is to get a free subscription to Training Peaks and learn to use the Performance Management Chart. This will help you manage volume and intensity without overtraining and risking injury.

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/w...agement-chart/

I would also recommend loosing weight if you have any to loose. Weight loss is the number one thing to boost performance on the bike.

Or you could do what @caloso recommends. Just go out and ride hard. Today. Don't make excuses. Get on the bike, choose the more difficult route and ride it for a PR. This sounds trite but it is really the issue in a nutshell.


-Tim-
Good tips. ... You know, about the weight thing, sometimes that is an elephant in the room. Some bikes cost $200 more because they're 2 pounds lighter and I'm thinking, heck, why not save $200 and lose 2 pounds.

I'll check out Training Peaks. And it might be as simple as training more while listening to your body when it says it's tired.
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Old 09-04-18, 09:57 PM
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What about doing hill repeats? Say something like:

5km x 4km x 3km x 2km x 1km
or
3 x 3km
etc.

And hill repeats ARE being trained, do you have to give out max effort each time or can to spin up the hill? Keeping in mind that the down part is the recovery. Once you get to the bottom of the hill, you turn around and start back up again.
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Old 09-05-18, 12:27 AM
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I don't think anybody has addressed this yet but if you honestly have the base fitness (ie can easily ride double the distance and vertical of your group rides) and you don't have much weight to lose, work on getting more aggressive. That's what I've been doing. Note that everything after this is my very very short experience and is definitely not pro fit advice.

This means intensely stretching everything, every day. Twist your spine. REALLY stretch your hamstrings, especially after your rides. Do core workouts. Abs, obliques, even lower back. How long can you plank? How many sit-ups can you do? How good are your stabilizers? Can you balance on one leg with your knee at 60ish degrees? If you've done all this, and you think you can handle it, consider making your fit more aggressive to reflect your aggressive fitness. Drop your bars by one or two spacers. Get a saddle that allows for more hip roll. Tilt your saddle ever so slightly forward. Slide your saddle a bit forward (kind of like when you're on the rivet). Reconsider your saddle height. A higher seat means it's easier on your knees but it can mean a slower, less stable pedaling motion, less torque, and less hamstring and glute activation. There can be a huge dropoff with just a few mm too high of a saddle. If you're not feeling sore in your glutes and hams after a hard ride, you're leaving watts on the table.

Again, this is all from my short, personal experience. I would actually appreciate it if people could correct me if I'm wrong on any account because I'm trying to figure this stuff out myself.
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Old 09-05-18, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff
Good tips. ... You know, about the weight thing, sometimes that is an elephant in the room. Some bikes cost $200 more because they're 2 pounds lighter and I'm thinking, heck, why not save $200 and lose 2 pounds.
Ha. 2 lbs for $200 bucks would be a helluva deal. $2000 bucks for 2 lbs sounds more realistic. And of course, the lighter you go, the more expensive those additional grams get.
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Old 09-05-18, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
This means intensely stretching everything, every day. Twist your spine. REALLY stretch your hamstrings, especially after your rides. Do core workouts. Abs, obliques, even lower back. How long can you plank? How many sit-ups can you do? How good are your stabilizers? Can you balance on one leg with your knee at 60ish degrees? If you've done all this, and you think you can handle it, consider making your fit more aggressive to reflect your aggressive fitness. Drop your bars by one or two spacers. Get a saddle that allows for more hip roll. Tilt your saddle ever so slightly forward. Slide your saddle a bit forward (kind of like when you're on the rivet). Reconsider your saddle height. A higher seat means it's easier on your knees but it can mean a slower, less stable pedaling motion, less torque, and less hamstring and glute activation. There can be a huge dropoff with just a few mm too high of a saddle. If you're not feeling sore in your glutes and hams after a hard ride, you're leaving watts on the table.

Again, this is all from my short, personal experience. I would actually appreciate it if people could correct me if I'm wrong on any account because I'm trying to figure this stuff out myself.
I think the more experience you get, the more you can start experimenting with more aggressive positions. Looking at a cat 5 race and looking a p/1/2 race shows a world of difference because it seems like so many Cat 5s sit so bolt upright compared to people that have been training a lot more. So definitely think there's some stuff to be found there, and people usually get to it as they get more experience if performance is their goal.

I don't know about the last sentence, though. Sore glutes and hams and thighs from high exertion when you're new is pretty common. I don't think you should be sore from just going out on an easy ride, though, once you've been riding a while. Over time you'll stop getting sore at all and will just get stiff and fatigued after big days. Pain or soreness from the actual bike fit is something to be avoided. I wouldn't ride in a position that hurts.
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Old 09-05-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval

I don't know about the last sentence, though. Sore glutes and hams and thighs from high exertion when you're new is pretty common. I don't think you should be sore from just going out on an easy ride, though, once you've been riding a while. Over time you'll stop getting sore at all and will just get stiff and fatigued after big days. Pain or soreness from the actual bike fit is something to be avoided. I wouldn't ride in a position that hurts.
Sorry, I didn't mean literally sore. I meant empty/tired, just as one's quads get after a long, hard ride. The emphasis was on the fact that the hamstrings and glutes should not feel untouched after a long ride while the quads feel empty. This asymmetric activation indicates inefficiency.
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Old 09-05-18, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
Sorry, I didn't mean literally sore. I meant empty/tired, just as one's quads get after a long, hard ride. The emphasis was on the fact that the hamstrings and glutes should not feel untouched after a long ride while the quads feel empty. This asymmetric activation indicates inefficiency.
I don't think so. Quads are the big drivers.
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Old 09-05-18, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
I don't think so. Quads are the big drivers.
Interesting. I know that glutes and hamstrings are extremely strong muscles and it'd be a real shame if people didn't exploit this. Do you have a link to an article that explains why it's impossible or counter productive to use them?

EDIT: also, for some reason a lot of cyclists think that hamstrings can only be used when pulling up. If your knee is sufficiently far back, your hamstring and glutes kick in on the downstroke automatically. This is why I personally advocate sliding back and lowering the saddle slightly - it really helps me dig deep into those posterior muscles.

Last edited by smashndash; 09-05-18 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 09-05-18, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
Interesting. I know that glutes and hamstrings are extremely strong muscles and it'd be a real shame if people didn't exploit this. Do you have a link to an article that explains why it's impossible or counter productive to use them?
Not sure how much exploiting you can do considering the relatively fixed position required to ride a bicycle. I mean, stranding and sprinting seems to use the butt a whole lot more. Can't really think of how you'd use hamstrings more than the other muscles, though, or even a similar amount.

Nope.
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Old 09-05-18, 02:56 PM
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Also make sure you give yourself sufficient recovery time.
If you start overloading the system too much it will be counter productive.
Being 55, whilst not being "old" you are no spring chicken either and recovery is slower as you age..
I am close to your age and have certainly noticed that I can't handle the training load that I could in my 20's.
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Old 09-05-18, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
f your knee is sufficiently far back, your hamstring and glutes kick in on the downstroke automatically. This is why I personally advocate sliding back and lowering the saddle slightly - it really helps me dig deep into those posterior muscles.
Originally Posted by smashndash
Again, this is all from my short, personal experience. I would actually appreciate it if people could correct me if I'm wrong on any account because I'm trying to figure this stuff out myself.
Never understood why people with limited experience go around advocating stuff.

Ever heard of the phrase "on the rivet"? It refers to being on the nose of your seat, something that's typically done by just about everyone when you're going as hard as you can and trying to generate the maximum amount of wattage you can.. Pretty much the exact opposite of what you're advocating.
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Old 09-05-18, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
Never understood why people with limited experience go around advocating stuff.

Ever heard of the phrase "on the rivet"? It refers to being on the nose of your seat, something that's typically done by just about everyone when you're going as hard as you can and trying to generate the maximum amount of wattage you can.. Pretty much the exact opposite of what you're advocating.
Fair enough. I do find myself sliding forward during hard efforts, but I also find myself sliding back when my quads start to burn. I can't reconcile these two experiences that I have had. I think I've derailed this thread enough for now. Thanks
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Old 09-05-18, 07:51 PM
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You need higher intensity intervals to cope with the surges and quicker speeds of the quicker bunch.

cheers
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Old 09-06-18, 01:25 AM
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How long have you been riding?
You can ride 20~30km on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 60~80km on Saturday and spend time with family on Sunday.
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