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Intermediate cyclists view of Friel and Carmichael's books

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Intermediate cyclists view of Friel and Carmichael's books

Old 08-09-06, 10:17 AM
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53x12
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Intermediate cyclists view of Friel and Carmichael's books

I would consider myself an intermediate cyclist who is now wanting to throw in some serious training. I have been reading up on old posts and seems that the conclusion that most have come to is that Friel and Carmichael are the best books to read before starting a training schedule. I am wondering if these books are too advanced for someone who is beginning to get interested in training? Is there a lot of info that only someone who has been training for years will be able to understand? Also, how different are the two authors approaches to training? Will I create more problems by reading these two books together and confuse myself as to what I need in a program?
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Old 08-09-06, 11:26 AM
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The Carmichael approach is pretty straight forward, and works well people who are just starting to formally train. All it really requires is a heart rate monitor. I'm not as familiar with Friel, but my sense is that it is a pretty similar approach, although with some terminology difference.
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Old 08-09-06, 12:05 PM
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I have found that my life is too busy and sporadic for a structured workout program defined by such books. I have tried to develop one before, but recovery time, weather, and life events always seem to shake up and ruin my scheduled rides. However, I did do a whole fall/winter endurance building phase. So, instead of placing rides on particular days, I do intervals every few days apart during the summer so far. These intervals could be 2-3x20 slightly above threshold, to a balls out climb at max pace. I am trying to improve sustainable power this season. It has been working and I am getting better. Between each interval ride I will do a nice tempo/recovery ride. I probably will peak in late august, early september. Then, I will try to start over again lol.
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Old 08-09-06, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Stallion
I have found that my life is too busy and sporadic for a structured workout program defined by such books. I have tried to develop one before, but recovery time, weather, and life events always seem to shake up and ruin my scheduled rides. However, I did do a whole fall/winter endurance building phase. So, instead of placing rides on particular days, I do intervals every few days apart during the summer so far. These intervals could be 2-3x20 slightly above threshold, to a balls out climb at max pace. I am trying to improve sustainable power this season. It has been working and I am getting better. Between each interval ride I will do a nice tempo/recovery ride. I probably will peak in late august, early september. Then, I will try to start over again lol.
I hear ya on that. I could be such a better rider if that stupid thing called life didn't get in the way so much. lol
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Old 08-09-06, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Stallion
I have found that my life is too busy and sporadic for a structured workout program defined by such books. .
Actually, that's the major reason I use a CTS coach. Because I have little time to train, I want to make the most of it. And the coach writes my schedule to account for the other demands in my life. If you can train 20 hours a week, you can afford to be less than mximally efficient. If you want to be competitive on 10 hours or less you need to make it all count.

Following the books without a coach you have to make the adjustments yourself. But if you understand the principles you can adjust the program to fit your need and schedule.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:13 PM
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The carmichael book has a lot of useful theory - about the different energy systems, how to do a field tests, what different exercises you can do, how to set heart rate ranges, etc.

It's not great on "here's how to actually set up your season".

But I still recommend it.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 53x12
Friel
I didn't get much out of the Friel book at all, and I wouldn't recomend it. I thought it was too conceptual, with most of its content discussing the overall picture, and not all specific enough. He spends 100 pages talking about the 'importance' of periodization, determination, natural ability, keeping a diary, etc; without really telling me how to ride my bike.
Perhaps it's for advanced riders

I got MUCH more out of this Carmichael book, and it was about 1/3 of the price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157...e=UTF8&s=books

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Old 08-09-06, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 531Aussie
I didn't get much out of the Friel book at all, and I wouldn't recomend it. I thought it was too conceptual, with most of its content discussing the overall picture, and not all specific enough. He spends 100 pages talking about the 'importance' of periodization, determination, natural ability, keeping a diary, etc; without really telling me how to ride my bike.
Perhaps it's for advanced riders

I got MUCH more out of this Carmichael book, and it was about 1/3 of the price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157...e=UTF8&s=books

Thanks guys. I pulled the trigger and ordered Carmichael's book tonight. I look forward to reading it.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:14 PM
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Lemond's Complete Book of Cycling is also supposed to be good
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Old 08-10-06, 08:16 AM
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If you're on the lazy side and like the concepts in Friel's book but have trouble applying them, try out a subscription at www.trainingpeaks.com. They have a "Virtual Coach" feature that sets up a periodized schedule based on your limiter, etc. I found it very helpful, and at $20 a month ($120 for a whole year) it's much cheaper than CTS's coaching options.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 53x12
I would consider myself an intermediate cyclist who is now wanting to throw in some serious training. I have been reading up on old posts and seems that the conclusion that most have come to is that Friel and Carmichael are the best books to read before starting a training schedule. I am wondering if these books are too advanced for someone who is beginning to get interested in training? Is there a lot of info that only someone who has been training for years will be able to understand? Also, how different are the two authors approaches to training? Will I create more problems by reading these two books together and confuse myself as to what I need in a program?
I have read Friel's book and I thought it had a lot of great information. The only problem I had with it is that much of the content and techniques in the book were based on the idea that lactic acid is a waste product, and is the cause of muscle fatigue. This is a myth. Lactic acid is actually what mitochondria converts into energy for your muscles.

I just wrote an in depth article about this on my website roadcycler.com. You can click here to read the article.

Cooper
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Old 08-10-06, 11:19 AM
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I recently picked up a copy of Friel's "Cycling Past 50", which is a smaller and less expensive book than his Bible. I think it's pretty good. It goes through all the training & periodization material but is targeted for a broader audience. In addition to a good section on race training it has stuff on training for centuries, hill climbing and other specialties. And since it's for older riders who aren't necessarily Lance wannabes anymore it has tips for folks with a time crunch.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:41 AM
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Try your local library, mine has both books and you can look them over and see which one works for you.
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Old 08-10-06, 12:25 PM
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I liked both books - Lance & over 50. Useful for me.
Age 68 - now riding between 175 and 225 miles per week.

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