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Hardest workout before easiest in a microcycle?

Old 02-27-19, 01:47 PM
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Hardest workout before easiest in a microcycle?

CTS has an interesting article by their top ultrarunning coach. Seems equally applicable to bike training. I haven't tried his system, but I'm guessing from my experience that he's right and all those canned training plans are wrong.
Which Comes First: Hardest or Easiest Workouts?
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Old 02-28-19, 08:28 AM
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Makes sense to me.
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Old 02-28-19, 02:58 PM
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Different athletes respond to different training programs differently.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:57 PM
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Hmmm... I wonder if this would naturally happen correctly for both novice and trained athletes alike when using MSI because if...

The common way beginner training plans work is to start with short or easier training sessions, then add more time or intensity in subsequent workouts. The notion is that if you can run one mile this week, then your body will adapt and be able to run two miles next week, then three the following, etc. This also gets applied to interval workouts. This week you can do six hill repeats, so next week you can do seven, and the week after you can do eight. The term for this is ‘progressive overload. In the beginning, progressive overload works...

...then RPE for new athletes would decrease without progression while RPE would skyrocket with progression. And since MSI is based on RPE, then novices would naturally increase load via MSI while trained athletes would naturally decrease load via MSI
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Old 03-01-19, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
Hmmm... I wonder if this would naturally happen correctly for both novice and trained athletes alike when using MSI because if...

The common way beginner training plans work is to start with short or easier training sessions, then add more time or intensity in subsequent workouts. The notion is that if you can run one mile this week, then your body will adapt and be able to run two miles next week, then three the following, etc. This also gets applied to interval workouts. This week you can do six hill repeats, so next week you can do seven, and the week after you can do eight. The term for this is Ďprogressive overload. In the beginning, progressive overload works...

...then RPE for new athletes would decrease without progression while RPE would skyrocket with progression. And since MSI is based on RPE, then novices would naturally increase load via MSI while trained athletes would naturally decrease load via MSI
I'm not sure of that. I can get myself to do most anything. The question is: in retrospect, was that a good idea? How do we make progress? Is the straight line in the graph that way to go or should it be an upward curve? One has to have the ATL and CTL data and plot it. Or use TP where it's done for me automatically. Looking at my past data, sometimes I do it frontloaded, sometimes backloaded. My guess is that it depended on how I felt or the weather or other life factors, not a direct result of planning.

After reading the article, I'll try changing that. Next week's an easier week, so then . . .
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Old 03-01-19, 05:53 PM
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Interesting. That's generally been my approach so this bears it out. I'd do anaerobic capacity or VO2max work early in the week. I need a certain amount of freshness or I won't be able to complete them.
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Old 03-01-19, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm not sure of that. I can get myself to do most anything. The question is: in retrospect, was that a good idea? How do we make progress? Is the straight line in the graph that way to go or should it be an upward curve? One has to have the ATL and CTL data and plot it. Or use TP where it's done for me automatically. Looking at my past data, sometimes I do it frontloaded, sometimes backloaded. My guess is that it depended on how I felt or the weather or other life factors, not a direct result of planning.

After reading the article, I'll try changing that. Next week's an easier week, so then . . .
yeah but your not killing yourself. All things equal RPE will get higher for trained vs lower for untrained. IOW, for the same RPE you can do more as novice but less as highly trained
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Old 03-01-19, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Interesting. That's generally been my approach so this bears it out. I'd do anaerobic capacity or VO2max work early in the week. I need a certain amount of freshness or I won't be able to complete them.
but I thought they were talking week to week not workout to workout?
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Old 03-01-19, 07:03 PM
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I read it to apply to both.
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Old 03-01-19, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I read it to apply to both.
Huh. I think you're right. Never occurred to me because all training plans have the other way 'round. So I went to TP and switched my Tuesday and Thursday workouts, and sure enough it evened out the ATL graph, plus I should be more rested for the Sunday sufferfest.
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Old 03-02-19, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I read it to apply to both.
Ah OK. So Iíve always done my hardest workouts first in the microcycle and Iím not alone. From week to week Iíve certainly never heard of this.
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Old 03-02-19, 07:32 PM
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IMO, this article is for ultra marathoners who have a high degree of fitness and the focus is week to week.

As an ultramarathon athlete, you are better off completing your hardest workouts (like the 8 hill repeat workout mentioned above) when you are most rested, and then backing off the volume of workload (like the 6 hill repeat workout mentioned above) as you accumulate fatigue over time.

This concept may or may not apply to road cyclists but may have some implication for long distance cyclists.
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Old 03-02-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
IMO, this article is for ultra marathoners who have a high degree of fitness and the focus is week to week.

As an ultramarathon athlete, you are better off completing your hardest workouts (like the 8 hill repeat workout mentioned above) when you are most rested, and then backing off the volume of workload (like the 6 hill repeat workout mentioned above) as you accumulate fatigue over time.

This concept may or may not apply to road cyclists but may have some implication for long distance cyclists.
I think it might apply to everyone who does a 2 or 3 weeks hard then 1 easy schedule. If one doesn't schedule an easy week, the article with its week-to-week emphasis isn't applicable. It also wouldn't be applicable to those who don't do one or two really hard days during a week and then recover.

I've seen programs where there't not the variation in ATL shown in the article. Some folks do different things during a week but all having about the same TSS. I'm in the one killer ride a week camp because I train specifically for that thing. I can definitely see the point of not having huge weekly peaks in the ATL if one didn't need them. As you point out, I'm in the camp with the ultrarunners because we need that one big workout.

I'm not sufficiently familiar with the training science of overload to opine which is actually better for ultimate fitness . . . anyone? I suppose the real question is "fitness for what."
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Old 03-03-19, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
IMO, this article is for ultra marathoners who have a high degree of fitness and the focus is week to week.

As an ultramarathon athlete, you are better off completing your hardest workouts (like the 8 hill repeat workout mentioned above) when you are most rested, and then backing off the volume of workload (like the 6 hill repeat workout mentioned above) as you accumulate fatigue over time.

This concept may or may not apply to road cyclists but may have some implication for long distance cyclists.
I'm a CTS coached ultra distance cyclist and this is not the way my training plans are designed. My longer intervals are at the end of the week and the end of the microcycle, and intervals are always the same power zone within a cycle. I very rarely do anything above steady state though, a couple times a year V02max.
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Old 03-04-19, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
I'm a CTS coached ultra distance cyclist and this is not the way my training plans are designed. My longer intervals are at the end of the week and the end of the microcycle, and intervals are always the same power zone within a cycle. I very rarely do anything above steady state though, a couple times a year V02max.
Hey, access to a coach from the same organization, similar discipline. You might ask?
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