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Balancing my training efforts

Old 10-11-22, 05:48 PM
  #26  
ofajen
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
4. I played the "run sometimes" game for a while. Honestly, run volume doesn't work well like that. Running requires very regular, frequent, lower intensity focus to both make gains and to also not have the training stress from those irregular runs cannibalizing your bike fitness. Duathaletes and triathletes run very frequently. Most abide by the 80/20 rule of one-in-5 workouts has intensity and of the total time (time in intensity zone PLUS rest between sets time) you get 90/10 per week at intensity. You're not running enough if you care about running and you're running too much if you really care about cycling.
Thanks for this reminder. I was starting back into running when you wrote this and it has really helped remind me to keep run frequency about 4x or 5x per week and with mostly low intensity. I had been running “occasionally” for about six months but it really wasn’t worth the trouble at that level.

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Old 10-12-22, 10:19 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Thanks! Now that I have a specific goal in mind, I can start developing a plan. And I'm starting eleven months in advance--should be long enough. I found a very general training plan online for this event. It gives suggestions for distance and intensity month to month, starting in April. I still have to refine it and set up a weekly plan for myself. Through the winter I'll probably just get on the indoor trainer (I have a TACX machine that I really like) two or three times a week for an hour or so of moderately high power/mostly steady state grinding, and go outside when the weather permits... maybe some intervals or some easy spins according to my mood. Come spring, it gets serious. I will certainly look into the apps recommended upthread here.
Trainer Road will give you the best tailored plan outside of a personal coach. Just plug in your event details and the number of hours you have available to train. I would also recommend adding in a basic off-bike strength program to compliment. Don't waste the winter months with unproductive random training efforts like many people do. If you play it smart you can get way ahead of the game by Spring. That doesn't mean thrashing yourself over winter, but following a well structured plan. I think this is where the likes of Trainer Road can help keep you focused.
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Old 10-12-22, 05:16 PM
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Not going to address specific training plans, which, as others have pointed out, need to be designed for a purpose. I just want to endorse the polarized training approach and urge anyone serious about training for endurance sports to go and have their blood lactate curve measured or buy/borrow a meter and do it themselves. Zone accuracy counts!
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Old 10-13-22, 04:33 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Not going to address specific training plans, which, as others have pointed out, need to be designed for a purpose. I just want to endorse the polarized training approach and urge anyone serious about training for endurance sports to go and have their blood lactate curve measured or buy/borrow a meter and do it themselves. Zone accuracy counts!
This is interesting. I guess that is the gold standard, but do you think it is really that critical for productive endurance training? I set my training zones relative to a 4 point FTP/MAP/AC/NM power curve and that appears to work fine. I'm curious what measuring my blood lactate would bring to the party at this point? I understand that my training zones would be refined (at least at the point of measurement), but are they likely to change significantly from what I train to anyway? I'm pretty sure I know my FTP/MAP power to within 10W.
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Old 10-13-22, 09:02 AM
  #30  
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I suggest reading Faster https://www.amazon.com/Faster-Michae...s%2C161&sr=8-1

Hutchinson discusses his life as an amateur and pro cyclist and his obsession with getting faster. He states he was a monster in the laboratory at taking lactate and VO2 tests. Even though he could not necessarily capitalize on those results in the field. He wanted to make the track pursuit Olympic team but his times fell short of the goal. His power, VO2 and Lactate threshold indicated he should have been able to ride faster.

My personal experience with HR and power zones is that field testing and using data from races works really well for me. When I lived in NorCal, I had the opportunity to go to the Stanford University performance lab and have my LT and VO2 done. And through our racing club, it was a very good deal. Plus, the doctor who ran the lab was on the team and would me us on the road and run the LT test on a hill for a higher fee.

My coach at the time thought field power testing was more than adequate. He felt that lab VO2 testing was important if one wanted to get a pro contract. Of course, one needed a high VO2 but a lab verified VO2 offered something interesting to add to race Palmeres.

Today, I set my workout power zones for structured training by guessing my FTP and then as the workout unfolds adjust up or down as necessary. And I do the same workouts on the same courses over and over again and the same is true in the gym - over and over again.

I see three groups of riders. Those that are trying to get fit. Those who are fit and want to improve or stay the same. And those who want to get to the next level. So each group will have specific needs based upon goals and genetics / talent.
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Old 10-13-22, 09:12 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This is interesting. I guess that is the gold standard, but do you think it is really that critical for productive endurance training? I set my training zones relative to a 4 point FTP/MAP/AC/NM power curve and that appears to work fine. I'm curious what measuring my blood lactate would bring to the party at this point? I understand that my training zones would be refined (at least at the point of measurement), but are they likely to change significantly from what I train to anyway? I'm pretty sure I know my FTP/MAP power to within 10W.
I did it because I wanted an accurate estimate of LT1, which is the target for the low intensity part of polarized training and where the authorities tell us we should be doing 80% of our workouts. For a weak old hack like me, it's high Z1-low Z2, as defined by FTP in the 7-zone model, so it's not something you can just figure out with a power meter or HRM. Another benefit was determining FT2, which corresponds in most studies to FTP, and is another solid physiological datum, not an estimate of a theoretical quantity.

A good estimate of LT1 is important because above it the blood lactate rise inhibits lipolysis (fat breakdown) in adipose tissue, and fat utilization by muscle is one of the main things one is trying to improve by training in that zone. If you believe the experts, notably Iñigo San Millan, the adipose tissue response to lactate signaling is more of a non-linear off-switch than a graded response, so you want to get close to, but not exceed LT1.
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Old 10-13-22, 09:56 AM
  #32  
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In Faster, Hutchinson discusses LT1 and LT2. What I have found in practices is that the metrics I can measure instantaneously on the bike are HR and Power. My HR may be representative of a test condition or high or low depending on other factors including cadence.

LT1 power and LT2 power should be more solid but I find my legs range from excellent to not great for the same LT1 power. I rate my legs as 1, 2 or 3. A rating of 1 means my legs feel like it is easy to make any power at LT1 and even above LT2. A rating of 2 means my level of effort matches my expectation of power and rating of 3 means the level of effort seems much harder to make power.

So what is happening to lactate production in my body at LT1 as my perceived effort to make a given power goes from 1 to 3? Does the science show that my HR is accurate no matter how low it is or how bad I feel and the same question for power?

I suspect lactate production varies for any give day and LT1 and LT2 changes.

Some days I am on the bike and it feels like someone removed the chain and added a throttle - everything is possible. What is happening to lactate. I suspect a lot has to do with muscle fatigue and muscle freshness was well as other hormonal activity and state of mind. Or maybe my body is burning lactate more effectively that day and LT1 and LT2 are higher or LT2 equals VO2.

I am not pro or con polarized training. I do what my coach prescribes.

What I have found to be true matches what Hutchinson discusses. I can sort of feel LT1 by level of effort and my breathing. I think Carbonfiberboy has discussed this as well. And sometimes, my legs have to open up before I feel like I my level of effort matches my power produced.

My experience is there is science, there is art and there is the practice of tuning up the art of cycling using science to get to the next level and having successful results. Not so easy to do.

Last edited by Hermes; 10-13-22 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 10-13-22, 10:04 AM
  #33  
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BTW, I would like instantaneous, cheap, painless, lactate measurement on the bike. Any links?
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Old 10-13-22, 11:49 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

So what is happening to lactate production in my body at LT1 as my perceived effort to make a given power goes from 1 to 3? Does the science show that my HR is accurate no matter how low it is or how bad I feel and the same question for power?

I suspect lactate production varies for any give day and LT1 and LT2 changes.

Some days I am on the bike and it feels like someone removed the chain and added a throttle - everything is possible. What is happening to lactate. I suspect a lot has to do with muscle fatigue and muscle freshness was well as other hormonal activity and state of mind. Or maybe my body is burning lactate more effectively that day and LT1 and LT2 are higher or LT2 equals VO2.
Here's what I know. The relationship between the HR and blood lactate responses to exercise is not constant. As you know, HR is subject to anything affecting the sympathetic-parasympathetic balance, e.g., fatigue, acute and chronic overreach, illness, and any other stress. So if you're going by HR, on a bad day when your LT1 power is low, it's possible your (elevated) HR is telling you you're at LT1 when you're below it. The other factor is diet and fueling status. In ketosis, LT should go up because glycolysis isn't happening and the opposite should be true when glucose is available. I don't have a great feeling for whether this should change one's estimate of LT1 on a daily basis, but it's something to keep in mind.

Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
BTW, I would like instantaneous, cheap, painless, lactate measurement on the bike. Any links?
​​​​​​​

Continuous lactate monitoring is already being tested, but I bet it's going to be expensive if continuous glucose monitors are any indication.
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Old 10-13-22, 12:45 PM
  #35  
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MoAlpha Thanks for the response - very helpful.
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Old 10-14-22, 05:13 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I did it because I wanted an accurate estimate of LT1, which is the target for the low intensity part of polarized training and where the authorities tell us we should be doing 80% of our workouts. For a weak old hack like me, it's high Z1-low Z2, as defined by FTP in the 7-zone model, so it's not something you can just figure out with a power meter or HRM. Another benefit was determining FT2, which corresponds in most studies to FTP, and is another solid physiological datum, not an estimate of a theoretical quantity.

A good estimate of LT1 is important because above it the blood lactate rise inhibits lipolysis (fat breakdown) in adipose tissue, and fat utilization by muscle is one of the main things one is trying to improve by training in that zone. If you believe the experts, notably Iñigo San Millan, the adipose tissue response to lactate signaling is more of a non-linear off-switch than a graded response, so you want to get close to, but not exceed LT1.
I understand all this. I just think I can get good enough estimates of those various key levels without resorting to lab tests. You say it's not something you can figure out with a power meter and HRM, but I believe you can - at least accurately enough to train productively as an amateur. If you took the lab test approach, you would have to be doing regularly tests anyway to adjust targets as your fitness and form varied. It just seems like overkill to me for anyone other than professional athletes or perhaps the few who just happen to have easy access to regular lab testing. For the rest of us a power/HR based training plan seems more than adequate.
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