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Maintaining hard efforts longer.

Old 09-17-23, 12:51 PM
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Maintaining hard efforts longer.

I seem to notice that I can maintain a very hard effort longer after 90 - 120 minutes or more, than I can if I just go all out at 5 - 20 minutes into the ride. Possibly I can hit more peak power on that effort at 20 minutes, but after I've been riding for a while, I seem to be able to stretch out that hard effort for a longer time. My personal best KOM for a particular short 160 meter long 4.5% grade I climb on the way home from many of my routes is at the end of a 40 mile ride. I haven't been able to best that time on shorter rides.

Any others notice this tendency to be able to maintain hard efforts longer at the end of some rides than when fresh?
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Old 09-17-23, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Possibly I can hit more peak power on that effort at 20 minutes, but after I've been riding for a while, I seem to be able to stretch out that hard effort for a longer time.
Maybe that higher peak power is pushing you into the red earlier? Itís easily done with fresh legs.

For me it takes approx 15-20 mins warm-up to get my best performance. Definitely not 90+ mins!
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Old 09-17-23, 10:48 PM
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It takes me at least an hour to get properly warmed up. I think it's all about the generation of nitric oxide in the endothelium. After a while, our hearts don't have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood. Thus my guess is that you're measuring "hard" by power rather than HR. I've had long hard Z5 sessions at the 100+ mile mark on a mountain ride, which I simply couldn't have done near the beginning of the ride.
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Old 09-18-23, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I've had long hard Z5 sessions at the 100+ mile mark on a mountain ride, which I simply couldn't have done near the beginning of the ride.
A good warm-up is one thing, but 100 miles into a mountain ride Iím definitely well past my best for long Z5 efforts!
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Old 09-18-23, 06:57 AM
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One thing I have noticed is that after a short burst of Z5 up a steep hill my lungs seem to stretch(?) It seems that after I've pushed myself really hard things seem to open up.
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Old 09-18-23, 11:56 AM
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Once upon a time, I used to do hill repeats on Old La Honda Road (Bay Area folks will know it), after about 40 minutes of spirited warm-up riding to get there.

Measuring speed over heart rate, my first lap would be the worst. The second lap would be much better, then subsequent laps would slowly get worse.

Why? I have no idea why, but something clearly was happening on that first climb to "open up" the system.
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Old 09-18-23, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I seem to notice that I can maintain a very hard effort longer after 90 - 120 minutes or more, than I can if I just go all out at 5 - 20 minutes into the ride. [...] Any others notice this tendency to be able to maintain hard efforts longer at the end of some rides than when fresh?
This is why you see Pro riders warming up on stationary trainers prior to their starts in time trials, and they're not spinning slowly, they're sweating -- so, yes, others have noticed this.
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Old 09-18-23, 12:22 PM
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The first 40 miles of a brevet, I'll struggle to maintain a speed (actual number varies based on when in the season). Later on the same ride, I'll cruise at that speed without feeling significant effort. That's perception based, meaning I'm self limiting speed early based on perceived effort, not data. I think going hard early accelerates this, but I'm loathe to go hard early.
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Old 09-19-23, 08:38 AM
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Might be time for me to do some longer rides again. Since getting back on the bike after getting my gall bladder out, I've only done 90 minute rides. And I'm not up to the level I was last year which was worse than the year before. However the first time I KOM'd this climb 3 years ago, it was at the end of a 40 mile ride. And subsequent matching times last year and this year were later in the ride even on the rides that I encountered that climb twice on the same ride.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a PM then on that first KOM. And RWGPS overestimates my power by about 80 - 90 watts compared to what the PM shows for those rides now. (how deflated I was after seeing my true power!) I really don't use my PM while on the bike. I'm still going a lot by perceived effort.

Perhaps it's the rough flat at the bottom of the climb that causes me to start at a slower speed and have to accelerate more than the other side of the hill that is less steep but a longer run with about the same amount of climb.
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Old 09-19-23, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I seem to notice that I can maintain a very hard effort longer after 90 - 120 minutes or more, than I can if I just go all out at 5 - 20 minutes into the ride.

Any others notice this tendency to be able to maintain hard efforts longer at the end of some rides than when fresh?
Yup.

Have rarely pushed hard with cycling, but years ago when I ran distance it was an obvious thing. In a couple of instances of 10mi races, I hit personal bests and nearly best-mile speeds when tacking on several miles' of warm-up prior to the races. Didn't wear me out. Quite the opposite, it get me into "the zone" faster. I've no idea what exactly made that happen, but it was frequent. Whenever I was properly warmed up, I had a great chance of having a personal-best performance on that run. And, the more years of such training I had, the better such warmed-up races ended being. Whatever made it work ... it did. Ended up being a usual recipe for me, on "race" days and hard training days.

In my case, Fartlek type runs ended yielding the benefit of increased ability to surge harder and more-frequently during long runs and races. After several years of competitive running, the harder and longer my Fartlek intervals, the more often I could dig into a rough hill section or chase down a competitor. Took time but, whatever it was in the body that changed, it yielded measurable results.

As well, we always had two primary types of training elements we'd do, depending on the day. There were hard efforts, frequently incorporating the Fartlek/interval approaches. And then there were the "long, slow base" runs, where we were providing overall better cardio for the long haul. Turned out that the "long slow base" type runs, (the equivalent of Z2/Z3 type rides) yielded overall cardio improvements for longer races and runs. Ended up recovering faster after hard spurts, cardio-wise, and then was good-to-go much sooner ... after several years of such training.

Never did push it hard enough in cycling to see similar results. But I don't see why one wouldn't. Build the strength and power for surges; then, build the longer-distance capacity to recovery quickly and withstand high loads across longer distances. Myself, I've no idea which cycling training elements would best yield this, for most people. But I'd think that basic results (of such training) ought to be similar.
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Old 09-25-23, 03:07 PM
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This may be related - Several times, I've tried to do a hard effort with minimal warmup. Once was an FTP "Ramp" test, where I only did the warmup Zwift puts in that Workout, rather than doing a longer warmup ride before starting the Workout. The other time, I tried to get a PR on a 5 mile segment, again figuring I'd warm up in the process. Both times, as my HR was approaching about 160, I felt distinctly unwell, like I should probably stop pushing so hard. In the Ramp test this led me to stop early and get a much lower FTP number than I'd gotten previously. For the 5 mile PR, I kept on riding once I felt better, and later in that ride I pushed my HR up to at least 170 without feeling the 'unwellness'.

I concluded from this that I need a longer, or perhaps more intense warmup, so that's what I do now.
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Old 09-25-23, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Once upon a time, I used to do hill repeats on Old La Honda Road (Bay Area folks will know it), after about 40 minutes of spirited warm-up riding to get there.

Measuring speed over heart rate, my first lap would be the worst. The second lap would be much better, then subsequent laps would slowly get worse.

Why? I have no idea why, but something clearly was happening on that first climb to "open up" the system.
I've found that, for me, I can generally do repeats of OLH at about the same speed/HR, if I give enough time for recovery in between.

Like about a week.
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Old 10-06-23, 12:21 PM
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Oh yeah. I need a good warmup and 20 minutes is about right.

Originally Posted by genejockey
This may be related - Several times, I've tried to do a hard effort with minimal warmup. Once was an FTP "Ramp" test...
I regularly do the Short FTP test; 20 min of warm up, 20 min FTP and 15 min cool down. I tried the Ramp test once and it was horrible, DNF'ed. No bueno nunca.
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