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Old 04-26-12, 06:28 PM   #1
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Training plan. Seeking input!

I have never done a proper training plan for rides or racing, so bear with me and educate me along the way. I have read the Powermeter book by Coggan, but still reading it again for a second time.

I am doing a century in 8 weeks exactly with 13000+ feet of climbing. I currently live and train in south FL, so no mountains or even hills to train on. 100% flat roads, but windy most times. I do have access to a power meter and my measured FTP as of last week in about 230. I regularly ride 150-200 miles/week. I know I can finish the ride, but I want to do it in a decent time for myself (whatever that is) without breaking any records. So, here is my self made training plan. Please critique it to death and add or subtract anything you think would be helpful. Keep in mind I don't race nor have any desire to. I just want to get better and faster/stronger for personal satisfaction.

Sunday: Long ride of 4.5 hr at 70-80% FTP
Monday: no ride or recovery 1 hr ride at 50-60%FTP
Tuesday: 2x20 min at FTP and 1 Hr at 80% FTP. Will try 3x20 min at FTP during weeks 6+7.
wed: 1 hr at 80-90% FTP
thursday: recovery 1 hr at 50-65 FTP
Friday: 3x10 min FTP plus 1 hr at 80% FTP
Saturday:2-2.5 hr ride at <80% FTP

Week 8: no intervals. Easier rides 1-3 hr.

I certainly want to get stronger and faster at the same time even though I am going to pace myself during the actual ride. My main questions are:

1. Will this plan make me stronger while climbing? If not how should I alter it to make me stronger on the climbing portion specially.
2. Does this seem reasonable for an 8 week plan? If not, suggestions?
3. Any suggestions to modify this particular plan or do you have a different plan to follow that would work better for these purposes?

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by dgasmd; 04-27-12 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 04-27-12, 12:47 AM   #2
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Personally I would struggle to recover adequately between your Tuesday and Wednesday sessions, and would be likely to find that on the Wednesday I would be unable to sustain a threshold effort for an hour. That's a pretty demanding workout in itself. Others might disagree (I train mostly on HR, rather than power, so for me these percentages would relate to my anaerobic threshold) but it seems to me that working at 100% of FTP on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays is a tad ambitious.

But that's just me. As for making you a better climber, there is no doubt that increasing your FTP will, by improving power-to-weight, make you better in the hills. It's unfortunate that you have no hills to train on, because there is an element of technique to it and practice helps. The key to hills is managing your effort. You don't want to start at a pace you can't maintain, because as well as tiring you out that becomes demoralising, and you start to doubt your own ability to get to the top. So start hills in a gear you feel you can easily manage - you can always shift up later if you feel able - and monitor your effort levels. As long as you know you can sustain the level of effort you are putting out, you know you can get to the top. Any practice you can do at climbing slowly, out of the saddle, at lowish cadences would also be beneficial. Mostly people use standing for intense efforts only, but Once you are used to it, it is possible to stand in order to rest and give yourself a bit of a break.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:42 AM   #3
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That's an ambitious plan and I suspect if you have your FTP set properly you won't be able to hit your targets for 2x20 @ FTP or 1 hr @ FTP. It really depends on what you've been doing up to now.

I think the basic outline if fine but I think you should break it up into two 4 week blocks with the 4th week of each block being an easier (same intensity but lower volume) week. During the first 3 weeks of each block build the volume. For example, perhaps you start with 2x15s and build up to 2x20s. Or maybe you start with 2x20s at 90% and work your way up to 100%.

As far as doing the intervals I would focus more on perceived exertion (PE). Figure out what it feels like to ride at your threshold and do this for the 20min intervals. For myself I get a slight burning in my legs that I can maintain for the interval duration. If you do you intervals by PE you don't need to worry as much about whether you have your FTP set properly. If you execute close to the program you've outlined your FTP should gradually increase during the 8 week period and you should see the avg power for your intervals increasing.

With regards to not having any hills to train on, I don't think that should be an issue. Provided you have the motivation, training on the flats is often easier to do controlled intervals on. Maintaining steady power on rolling hills or downhill stretches takes more concentration than riding on the flats.
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Old 04-28-12, 05:04 PM   #4
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You're training for a century. I'd forget the 10-min intervals and add in another 2-3 hour ride at 60-70% of FTP.

Another thing you can try is simulating climbing somewhat by doing your 20-min intervals in a big gear into the wind. This is assuming you'll be going up some 10% or maybe steeper long climbs on the century where you'll pretty much have to mash away at a relatively low cadence even if you have some really low gears.

And FWIW, if your FTP is set correctly, if you can survive 4-5 hours at 70-80% of FTP and kee, you'll have no problem on a century.
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