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Opinions on training (hours?)

Old 05-13-13, 08:20 AM
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Opinions on training (hours?)

Hi all,

Here is the deal. I got into cycling back around 2003, lost weight and trained up to race. Started off just riding most days of the week iirc. Doing too many hours and after a handful of months I got burned out. Having a long history of endurance and strength training up to that point I just used the same mentality that I used for the Military and all. Didn't work for cycling, I ended up getting a CTS coach back when you actually got a coach for $50 a month. Had them for a little over a year and learned a TON.

Got up to Cat 4 and pretty much stopped racing and riding all together. Been around 6-7 years since I have ridden, have stayed fit with PT/Crossfit'ish/lifting etc though.

I have gotten back on my bike and looking at racing in a season or 2, once I am up to speed again. I have written my yearly plan and now I am wondering if I need more hours. The "coach" in me says no, I am loaded up with on bike drills/workouts that I will make the most of my limited time on the bike. The "athlete" in me says, I need more hours, lets speed up the time table!

Home/Family/Work life
I am an RN and work 3, 12 hour shifts a week with no consistent days. My wife is also an RN with same crazy schedule, we work opposite days so we can watch our toddler children. They will be spending more time in school over the next few years but I will have lots of time on a trainer and not so much time outside consistently, at least in the near future. I can ride after work after the kids are in bed but that isn't until around 8:30-9:00.

Breaks down like this using Friel's weekly hours/ride times:

I am doing a extensive Base 1 period to help get basic fitness and mechanics down as I am not racing this season and will use this training block to then line up to a more traditional seasonal training plan to line up with racing.

Base 1 Block 1
Week 1: 4 hours loaded with pedaling drills
Week 2: 5 hours loaded with pedaling drills
Week 3: 5.5 hours loaded with pedaling drills
Week 4: 3 hours Recovery

Base 1 Block 2
Same as Base 1 Block 1

Base 1 Block 3
Week 1: 4.5 hours loaded with on bike strength drills
Week 2: 5 hours loaded with on bike strength drills
Week 3: 6 hours loaded with on bike strength drills
Week 4: 3 hours Recovery

Base 2
Same as Base 1 Block 3

Base 3
Week 1: 5 hours loaded with Strength and Tempo riding
Week 2: 6 hours loaded with Strength and Tempo riding
Week 3: 6.5 hours loaded with Strength and Tempo riding
Week 4: 3.5 hours Recovery

Build 1
Week 1: 5.5 hours loaded with Tempo and LT training
Week 2: 6.5 hours loaded with Tempo and LT training
Week 3: 7 hours loaded with Tempo and LT training
Week 4: 4.5 hours recovery

Build 2
Week 1: 6 hours loaded with Tempo and LT training
Week 2: 7 hours loaded with Tempo and LT training
Week 3: 8 hours loaded with Tempo and LT training
Week 4: 4 hours recovery

Build 3
Week 1: 6.5 hours loaded with LT and VO2max training
Week 2: 7.5 hours loaded with LT and VO2max training
Week 3: 8.5 hours loaded with LT and VO2max training
Week 4: 5 hours recovery

No Peak as this will roll into a late 'off season' training where I will basically start over with the base and continue to slowly increase hours to between 10-20 hours a week before I get back to racing the next season.

Yes, I know my hours are increasing while my intensity is also increasing.

the coach in me felt good with it as I wrote it and finished it up. I am starting today and the athlete in me want to change it to add more hours. The coach in me doesn't want to but would be willing to add easy recovery rides during the week after work...

When I stopped racing I was up to 20 hours a week over 6 days of riding...

What are your opinions?
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Old 05-13-13, 09:35 AM
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I'm with your coach. More easy hours. But that depends on how you feel. Don't want to break anything down. Possibility in going from near zero cycling to full-on program. Biggest thing I've learned in the past few years is to add more easy hours early in the program and to maintain a good few easy hours throughout. I try to not eat at all during my easy rides even if they are hours long. Zone 1 with maybe a few ventures into lower Zone 2 on hills. On my rollers, zone 1 only. I watch my morning resting and 2 minute standing HR very closely.
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Old 05-13-13, 09:55 AM
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Good call, I may add in some easy no drill rides just for more time on the bike. The first few months will be easy zone 1-2 type rides with a focus on pedal mechanics to get my spin and smoothness back up to par.

I hate rest days right now as I feel like I should be doing more as I'm not doing a whole lot as is... Says the 25 year old former racer. The now 32 year old 205 lb weight lifter, husband and father of 2 says other wise

But I may have to take a look and adjust hours, I am some what reluctant but that's why I asked for advice.

Been following my morning HR for the past few weeks. Back when racing I was down to 48... Now I'm fluctuating around 62-68 depending on what I did the day prior.
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Old 05-13-13, 10:16 AM
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Well, I admire how systematic you are being but if you aren't planning on racing until nest season, I'm not convinced you really need to impose so rigid a structure on yourself. I'd go longer, and easier, for the first three or four months, taking every opportunity for long, steady rides outside. Then around October I'd start with your program. Should give ypu plenty of time to be in racing shape for, say, April.
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Old 05-13-13, 12:17 PM
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I need the structure
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Old 05-13-13, 01:35 PM
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I think you could ramp up your hours much faster if you wanted. You're young and cycling isn't particularly hard on your body. Lots of zone 2 base rides are not mentally taxing and shouldn't really require rest weeks. Just take an easy day or two if you're feeling tired due to training or work. No need to kill a whole week just to adhere to a schedule.

I would recommend getting up to 10-15 hrs/week in a couple of months and then add in more sweet spot training (high tempo/low threshold). I'd leave the high intensity VO2Max work until you're closer to racing unless you just enjoy making yourself suffer
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Old 05-13-13, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
I think you could ramp up your hours much faster if you wanted. You're young and cycling isn't particularly hard on your body. Lots of zone 2 base rides are not mentally taxing and shouldn't really require rest weeks. Just take an easy day or two if you're feeling tired due to training or work. No need to kill a whole week just to adhere to a schedule.

I would recommend getting up to 10-15 hrs/week in a couple of months and then add in more sweet spot training (high tempo/low threshold). I'd leave the high intensity VO2Max work until you're closer to racing unless you just enjoy making yourself suffer

Who doesn't enjoy that!?! That's the best part!!! I also love Time Trials too
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Old 05-13-13, 02:36 PM
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I just going to tag along, here. I'm in a similar boat as you. I laid off the bike 5 years ago and got back in last year. I didn't do well staying active during my hiatus so have needed the past year ad this one to get back the strength I lost.

I'm only recently comfortable again on a 4 hour, 70 mile rides. I'm using lots of group rides to establish leg strength and conditioning. I'm finally out of finding "faster rides" as now I'm regulary being dropped by some of the fastest groups in Atlanta. I can tell my fitness is not quite there yet, but I put in a serious efforts to try to keep up as much as I can. I've noticed I get a bit better each week.

Based on the schedule you have above, will you be ready for racing in April?
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Old 05-13-13, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Vlaam4ever
I just going to tag along, here. I'm in a similar boat as you. I laid off the bike 5 years ago and got back in last year. I didn't do well staying active during my hiatus so have needed the past year ad this one to get back the strength I lost.

I'm only recently comfortable again on a 4 hour, 70 mile rides. I'm using lots of group rides to establish leg strength and conditioning. I'm finally out of finding "faster rides" as now I'm regulary being dropped by some of the fastest groups in Atlanta. I can tell my fitness is not quite there yet, but I put in a serious efforts to try to keep up as much as I can. I've noticed I get a bit better each week.

Based on the schedule you have above, will you be ready for racing in April?
No this wasn't to race this year. I actually don't plan on racing for another full season. So season after next. This season is just to get as much quality training in as I can.

Next season I may do a few TT's on my road bike and a few HCTT's just for fun but I don't plan on an actual full on racing season until the next season.

Last edited by Mr. Parker; 05-13-13 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-13-13, 03:09 PM
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So you are doing building for 2014 race season. Not sure where you are, but most of 2013 is full effect here.
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Old 05-13-13, 03:14 PM
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OK, after looking at it, I have increased the number of hours but only so slightly. Basically I am changing it to be on the bike 6 days a week. I somewhat reduced the amount of time doing drills/workouts on the first 2 build weeks and made the heavy week a touch harder to 'earn' the recovery week. I am still being slightly conservative over the next 8 months, going from 6.5 hours a week to 11.5 hours a week at the end of this training plan.

The issue with really long rides is that my time is limited. It is easier for me to do 2 hours or less during the week and even my few days outside are dictated by how long my boys are in school. I think that they will be in school 4 or 5 days a week starting in July but only for 3 hours a day... Me and my wife only get 1 day off together a week so those are the only days I can for sure get a longer ride in but I also have to take her into consideration as well. I can't be gone all day and stick her with the kids, not cool.

So I think I have increased it enough with some easier base mile days through out that it will be just enough more to satisfy both the athlete in me with some harder weeks built in and more hours. At the same time the coach in me is happy that all I really did was redistribute the hard days and added easier base mile days to boost hours.

I'll update this with results on my field test to see how it is going
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Old 05-13-13, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Vlaam4ever
So you are doing building for 2014 race season. Not sure where you are, but most of 2013 is full effect here.
A few in the 2014 season but mostly in the 2015 season. Summer slows down here due to the heat, more TT's then anything with some HCTT's in the late season.

No racing this year. I am on slow build up
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