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How often do you have to train to see significant results?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

Just wondering how often do you guys train in order to really feel and see the results and great ones at that...? oh and how long does it take?

I'm relatively new to the sport but it's just recently that i've wanted to step up.

Any information will be appreciated.

Thanks
post #2 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Every day. Practice makes Perfect.
post #3 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Would suggest at least 3 sessions a week at an intensity close to or slightly above your goal pace and building up to goal duration will lead to significant results. Some people do train (as opposed to just riding the bike) 6-7 days a week.
post #4 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

+ 1 every day
post #5 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Is there a good reason to ride below intended race pace, outside of recovery periods?
post #6 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yum View Post
Hey everyone,

Just wondering how often do you guys train in order to really feel and see the results and great ones at that...? oh and how long does it take?

I'm relatively new to the sport but it's just recently that i've wanted to step up.

Any information will be appreciated.

Thanks
+1 to the every day responses, but you don't have to think of every ride as "training"...

A couple of years ago I somehow ended up obsessed with running during the off-season and found myself training for a marathon. What I soon realized through a combination of personal experience and reading countless running forum posts (from the running equivalents of DaveRyanWyoming and RDO, among others) was that for runners, consistency is the key. They can't go too hard or too long too often, so they focus on running as often as they can at appropriate speeds and distances to allow for recovery before they run again. I ended up doing doubles to get my mileage up to 70 without hurting myself (which I did anyway).

The lesson I learned is that volume, base and consistency can not be underestimated. Probably 75% of a runner's volume come in relatively short daily runs at a moderate pace (cyclists can go harder, longer and more often because of the lack of impact). Despite programs selling people on 3-4 runs a week and a 20 miler that is over half the total week's total distance, the real runners know that you work your way up to the point where you can run 6-7 times/week, and then start thinking about which runs should be longer or more intense.

Cycling isn't that different, except that we can recover faster from hard efforts.
post #7 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enriss View Post
Is there a good reason to ride below intended race pace, outside of recovery periods?
yes, on your endurance/aerobic training day, where you want to ride a good amount of hours:
recovery < endurance < race pace
post #8 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enriss View Post
Is there a good reason to ride below intended race pace, outside of recovery periods?
Yes. +1 on the two previous posts that put sub-maximal training in perspective, but here's another way to think about it.

Training adaptations happen in response to training that stresses the body with sufficient:
- Intensity
- Duration
- Training Frequency

All within a framework that includes sufficient recovery so that you can rebound from the recurring physical overload, adapt and continue to progress.

A race pace and recovery only plan will almost certainly sacrifice both the overall duration (volume) and the training frequency. If you really go out and only ride race pace or recover you'll have a lot of easier days or total rest days in your schedule.

Most balanced training plans introduce some sub-maximal work that's still sufficiently intense to encourage adaptations but easy enough that you recover quickly from them and can train on subsequent days. That can be longer endurance rides or mid length Tempo rides or SST work depending on your overall training philosophy and plan but most atheltes don't stick to a race pace or recovery plan outside of pre race peaking periods.

The other problem is that for mass start road racing 'race pace' means a lot of different things and calls on different physiological systems. So it might mean L4 efforts for sustainable power as well as L5 efforts for short climbs, bridging and other VO2 Max efforts, L6 work for do or die anaerobic efforts and L7 work for top end sprints. They're all 'race pace' but including all of them every week all year long would be challenging at best and probably wouldn't lead to the best results.

So training plans use intensities above and below average Threshold race pace to both fill the schedule (satisfy the duration and frequency parts) and to work the appropriate systems at the right times for the rider (the intensity part). That generally means a range of training levels that vary at different times of the year and vary between riders in response to their unique strengths and weaknesses as well as the needs of their target events.

So yeah, well structured training plans include more than race pace and recovery.

Good luck,
-Dave
post #9 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Ah, yeah, that makes sense.
Are there any good sources on aerobic training that you'd recommend? I'm not necessarily looking for cycling specific sources, just books that give a thorough introduction to modern aerobic training theory. There's always whatever google or amazon show me, and loads of pubmed research, but I think it'd be nice to get a pointer from a guy who I assume knows what he's talking about.
post #10 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enriss View Post
Ah, yeah, that makes sense.
Are there any good sources on aerobic training that you'd recommend? ...
There are a lot of books on sports physiology in general and many dedicated to differing endurance sports like Jack Daniel's books on running:

or cycling equivalents like Joe Friel's 'Bible' series:

There are also a lot of great on line resources, here's some specific to cycling:
http://velodynamics2.webs.com/rcgtp1.pdf
Power 411, How to train with WKO+ Software and a power meter
Mitochondria: The Aerobic Engines
Base: A New Definition
Sweet Spot Training | FasCat Coaching :: Cycling Coach for all Cyclists
VELODYNAMICS - Technical services for road cyclists

And here's a decent site with some outdated information but still a good resource: Masters Athlete Physiology and Performance

[edit]Easy to get lost in that last site, here's a few articles that are related to your question:
http://home.hia.no/~stephens/traprin.htm
http://home.hia.no/~stephens/timecors.htm
http://home.hia.no/~stephens/interval.htm

Hope that helps,
-Dave
post #11 of 11

Re: How often do you have to train to see significant results?

I find 5 days a week to be best for me right now. Tried six but I can only maintain it if the last two days were L2ish and I was willing to let power drop. Calling all gurus is that normal for a six day plan to have two L2ish days? Should I just avoid medium high L3 and shoot for the low end of L3 for six days instead?
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