Am I training too hard?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by ksteede, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. ksteede

    ksteede New Member

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    I started riding my mountain bike to work in March (8.5 miles each way) about 3 times/week, in addition to lifting weights 3 times per week. Initially to lose weight and have succeeded in going from 228lbs to 200lbs with 18% body fat (I'm 6'3" and 35 yrs old)

    I fell in love with cycling and bought a road bike in mid August and immediately started racing once per week. (the season just ended).

    My average week:
    Monday: weights (upper body)
    Tuesday: 2hr ride averaging 85% of LTHR which translates to 17-18mph.
    Wednesday: weights (upper body)
    Thursday: 1 1/2 hr ride averaging 85% of LTHR
    Friday: 45 minute ride averaging 90% of LTHR
    Saturday: rest
    Sunday: race (novice categeory) averaging 20-21mph for 30-75 minutes

    (I cut out my mid-week lower body weight session when I started racing)

    I've read often that my long training rides should be in Zones 1 or 2, but I can't bring myself to ride easier. I feel great after each ride and have found each of the four races progressively easier.

    My goal is to move up to Cat3 by the middle of next season and want to gear my training to reaching that goal. The Cat3 current average speeds are 24mph over 90 minutes. So I've got a ways to go.

    My high-school build was too skinny (6'2 at 165lbs), so I'd like to continue the upper body weight work to keep the little muscle mass I have; however, will this type of training help me to reach my goal?
     
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  2. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I can't personally answer your question as I'm not a pure cyclist myself. I currently use cycling as part of an overall fitness program and , like yourself, this includes some gym work.
    I'm sure a cycling coach on the forum will be able to advise you far better than myself.
    The only comments I'd like to make, though, is what is your priority? If your absolute priority is cycling, why are you doing upper body weight work? Lance Armstrong does no upper body training at all.
    The slight problem I see with your routine is the time you devote to upper body weight work will probably affect your recuperative abilities. You literally seem to have your finger in 2 pies but you say your real priority seems to be cycling. So, why not devote more time to cycling so you develop the speed and stamina you'll need to be competitive in races?
    Weight-training is ideal for those of us who seek all around athletic ability but cycling specialists rarely do upper body weights - just legs as Ullrich and Armstrong do.
    Anyway I think that at six feet 2 and 200 lbs you may possibly be a little heavy. Miguel Indurain was your height but he weighed about 183 lbs at his peak. So long as you don't slip below 180 - 185 I don't think you need to worry about holding on to mass.



     
  3. velo fellow

    velo fellow New Member

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    Not sure you're training to hard, but you may be training poorly. I would think you would want to include some interval work to increase VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold. By just riding all-out all of the time you will probably hit a plateau very quickly.

    There are lots of good threads in this forum on the topic. Take a look here:

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/f88
     
  4. ksteede

    ksteede New Member

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    Thanks Velo,

    as the season has just ended, I am going to take it easy for a month or two, and begin my prep training in late November. I am looking to peak around May so I'll add interval and hill work to my weekly routine in January. (The weather here allows me to ride all year round)
     
  5. ksteede

    ksteede New Member

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    Thanks Carrera - I think that's the problem - My initial goal was to look and feel good, but since I fell in love with cycling, I now also want to do well in races, but not at the expense of looking good (I don't want to return to my high-school physique).

    So I really have 2 goals that appear to conflict with each other, and my real question is can I do both?

    I do intend to lose another 10 lbs before next season. My thinking is that by the middle of next season, I'll be in a better position to determine what my primary goal should be and adjust my training accordingly. Meanwhile, I would not like to chose one over the other.

    FYI, I believe I am a natural ectomorph and do not gain muscle mass easily.
     
  6. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Seems like you have the same thoughts as myself. I'm also an ectomorph which means that I carry more than 28 lbs of artifical muscle. I consider that some of this muscle helps me be a better cyclist since I have more overall power. On the other hand, seeing as I have to maintain this weight via weight-training this will hinder my maximum cycling potential (due to increased recuperation loads).
    I personally know cyclists who are quite well built and do 40 miles a day riding. Somehow they don't tend to streamline as much as I do and they don't need to worry about weights.
    Yes, it's possible for you to be a good cyclist and still weight-train so you look good but I think you won't be quite as good a cyclist as you could be if you specialised more and the same applies to weight-work.
    Myself I can maintain 20 mph on my bike as well as climb pretty effectively. I weigh around 185 and carry little fat (and not a great deal of muscle either). Having said that, I'm not sure if I'd be that good compared with those guys who cycle 40 - 60 miles a day, although I would win out on overall athletic ability, perhaps.



     
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