annual training hours



vio765

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last year i did about 230hours of combined training as a cat 5 racer. sadly, my season ended after a dog attack RIGHT BEFORE THE GOOD RACING BEGAN!!! anyway, this year im going for 475-500 hours. i know this sounds like quite an increase, however, im handling the load just fine. i started Base 1 Dec 4 and my particular training year i have 4 Base cycles and 4 Build cycles (i added a cycles to each of Friel's periodization model). i am nearly at the end of Base 4 (which is like Base 3 but more volume). i have a smorgasboard of intervals. muscular endurance, climbing repeats, threshold interval, tempo (Carmichael's version of Tempo), a weight training day, an on-the-bike muscular workout, and lots O' endurance. the intervals are mild for now. im am focusing on the endurance aspect and "introducing" my body to the higher intensity stuff. so for a cat 5, is this "nothing" "decent" "not bad" "sufficient" "good" "damn good" "too much" or "insane"? also, please tell everyone your cat rating (or percieved cat rating) and you annual hours. cause if im a cat 5 and training at a cat 3, then that is good news for me. please enlighten me!

PS- i rode in a group a few times last season. the group were cats 1,2,3 and really good 4s. i hung with them ok (read: pulled, drafted, etc.) most of the time. but sometimes i would get pooped out the back. when i would get dropped, it was usually about half way through the ride, so i have experience with riding in a group.
 

WarrenG

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vio765 said:
last year i did about 230hours of combined training as a cat 5 racer. sadly, my season ended after a dog attack RIGHT BEFORE THE GOOD RACING BEGAN!!! anyway, this year im going for 475-500 hours. i know this sounds like quite an increase, however, im handling the load just fine. i started Base 1 Dec 4 and my particular training year i have 4 Base cycles and 4 Build cycles (i added a cycles to each of Friel's periodization model). i am nearly at the end of Base 4 (which is like Base 3 but more volume). i have a smorgasboard of intervals. muscular endurance, climbing repeats, threshold interval, tempo (Carmichael's version of Tempo), a weight training day, an on-the-bike muscular workout, and lots O' endurance. the intervals are mild for now. im am focusing on the endurance aspect and "introducing" my body to the higher intensity stuff. so for a cat 5, is this "nothing" "decent" "not bad" "sufficient" "good" "damn good" "too much" or "insane"? also, please tell everyone your cat rating (or percieved cat rating) and you annual hours. cause if im a cat 5 and training at a cat 3, then that is good news for me. please enlighten me!

PS- i rode in a group a few times last season. the group were cats 1,2,3 and really good 4s. i hung with them ok (read: pulled, drafted, etc.) most of the time. but sometimes i would get pooped out the back. when i would get dropped, it was usually about half way through the ride, so i have experience with riding in a group.

Your total hours is good, maybe just a bit high for a person new to training. 400-450 might be best, but this also depends on how much intensity you pack into those hours. IME, 450 hours is plenty for you to be competitive in Cat 3 criteriums and/or road races up to about 2-3 hours long.

It's good that you're doing a variety of training, but do spend some time trying to figure out what works best for you and then you can narrow down your menu to maybe a dozen items that you utilize as needed. Unless you're particularly weak in some area of strength you can probably reduce or eliminate your time doing off the bike strength training in favor of some other training on your bike (unless you can't ride as much as you want to in the winter.). Core strength training is quite useful if you have some weaknesses in that area. I like Pilates for this.

Be patient, and the rewards will come.
 

vio765

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WarrenG said:
Your total hours is good, maybe just a bit high for a person new to training. 400-450 might be best, but this also depends on how much intensity you pack into those hours. IME, 450 hours is plenty for you to be competitive in Cat 3 criteriums and/or road races up to about 2-3 hours long.

It's good that you're doing a variety of training, but do spend some time trying to figure out what works best for you and then you can narrow down your menu to maybe a dozen items that you utilize as needed. Unless you're particularly weak in some area of strength you can probably reduce or eliminate your time doing off the bike strength training in favor of some other training on your bike (unless you can't ride as much as you want to in the winter.). Core strength training is quite useful if you have some weaknesses in that area. I like Pilates for this.

Be patient, and the rewards will come.

Im kinda/sorta new to cycling. im 27 and have always been active in something endurance related. speedskating, running, swimming and weight lifting have all been in the picture at one time or another. i have 2-3 years of mountain biking experience (all XC singletrack) and this year will be my 2nd year with a formal training plan for racing. my goals are to compete and finish in 10-12 crits, 4-5 TTs, and maybe 1-2 road races. of the crits, i want 6 field finishes, a few top 10% finishes, a couple place finishes, and 1 win. as for the TTs, i want either a sub-1h8min on a standard bike or sub 1h 4min on a TT bike (depending on my finances!). hope this additional info helps y'all
 

Spunout

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vio765 said:
Im kinda/sorta new to cycling. im 27 and have always been active in something endurance related. speedskating, running, swimming and weight lifting have all been in the picture at one time or another. i have 2-3 years of mountain biking experience (all XC singletrack) and this year will be my 2nd year with a formal training plan for racing. my goals are to compete and finish in 10-12 crits, 4-5 TTs, and maybe 1-2 road races. of the crits, i want 6 field finishes, a few top 10% finishes, a couple place finishes, and 1 win. as for the TTs, i want either a sub-1h8min on a standard bike or sub 1h 4min on a TT bike (depending on my finances!). hope this additional info helps y'all
How many hours have you trained/been active in past years? 230 to 500 is a big jump, you won't be happy unless you are genetically gifted.

I agree with Warren, you can be successful cat 3 at 450 SMART hours per year.
 

Danielk

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Jan 7, 2006
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Spunout said:
How many hours have you trained/been active in past years? 230 to 500 is a big jump, you won't be happy unless you are genetically gifted.

I agree with Warren, you can be successful cat 3 at 450 SMART hours per year.
Hi,
I've started cycling in january. I now train about 9 hours a week; thats about 450-500 hours a year. Till now I havent had any problems but is this too much training for my first year? I mean, is there any chance that I overtrain or something? I've always done a lot of other sports so my condition is quite well.
Thanks,
Daniel
 

Spunout

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Do you think you will train 9 hours per week for 52 weeks?

Or, you may wish to do a few 16 hour weeks and some 7 hour weeks, and mostly 12 hour weeks in season with a transition season of 5 hour weeks...you need to have a plan. If you do this, you may perform better with only 450 hours per year.
 

Danielk

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Well this year I just want to become faster. I mean I've never done very much cycling before so I think I first have to 'make some muscle' so that maybe I can start do races next year. Most of my weeks now look like this:
1 Tempotraining (Tacx) for 45 minutes;
1 Powertraining (Tacx) for 45 minutes;
1 long distance for 3-4 hours;
1 Interval for 1,5 hours (warm up/cool down for 0,5 hour and 1 hour interval);
1 'Time Trial' for 2 hours (including warm up/cool down);
1 recovery (1-2hours).
Should I change trainings during my 'build-year' or is it ok to hold on to this?
 

vio765

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my training with swimming, running, speedskating were very informal. no plan whatsoever. mostly hardcore recreation. so id say an average a 3-5 hours a week max. yeah i agree, the increase in hours is a lot, but i put alot of emphasis on recovery. Endurox after the workout, pasta after my shower (so about 30-45 min after the workout) and about 8-10 hours sleep every night. im a college student, so i just sit around a lot the rest of the day. i dont feel any fatigue and my average power on my regular intervals and endurance rides have slowly improved. in fact, my power at lactate last season was 225W. my goal for this season is 240W. i havnt even began hitting the lactate workouts yet and my wattage is already at 240W! so im changing my goal to 250ish. i think, but not really sure, that i may be predisposed to be a sprinter. there have been a few times when i would jump and gun it for several seconds and see my instantaneous wattage at 900-950 and im not even try REALLY hard. so that tells me that if i really sprinted as hard as i could, i bet it could bee over 1050W. not sure. but for a cat 5, im happy.




Spunout said:
How many hours have you trained/been active in past years? 230 to 500 is a big jump, you won't be happy unless you are genetically gifted.

I agree with Warren, you can be successful cat 3 at 450 SMART hours per year.
 

whoawhoa

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vio765 said:
my training with swimming, running, speedskating were very informal. no plan whatsoever. mostly hardcore recreation. so id say an average a 3-5 hours a week max. yeah i agree, the increase in hours is a lot, but i put alot of emphasis on recovery. Endurox after the workout, pasta after my shower (so about 30-45 min after the workout) and about 8-10 hours sleep every night. im a college student, so i just sit around a lot the rest of the day. i dont feel any fatigue and my average power on my regular intervals and endurance rides have slowly improved. in fact, my power at lactate last season was 225W. my goal for this season is 240W. i havnt even began hitting the lactate workouts yet and my wattage is already at 240W! so im changing my goal to 250ish. i think, but not really sure, that i may be predisposed to be a sprinter. there have been a few times when i would jump and gun it for several seconds and see my instantaneous wattage at 900-950 and im not even try REALLY hard. so that tells me that if i really sprinted as hard as i could, i bet it could bee over 1050W. not sure. but for a cat 5, im happy.
Read this: http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/profile.html

i'm not sure how you're defining lactate threshold, but assuming you mean roughly 1-hour max power (functional threshold) then you sound like you are an all-rounder (not sure your weight for power/weight numbers, or your 1-minute and 5-minute powers).

Most people develop more into specialists as they go further into training, but a sprinter in an endurance sport would probably be pretty apparent form the get-go. (IMO)
 

RipVanCommittee

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vio765 said:
last year i did about 230hours of combined training as a cat 5 racer. sadly, my season ended after a dog attack RIGHT BEFORE THE GOOD RACING BEGAN!!! anyway, this year im going for 475-500 hours.
I really think that the annual hour thing can be a bit misleading. While obviously it depends what you're doing with your hours, I find comments such as 'you must do X to be a Cat 3' to be quite misleading. This is only superceded by the old chestnut ''I'd upgrade to that category if I had time to train more...."

Since we're on the jag of 'evidence-based coaching' (of which I'm all in favor, BTW), I haven't seen any evidence of endurace rides of over 2 hours to be of any real use. When you through in a day each of 2X15:00-20:00, 7x4:00, 12x :30 second and 2 hrs, all done at maximum relative intensities (i.e., the max intensity for the duration of the set of intervals), Along with 1 or 2 easy fun rides of 30-50 minutes, I've put in a 5-7 hour week.

My yearly training volume is about 400 hrs, and I'm able to be competetive in P1/2 races with this much volume. The above is a typical training week, and I'll typically add 1 or 2 longer rides just to prepare for the specific demands of a particular event, if needed; i.e. I'll do a couple of 3 hr rides to prepare for a multiday event.

BTW, I'm not some genetically gifted mutant (like Kirk Willet, who's also a big proponent of training this way). I wasn't competive as a Cat 3 until cut my volume in half, simply because I couldn't improve my power being tired all of the time.

While there may be some disagreement about what is 'optimal' (I think AC for one believes it's more that this), it certainly isn't 'neccessary', IME, to do any more than 400 hrs/year. FWIW, all of my maximal power outputs, from 5 seconds to 60 minutes, have come after drastically reducing my volume--and I'm at an age (41) when I would be expecting at least some slight decline. Obviously, reducing the volume isn't the only factor, but I really think it's been one of the key elements.
 

SolarEnergy

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"... an athlete expecting to place in top twenty in the world has to perform over 1000 hours of training per year. Athletes to be entered in international meets ought to consider 800 hours, while national calibre athletes, require at least 600 hours of training. And finally, 400 hours of work may be planned if an adequate performance is designed in regional or state championships..." (Bompa, 1994)

As for the big step between last year, and this year, hmm it's hard to tell if it's ok or not. That depends on how big of a schedule, last year was for you. If training ~250 hrs represented 50% of what you can really do, one may think that you were in fact undertraining in the past.

Listen to your motivation level, to your articulations, to your fitness improvement curve and so on.

To me that's a trial and error thing. But as other have suggested, better safe than sorry.
 

vio765

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whoawhoa said:
Read this: http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/profile.html

i'm not sure how you're defining lactate threshold, but assuming you mean roughly 1-hour max power (functional threshold) then you sound like you are an all-rounder (not sure your weight for power/weight numbers, or your 1-minute and 5-minute powers).

Most people develop more into specialists as they go further into training, but a sprinter in an endurance sport would probably be pretty apparent form the get-go. (IMO)
i hope im an all-rounder. i want to do well in RR, crits, TTs etc, but not great at one thing and terrible at another. i actually have that chart in Training with Power. as far as numbers on the chart, im what i call a "good" cat 5. i havnt had the chance to do a formal test yet from cycling peaks software, if things go the way id like them to go, i should have a powertap and cyclingpeaks. after reading that book, xmas may come early. lol
 

RipVanCommittee

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SolarEnergy said:
"... an athlete expecting to place in top twenty in the world has to perform over 1000 hours of training per year. Athletes to be entered in international meets ought to consider 800 hours, while national calibre athletes, require at least 600 hours of training. And finally, 400 hours of work may be planned if an adequate performance is designed in regional or state championships..." (Bompa, 1994)
To that, I would say "based on what evidence??" And,"why??" what physiological changes can occur only at that higher volume??

I know this was Bompa's quote, and has been popularized by Friel, but I haven't seen any evidence to back up this claim.
 

SolarEnergy

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I don't pay much attention to this evidence-based thing. Yesterday that even got me out of my shoes.

I find that people like Bompa, or Maglischo, or any other PhD that issue beleif-based statements are simply more "courageous", not necessarly less intelligent or less competent.

There are things that will always be very difficult to test in a lab anyway.

Now, let me ask you. Your in charge of a 30 rider squad, having different potential level, different goals. How do you establish the yearly plan? How do you set the number of hours of someone you don't know?

Or here's an other one. You write a book on Theory and methodology of training. No evidence is available as to the number of hours one should do per year. What do you do :
a) Make no mention, or no recommendation whatsoever about the number of hours, or any other aspect for which no studies have been done?
b) You write no book?
c) Everybody should be ok with 400 hr?
d) You gather as much ground data as possible?

Or here's an other one. Dr. Coggan's approach to "power based training". Is it all the way padded with some scientific evidence? Every tip? every algorythm?

Personnally, I won't mind if it's not.
 

whoawhoa

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SolarEnergy said:
I don't pay much attention to this evidence-based thing. Yesterday that even got me out of my shoes.

I find that people like Bompa, or Maglischo, or any other PhD that issue beleif-based statements are simply more "courageous", not necessarly less intelligent or less competent.

There are things that will always be very difficult to test in a lab anyway.

Now, let me ask you. Your in charge of a 30 rider squad, having different potential level, different goals. How do you establish the yearly plan ? How do you set the number of hours of someone you don't know?
Solar-I think you're confusing evidence-based coaching with something that might be called "proof-based coaching." For example, I don't know of a study that has specifically tested 2x20 minute intervals, yet AC and other coaches/physiologists advocate these type of efforts (with respect to Andy, I don't think he's ever suggested others do them, merely noted that he does) because of other evidence. A "proof-based coach" would refuse to proscribe efforts like this because they haven't been subjected to a study.


And, of course, if any Ph.D. makes belief-based statements regarding excercise physiology (that aren't grounded in evidence) then this begs two questions: Why did they waste time, effort, and money on a degree in the first place, and why should you or I listen to them any more than someone off the street?
 

SolarEnergy

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whoawhoa said:
Solar-I think you're confusing evidence-based coaching with something that might be called "proof-based coaching."
Well said !

I don't know, that proof-based coaching. Is it good or bad?

whoawhoa said:
And, of course, if any Ph.D. makes belief-based statements regarding excercise physiology (that aren't grounded in evidence) then this begs two questions: Why did they waste time, effort, and money on a degree in the first place, and why should you or I listen to them any more than someone off the street?
I listen to anyone that has something to say.

But I do pay a lot of attention to groud data. To me, that's the most significant.

Take the impact of high intensity weight resistance programs aimed at improve swimming performances. I don't know where science stands on that issue, but South Africans took the whole world by surprise, in 2000, after having explored this "avenue" thoroughly.

Sometimes scientists will get closer to the "truth" first, sometimes it'll be coaches, and sometimes it'll be riders themselve. Who knows, after all, you sound like you could be one of them :)

And I'll bark at anyone or any group who claims having monopoly of this "truth".
 

whoawhoa

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SolarEnergy said:
Well said !

I don't know, that proof-based coaching. Is it good or bad?

I listen to anyone that has something to say.

But I do pay a lot of attention to groud data. To me, that's the most significant.

Take the impact of high intensity weight resistance programs aimed at improve swimming performances. I don't know where science stands on that issue, but South Africans took the whole world by surprise, in 2000, after having explored this "avenue" thoroughly.

Sometimes scientists will get closer to the "truth" first, sometimes it'll be coaches, and sometimes it'll be riders themselve. Who know, after all, you sound like you could be one of them :)

And I'll bark at anyone who claim having monopoly of this "truth".
I don't know that there are any true proof based coaches, but I think it would be highly impractical and not a good thing.

And I'm sure the south africans had some evidence for their weight programs before launching on it.
 

SolarEnergy

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whoawhoa said:
I don't know that there are any true proof based coaches, but I think it would be highly impractical and not a good thing.
And I'm sure the south africans had some evidence for their weight programs before launching on it.
You know what, maybe yes, maybe not.

And when we really stop and think about it for a while whoawhoa.

Dr. Rushall is certainly competent enough to set up a study. He finds a subject (probably issues some hypothesis), establish the whole study, protocol and methodology, get rid of anything that may interfere with the results and all...

But if Dr. Rushall is smart enough to conduct such a study in a lab, why wouldn't his methodology of training be as interesting?

He's got the subjects, the hypothesis, the ground, the protocol of course, that spreads over 1 to 4 years, the evaluation tools, 20 tests per years?

But doctor Joe Blow will put together a study involving a 21 day long protocol, with 12 subjects that have been trained by different coaches 10 months before the study takes place?

And you want me to believe that I should only consider Blow's conclusions?

Teams are well equiped now days. Tell me. What's the difference between their science, and Blow's one?
 

RipVanCommittee

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SolarEnergy said:
Now, let me ask you. Your in charge of a 30 rider squad, having different potential level, different goals. How do you establish the yearly plan? How do you set the number of hours of someone you don't know?

Or here's an other one. You write a book on Theory and methodology of training. No evidence is available as to the number of hours one should do per year. What do you do :
a) Make no mention, or no recommendation whatsoever about the number of hours, or any other aspect for which no studies have been done?
b) You write no book?
c) Everybody should be ok with 400 hr?
d) You gather as much ground data as possible?
Well, as far as the first part, I'd have to say that while obviously there are differences among individuals, and everyone will respond slightly differently to different training loads and regimens, I think from a physiological perspective, we're all much more similar than different, and will respond as such.

The second part?? Here's what I WOULDN'T do...I wouldn't through out an arbitrary number that people will immediately use to a)overtrain or b)use to limit their own potential, e.g. "I'll never be a Cat 1 'cause I can't train that much".

What I WOULD do is look at the demands of the sport and address the elements which are key to success. In endurance cycling (basically everything longer than the Kilo), those key elements seem to be power at threshold and to a lesser extent, power at Vo2 and anaerobic power. So I'd deal with improving those abilites. I think those abilities can be maximized on less than 1000 hrs. a year.

As far as 'ground data', there's no question that POM (piles o miles) 'works', the question is, does it work best.
 

SolarEnergy

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I'm glad that you answer me. I forgot to mention in my earlier post, that Bompa may as well be wrong, or not totally right, or only right for some people.

A theory later proven to be wrong happens once in a while in scientifically proven facts as well.

RipVanCommittee said:
As far as 'ground data', there's no question that POM (piles o miles) 'works', the question is, does it work best.
To me ground data, doesn't mean piles of miles. Not at all in fact.

Do you have an idea of the ressources that teams have nowdays?

While some team sale some chocolate to finance their operations, my (former) boss, a well known PhD matematicien, decided in 1984 that our swimmers and triatletes, would offer drunk drivers a free lift in their own car during Xmass time, to finance our operations. Contribution came from tips of drivers very happy to finally be home with their car. That operation is spread accross Canada now. http://www.operationnezrouge.com/en/cont.asp?f=248

There were plenty of belief-driven 50n studies conducted by the head coach of this team, with virtually unlimited budget.

That to me, is ground data.