Are we there yet?



Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Some of you that know me know that I get into thinking about training philosophies. Right or wrong I like thinking about this stuff.

Here is some more of my ramblings that jotted down this morning, but are not intended to influence others or stir up emotions. It is just something as I start putting the puzzle of cycling training together with hope of becoming more consistent with training.

Just thought I would share.

http://thecyclingaddiction.blogspot.com/2012/01/forward-thinking-training.html
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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I decided to do a baseline of where my LT is at. It has been months since I have trained anything at or above LT, so I was not expecting too much. To see where I was, I completed 2-20min intervals, looking at my average HR and average speed on my fluid trainer for the splits. I made sure to fully warm up the fluid trainer to get consistent resistance throughout the test. I then compared the data to the last time I completed the same test right at the end of last season when I was in good form. The results showed an expected loss of power, assuming the resistance was consistent with the last time I completed the test. The odd thing was my HR was higher that what I have ever found my LT HR to be and on both intervals. My guess is this demonstrates some loss of aerobic efficiency as well as the expected loss of power? Is this something that is normal, given I have been doing all sub-threshold work for the last couple of months??

The exact results showed 4.5-8% decrease in average speed and a 3.5-4% increase in HR (the range is because I did 2 intervals each time...).
 

jsirabella

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@felt, like the blog write up. To be honest I feel it can be used in any endeavor in life. IME I have found people just do not want to commit for various reasons and some of those reasons make alot of sense but than do not expect the results. A boss once told me you can really only pick one thing in life meaning you need to give 100% to that to really see the results. Very few really can or will do that.

@bg, I am no Dave or others here but it would make sense to see the drop IMHO. IME just going from 2 -3 hours in my indoor rides I have seen that it is now very tough to do SST numbers for 20 minutes in between. I think it is just an issue that the body keeps readjusting and needs a little time but once the readjustment is made you should see the improvement.

@swampy, Personally for me it is looking at the hot girls in the movies that can be distracting not the cars. ;)

I lost 3 days of training as Tuesday and Wed were long shoot days. I was so dead tired that could not think about the bike on Thursday and finally today I put in my 3 hours @ 180. I did get in the aero bars (bontrager race lites) and installed them as best I could which was pathetic attempt. I tried and used them today but really did not feel comfortable at all. I need to do some research and searching on the web. Also the bars are just a slight bit too big for my handlebars so but some cork in between which is kind of working. So like I said lots to work on!

CTL back to 91 though...

-js
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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We have rain all weekend so if I can get half of the jsrabella indoor effort (90 minutes) I will be happy :)

I will shoot for 120 /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

CTL was 77 after last night, rest today and then another series of days training inside starting tomorrow.
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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js- I expected the drop in power (demonstrated by the drop in average speed), I was in pretty good form when I last did the test and if I figure correctly based on power #s that I have from the trainer, I was somewhere around 360 watts for the 20min. So I did not expect to come out and put down that kind of power for 20min on legs that really have done nothing at or above threashold in some time. What I did not expect was the increased HR at a lower wattage.......

Or am I not thinking of this correctly, was I actually working above my threashold HR and my power actually dropped more than demonstrated by compairing the tests?
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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bg, what will be interesting is the time it takes for you to return to last year's peak condition and then exceed that condition for this season. My bet is you will do well in returning to condition.
 

jsirabella

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bg, I am leaning towards what Felt said. The increased HR I would still account to not dong threshold in some time. I believe as you get closer to your peak conditioning that the HR will drop. One another note is that most folks around here including myself discount variations in HR as there are just too many variables as to why it will differ between similar rides done at different times. This is just based upon my own experience but I would not put too much into the HR variation.

felt, If you are going to do that on those rollers, more power to you dude as I not sure I could put those numbers in.

My own experience today feels like someone took a jackhammer to my body. Last night I found the Cobb video on Youtube which tells you how to set up a road bike with aero bars. I tried my best to do it the way he laid out but I do not have that flexability yet so I set it up to be as comfortable as I could make it. I put in about 60 minutes on and off on the aero bars but it killed me. In the 3rd hour I did not use the aero bars at all and in the last 30 minutes I had to stop twice to finish the ride. I never had such a tough last 30 minutes. I finished with a 182 for the 3 hours and ~170 TSS. When I was in the aero bars I sweat even more for some reason. Killer...

I will see how my body feels tomorrow as have to head to the in-laws for Chinese New Year stuff. UGGH!!

-js
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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JS I'm not sure if it helps but until I tried a set of the "stubbies" I couldn't get comfortable on the standard road bike setup with TT clip-ons. Something like the Vision Tech Mini's. They got me in a position similar to when leaning the forearms on the top of the bars, forearms horizontal and tucked in, nice and aero. And the ski pole like profile is surprisingly comfortable. The standard size clip-ons had me too far forward even with a minor saddle adjustment. I'm pretty flexible too. Jan Ulrich used something similar on his road bike during an uphill TT.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Originally Posted by jsirabella .

felt, If you are going to do that on those rollers, more power to you dude as I not sure I could put those numbers in.

-js
I did 2x60 @ 0.8 IF sort of.....Had bit of a long break at the hour mark (10 minutes making some adjustments, bathroom, take in a gel). I had some discomfort in my hips walking upstairs at the break and thought I could not continue, but I did with a couple of short stops in the second interval. Arrrggg!!!!.......makes me respect your 3 hour indoor efforts all the more. Amazing that it took that much just to keep my CTL flat. Another ARGH!

I do much better on my outdoor long routes. Training inside at a constant pace wears me out even at a lower wattage.


 

jsirabella

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@df, I will have to try something but figure it will take some getting used to and adjustments. When I used them today I seem to just want to keep moving up on the seat to get comfortable which than puts me on the edge of the seat an creates discomfort down under. Not sure if my elbows should be right on the pads or not for proper position. In addition really not sure how to get into the correct position meaning, a) Do I move up on the seat? or b) Do I bend at the hips and stay in the same position on the seat? If (b) is the case this will take time! Also I have had to raise my seat cause my legs have no room.

@felt, Nice one dude. The three hour rides are killer and right now at ~93 again. I know about the short stops, I really wanted to stop today with only 15 minutes left but I just could not let it go. I hope I can do the same tomorrow, lets see.

-js
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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JS, you'll probably do better with the arm rests about 1/4 to 1/3 the way down your forearm from your elbow.

There's a video and also some written info on Cobb's site about this. Most people find that they can get enough leverage on the bars if they use their elbows on the pads. Conversely, if you rest your arm on the pad mid way down your forearm you might find that you get lots of leverage but at the expense of comfort (ie sore arms and shoulders)

First step would be to figure out if you rest your forearms with the pads about 6" to 8" away from the back edge of the elbow, are you reaching too much. Figure out where the pads need to be and then adjust the bars.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by jsirabella .

a) Do I move up on the seat? or b) Do I bend at the hips and stay in the same position on the seat? If (b) is the case this will take time! Also I have had to raise my seat cause my legs have no room.
My setup had my upper body in a very similar to being in the drops with slightly bent elbows, only with horizontal forearms. Hip angle was relatively unchanged.

Edit: If I were using the typical clip-on length, I'd probably want to move the saddle a bit forward (especially if you've already raised it), that will also open up the hip angle, and then maybe drop the bars a bit if bearable. Converting a road bike to a TT bike can be tricky, especially one based on notions of positions available on a bona fide TT bike. And your likely gonna be sore in all kinds of new places for awhile if your position changes much.

You're focus during the event will want to be on that tiny patch of clear pavement directly in front of the bike, and whatever little else is available in the periphery as the deepening blur of the pain cave closes in, not the discomfort in your lower back or knees slapping into your chest.
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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js-Just a couple of FYIs with regards to what I have found on positioning. With regards to seat setup, I was restricted by UCI rules that dictate the tip of the seat has to be 5cm behind the BB. Not that this will come into play for any regional races I will be doing, it may come into play if I ever deiced to do any national events in the future. I am right at the 5cm and the seat is pretty much flat. With regards to where your arms are positioned on the pads, I am more comfortable just infront of my elbows. I find that if I am actually on my elbows then this creates an unstable resting surface, as your elbows are not exactly flat. I have my road bike bars pretty low and I found that on the road bike I was still a bit higher than I would have liked, which cramped me up, on the TT bike my bars are REALLY low, but that is just all preference. Remember that it is really not how low you are that creates aerodynamics, but more about how narrow your profile is. I am sure Dave will have some good input...
 

jsirabella

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@bg, swampy, dan, Lots of good info there and ty. I was feeling really beat up today as bending that low was tough yesterday. But I am sure there are ways to deal with that. Right now my first priority is comfort and hope as I use them longer I can go lower and still have comfort.

I spent the morning playing more with the setup. I looked more closely at the Cobb videos and I see the rider basically bends at the hips to reach to the drops or aero bars. She did not move up on the seat and her back was flat. I have one of those hunch backs so I raise the seat a couple of degrees to try an flatten it out. I than took my adjustable bike stem and lowered the bars quite a bit to flatten the back. I thought that if I could make my back flat it would actually create more comfort. I was wrong atleast for me. I than did the extreme the other way where I raised the bars as high as they would go. This was more comfortable.

I have video I shot of it and will try and measure the angles. I remember Dave and others looking at the angles. bg you got me thinking now as it is not the getting lower that is key but the narrow profile. df you are so right about pains in areas I never thought would be! Your point about knees into your stomach made me think. Should you raise or lower your seat to use aero bars or ideally stay the same height? swampy, right now not to concerned about where the elbows are if I am comfortable for now.

Otherwise today uneventful on the bike as just put in 90 minutes for 180 as yesterday playing with the aero bars and putting in the 3 hours beat me down bad.

-js
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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If your aim is to use the bars for anything other than blasting out sub-1hour rides then you need to put the pads where they're comfortable. Personally, I do think the placement of the pad on the forearm is important but as they say, YMMV.

A couple of hours in the wind and driving rain was a good wakeup call as to how much fitness you lose in a few months off the bike drinking beer. But at least the CTL is now back over 30 :)
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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Someone has loaned me a Computrainer, said I can basically use it as long as I want. It is one of the older models that uses the Nintendo. I am just wondering what useful things I can do with it. It seems to me that if I want to do a threshold type test I will have to manually adjust the wattage to my threshold, or where I think my threshold is and kinda ride it out?? I have not messed with it at all, but I think if I use the programs, it will adjust wattage, but it will just be based on the program and not based on the effort I am putting out (i.e. the faster I pedal will not increase the wattage), is this correct??

edit: I ended up setting it up last night and basically answered all of my questions. I guess it does increase wattage as you pedal when it is on the programs, it does not when I am just using the hand held. End result is I think this thing is going to be pretty awesome for doing maximum effort intervals. I raced myself 3 times last night on a short 1 mile course and ended up going WAY to hard for this time of year (~400 watts for 2.5 minutes each time). I could have gone a bit harder, but not really to sure how much harder. I will wait till my legs are fresh then try to get some real baseline #s....
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Where is "there" and how far away is that?

A few years ago I decided to have a crack at the first Alta Alpina Challenge, as a means of getting a long ride on the same roads as the Death Ride that I was doing the month after. The AAC was longer and harder and I didn't think that given the limited training time I'd have more than a 50% chance of finishing it... but I did.

A couple of years and a couple more AAC's later I thought "maybe I should do a longer ride prior to this", so last year I did the Davis Double a couple of weeks prior. Given that it's quite a bit easier and the last 75 miles was flat rather than hellaciously hill I wasn't overly bothered by lack of training time (8 weeks).

So this year rolls around and it was time to start getting my lazy ass back in gear and I wondered "what can I do in about 8 weeks?" So I looked around a bit for some longer rides and spotted a Brevet series of rides starting at the end of March and progressing in length through the beginning of May with distances of 200, 300, 400 and 600km (130, 186, 252 and 378miles). The first three - doable... I can commit to those but the last one, which is also the hilliest... well is that something you commit to or something that your committed for even thinking about. I think I might be flying over the cuckoo's nest soon...

200km in 6 weeks, 300km in 8... Those two 35 mile rides outdoors recently should stand me in good stead! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif
 

gman0482

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Hey everyone,

I know I've been away for a looong time, so I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, or is using it, but I am hooked on TrainerRoad. Again, sorry for my ignorance if this has been talkeed about, but this program is sweet !! hundreds of different workouts, and all are hooked up to your PM, (as long as you have the ANT+ stick).

-Greg
 

jsirabella

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Jan 1, 2005
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Nice to see this thread getting some action! I hope everyone hits their goals. Sounds like most of you all have them firmly set. Me not so much but getting there.

Today was a real eye opener for me! I have been doing those three hour rides and feeling they were just running me into the ground a bit too much. I thought I should pull back, let the body adjust and see if any gains would be had. I really did not understand CTL and TSS as much as you folks but I did on Sunday and Monday 2 rides for 90 minutes each where my TSS scores came in at ~90. I noticed when I did that my CTL drop was really small.

I took off yesterday. Got on the bike today and was really happy with the results. Did 3 hours with 200 watt avg which is highest I have done in a long time and what made me most happy was I nailed ~230 watt 20 minute interval at the end of the third hour. Usually I am dead tired by the third hour and can barely finish. This is the first 3 hour ride I was not felling like death, sweating like a pig or wanting liquids like crazy. Not sure if a lucky day but my body definitely responded well to these 3 hour rides.



What I really learned from all this is doing the 2 low TSS rides followed by a rest made this ride amazing. On my CTL curve it was at 89.6 on Tuesday and today shot to 92.3. I will go back into death mode and than try this method again and see what happens.

-js
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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js, that is pretty amazing work IMO. I am impressed.

I wondered last night how your appetite and bodyweight are at the moment. I am at a fraction of your training load and stay hungry all day. Granted I am eating well and I am not losing any weight, but if that were me doing 3 hour sessions on a regular basis my grocery bill would be tripled.

Is your metabolism zooming? Is your bodyweight dropping?

In about a month I will increase my load a bit more if I can, but I hope to start dropping some calories. That will be interesting and I know it will be tough. I finish my 1 hour weekday sessions I am literally trembling in hunger. I end up eating quite a bit following a 1 hour session. I will have to control this better coming up in a few weeks.
 

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