- Sep 8, 2003
frenchyge said:Certainly the training needs to be specific enough to translate into a racing benefit, but I'm not convinced that one needs to actually reproduce the specific situation where the failure occurs in order to target the weakness itself. Intuitively, it seems that that approach may be less effective than just trying to isolate the weakness itself, if that's possible. Granted, I don't really have any coaching experience, so I'm willing to admit the possibility that my intuition is wrong in that regard. But hey, when someone asks for coaching advice on an internet forum, the best they get are 'ideas' to try, right?
Ideas can be a good start. Obviously you don't need to create the exact circumstances and environment of an effort within a race during training in order to improve that effort, but you can do a fairly good simulation of some efforts. In this case, 4-5' at 100-105% of your FTP is good training in itself, and the sprint at the end will feel a lot like the ones you'll do in races to bridge a gap, or attack when it's already hard going, or at the end of a race, etc., but without creating so much fatigue before the sprints that you can't do them at least reasonably well.
One of the keys is to create the environment fairly accurately, but in a way that still allows you to do a useful number of repetitions.
Some day soon, go out and try doing 2 x 30" sprints from rest, and then try two of the intervals like I've described them. Decide for yourself what the various benefits of each are and when they are applicable to your similar efforts during races. You might even go so far as to compare the sprint wattages in training with the wattage you put out during those similar efforts during races.
I have noticed that as you ascend into the upper racing categories you will find more guys willing to attack when the going is already hard, and the rests you do get between the really hard periods are shorter, and you do not get a complete recovery.