Base Miles In Low L4 Vs. L2 - Results So Far

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by 10kman, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    So, I posted on here a couple months back about what to do with a 2 month "dead spot" time of year, the time leading up to a 6 month cycle of training and racing. I didn't want to waste it, but I didn't want to turn 6 months into 8 months either, and end up fried in the summer.

    Got some ideas, picked up some more reading, and got a direct email from a member here suggesting low L4 interval training, vs. doing a ton of L2 miles like traditionally done. I'll leave this anonymous person as such to keep things on track, however if he wants to chime in he can by all means do so.

    Anyway, the theory was to do more "work" rather than just riding, even during base miles. Seemed backwards to me, but after my endlessly questioning and doing some more reading, I decided I'd do this for the 2 month dead spot of the year, and leave myself time to recover (if needed), before the real 6 months starts.

    Basically, I started off with an FTP test. I hadn't done any significant "work" on my bike, I had surgery in late August, and was just sorta riding to maintain form and keep moving, so I didn't know where I was. Test yielded me at 330w for current FTP (2 months ago).

    Doing low L4 miles puts me at 297-300 watt range, i rounded to 300 to keep my numbers easy. I started off doing an hour workout total time, and doing 5 minute interval reps, to get some feel back. I knew after about a day of this it was too light of a load, so even the first week I was doing 2 x 5 minutes, then 2 x 7 minutes, then after about 6 days of this I was doing 2 x 10 minutes, which finally felt like I was doing something productive. Idea of this is to spend more time in the L4 area, and less in the L2 area.

    Month 1 was a 3 week build, then a week of backing off. I got up to doing a 2 x 20 set during my last week, and felt fine. BUT, in feeling fine, I noticed my heart rate dropped down about 5-7 beats during the reps, so I was acclimating. I had to up my targets.

    I decided on 10 watts, I just raised my ftp in my garmin and my new low L4 target was 310 watts to start off month 2.

    First week was an adjustment, I was used to 300 watts, and the effort required to do so. I slowly worked up to 2 x 25 minutes, and then the last week was all 2 x 30 minutes. Last week, same deal, my heart rate was lower by 5-7 beats, and also, this time, my lap wattage was yielding me around 313-315 watts. I use my heart rate as a barometer for my power meter data, and I'm always in sync, so I consider it accurate.

    I just got done the 3rd week of a cycle, so I'm resting again this week to absorb and plan ahead.

    I feel I'm going to stick with this, as it's working, and I'm spending less time on the bike. Not that I don't like riding my bike, I don't like wasting time.

    Couple of questions I've had come up -

    • I do a sunday long ride, worked up to 150 minutes. This is almost all zone 2/3. Is this useful or should I do another low L4 workout?
    • In a 6 month build to racing season, A races being in August, I feel I should at some point do some VO2 work. If I do a structure of 2 base months, 2 build, 2 peak/race, where would that fall into play?
    • Are my base/build months essentially the same with this method, just more volume?
    Other things to note. My highest TSS week so far has been 540. I'm acceptably tired after that, I mean I had 4 workouts of 2 x 30 in low L4, one rest day, one 60 minute easy day, and one 150 minute ride in that mix. I feel I can build more, but that's where I'm at now.

    Longest race is 60 minutes, time trial/hill climb, if that helps.

    Thanks for any advice, and to the member who has endlessly answered my questions (and I'm sure I'll have more). I wanted to get some data out there for all to see and comment on.

    10k
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    As to your questions,
    • I don't think long rides and high-intensity efforts are mutually exclusive. If you're doing the long ride solo, you can easily do a set of L4s or L5s or even L6s with recovery segments as required. Granted, you probably can't do even low L4 for 150 minutes, but you can do 20-30min L4s with recovery durations. The more typical problem is long group rides, where it's difficult to impossible to get in even a 10min L4 effort. Long group rides almost dictate settling for L2-L3. Group rides are a whole other animal from a training perspective.
    • I tend to start my focused L5-L7 efforts about 2 months out from my first target event that requires L5-L7. Eight weeks seems plenty long for me to peak my anaerobic or neuromuscular capacity (although, in full disclosure, I don't think my 5sec max power of 850W untrained/1200W trained is anything special so I'd be interested to hear how long it takes for someone with 1500W+ 5sec power to peak).
    • When I transition from the early phase to the late phase of a base/build period, I keep my total volume about the same, but I shorten the durations of my high-intensity efforts in order to push up my intensity in the work segments. By the end of a build, I'm doing my L4s at 10mins and 100%-105%FTP. Obviously, this requires more recovery time relative to high-intensity time, but that's a tradeoff I am prepared to make in order to peak.
     
  3. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    Thanks. I'm a solo guy, so I have the flexibility to mix up workouts as I need to. My 150 minute long ride yielded about the same TSS score as a 90 minute workout containing 2 x 30 minutes in low L4. I was curious if the 150 minute L2 ride did me any good compared to the "work" day.

    I haven't figured out what to do on the down week of a build (week 4). Last time I did mostly hour rides, and form drills, high cadence stuff, one legged drills, low cadence stuff, but no intervals/work. Today I'm back on the bike and am toying with doing this week of hour efforts, with shorter work reps, maybe no more than 20 minutes, just to keep the memory there. I felt like week one was a shock due to the rest week, if I keep my TSS down I think it may be more helpful than just riding for a week at L2.

    I like to keep the time around an hour on this down week so I can catch up on anything I have going on around home, otherwise I end up cramming and stressing. Trying to take advantage where I can......
     
  4. westmixxin

    westmixxin New Member

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    That's interesting I'm never been on my by 150 minutes something that I need to try out. If I would be very good for me to really put that much work in the first place. They can start to get a little bit lazy by doing these 30 minute Bike rides. Extending my ride definitely is going to change my perspective on weight loss and stamina.
     
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