Burning legs

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tt-timmer, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. tt-timmer

    tt-timmer New Member

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    I'm riding the turbo with some higher RPM intervals.. 105-108 (high for me) in the aero position moderate resistance (280-300 watts on a Tacx Flow). Alternating with 90-95 rest for 5 minutes. My MO is to increase my race cadence. On the high rev sessions I'm not hitting my LT.. only about 155 (LT around 170-175, max 191) But I'm getting some serious burning in the legs.._ what's going on?
     
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  2. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    most likely, you're recruiting muscles in a different manner to pedalling at a normal cadence and will take some time to adjust to it.

    additionally, i don't see any point to pedalling fast unless you happen to race fix, and need to cope with cadences.

    ric
     
  3. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    "additionally, i don't see any point to pedalling fast unless you happen to race fix, and need to cope with cadences."
    ==============================================
    ....You never cease to amaze me. Your advice is simply 'over the top'!..and out of step.
     
  4. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    It's good to mix in some high cadence training....since you will experience this in race situations. Spinning the cranks at high RPM's will increase pedal stroke effeciency...and improve the suppleness of the cycling specific muscle systems. This, in the end will make you a more efficient cyclist at higher intensities. When spinning along at high cadences within the 'vacuum' of the peloton..you will be conserving more energy than the less effecient cyclists. Just throw in some high RPM spinning into your training here and there...perhaps once a week or so. This is just one of the reasons that motor pacing is so beneficial.......it helps to bring a riders pedal stroke up to race intensity. Arnie Baker M.D. recommends this training in his book 'Smart Cycling'..and specifically recommends that it be done on a turbo trainer.
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    two points

    1) normally i advice doing a small amount of this, however, this query was in relation to TTs (which admittedly wasn't mentioned here, just something i knew)

    2) learning to pedal fast for small portions of races is probably best achieved out on the road and most likely only needs to be done occasionally, as it's such a small part of racing. most people can already pedal fast

    my advice is over the top? so far you've made several assertions such as this, not backed them up and when shown the evidence haven't commented further.

    ric
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i've mentioned this several times to you. at high cadence compared to low or lower cadences at a given output efficiency *DECREASES*

    actually, if you're sat on wheels and within a 'vacuum' (i.e. doing little or no work) then you'll be expending little or no energy (because the workload is so small).

    i've no idea how you could motor pace indoors on a trainer... nonetheless, being able to pedal at a high cadence isn't that important unless it's matched to a high power output. i can spin the cranks with my hands/arms at high cadences, but if i tried hand cycling in a race i'm sure to get dropped.

    ric
     
  7. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Agree, it's more efficient to shift up a gear or two to use a lower cadence when drafting or downwind because less power is needed. The legs should be good sensors of loads...telling us when reduce the force by shifting down and spinning faster.
     
  8. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    During very intense moments in a race when the action really hots up....only a few riders at the front are really driving the pace. Not everyone can be at the front at the same time..therefore much of the suffering is done within the so called vacuum. This is why many riders in criteriums are often dropped off the back...ejected from the vacuum at a time when everyone's cranks are spinning at crazy RPM's. Just because it's a vacuum doesn't mean it's easy. The more effecient ones in the group are more comfortable at these intense moments when the screws are tightened...and the men and boys are separated. Here is where the less effecient and/or economical cyclists are being spit out the back...along with ric stern on his hand cycle.
     
  9. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    "it's more efficient to shift up a gear or two to use a lower cadence when drafting or downwind because less power is needed. The legs should be good sensors of loads...telling us when reduce the force by shifting down and spinning faster."
    ==============================================
    Actually more power is needed to turn bigger gears.....this is why riders like Ullrich are power gluttons. It may seem more comfortable and more efficient at that precise moment to do it...but ultimately there will be a price to pay later in the race. You only have so much energy and power that you can productively expend. More effecient/economical riders know the value of 'power management'. This is why when Lance made his final and decisive attack(just after his fall) Ullrich was not able to respond...thus the tour was lost at that moment. Ullrich is a tactical klutz and a crank bully. It might win him another tour yet...but he'll never reach his full potential. It seems that Lance was able to do 'more with less' thanks to a few simple principles that many will continue to ignore.

    I think we should have a Tour de France on hand cycles!
     
  10. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    The legs should be good sensors of loads...telling us when reduce the force by shifting down and spinning faster.
    ==============================================
    Just because something is 'at first' uncomfortable..doesn't mean that you are not headed down the right path. As you work on a certain skill...it becomes very easy and comfortable. This is why an olympic ice skater makes her routine look so graceful and effortless....although you or I probably couldn't even stand upright on a pair of ice skates. Turning the cranks at 125 rpms might seem a bit uncomfortable at first...but it gets easier with training. The technique is refined...and it becomes a useful part of your cycling arsenal or 'system'. The best cyclist really is that cyclist with the most weapons within his arsenal. Performance is 'system' based. We are better when we develop and tune the entire system. You are only as good as your weakest link.

    Ric...could you start a dedicated thread on hand cycling?
     
  11. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    The riders on the front are riding at a higher power than those sat on wheels/in the bunch/in a 'vacuum' (assuming for the sake of discussion everyone is the same shape, size and mass).

    The riders in the group require less power than on the front, due to the decreased air drag.

    if you're dropped when riding on wheels, then excluding the effects of fuel (i.e. glycogen depletion) and some technical skils (e.g. you can't corner in a bunch) then the general reason for being dropped would be that you can't produce enough power, i.e. you aren't fit enough.

    The *fitter* riders who can cope at the intense moments when the screws are tightened are fitter than the ones who get dropped (i.e. they can produce more power under the given conditions).

    Hand cycle (!) or not, it has little or nothing to do with pedalling at very high cadences

    Ric
     
  12. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Actually, this is untrue. Under given conditions the power required to travel at a specific velocity is unchanged whether you ride in 39 x 21 or 53 x 12 or whatever gear. In the bigger gear (and thus lower cadence) less energy is expended.

    Ric
     
  13. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    "if you're dropped when riding on wheels, then excluding the effects of fuel (i.e. glycogen depletion) and some technical skils (e.g. you can't corner in a bunch) then the general reason for being dropped would be that you can't produce enough power, i.e. you aren't fit enough."
    ==============================================
    ...This is not exactly true. What if you tried an earlier attack and expended a great deal of your resources. As the screws get tightened...The time comes to pay the piper. So in effect..you could be 'more' fit than those riders that are at the front doing the hammering. i have seen many many riders 'get dropped'...and I assure you that some of them were very fit riders. Ullrich getting dropped by Lance in the final mountain stage had very little to do with Ullrich's fitness(although it was a component). Remember Chiappucci getting dropped by Lemond and company in the '90 Tour..as Chiappucci clung to a melting lead(I think it was Luz Ardiden). Chiappuci had rode at the front most of the day..and even tried a few ill fated attacks. Chiappucci or ullrich did not manage their resources as well as did Armstrong and lemond. However, all of them were very fit. Managing resources involves effeciency/economy(it's just a part of the whole system dynamics though). If you are more effecient/economical you will have more left when the screws are tightened(as in intense moments in a crit or a final ascent in a mountain stage).

    Again..we should appreciate the 'system' and try to tune each component of the system. Power and body mass(power to weight ratio) is very important to that system(this ric and I agree)...but this is just one part of the system dynamics. When you tune the entire system..you become a more effecient/economical cyclist. I consider technique, balance, and elegance a part of that system.as well as genetic factors. mental factors, tactics, explosiveness, physiological factors, etc. Economy/effeciency is essentially the art and science of knowing the importance of the system approach...and training and tuning the system..and further..putting it into practice on the open roads...and managing it under race conditions in a way that makes the most of your power(neuro muscular) and cardio/vascular/respiratory fitness level.
     
  14. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    briefly as i'm in the middle of decorating (!), getting dropped after a previous attack means you weren't able to produce the required power at the required time, which is what i mentioned previously.

    however, getting dropped at this point is nothing whatsoever to do with efficiency and/or economy these have specific meanings.

    if you're dropped it's because you couldn't produce the power needed at that time: whether that's because you're glycogen depleted, fatigue, or decreasing pH doesn't so much matter as long as it's corrected either by training or fuel in the future.

    elegance...? didn't you previously mention ballet on wheels or some such? either way cycling is a gross motor control sport, unlike ballet or skating or shooting which are fine motor control sports

    ric
     
  15. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    Just to add....we could take a marathon runner from Kenya and put him in a category 3 crit...and surely as the speeds became more intense..the marathoner would be ejected from the back of the group..even though he was perhaps more fit than the cyclists. His nerves and muscles have no frame of reference for performing this activity at such an intensity...and the neuro/muscle systems are not tuned and trained for this....thus much of his load will be quickly compounded onto his aerobic system...and his legs will fill with lactic acid at the same time. Essentially there is no effeciency or economy...and the marathoner's system breaks down as he is suddenly off the back pedaling squares. Fit...yes. dropped....yes. economical/effecient...no.

    Not sure I can explain very well the dynamics of an x-ray machine during an exposure but I think it would make a good analogy. X-Rays are produced inside a glass vacuum tube. A blast of electrons is shot into a piece of tungsten. The rapid decelleration of these electrons as they hit the tungsten causes x-ray photons to be emitted. Tungsten is used because it has such a high atomic number. One of the problems with the x-ray exposure was that it produced an immense amount of heat on the tungsten...and the tungsten would eventually burn or melt...and the very expensive x-ray tubes would have to be thrown away and replaced. The day came when someone decided to use a tungsten 'disc'. They put the disc on an axis....and made it spin during the x-ray exposure. This is called a rotating anode..where as before it was just a stationary anode. Now during exposures..the heat is spread out over the 'entire' disc as it rotates where as before the heat was super concentrated to one small portion of the tungsten over and over. The rotating tungsten disc discippated the heat and made the tungsten last much longer than before. Now users could save money because they did not have to replace the tubes nearly as often. Suddenly the tubes were more effecient and economical than before.

    I would say that the marathoner example above compares to the x-ray tube with the stationary tungsten..and the cyclist has the rotating tungsten. Both can emit the same power..but the marathoner is going to break down because all the heat is overloading just one particular system...whereas the effecient cyclist is spreading the load over the entire system...and the result is that he stays in the race..while the marathoner is ejected from the back. The cyclist is more effecient/economical than the marathoner..although both are very fit...perhaps the marathoner has more baseline fitness.
     
  16. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    cycling ballet can be performed on your hand cycle
     
  17. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I don't accept the analysis that power (turning bigger gears, lower cadence) is any better/poorer than supple (turned lower gears, higher cadence ala Armstrong) is valid.
    Depending on the cyclist, either style is suitable.
    I don't think that your generalisation is valid.
    I do agree that the 'coaching manuals' suggest that lower gears
    with higher cadence is more efficient.
    But if this is the case, Indurain and Ullrich and Merckx disprove the
    'coaching manual'.
     
  18. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    to be honest i don't know whether an elite Kenyan runner would be dropped in a 3rd cat crit. assuming he could ride a bike i don't know whether he would. notwithstanding that, if the guy is dropped this still has nothing to do with efficiency or economy.

    the adaptations that occur through training within the muscles, are specific to the joint angle and velocities at which they're trained. As running, obviously uses different joint angles and velocities and also recruits different muscles, then the adaptations are different. this is to do with the specificity of training (and why i'm always saying ride your bike, and weights are pretty much a waster of time for endurance cycling performance).

    efficiency is clearly defined as
    actual mechanical work accomplished/input of energy x 100

    ric
     
  19. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i'm guessing you'll be off the back of the race with me -- while i hand cycle, i guess you'll be taking X-rays of Kenyan runners. I'm guessing it'll be quite heavy to lug around an X-ray machine - even a portable one

    Ric
     
  20. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    "the adaptations that occur through training within the muscles, are specific to the joint angle and velocities at which they're trained. As running, obviously uses different joint angles and velocities and also recruits different muscles, then the adaptations are different. this is to do with the specificity of training (and why i'm always saying ride your bike, and weights are pretty much a waster of time for endurance cycling
    performance)."
    ==============================================
    ...training specificity makes you more effecient/economical at your preferred activity..running or cycling. However..there are no proven limits to how far one can carry effeciency/economy and sharpen it. It can be refined and improved..even for the elite international level athlete. This is why Lance works so hard at it and why it is paying huge dividends for him.

    Ric..I agree with you that weight training is a waste of time.
     
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