Can't hang w/the a group any more. what to do?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by bulaboy, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I'm a 64 year old roadie. Rode 9,000 miles so far this year. I like going long, but I also like doing the shorter (50-60 mile) groupies w/the local bike club. Problem is I keep getting dropped. I'm trying to decide whether I should resign myself to doing the "Old Farts" rides, or if I can somehow get faster this winter and once again be an animator on fast group rides.

    I know that my problem is a lack of anaerobic power. I'm a slow twitch guy. My power curve is flat, flat flat. I'm fine when I'm sitting in, but when there is a hill, or a surge I'm gone. Can't go with the moves and can't close the gaps. I want to correct that this winter. I want to create some head room for my FTP to grow. A boatload of SST isn't going to change things much. It's what I've been doing in winters past. Something has got to change.

    Conventional wisdom says to conserve FTP early in the off season and do L5 etc just before the start of the season. But that seems like a waste of time to me. I've got a big base and I'm ready to go to work. Is it too early to incorporate high intensity WOs on the trainer? Should I wait 'til spring, and just do a lot of SST?

    Apologies for the long post. I would appreciate your feedback.

    Bruce
     
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  2. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    These boards aren't what they used to be. I should have asked about the color of bar tape. That would have sparked a lively discussion.
     
  3. workingguy

    workingguy Member

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    I hear ya. I took 6 yrs off, last raced in 2010. Maybe people are turned off by the spam postings, etc.

    Seems like you have a lot of base miles at L2.
    Doing 2x20s at 95-100% FTP should push your FTP higher. You also need to incorporate L5/6 work in during the week like 5-minute intervals at 110-115% and 2-minute intervals at 125-135%.

    For short climbs < 10 minutes it's VO2 Max power that's limiting you. For longer climbs, > 20 minutes, it's FTP/kg ratio. To hang on longer climbs takes about 4.0 W/kg. On the flats if there's a surge, and you get dropped, then you're barely hanging on in the draft (at FTP) when there is no surge.

    I'm not an expert and YMMV.
     
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  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Your analysis of the problem is correct. Building your FTP will allow you to stay with a group on the flat if they don't surge. But, of course, most group rides do include surges and climbs. These segments do tap your anaerobic work capacity. Often it's not the first few surges/climbs that get you dropped. This is because your initial AWC (whatever it is) is partially depleted with each anaerobic effort (at least for that day). This is precisely why savvy racers with a high AWC use surges and climbs to whittle down the pack.

    As to increasing your AWC, you can start early in your buildup as you have in mind. In fact, I think you will find that a diet of 100% anaerobic efforts will produce a nice increase in your FTP. Check out the attached Australian study a few years back. The classic anaerobic efforts would be 3-5 min efforts with 5min recovery segments. You can also shorten the recovery duration and achieve a pretty decent NP which will benefit your FTP. I also think a trainer workout comprised of anaerobic efforts is less difficult mentally because you are frequently changing your intensity of effort.
     

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  5. workingguy

    workingguy Member

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    +1 on the trainer.
    You're in and out in an hour, equivalent to 90-120 minutes on the road (which includes a lot of coasting downhill, etc)
    Find yourself a good trainer, better yet a smart trainer (more $$$). I use a dumb trainer (rollers w/ resistance) and online software. I shift up when the software tells me to start the work interval. A smart trainer will increase resistance (like a computrainer) in erg mode so all you have to do is maintain cadence.
     
  6. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. The cold weather is about to roll in, so I'll be doing this on my Kurt Kinetic w/a PM. Do you see any reason to wait until late winter or spring? Many coaches advocate waiting, for fear of peaking too soon or burning out mentally. But I figure with the deep base I have, that now w/b a great time for it. I won't be riding outdoors much so volume w/b way down. Why not add the intensity now?

    Looking at the study RDO, it's interesting that the 30" intervals worked as well as the 4' intervals. Thinking about it, I could do an hour or more at Tempo, then go really hard for 30" every 5 minutes. Doesn't seem as daunting as a steady diet of 4' ints at L5.

    Thanks again. I had nearly given up, thinking that I was too old to get faster, but now I'm excited to give this a try!
     
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  7. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I just took a closer look at the study. Guess I'll be doing those dreaded 3-5 minute intervals after all. That worked the best. Any tips on making L5 intervals more tolerable?
     
  8. workingguy

    workingguy Member

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    Here's what I do. Don't set too aggressive a target, like 120%. Mine is more like 106-110% FTP. In the first minute I try to do high cadence, 100 or so at about 105% before dropping to 90 and ramping up to 110%.
     
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  9. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Yes. I do all high-intensity efforts at ~85%-90% of my MP for that duration. In the case of 5min efforts, when I am fit my 5MP is ~130%FTP. So, I will normally do 5min efforts at ~110%FTP. The key to high-intensity efforts is to understand that you don't need to do them at 100% of your max intensity for a given duration. Most of my outdoor training routes don't lend themselves to constant power L4 segments due to stop signs, stop lights and downhill segments. So, I spend a lot of time > FTP in 3-10min segments.
     
  10. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I'm trying to postpone the "off season" as long as possible. I posted and led an 80 mile club ride today, in temps that ranged from 24 at the start to a balmy 33 at rides end. I won't do much high intensity on cold days 'cause I don't want to get sweaty, but I spent a lot of time at Tempo today. Turned out to be a quality training ride despite the temps.

    I'll experiment with the suggestions you guys have made as I inevitably spend more time training indoors. Looking forward to a great season on the bike next year! All the best to you both.
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Music. Loud, fast and rock anthem. Electronic, techno...whatever fires you up. Headphones work better than earbuds for me.

    I'm also on a 'dumb' Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer for Watts and the rollers for form and diversion. I'm also just shy of 64 and still fairly competitive with both age groups and the kiddies. I may upgrade to a smart trainer and go with Zwift, but it's going to take a long, cold, snowy Ohio Winter to drive me to spend the dollars that I would reather throw at a retirement motor home that will take me far away from the stupid weather.

    Paper towels for snot and sweat...the wife unit frowns on snot rockets in the basement.

    Keep the training area unheated and remove clothing as you warm up. Fans. Multiple fans. They will increase your tolerance of higher efforts.

    Makes sense and same here. I try to reduce climbing efforts and throttle back to minimize sweating in Winter temps. No matter what we blow on high tech gear it's a bad idea to get wet and chill down.

    I agree with the guys telling you intervals are the way to survive the surges and attacks. The local training crits are perfect fitness boosters and those killer club rides with re-groups work better for me than structured workouts.
     
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  12. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I agree with the guys telling you intervals are the way to survive the surges and attacks. The local training crits are perfect fitness boosters and those killer club rides with re-groups work better for me than structured workouts.[/QUOTE]

    In season I do lots of rides w/faster riders. Usually I conserve energy wherever I can. I know who's who, and I usually can tell when the pace is going to go up, who to follow etc. But once or twice a week I'd make up my mind ahead of time that I was going to work hard, waste energy, close gaps by myself, pull a little too long, bridge to groups up the road or die trying... Problem is nobody is doing those rides now. I can still get outside for some steady state efforts, L2,3,4 but when it's cold outside like this the high intensity stuff will have to get done in my "pain cave" .Maybe having the structure - the trainer and the power meter - wilI work better. Wish there was a "Magic Bullet". Wait, No. That w/b cheating.
     
  13. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Actually, there is a Magic Bullet. It's called volume. I got back on my bike on Aug 21 after several years of very infrequent riding, and I'm still not able to do what I consider training (minimum of 10hrs/wk of high-intensity efforts). Maybe by the end of the year I can get there. In the meantime, I just have to avoid stressing my glutes and gradually inch up the fitness curve.
     
  14. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    Actually, there is a Magic Bullet. It's called volume. I got back on my bike on Aug 21 after several years of very infrequent riding, and I'm still not able to do what I consider training (minimum of 10hrs/wk of high-intensity efforts). Maybe by the end of the year I can get there. In the meantime, I just have to avoid stressing my glutes and gradually inch up the fitness curve.

    10 hours per week of high intensity efforts?! That's not magic, it's an incomprehensible amount of hard work. I'll often ride 20 hours in a week. As an example, that w/b 5, 4 hour rides. I can't imagine doing half of that at a high intensity. What do you consider high intensity?
     
  15. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I use Andy Coggan's training schema, and I parse my ride files by level with NP criterion for L1-L4 and AP for L5+. By high-intensity, I mean L4+. Depending on the route for solo road rides, I normally get a minimum of 50% high-intensity efforts and a maximum of about 65%. For group rides, I'm lucky to get 50%. But, I also regularly use my CompuTrainer for trainer rides and then I can easily get 75% high-intensity.
     
  16. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    I consider training (minimum of 10hrs/wk of high-intensity efforts).

    Dude, you must be a lactate junkie. And your tolerance for suffering is remarkable. I couldn't recover from that combination of volume and intensity. For me 10 hours of L2,10 hours of Tempo, and a splash of higher intensities, is a great week. A lot of fun too ;-)
     
  17. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    It takes me longer to get there now than when I was younger. This time I started on Aug 21 and I don't think I'll be able to train the way I want until the end of the year. And, I guess I'll find out if I can reach the same peaks as I did the last time I considered myself race-fit (about 8 years ago). The good news is that I don't have a target event until next September, so I can take my time ramping up.
     
  18. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    While I would like to be more competitive on group rides, my big challenge comes in the spring. I'm going to do some rando events beginning in April. I'm going to do the 200, 300 and 400k Brevets, and depending on how that goes I'll decide if I want to complete the series with the 600. I'm not a punchy rider, and who knows maybe I never will be, but I can go long.
     
  19. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    It's not suffering if you have a goal. When you have a clearly defined goal it may not always be fun but those efforts can be made to be mentally easier and sometimes physically more fun. If you can make a route with a small hill, some sign posts and some steady flatter roads then you can easily make a course that naturally gives you a good 5 minute interval, some good hard sprints and a TT section. Hit the hill hard and think about crushing friends, sprint for the road signs like it's a prime lap/prize, nail the TT section like it's a last lap crit effort to victory or a solo win in a road race. Glance at the power meter periodically just to make sure the numbers are where they need to be.

    Even interval sessions on the trainer become palatable with goals.
    1 x 10 minutes
    5 minutes rest
    2 x 5 minutes with 1 minute rest between each.
    5 minutes rest
    6 x 2 minutes with 1 minute rest between each.
    5 minutes rest
    10 x 1 minute with 1 minute rest between each.
    5 minutes rest
    12 x 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest
    Ride slow until you no longer feel sick/unwell/dizzy and then spin easy gears for another 10 minutes.

    That's similar to what I used to do on the trainer after New Years - 25 years ago. I was good with long steady efforts but needed more high intensity work than most. My FTP did get better in a shorter period of time with a few months of long efforts but without the intervals racing was harder than it needed to be. That's also similar to what I'll be doing after New Years in prep for a brevet series of rides upto 1200km. Yeah, it may seem the 'wrong' kind of training to do for such rides but I lose weight faster than way and training is more fun. When the days become longer, the weather nicer and I become fitter then there'll be plenty of time for long outdoor rides. Plus, I know from years of experience it doesn't take a lot for me to be able to handle very long rides if I have a good base of fitness based of training no more than 2 hours per session.

    Recovering physically seems a lot easier when training is not mentally difficult. If you have a well defined goal that is something that's realistic and keeps your interest, it's amazing how much more work you can put in and how easier it is to do all the other things that are necessary too like going to bed a little earlier, skipping the snacks and the cold frosty beverages...
     
  20. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    Good luck w/your winter program Swampy. That's hardcore.
     
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