Comments on new training routine



Hi All,

I have been practicing a new training routine in an effort to become
faster and to derease my likelihood of being dropped in races.

While I am interested in many technical and physiological issues
surrounding training and performance, I am lazy and do not like very
structured training. I don't like HR meters nor cyclecomputers. So my
goal has been to find a regimen that is fun, not taxing in terms of
mental hassle, and which makes me stronger. I am interested in hearing
comments on what I have been doing.

I ride alone on average 10 hours per week. Sometimes a bit more, very
rarely less. 8 hours is spent at casual to moderate pace. 3 hours of
this 8 is on a single speed MTB with light gearing, but the terrain
occasionaly requires some muscle. 2 hours is on a moderalty high
geared fixed. 3 is on a regular road bike. That is average, with some
variation. 2x week for 1 hour or so I do my intense effort intervals.
2.5 minutes as fast as I can, followed by 5 minutes soft pedaling
repeated 10 times. This is done with an iPod filled with aprox 2.5
minutes songs on random. 1 hard, 2 rest. The slight variation in
length, mixed with the mixed terrain gives me valuable experience with
how intense efforts feel on different terrain, into different winds,
etc. And it often causes me to push it fast through somewhat technical
areas which improves my bike handling skills and confidence. I
considered doing my 2 interval sessions on my rollers, but I think the
open road provides more.

In addition to the solo rides, I ride in 1 group ride or race each
week, usually just short of 2 hours. These are with people faster than
me, so I work quite hard.

I've been at this for 4 weeks now. I feel stronger, but it is hard to
say. Conditions have not been suitable for a benchmark TT.

Joseph
 
A

Amit Ghosh

Guest
On Apr 30, 9:44 am, "[email protected]"
<[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I have been practicing a new training routine in an effort to become
> faster and to derease my likelihood of being dropped in races.
>


dumbass,

the key to cycling performance is sustained intensity.

left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
bouts of intensity.

you will improve more if you do tempo and threshold efforts ranging
from 10-90 min.
 
K

Kyle Legate

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
>
> I ride alone on average 10 hours per week. Sometimes a bit more, very
> rarely less. 8 hours is spent at casual to moderate pace. 3 hours of
> this 8 is on a single speed MTB with light gearing, but the terrain
> occasionaly requires some muscle. 2 hours is on a moderalty high
> geared fixed. 3 is on a regular road bike. That is average, with some
> variation. 2x week for 1 hour or so I do my intense effort intervals.
> 2.5 minutes as fast as I can, followed by 5 minutes soft pedaling
> repeated 10 times. This is done with an iPod filled with aprox 2.5
> minutes songs on random. 1 hard, 2 rest. The slight variation in
> length, mixed with the mixed terrain gives me valuable experience with
> how intense efforts feel on different terrain, into different winds,
> etc. And it often causes me to push it fast through somewhat technical
> areas which improves my bike handling skills and confidence. I
> considered doing my 2 interval sessions on my rollers, but I think the
> open road provides more.
>

You probably are stronger due to the interval sessions, but you should
really vary the time a bit more. Once per week should be shorter
intervals and once per week should be longer. Since your goal is to hang
with the fast group rather than developing explosive speed, I would
stick with the 2.5 minutes as your shorter interval and change one of
your interval sessions to 5 minutes x 6 repeats. Also, I would reduce
the recovery time of your short intervals to 3 minutes, since you're
never going to get 5 minutes recovery in a race. When this starts
getting a bit stale mentally switch to 1 minute intervals for the
occasional short workout, 2-3 minutes rest between them and see how you
like those. They will help you deal with pack surges during attacks,
whereas the 5 minute intervals will help you deal with the last few kms
of a race, or attacks of your own. Keeping all of your intervals at 2.5
minutes is fine at first but you will quickly plateau at that time
point, and still be lacking in the short, sharp surges and sustained
efforts at the end of the race. As with all interval sessions, they
should be done at an intensity at which you feel drained, and vaguely
dizzy and nauseous at the end of the last interval. Experience will show
you how intense that must be, if you simply won't wear a HRM. Nothing
like a good mouth-puke at the end of an interval.

Also, how casual is casual? Truly casual riding should be reserved for
the day following the weekend group ride, to recharge
your batteries for intervals. The rest of your rides should be steady
tempo at a decent pace, otherwise it's junk mileage. I don't count
commuting to work as training time unless it's longer than 10 km. I
don't know what you're trying to accomplish by riding a fixie at this
time of year either, unless it's a job requirement. Working on your
spinning technique should be reserved for the off season.
 
R

Robert Chung

Guest
On Apr 30, 10:59 am, Amit Ghosh <[email protected]> wrote:

> dumbass,
>
> left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
> bouts of intensity.


Dumbass,

Left to their own devices most rbr fatty masters would be pounding it
like there's no tomorrow.
 
On Apr 30, 8:14 pm, Kyle Legate <[email protected]> wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
>
> > I ride alone on average 10 hours per week. Sometimes a bit more, very
> > rarely less. 8 hours is spent at casual to moderate pace. 3 hours of
> > this 8 is on a single speed MTB with light gearing, but the terrain
> > occasionaly requires some muscle. 2 hours is on a moderalty high
> > geared fixed. 3 is on a regular road bike. That is average, with some
> > variation. 2x week for 1 hour or so I do my intense effort intervals.
> > 2.5 minutes as fast as I can, followed by 5 minutes soft pedaling
> > repeated 10 times. This is done with an iPod filled with aprox 2.5
> > minutes songs on random. 1 hard, 2 rest. The slight variation in
> > length, mixed with the mixed terrain gives me valuable experience with
> > how intense efforts feel on different terrain, into different winds,
> > etc. And it often causes me to push it fast through somewhat technical
> > areas which improves my bike handling skills and confidence. I
> > considered doing my 2 interval sessions on my rollers, but I think the
> > open road provides more.

>
> You probably are stronger due to the interval sessions, but you should
> really vary the time a bit more. Once per week should be shorter
> intervals and once per week should be longer. Since your goal is to hang
> with the fast group rather than developing explosive speed, I would
> stick with the 2.5 minutes as your shorter interval and change one of
> your interval sessions to 5 minutes x 6 repeats. Also, I would reduce
> the recovery time of your short intervals to 3 minutes, since you're
> never going to get 5 minutes recovery in a race. When this starts
> getting a bit stale mentally switch to 1 minute intervals for the
> occasional short workout, 2-3 minutes rest between them and see how you
> like those. They will help you deal with pack surges during attacks,
> whereas the 5 minute intervals will help you deal with the last few kms
> of a race, or attacks of your own. Keeping all of your intervals at 2.5
> minutes is fine at first but you will quickly plateau at that time
> point, and still be lacking in the short, sharp surges and sustained
> efforts at the end of the race. As with all interval sessions, they
> should be done at an intensity at which you feel drained, and vaguely
> dizzy and nauseous at the end of the last interval. Experience will show
> you how intense that must be, if you simply won't wear a HRM. Nothing
> like a good mouth-puke at the end of an interval.
>
> Also, how casual is casual? Truly casual riding should be reserved for
> the day following the weekend group ride, to recharge
> your batteries for intervals. The rest of your rides should be steady
> tempo at a decent pace, otherwise it's junk mileage. I don't count
> commuting to work as training time unless it's longer than 10 km. I
> don't know what you're trying to accomplish by riding a fixie at this
> time of year either, unless it's a job requirement. Working on your
> spinning technique should be reserved for the off season.


Casual isn't that casual. About 75-80% max HR, 29km/h average on
rolling terrain. With occasional harder efforts thrown in here and
there. Every once in a while I ride with my HRM to calibrate myself.

The design of my 2.5/5 was based on this:

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/1030.htm

Not so much to simulate the circumstances I find hard in racing, but
to maximize the amount of work done in a workout. The effort level is
very high during these intervals. It is balls out and I picked songs
that help. No internal conversions going on, just hammering.

But I can see the value of mixing it up a bit, not just to get
training benefit, but to become accustomed to efforts of different
durations. Right now when I get dropped, it isn't from short bursts
which I handle tolerably well, but from short hills. I just get
saturated too soon and I can't maintain the necessary power. I don't
even attempt long hills. I might try adding more songs of different
lengths and do one on one off instead of one on two off.

I ride the fixie for fun and in **** weather to spare my road bike a
bit, and because it helps me keep the intensity at a moderate level.
On the road bike I tend to go harder and harder. The season is just
starting here (first shorts ride yesterday!) so the fixie will be
gathering more dust pretty soon.

Joseph
 
On Apr 30, 8:17 pm, Robert Chung <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Apr 30, 10:59 am, Amit Ghosh <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > dumbass,

>
> > left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
> > bouts of intensity.

>
> Dumbass,
>
> Left to their own devices most rbr fatty masters would be pounding it
> like there's no tomorrow.


The scale said 94kg this morning. Goal has been 90kg by May 12. I
might manage 92 or 93. Soon I may be able to drop the fatty sobriquet!

Joseph
 
D

Donald Munro

Guest
Amit Ghosh wrote:
>> > left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
>> > bouts of intensity.

>>
>> Dumbass,

Robert Chung wrote:
>> Left to their own devices most rbr fatty masters would be pounding it
>> like there's no tomorrow.


[email protected] wrote:
> The scale said 94kg this morning. Goal has been 90kg by May 12. I might
> manage 92 or 93. Soon I may be able to drop the fatty sobriquet!


If you train in Chile you'll be able to pound it like there's no tomorrow.
 
R

Robert Chung

Guest
On Apr 30, 11:41 am, "[email protected]"
<[email protected]> wrote:
> On Apr 30, 8:17 pm, Robert Chung <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > On Apr 30, 10:59 am, Amit Ghosh <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> > > dumbass,

>
> > > left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
> > > bouts of intensity.

>
> > Dumbass,

>
> > Left to their own devices most rbr fatty masters would be pounding it
> > like there's no tomorrow.

>
> The scale said 94kg this morning. Goal has been 90kg by May 12. I
> might manage 92 or 93. Soon I may be able to drop the fatty sobriquet!


You're saying pounding it will help you lose that much weight?
 
On Apr 30, 8:49 pm, Robert Chung <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Apr 30, 11:41 am, "[email protected]"
>
>
>
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> > On Apr 30, 8:17 pm, Robert Chung <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> > > On Apr 30, 10:59 am, Amit Ghosh <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> > > > dumbass,

>
> > > > left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
> > > > bouts of intensity.

>
> > > Dumbass,

>
> > > Left to their own devices most rbr fatty masters would be pounding it
> > > like there's no tomorrow.

>
> > The scale said 94kg this morning. Goal has been 90kg by May 12. I
> > might manage 92 or 93. Soon I may be able to drop the fatty sobriquet!

>
> You're saying pounding it will help you lose that much weight?


Well the riding isn't helping...

Joseph
 
R

Robert Chung

Guest
On Apr 30, 11:48 am, Donald Munro <f[email protected]> wrote:
> Amit Ghosh wrote:
> >> > left to their own devices most people will do long easy rides or short
> >> > bouts of intensity.

>
> >> Dumbass,

> Robert Chung wrote:
> >> Left to their own devices most rbr fatty masters would be pounding it
> >> like there's no tomorrow.

> [email protected] wrote:
> > The scale said 94kg this morning. Goal has been 90kg by May 12. I might
> > manage 92 or 93. Soon I may be able to drop the fatty sobriquet!

>
> If you train in Chile you'll be able to pound it like there's no tomorrow.


Chile today, hot tamale.
 
S

SLAVE of THE STATE

Guest
On Apr 30, 6:44 am, "[email protected]"
<[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I have been practicing a new training routine in an effort to become
> faster and to derease my likelihood of being dropped in races.
>
> While I am interested in many technical and physiological issues
> surrounding training and performance, I am lazy and do not like very
> structured training. I don't like HR meters nor cyclecomputers. So my
> goal has been to find a regimen that is fun, not taxing in terms of
> mental hassle, and which makes me stronger. I am interested in hearing
> comments on what I have been doing.
>
> I ride alone on average 10 hours per week. Sometimes a bit more, very
> rarely less. 8 hours is spent at casual to moderate pace. 3 hours of
> this 8 is on a single speed MTB with light gearing, but the terrain
> occasionaly requires some muscle. 2 hours is on a moderalty high
> geared fixed. 3 is on a regular road bike. That is average, with some
> variation. 2x week for 1 hour or so I do my intense effort intervals.
> 2.5 minutes as fast as I can, followed by 5 minutes soft pedaling
> repeated 10 times. This is done with an iPod filled with aprox 2.5
> minutes songs on random. 1 hard, 2 rest. The slight variation in
> length, mixed with the mixed terrain gives me valuable experience with
> how intense efforts feel on different terrain, into different winds,
> etc. And it often causes me to push it fast through somewhat technical
> areas which improves my bike handling skills and confidence. I
> considered doing my 2 interval sessions on my rollers, but I think the
> open road provides more.
>
> In addition to the solo rides, I ride in 1 group ride or race each
> week, usually just short of 2 hours. These are with people faster than
> me, so I work quite hard.
>
> I've been at this for 4 weeks now. I feel stronger, but it is hard to
> say. Conditions have not been suitable for a benchmark TT.


0. Set up a plan for commuting by bike.
1. Put a Fred Rack on your commuter bike.
2. Always leave late for work, so you'll have to go as fast as
possible (unless you actually want to get fired).
3. Include some hills on the route.
4. Buy my old college physics, calculus, and chemistry texts from me
and put them in a pack strapped to the Fred Rack. Add a big fat
notebook too. Laptop computers are a nice supplement.
5. Execute the commute plan with the Fred Dork Setup.

That should help your fitness greatly. It helped me.

Aux: Get a guvmint job.
 
O

Off The Back

Guest
Kyle Legate wrote:
> You probably are stronger due to the interval sessions, but you should
> really vary the time a bit more.

<snip>

This is great advice from Kyle, especially about doing intervals both
shorter and longer than your nominal 2.5 minutes. That duration strikes me
as an awkward in-between area... perhaps too short to get quality VO2max
time, but too long to induce key anaerobic adaptations. Seems to me you want
your intervals to target those two energy systems. I'd suggest intervals of
60-90 seconds once a week, and on a different day do the 6-x-5:00 intervals.
If done properly, you will hate the shorter intervals, but you will like
what happens in races when you need to respond to repeated attacks.

Also, because of all the great advice you get from rbr, plan to be in the
front group at the end. That means you better be able to sprint. Use one of
your steady-tempo days to also get in a hard sprint workout. By that I mean,
do 8-12 full-out 10-15 second sprints with plenty of recovery in-between.
Teach your muscles to rip the cranks off your bike. The vast majority of
bike racers do not work enough on their sprint.

Mark
http://marcofanelli.blogspot.com
 
R

Robert Chung

Guest
On Apr 30, 2:07 pm, "Off The Back" <[email protected]> wrote:
> The vast majority of
> bike racers do not work enough on their sprint.


The vast majority of bike racers are nowhere near the front at the end
of the race so there's not much reason for them to work on their
sprint.
 
D

Donald Munro

Guest
Robert Chung wrote:
>> You're saying pounding it will help you lose that much weight?


[email protected] wrote:
> Well the riding isn't helping...


<http://www.dailymuscle.com/2006/05/12/lets-talk-about-sex-and-calories/>

Might help with cancer too:
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/16/masturbation-cuts-risk-of_n_96944.html>
 
O

Off The Back

Guest
I opined:
>> The vast majority of
>> bike racers do not work enough on their sprint.


to which Robert Chung wrote:
> The vast majority of bike racers are nowhere near the front at the end
> of the race so there's not much reason for them to work on their
> sprint.


Maybe. It depends on the category and the kind of race. I think most license
holders in the US are Masters Fatties... and lower category at that... and
my observation is that a lot of those races come down to big bunch chaos...
err, I mean, sprints. Instead of the 30+ mph train you would see near the
end of higher-level races, the final kms of a cat 4 masters race look like a
big wide blob with nobody interested in being on the front. They all think
they can win, and thus all sprint from wherever they happen to find
themselves in the blob. A guy who is brave, intelligent about positioning,
and has worked on his sprint, can do well in that situation.

Of course, as he moves on up the category ladder, he will find it
increasingly important to have top aerobic fitness, which I think is your
point.

Mark
http://marcofanelli.blogspot.com
 
R

Robert Chung

Guest
On Apr 30, 4:53 pm, "Off The Back" <[email protected]> wrote:
> I opined:
>
> >> The vast majority of
> >> bike racers do not work enough on their sprint.

>
> to which Robert Chung wrote:
>
> > The vast majority of bike racers are nowhere near the front at the end
> > of the race so there's not much reason for them to work on their
> > sprint.

>
> Maybe. It depends on the category and the kind of race. I think most license
> holders in the US are Masters Fatties... and lower category at that... and
> my observation is that a lot of those races come down to big bunch chaos...
> err, I mean, sprints. Instead of the 30+ mph train you would see near the
> end of higher-level races, the final kms of a cat 4 masters race look like a
> big wide blob with nobody interested in being on the front. They all think
> they can win, and thus all sprint from wherever they happen to find
> themselves in the blob. A guy who is brave, intelligent about positioning,
> and has worked on his sprint, can do well in that situation.
>
> Of course, as he moves on up the category ladder, he will find it
> increasingly important to have top aerobic fitness, which I think is your
> point.


That was indeed my point, though "big wide blob" seems pretty
appropriate to the conversation.
 
On Apr 30, 9:44 am, "[email protected]" wrote:

> my goal has been to find a regimen that is fun, not taxing in terms of
> mental hassle


But...but...bike racing is all about suffering with panache!!

> 2x week for 1 hour or so I do my intense effort intervals.
> 2.5 minutes as fast as I can, followed by 5 minutes soft pedaling
> repeated 10 times.


Joseph,

I dig the fact that you are an amateur racer that actually posts about
how he is doing and trying to improve. Reminds me of RBR about two
decades ago when the regular posters actually raced bicycles. Or at
least knew someone famous who raced bicycles.

Regarding the training program, I also think you are in no-mans land
with your interval time. 2.5 minutes is too long to develop fast pop
and not long enough to increase your sustained power. You'll see some
improvement as any intervals are good intervals but if you are going
to go part way might as way go all the way.

What works for me is interval lengths of:

15-30 seconds
4-5 minutes
15-20 minutes

The 15-30 second intervals develop neuromuscular power. The 4-5
minutes teach you how to exceed threshold for a sustained period that
mimics what happens in a race. The 15-20 minute jobs are all about
threshold power. When time is short, or I don't feel like doing the
structured workout, I like to go out and just hammer along for 60-75
minutes. These rides are typically 20-22mph in rolling terrain.

Like many recreational riders I am guilty of easily settling into my
comfort cadence / tempo and just riding along instead of training.
Hence the reason why structured workouts are so important as they
force stress. A final thing to remember is that recovery is extremely
important. Your recovery days should be so slow that you'd be
embarrassed if anyone saw you. Guess what, when they see your rear
ride away on race day it doesn't matter that you rode slow on
Wednesday evening on your recvoery ride!

Try to mix up the times a bit. Throw in some shorter more intense
quick bursts and lengthen out those 2.5's to 4 or 5 minutes and see
how it works for you.

Cheers,

Mark
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
>
> A final thing to remember is that recovery is extremely
> important. Your recovery days should be so slow that you'd be
> embarrassed if anyone saw you. Guess what, when they see your rear
> ride away on race day it doesn't matter that you rode slow on
> Wednesday evening on your recvoery ride!


That was an important statement and I wanted to underscore it. Riding easy
is AS IMPORTANT as riding hard. What's more you have to do a lot more of it.
Staying in or below zone 2 is a key element in training on your off days.

Club rides are ALWAYS in Zone 3 which is the zone in which you can't recover
and can't improve. What's more, if you try to develop and group that rides
correctly it will always break up and most will try to ride too hard but not
hard enough to train.
 
B

Bret

Guest
On Apr 30, 8:16 pm, "Tom Kunich" <[email protected] com> wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
>
>
>
> >  A final thing to remember is that recovery is extremely
> > important. Your recovery days should be so slow that you'd be
> > embarrassed if anyone saw you. Guess what, when they see your rear
> > ride away on race day it doesn't matter that you rode slow on
> > Wednesday evening on your recvoery ride!

>
> That was an important statement and I wanted to underscore it. Riding easy
> is AS IMPORTANT as riding hard. What's more you have to do a lot more of it.
> Staying in or below zone 2 is a key element in training on your off days.
>
> Club rides are ALWAYS in Zone 3 which is the zone in which you can't recover
> and can't improve. What's more, if you try to develop and group that rides
> correctly it will always break up and most will try to ride too hard but not
> hard enough to train.


If it's true that you get what you pay for, the above is the freeest
koaching advice yet.

If you want to get fast, get a small training group together of
similar ability and do regular hard steady paceline rides like you're
riding a team time trial. Go climbing with the group too. Do your
intervals on the side. If the group won't do easy days, do that on the
side too. If the group is dysfunctional, quit it and try again. Paypal
donations CAN be sent to my email address above. If you don't believe
that last part, prove me wrong.

Bret
 
On Apr 30, 11:33 pm, Donald Munro <[email protected]> wrote:
> Robert Chung wrote:
> >> You're saying pounding it will help you lose that much weight?

> [email protected] wrote:
> > Well the riding isn't helping...

>
> <http://www.dailymuscle.com/2006/05/12/lets-talk-about-sex-and-calories/>


I suppose it becomes a question of quality vs quantity.

Joseph