Early Season Questions

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by skammer, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. skammer

    skammer New Member

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    Hey guys:

    I have been hitting the roads and rail trail since DST broke a few weeks early this year and tried to get a jump on fitness and have been struggling with doldrums or something. How long does it normally take you guys to snap-to during the early season, my benchmark times are wayyyy off at this point and not improving very rapidly. I have found that my HR is not driving as readily as it was last season.. Generally been riding 3-6 times a week at no less than 14 miles a ride generally 25 miles or slightly more though. Just kind of doing distance but not a lot of sprints or standing. FInding that in the colder weather the legs are getting lead-like quickly when i try to sprint...not sure if it's the cold or just something else.

    I have been doing a pretty steady circuit weight program on my bowflex since christmas, and wondering if it's actually working against me.
     
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  2. Cycle Man

    Cycle Man New Member

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    I generally find that it takes 2-3 weeks of consistent riding to get over that lead like feeling in the legs. One thing you have to take in to consideration is that if you have not road for a few months you have given back some of those gains that you made in the previous year. If you try to get back to where you were last fall there is a good chance you will be soon overtraining or disappointed with your comparison results.

    I would suggest you just look at your current fitness level and build from there. Avoid the high intensity workouts and build a good base for a couple of months. There are a few workouts that I do to help build that base that I have outlined below. I usually will follow the plan of building up for 3 weeks and then a 4th week for recovery at about 50-75% of the week 3 riding time. Over an 8-12 period these rides will seem easy, but will be critical to making big gains down the road. Riders that trust this will happen will often see improvements, while others will get frustrated that they have plateaued because there base was not strong enough. In no time at all those lead legs will be gone.

    Workout #1
    I like to build that base by doing a cadence that is 10 rpm lower then normal with a heart rate between 80-82% of my maximum heart rate. I do this during my normal ride and maybe start with a 5-10 minute effort a couple of times per week. Then increase that time 2-5 minutes per week. Depending on your fitness you may get to where you do that steady effort for 30-40 minutes.

    Workout #2
    Once per week do a long endurance ride and set a heart rate ceiling at 86% of your maximum. It is ok to go over the 86% for a short time, but try to keep it to a minimum. This should be the longest ride of the week. Try adding about 15 minutes each week onto you.

    Workout #3
    Recovery, make sure and include very easy days between the workouts above. I like to go out and do a spin with a heart rate ceiling of 120 rpm. These are great workouts to focus on technique while allowing the body to rebuild.

    Hope this helps,
    Jeremy
    http://cycling.spaces.live.com
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    One guy I know claims it takes him 10000 kms of training before he hits his peak. Of course he was one of the top pros in the world.
    In that, I believe in depends on the individual and what your goals are.
    I agree that cold weather and the extra clothing seems to slow you down a bit.
    Unless you are training for a specific event and you are a tight schedule I suggest that you stay consistent and enjoy the training as much as possible.
    Attitude is a big part of training and if you are miserable you will not do as well.
    The form will return if you stay at it.
     
  4. thekgb

    thekgb New Member

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    How long does it normally take you guys to snap-to during the early season, my benchmark times are wayyyy off at this point and not improving very rapidly.

    this is a bit vague here. what are the benchmarks (ie: time to climb up a local hill, placing in field sprint, TT results,etc)?

    I have found that my HR is not driving as readily as it was last season..

    this can be due to alot of things, but if you've started with too much too soon that can be an issue. Iow, if you haven't been on the bike in many months and then you start with 3-6 days per week at varying intensities for an hour plus each time you might be over-reaching. even if its not reallly hard efforts. depends on the makeup of the rides/training though.

    FInding that in the colder weather the legs are getting lead-like quickly when i try to sprint...not sure if it's the cold or just something else.

    This would help me conclude that maybe your'e over-reaching. also could be due to lack of adequate warm-up. i've never heard of the cold taking the ability to sprint out of their legs unless they weren't wearing knee warmers or something and it was freezing cold.


    I have been doing a pretty steady circuit weight program on my bowflex since christmas, and wondering if it's actually working against me.

    check the sticky threads up top for the answer to that old chestnut:eek:

    -Mike
     
  5. michelbrazeau

    michelbrazeau New Member

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    Jeremy has good advice in this thread. Getting the form back takes time. Reaching peak form within a season takes months. It always takes me at least 3 months, and the racing form only comes after at least one month of racing or race like efforts. So you need to gradually work from where you are to a race type fitness. This does require patience, especially if some your buddies have gone to early season cycling trips/training camps, so compared to them, you may be a month behind.

    Best regards,

    Michel
    http://www.freetrainingplan.com
     
  6. skammer

    skammer New Member

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    well my 7 mile split on my usual trainign ride dropped mysteriously by almost 3 mins the other day so I guess the motor is turning again. I am still gonna do the long-slow distance thing for a while though before I start heavy intervals or sustained 170 HR efforts.
     
  7. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    If it's early season and you have no important rides coming up in the next month or so, then don't worry. Take some time to subjectively look at what you're doing now and what you've done in the past and figure out what is different. The interesting part is if you've done something different this winter, will "that something" actually do any good?

    You say that you don't want to do sustained 170bpm efforts - what is your max hr?
     
  8. skammer

    skammer New Member

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    my Max HR on the bike is about 190, but running I can still get close to 200 even at 34 years of age. It takes a LOT to push me past 185 on the bike though. It's an all out no holds barred sprint while pulling my son in tow for at least 30 seconds.


    I can run pretty much at 160-165 for 2 hours plus on a bike I am not sure if that is good or not. I have no point of reference. I know if I am in the 150-155 range, I generally am barely warmed up. I just put in a 27 miler today that was somewhat aggressive in places... we did 14.8 mph @ 158 avg HR on the local rail trail. (slight positive grade heading out/ negative back). THe headwind was a bitch today though, a solid 5-10 the whole way up about 15 points off the port bow.
     
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