Friel - Making fall and winter training program

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Andy SG, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Andy SG

    Andy SG New Member

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    Since January this year I follow a training plan that is more or less taken out of 'The Cyclist's Training Bible'. It has worked reasonably well for me. Looking into planning my training for the fall and winter I get a bit lost, however.

    When I ride in groups, be training or race, my problem is that I hit the LT first of all, and start to get acid, when the tempo increase.

    If we have head wind, and I can ride a bit protected in the pack, I don't have any problems with the lasting the distance, and there might be other riders that fall out before me. The last year's endurance training has even improved this ability further, and now days I can run for almost 2 hours without eating bars, drinking sports drink etc. I have interpreted this as my Endurance, as defined by Friel, has improved.

    If we run in a group and have to fill a gap to other riders I can take the lead in the pack and I leave other riders behind, so when I ride with a pulse above LT I perform as I would expect with my level of training. I have interpretated this as my Force, Muscular Endurance, and maybe even Anaerobic Endurance, has improved following Friel.

    So planning for the rest of the year I would like to target my ability to genrate more power below the LT. I have LT at 158, and say I would like to improve power from 120 to 158. Is this endurance targeted by Endurance training, should I add intervalls during the fall and winter?

    As I understand 'The Cyclist's Training Bible' Endurance training will of course improve my performace levels, but it is not necessary the best way, or? If I add intervalls, or TT simulations during fall and winter I start to deviate from the periodization approach, but I feel that that would better target my goal.

    Anyone that can help me straight this out?
     
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  2. sidewind

    sidewind New Member

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    For increasing the power on the LT, and on the HR range of 120-160, I'd suppose the classic way would be 2*20 min intervals close to your LT power (which might be different from the HR). Or alternatively or additionally, longer 1-3 hour rides where your HR is on the range, or power would be ~80...90 % of your LT power.

    I have also switched from Friel's periodisation concepts (easy winter, harder on spring and summer) to making 2*20...30 min intervals in the winter on the trainer or in the gym, and on spring and summer added 5 min intervals for VO2max, and longer 1-4 hour tempo/endurance rides when it's possible to ride on the road. But I'm not racing; although I see my LT (FTP) power and endurance/tempo speeds have improved (now I can even ride 30 km/h alone on the road, previous years some 26-27 km/h was already a good speed...), I really haven't targeted for specific peak for the season.
     
  3. Bailsibub

    Bailsibub New Member

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    Andy,

    Friel uses a pretty old-school system of periodization, in which one works his or her way up to the build phase and then doing anaerobic intervals. This is based on the also old-school principal that you will ruin the base you build if you go too hard, somehow ruining the capillaries.... I don't think this was ever proven by research by the way....

    I would recommend other resources for DIY periodization. I have found that reverse periodization works pretty well. You might want to do a search on Dave Morris.
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Don't let Friel's version of periodization keep you from training what you need to train. I used a traditional early season base build approach like Friel's for years with lousy results. Last year I redefined base as SST and L4 work, similar to the TT simulations you mention. These aren't easy spinning and they're typically in blocks of 20 to 45 minutes depending on intensity. My sustainable power came up quite a bit over the winter and my racing has never been better. When spring came I added higher end work prior to the racing season and it built very nicely on that base.

    There's a lot about Friel's approach to periodization that I no longer agree with but you don't have to undertrain in the early season on the basis of tradition and you have to don't take forced preplanned rest weeks, listen to your body and use something like the TRIMPS model or the Performance Manager in WKO+ to help you plan your training, rest and peaking.

    -Dave
    P.S. And don't do 2 hour rides without eating just because you can. You'll burn through most or all of the glycogen stored in your muscles and liver and even if you don't bonk on the ride you're setting yourself up for problems on subsequent days. Eat even on short rides to help keep your blood sugar stable and to decrease recovery time.
     
  5. Strumpetto

    Strumpetto New Member

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    Always eat. I did a 60 mile ride without eating (ran out of water for the last 30 miles, too), and towards the end I was about to faint. It's not good news. The squirrels crossing the road looked appetizing.
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Not only is it not proven by research, it's actually arse about face. That is, capillary density is increased with higher intensity training (e.g., ~zone 5 in the RST training schema or level 5 in Andy Coggan's schema), rather than they blow up, or ruin the capillaries.

    ric
     
  7. no1kung1

    no1kung1 New Member

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    I am also drawing up my annual training plan for next year using Friel's book. And Base 1, 2 and 3 periods all are essentially long "aerobic" (zone 1-3) rides with some tempo thrown in during base 2 and 3. How would you specifically reccomend altering these periods?
     
  8. kant314

    kant314 New Member

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    I never found Friel's ideas particularly easy to follow or particularly well set out, either.
    I don't think you can go far wrong with hitting the 2x20's over the autumn/winter with a few long rides at weekends, and then work on V02 max stuff late winter early spring.
     
  9. Andy SG

    Andy SG New Member

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    Ok, I gave Dave Morris a try on Goggle. The best source I found was http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/2005/11/off-season-training-index-and.html

    I will look into this further, for sure. This type of training is much more in line with ideas I have seen in running and nordic skiing, and I must make some change for next year. I got improvements using Friel's approach, but I don't find a way of targeting my weakest spot, which at this time is heart and lung capacity, to match my other abilities.

    I will start to experiment with block training a bit to see what it means for me. Anyone having a good template in Excel or simillar for planning block training, that they can share?
     
  10. Bailsibub

    Bailsibub New Member

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    Hey Andy, sorry I didn't send any links to info before. Here are some things you may find helpful, especially the info by MTBDoc, who was trained by Dave Morris:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=46993

    http://thewheelsonthebikegoroundandround.blogspot.com/2006/09/periodization-reverse-periodization.html
     
  11. Trekrider4812

    Trekrider4812 New Member

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    Very true! I wanted to emphasize this.
     
  12. komwannabe

    komwannabe New Member

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    Hey Dave,

    This was an epiphany for me. Your recent post and some of the other things you and others have written along these same lines is exactly what I've been wondering about lately. This is really what I've been thinking could be the case, but I've never tried it yet.

    I've been training and racing for about 5 years now, and much of that has been with a couple of well known coaches who have more or less used the basic periodization concepts and HR-based training zones. A few months ago I got an SRM Pro and cancelled the coaching contracts. I've read a lot on this board (although I'm relatively new to it still) and I have read the Coggan/Allen book and used Hunter Allen's 12 week Summer Plan on Training Peaks to get started with my PM-based training experience.

    I have been trying to decide whether to use one of Hunter Allen's Winter Plans or whether to use his Threshold Improvement Plan from trainingpeaks.com for the "off-season" training I have coming up for fall/winter this year. Based on what you said, I am really leaning toward using the threshold improvement approach and ignoring the fall/winter long slow days w/ low HR stuff that never seemed to help me much anyway. Having just finished a long race season (February - August), using L3 and SST for a while sounds much more appealing than hammering 2x20's in the middle of L4 or so during the next few months.

    Based on your experience, do you think I should go with the threshold improvement approach over the next several months? I have a couple of "off-season" centuries I'm going to be doing and I'd like to "race" those and get those solidly under 5 hours, and then the real racing begins again in February where I live (So. Cal., but don't hold against me). If I go with the threshold improvement plan over the next several months (with a little weight and core work due to my new master's racing age of 50), do you think I will be fried by the time races start again in February?

    All the other fall/winter training I've done seemed to take long hours with lots of probably L2 work and didn't seem to accomplish much of anything other than basic fitness. The most productive fall/winter I've ever had seemed to come last year from a shift toward some core work (crunches, etc.) and lots of low cadence, long climbing intervals that were probably at L3 or SST based on what I know now.

    I would very much appreciate your comments. Thanks in advance!
     
  13. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. I'd do exactly as you suggested, take a short post season breather, start up with Tempo/SST work and then move into L4 work as your base build. It doesn't have to be L4 each and every day, back off and do some longer high or even low SST work some days and do pure 2x20 L4 work on other days. Listen to your body and don't kill yourself on days when L4 just seems too tough. But don't feel you need to accumulate a lot of L1/L2 mileage either. That's the big difference for me, training at Tempo or above or not training at all during the winter. IOW focus your efforts and then rest.

    In addition to building FTP you also want to put as much CTL in the bank as you reasonably can so that's another reason to include Tempo and SST in your schedule. Longer rides at Tempo and moderate length SST rides are great ways to build CTL. Riding those centuries at high L2/Tempo pace are good CTL builders as well.

    I did nearly 7 months of SST/L4 work indoors last winter and when spring came I was more psyched than ever to ride and train. I think the tight focus and lack of junk miles in this approach can actually help you avoid burnout. The trick is to do your workout, cool down and go home. Don't pad a bunch of excess miles on just because you live in So. Cal and the weather is good. If you want longer rides then plan those for your Tempo or low SST days and keep the more intense work well focused so you recover quickly and are ready for subsequent workouts.

    Good luck and keep us posted,
    -Dave
     
  14. Andy SG

    Andy SG New Member

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    Just as a reference
    Friends of mine that both run, ski, and bike are getting more and more influenced by a training approach as suggested by Hoff & Helgerud, see for instance
    http://www.cyclecambridge.com/top4workouts.html
     
  15. komwannabe

    komwannabe New Member

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    Wow Dave... 7 months of SST/L4 indoors... you're an animal... and you stll wanted to ride after that... very nice indeed. I have a very hard time with sustaining any significant length of time much above mid-level Tempo on my Krietlers even though I really don't mind riding them. It seems so much easier for me to hit a reasonable interval length for SST/L4 levels outdoors on a hill. What is the secret to accomplishing intervals at that level on trainers or rollers? I know I'm digressing a bit here... sorry.

    Back to the main point... I think your posts have summed it up very nicely. Your suggestions for fall/winter will help with a different and much more focused training change for me and my new PM. Thanks again. Your comments are very helpful and I really appreciate the additional info and insight. I hope to have a good report back in the next few months.
     
  16. Andy SG

    Andy SG New Member

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    I have done some digging on the Internet, and quite a lot in this forum. I've also read Morris book.

    I would like to test the following plan on you with more experience from training.

    Use Morris as the base for training, including block training - but I will skip the weight lifting. This means that I will start on my VO2max, using SMSP intervals, and later during winter move to MSP intervals. Long slow rides (3.5 hours +) for endurance will be added once a week when the weather allows it.

    Doing this I have 6 months of training, in which I need to set the point where MSP training becomes dominating. Any ideas on how to balance the two phases against each other? From what I read in the forum, 2x20 minutes is the base for most of you, but Morris use SMSP intervals a lot in all his examples. This is btw much in line with the training ideas of Nordic Skiing linked to in this thread.

    Secondly, you that have been using Morris, how do you increase your CTL in SMSP phase? As I see it you could add reps, set, maybe extend the time of a rep - I use 4 minutes as reference for first day in a block - or add days to the training block. Is 1.5 h SMSP intervall training during a day more or less the maximum time if wanting to keep intensity up, or what do you think?

    Anyone training twice per day with a similar set-up as discribed? How do you distribute the training then?

    Finally, what are the risks with a set-up like this? Will I become a 'Christmans rose', meaning I will peak at Christmas time, or? Are there other risks that you are aware of?

    What would you expect as an outcome of the suggested approach? - I guess the question is - Will my ability to ride MTB and road races be biased so that I will hard time to handle certain race senarios, track profiles etc, but give me an advantage in up hill sections, for instance?

    Thanks for your input
     
  17. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    It's pretty popular to trash "Friel's periodization," which of course isn't even his own invention, on this forum. A lot of that is fair criticism founded on new understanding of excercise physiology. And even he agrees that training with power is the wave of the future.

    That said, properly following classic periodization is a pretty good way to go. Not the best way, but a good way. After following the low-brow "ride lots" approach for a few years, with group rides and centuries thrown in, I bought Friel's book and followed his advice on designing a training schedule to the letter, minus his weight training. That season I made a huge improvement, even winning races and cool stuff like that. And it cost me nothing.

    When I save up enough pennies I plan on buying a power meter and using the Cycling Peaks program for my training. I expect to see further improvements.

    One note: While Friel does advocate easier rides in the off-season, they're not necessarily that different from the 2x20 L4 workouts advocated in this thread. For me, the "E2" endurance rides he fills the off-season with are actually fairly tough. Though I do use training zones defined as percentages of my lactate threshhold instead of my maxHR which might skew the zones higher.

    Anyway, I'm not disputing anything posted here, just suggesting we pay homage to the past experts before moving on to the newer methods. :)
     
  18. Frigo's Luggage

    Frigo's Luggage New Member

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    I think Friel is even backing away from this approach. If I recall properly, he sent out a newsletter last year basically telling everybody to subsitute zone 3 for the normal winter base. I'm inclined to think that it should actually be zone 4 stuff.

    By the way, there is a also good, albeit esoteric, book by Michael Ross that follows a similar approach to Morris.
     
  19. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Friel's book isn't that old and reading it critically suggests he was never an expert. There are some good general tips though, I guess, and I'm glad it worked for you.
     
  20. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    New to many cyclists, perhaps, but not to scientists or even coaches and athletes in other endurance sports (e.g., running).
     
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