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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    I'm bumping my question. I made significant progress using Friel's book, and like his straight forward way of building a plan. For a beginner to structure his training, I would even recommend Friel.

    Inspired of Friel, find your weak spot - and make it your strength, I don't see that Friel has a good approach for what I want to improve, i.e. FTP. Look what Nordic Skiing guys are doing, for instance. They are going from about 1000 hours per year with much of the training in the range of 95-105 % of LT heart-rate and maybe lower intensity, to 4 minutes intervals as base, and 600 hours per year in training. What I've suggested is not strange by any means.

    So any thoughts on my training approach?
     


  2. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    It's really difficult to say without knowing your specific event lengths and when you want to be in form. With that caveat, a couple of general comments...

    Focusing almost exclusively on VO2max intervals may not be specific to the demands of you event... if you want to progress at FTP I would recommend doing a lot of time at ~80-100%FTP. Andy C has said some really sensible sounding things before about the wisdom of improving metabolic fitness through FTP work before you tackle VO2. I don't think this is the only approach, but I do think it tends to be logical for most people.

    The Dave Morris approach is just one approach. I would present it as a 'working hypothesis' on how to train, rather than a scientific approach. Not to say it is completely out of step with science, but it is only one approach and there are certainly drawbacks as well as positives.
     
  3. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    By "past experts" I was really thinking of Tudor Bompa. But anyway...

    While I would love to use a power meter and Cycling Peaks for my training, that would cost more than my entire bike did, so that'll not be happening any time soon. So, I will most likely continue to follow some form of periodization, though not following Friel so exactly. I'd love to hear what youse think of this idea:

    - In the off-season, pretty much discard most, if not all, of the "E1" and "E2" endurance workouts Friel recommends. Ignore his advice on miles during this period too. And don't bother with the weights, ever. Instead, just do one or two 2x20-minute intervals workouts each week. (Realistically, I'd probably also do occasional group rides, and some very easy E1 rides because I like to bike-commute and to keep my weight down, but not consider them part of my training.)

    - As my 2008 racing season approaches, about 9 weeks prior to my first priority race, start to follow Friel's advice more closely. That would mostly mean adding in shorter, higher-intensity intervals workouts, and maybe continue with one 2x20 each week.

    - During the regular season, just pretty much follow Friel's plan. Minus the weights still.

    Anyway, this is just a rough idea, and I'm offering it up with the hope that we who don't train with a PM can also benefit from this forum. (There is a separate forum here, specifically for training with power, after all. So I think we need to leave some room for non-PM training threads.)
     
  4. Andy SG

    Andy SG New Member

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    Ok, now we're getting somewhere. I'm a mtb and road racer, with a start of season in late April. As you can see in my first post, I have no problems going the distance, it's the speed that kills me. Typically I do marathon distance on MTB, say 3-4 hours of racing, and road races that are approximately equally long. I also have on race during June that is 300 km, that I would like to run faster than 9 hours in total, including stops.

    Between my posts, I read on a web page, that you don't have much gains in going 6 weeks + with VO2max training, since you pretty much hit the roof after that. I can't judge if it's true, but maybe it make sense that you get close to your maximum potential, in terms of VO2max, after a certain time, and then should start to focus on the typical 2x20 minutes intervals.
     
  5. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Have you read up on 'SST' style training on the forum? Basically, this is an approach that targets intensities from the upper end of endurance to the lower end of threshold work. Relatively hard, sustained aerobic efforts. These are highly specific for the type of races you want to do. Although MTB involves some shorter, harder efforts, recovery and repeatability for these efforts is all about your threshold and that will ultimately decide if you come first or last. Studies of elite MTB riders show they have the physiological characteristics of road hill climbers - extremely high threshold and relatively low body mass.

    As you want to do longer races, your endurance will come into play, which necessitates building up a solid foundation of aerobic work (like a base... except don't get it by riding slowly). I would suggest doing longer threshold intervals and lots of tempo/SST. Gradually build up your volume and the amount of time you spend doing these efforts. Once you are near your peak (6-10 weeks out), add in some VO2 work but don't cut out threshold stuff completely.

    I think the reverse periodisation approach VO2max approach is sub-optimal for many people because you get the 'low hanging fruit' VO2 improvement just by doing threshold work and then when you go to specific VO2 work if you have done threshold first you should have the ability to do a good volume of work and you should get to the maximum possible level. Plus, you can train more at or below threshold... the ratio of training stress to positive physiological adaptation is lower. That's why I tend to think it's best to max out threshold before going to VO2, especially in events like yours where threshold is probably the most important determinant of success.

    I don't think any of these concepts strictly require power to implement, although there are advantages to having it.




    This sounds not entirely dissimilar to what I would advocate. A good basic approach. Sorry if the PM stuff is leaving you cold. I think you can still usefully implement a lot of the ideas from power training without a PM. If you need specific ideas or concepts explained more b/c you haven't seen the PM stuff just let me know and I will tyr my best.
     
  6. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    Thanks Roadie Scum! The advice from you and the others has, in fact, been very helpful. I especially appreciate the links that bailsibub provided, with the reverse periodization. That sounds like very useful info I can use as I progress beyond Friel. Will definitely modify my training, for the 2008 season, based on this thread and other stuff I've absorbed.
     
  7. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Slightly off-topic here, but how did "2x20" get established as the holy grail for FTP training? Would a single focused 1x20 produce about the same gains? Over the winter I ride stationary trainers at the Y, and one solid 20 min FTP interval seems like about all I need. If there's a good reason to do two instead, I'll give it a try this winter.
     
  8. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    I dunno about holy grail status, there are plenty of interval variations that would be just as effective. I think 2x20 with a 10 min warm up, 5 min recovery between efforts and a 5 min warm down gives a nice round 1hr workout for time poor riders that's easy to remember and attainable in training where motivation is not at race day levels.
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    personally, i find 2 x 20 immensely boring and would rather do

    1 x 90 - 120 @ zone 3 (with steady and intervals thrown)

    or 8 x 5 @ zone 5 in the morning and an hours steady ride in the evening.

    right that's it folks i'm off.

    everyone sing: "we're all going on a summer holiday..."
     
  10. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    So I have Virtual Coach by training peaks which pretty much automates the scheduling and excercises/drills that you need to do once you put in your race schedule an answered a few questions outlining your strengths and weaknesses. This follows the Friel method of training.

    While I do agree with the base/build process, I feel it's a bit mild, maybe even outdated so I was wondering what other people did that may be different in terms of drills, intensity or even actual excercises.

    Instead of gym work for example I'm curious to substitute with excercises from the Cyclo-core program which seem to be more cycling specific.

    Thoughts?
     
  11. kopride

    kopride Member

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    Do you think you lose anything if you give yourself ten minutes recovery between these intervals? I find that I start to really struggle to keep it within L4 range in the last 5 minutes of the second interval, but giving myself the extra 5 minute rest makes a tremendous difference in my ability to sustain and concentrate.

    This is a standard workout for me since blocking off more than 1:15 minutes to train during a busy work week is brutal.
     
  12. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Either drop the power of the efforts down so you can complete them or push out the recovery time and gradually bring that down.
     
  13. kopride

    kopride Member

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    I was afraid you would say that.
     
  14. Andy SG

    Andy SG New Member

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    Ok, I've been doing this for a while. Some lessons learned: I started doing 4 minutes intervalls, using HR monitor and standard trainer. I thought I were doing things rather 'bye the book' but when a I bought a trainer that can show power, and where I can set the power limit, I realized that the training become much harder. Much! This said, my load was percieved even lower in the beginning of the intervall, compared with the traditional set-up. This must have meant that I were cheating more than I thought. A reality check gives: I'm doing intervalls at 290W for four minutes at a cadence of approximately 90. If I drop the cadence down to 80 by the end of the intervall, I would drop the power output down to 260W. 260 W is a hell of a difference compared with 290, while the drop in cadence seem rather small by the end of an intervall. This probably means that my old trainer allowed me to cheat 10% without giving much feedback. At the same time I wasn't aware of the huge difference in workload between say 290 and 260W. Are you with me?

    So. I'm going from a Friel base training set-up to a high intensity program where I even changed the perodization, meaning that I start with VO2max training. What have I learnt?

    1) Block training seem to work better than I expected. I get less feel of fatigue than I expected, and even in comparison with Friel's 10-15 hours per week.

    2) This type of training is very time efficient. Allowing me to train harder this time of year than I ever done before. This of course give results.

    3) I try to ride my mtb during weekends, when it fits with the training plan. I then ride race simulations of approximately 2 hours. I can push my self harder with a couple of months on high intensity training than I've ever been able to do before. I feel as if I have improved my mtb performace significantly.

    4) Still I don't see a clear next step. As I said above: Anyone having any ideas when to shift to more MSP style of training, and how do I increase the load over cycles/weeks?

    5) Intervalls requires much more mental strenght than just going out and do a nice ride during a nice evening.

    6) Using blocks, and power meetering I fast become stuck with figures, watts, intervall lenght etc. It is a risk that it becomes to technical to ride bikes. (It is to some extent compensated for since I ride mtb in a way that is better than ever before).

    I have gained say 20 W ower one month, on my 4 minutes intervall, since I started to use the trainer with power meeter. 10 W is maybe improvements in technique of doing the intervalls, and 10 is pure gain. My ability to run hard on my mtb has increased over the approximately 2 months I've been doing this. That was expected, I would say. I didn't expect the same change in 20 minute efforts on the flat with the mtb. I don't have any real measured data, but my speed on the flat for longer fast rides feels (and is indicated by the speedometer) to be faster than ever. I have estimated my FTP to be 230 W and will monitor that moving forward, but I thing it has changed at least 10 -20 W in two months, with only weekend racing and SMSP intervalls in the weekdays.

    Thanks for your input so far, and please continue to share your thoughts on my training.

    BR
     
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