Help me design a training plan?



Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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About me: 13 years off the bike, just getting back on. 37 years old, good shape (i.e., do not need to lose any obvious weight).

My goals: I'd like to be able to ride short TTs late this year, and a bit of track such as miss-n-outs and points races, etc.

Competing priorities: Normal job, but I'm usually home by 4pm. Strength training 2 days/week. Typical 'life' distractions, although no kids.

I'm riding a Colnago Dream Plus, C-Chorus, etc. Fit seems about right, although I need to fine tune it a bit more.

I have about 200 miles under my belt over the last two months, and am thinking about adding some structure to my riding. But the question is 'what structure?' The only reason I'd want to ride more than 20 miles is for training purposes or to say I did it (I rode 50s routinely as a kid, but somehow now endurance stuff is less attractive -- maybe it's because I'm not comfy on the bike again yet).

Ideas?
 

gymbob

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Jul 1, 2003
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in running magazines and websites you always get a 'one size fits all' training plan for people starting the sport, but you never get this for cycling. most cycling books talk about how to build and structure plans, but few have a basic started plan - which most people are after when starting.

anyway if you need a training log then you can use my site - www.gymbob.com

Martin
 

2LAP

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I think thats due to the large variety of goals, events, individuals, etc. Programmes do exist in some books but these are usualy inappropriate as they can't take into account the variation amoungst individuals. Its best to get a coach.
 

edd

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Check your strength training programme, drop all your upper body work and do some single set training for that ( read Fleck & Kraemer ) for your lower body see if you can get on a spin bike in the gym and do some very slow very heavy work, minute on minute recovery x 5 sets, build this in two sessions a week making it heavier in one session and longer in the other, say 10 sec every week. Be sure to train in the same position as you will ride your bike !!!! Also do some endurance squats for say 2 min build to 3 min add weight go back to 2 min and build again.
For your fitness do various sessions on your bike. some long and easy. some short and hard. get a HRM work in the 65% of max heart rate zone for easy and 85% for your hard. Save the sprint work that is in the 90% max HRZ for pre comp. if you need more, get a coach !
 

J-MAT

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Mar 26, 2003
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Aztec:

Welcome back to the cycling world!!!

You need a lot more base miles than what you have right now, so just ride easy/moderately as much as you can for the next month or two at least. Don't overdo it, maybe do an hour ride 3-6 times a week to start. Even if you have to ride a trainer for 30-60 minutes it will help. Gradually add some hills after a few weeks.

The short distance TT's are a good goal for later this year. Don't rush your base too much or you might injure your knees when you start pushing harder for your races. Just ride, and let your body, most importantly, your knees, tell you when to start pushing harder.

There is a lot of good info on this board. Check it out, and ask more questions if they come up.

Good luck!!!
 

2LAP

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Feb 22, 2002
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Originally posted by J-MAT
The short distance TT's are a good goal for later this year. Don't rush your base too much or you might injure your knees when you start pushing harder for your races. Just ride, and let your body, most importantly, your knees, tell you when to start pushing harder.

Hay J-MAT,

What's wrong with your knees? You post a lot about knees and I was just wondering whats up with them. Did you see a doctor?

2LAP
 

Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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Edd, thanks for the advice. I won't be dropping upper body work, though; it took a long time to get some meat on these shoulders, etc., and I plan to keep it/add more. Note that I don't do a ton of volume now anyway (7-10 work sets for the entire upper half, every 4 to 5 days).

I squat now, but thanks to a disc injury last year, I do them by hanging weights from a belt. I stick to high reps (12+, mostly 20+). Same frequency as above. By the way, for those wanting to toughen up via squats, but with low back issues, that's the way to do it -- belt squats. Since it has no upper body effect, it eats up less of your 'recovery budget' as well. I may post details on this later in another thread.

J-Mat, thanks for the welcome! It's funny how I don't remember discomfort in the saddle, or any of the other unpleasant parts of riding from the 80s...

I never really had 'seasons' back then, so I was always in reasonable condition. Never had to think about putting in base miles, etc. Thus, I never had a training program either. If I needed to improve, I simply rode intervals.

I'm trying to take it easy now, but I find myself incapable of doing so. Seems I either push up near the limit, or just kinda quit. No middle ground. I stick to low gears (no big ring at all yet) and focus on cadence -- min of 90, shooting for more like 100-110 most of the time. I'll try to keep the load light, the rpms up, and get more miles in.

I've eschewed a HRM (my wife got one), citing it as too much of a gadget. But it sounds like I need to re-think that. Especially since the times I've used it on the stationary bike at the gym have shown me to be in the 85%+ zone most of the time. Probably goes back to that all or nothing mentality noted above.
 

2LAP

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Feb 22, 2002
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The HRM would be useful in holding yourself back and giving you the quality when the time is right.
 

edd

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Aztec,
1) Read Fleck & Kraemer, research has suggested (proven) 92% of the stimulus needed to promote muscle growth occurs in the last few reps of the first set if performed properly ( to failure ). Save your time / energy for recovery and your sports specific training.
2) Legs : Building fast twitch muscle fibers is not as important as slow twitch fibers. Fast twitch will only contribute to constant power output for 90 seconds.
Weight train those legs for what they need to do !!!
 

J-MAT

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Mar 26, 2003
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2LAP:

Yes, I always talk about the knees. They are so important. For those of you who don't know what knee pain is, you don't know how lucky you are!!!

My knees are trashed from years of jumping out of airplanes in the middle of the night with 150 lbs of equipment strapped to my body. My own injuries have forced me to become something of a knee "expert."

The knees are so tricky, doctors can't do much if anything sometimes. Alternative treatments and techniques should be investigated if your doctor can't help. Why do you think I praise ILT so much??? It has helped my knees a lot. It will help strengthen the tendons without the huge compressive load weights or climbing produce.

Even so, I'm training harder than ever, even though my knees are not optimal. You have to find what works and recover, recover, recover....
 

Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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Edd,

Let me start off by saying that (especially as a new guy here) I am in no way trying to be snippy, or exhibit troll-like behavior by asking a question and then just arguing against all the advice.

That said, bah! :) Fleck & Kraemer may be right. They may not be, also... I have 18 years of weight training experience, and have conducted all kinds of lengthy experiments (most of the time OVERtraining), and spent a lot of time reading/discussing w/ accomplished lifters. What I do now is 1 or 2 (sometimes 3) work sets, usually just short of genuine hard-work failure, for 3 to 5 different compound upper body lifts (inclines, press, rows, chins, dips), and 2 or 3 lower body. Limit is always 12 or so sets total.

Who doesn't need fast twitch? I'll take some! 90 secs is a long time! My interests are primarily track, although I'm too old and slow for M-sprints now I'm sure! But kilo riders -- and many of the best -- are/were hardcore low-rep squat believers (you could argue that what made them great kilo riders also predisposed them to be good at, and therefore interested in, squatting. But O'Reilly was twiggy and not your average-looking ideal squatter). All that said, I sometimes do 30-50 rep sets. They can take 3+ minutes to complete, and are an absolute bear to recover from.

I need to keep things in perspective anyway. I'm just coming back to the bike, and it's just not going to be a #1 priority right away. If I come across some success, and enjoy riding short TTs and kilo again, then maybe I'll be as addicted as many here are...

As an aside on the HRM thing... I hit the gym w/ it today. Ack! I forgot how volatile my pulse is (saw a cardiologist a few years back over that). At LOW/MED effort on the stationary, I was 140bpm! During a set of chin ups, I reached 171. Just walking around, 90-100 bpm. Afterward, on the sofa watching the TDF this evening, 58 - 70. Typing this, 65. Get up to answer the door, 85. Yikes. I'm thinking maybe I should get one of those monitors that stores data and start focusing on some serious improvement there.
 

edd

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Aztec,
It's your training, do what you want. I'm a strength conditioning coach (33 yr.) Not specifically cycling. I worked with rowers, squash players and cyclist. If you are going to get serious you're not going to get the perfect preparation here. Talk to a cycling coach. That said, we all can learn from each other, that's why I'm here reading this stuff. I have two sayings that I impart to people I train.
1) If you can not incrementally measure improvement, your maintaining not training.
2) There is no such thing as maintaining you are either improving or going backwards.
 

Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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Edd, agreed re: improving/going backward.

Just curious -- what certifications do you hold? NSCA?
 

2LAP

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Feb 22, 2002
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Aztec, have a chat with Ric RE: coaching, he also has a website to check out.

With regards to your HR being volotile the numbers you describe sound pretty normal to me. You have pretty low resting HR and your HR during exercise both cycling and chin ups are pretty normal. Your heart is pretty cool, given that it is controled neuraly and hormonaly. Its also myogenic, so will beat on its own with additional stimulous speeding it up or slowing it down.
 

serottarider

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Jul 11, 2003
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Hi Aztec. Welcome back to the sport!
The first thing I'd suggest is getting the bike completely adjusted so you have a really good fit. Even a small discrepancy can make riding uncomfortable and that's a real put-off. A USA Cycling licensed coach can help you, generally for a very modest fee. A good local bike shop may have a trained fitter who can also help you here.
Once that's done you'd be best starting on a structured program of riding. I generally recommend Chris Carmichael's "Lance Armstrong Performance Program" to my clients who, like you, are returning to the sport after an absence. It's really well-written and offers an excellent and progressive program that will get you riding well in a sensible period of time.
Please do be sure to stretch before and after your rides. Flexibility is one of the things we lose during time off the bike. And please don't miss the rest days laid out in your program. Rest days are particularly important in the early stages of a training program and give your muscles and supporting soft tissue time to repair and strengthen after your training effort. You improve during your recovery periods.....
Make sure your diet is good - a 60% complex carb, 20% protein and 20% "good fat" (avoid "trans" fats and limit saturated animal fats like butter and lard...) mix is probably going to work best for most people.
Good luck!
 

Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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2Lap -- Who's Ric?

Serotta -- Good point re: fitting. I worked up some enthusiasm on that and just scheduled a fit with the UC Davis Sports Medicine. Man, are they busy... it'll be a month until I can get in there. They fit you on the Serotta fit cycle, then on your bike, and conduct a 'comprehensive pedal analysis w/ SRM', whatever that may be!

My diet's solid already from the weight training. I don't measure exactly anymore, but protein is probably more like 30%, carbs 50%. I eat (almost) no junk.
 

ric_stern/RST

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Hurstpierpoint
www.cyclecoach.com
Originally posted by Aztec
2Lap -- Who's Ric?

Serotta -- Good point re: fitting. I worked up some enthusiasm on that and just scheduled a fit with the UC Davis Sports Medicine. Man, are they busy... it'll be a month until I can get in there. They fit you on the Serotta fit cycle, then on your bike, and conduct a 'comprehensive pedal analysis w/ SRM', whatever that may be!

My diet's solid already from the weight training. I don't measure exactly anymore, but protein is probably more like 30%, carbs 50%. I eat (almost) no junk.

Aztec,

I'm Ric :). I'm one of the board sponsors, www.cyclecoach.com. i coach both endurance and (track) sprint riders, from recreational up to world class and pro level.

Please feel free to contact me at either [email protected] or directly through my website.

Happy to help, and thanks 2Lap.

Ric
 

ric_stern/RST

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Hurstpierpoint
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Originally posted by Aztec
2Lap -- Who's Ric?

Serotta -- Good point re: fitting. I worked up some enthusiasm on that and just scheduled a fit with the UC Davis Sports Medicine. Man, are they busy... it'll be a month until I can get in there. They fit you on the Serotta fit cycle, then on your bike, and conduct a 'comprehensive pedal analysis w/ SRM', whatever that may be!

My diet's solid already from the weight training. I don't measure exactly anymore, but protein is probably more like 30%, carbs 50%. I eat (almost) no junk.

SRM is set of power output measuring cranks, see www.srm.de. Power output is the most important metric to check and follow to help design a training programme, as it's a direct measure of 'fitness'.

Also, similar is the Power Tap hub (www.power-tap.com)

Ric