Help planning out Winter training for May 2009 race

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by ruleof72, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. ruleof72

    ruleof72 New Member

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    I am looking at doing the Iron Horse Classic race in May of next year and I want to begin the process of planning out the next 6 months of training. Here's where I'm at now:

    My current CTL is 65 down from a high of 76 or so in late August. I just finished my last "A" event three weeks ago (the six gap century) and have been taking it a little easy since. All I have left is the Livestrong century ride in Austin the 26th of this month, which will be more social than competitive. My current FTP is 272 or so. I haven't tested that in a few months so I will want to do that soon. I have time to train 4-6 hours in a typical Winter week (three evenings indoors plus weekend rides outside)

    My goal is to increase my FTP as much as reasonably possible so that I have a decent chance of performing well in the race. I am a climber and do best at longer sustained efforts. I think The iron Horse will be a good fit for me . I'd like your opinions on a couple of things:
    1. How much can I reasonably expect to improve my FTP given my time constraints.
    2. What should a typical week look like to start off and how should I structure the general outline of workouts across the next 6 months?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
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  2. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

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    Wow, your numbers are almost identical to mine. i.e. CTL, FTP, Winter Workout Time available, etc. And, like you, my Goal for 2009 is to improve my FTP (mine to 290w).

    To answer your questions: 1. depends on how many years you've been riding and/or training. When I started training in power there was a stretch when I was improving my FTP 10w/month. Now, 10w/quarter would be nice. 2. your typical week now, will differ from your typical week in April..prior to your "A" event. Now, you want to establish a good base/foundation (good volume)..L3 Zone w/ a few L4 Zone workouts mixed in. The closer you get to your A event you want to decrease the volume and increase the intensity.

    Email me and we can talk more: [email protected]
     
  3. hmronnow

    hmronnow New Member

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    With 4-6 hours per week, how can one talk about volume? I understand the basic principle of training volume in build up phase and then adding intensity closer to the action. But, if you have only 5 hours in a week, the volume is fixed. All you can do is chose to spend that volume at higher or lower intensity?

    When I hear volume, I am thinking rides longer than 3 hours, which in his case would be one weekend ride per week - have I misunderstood something?

    I'm asking because I too am in a similar situation, though with lower power numbers and much less consistent training schedule than you guys.
     
  4. Bailsibub

    Bailsibub New Member

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    If I were you, training on 4-6 hours per week, I'd do all of my "base" training inside with the focus being on 20s, then building to 60s. Yes, a full 60 min. close to your FTP. If you think you can't get fit on 6 hours per week, try warming up and doing 60 min. at mid-to-upper L4 non-stop. That workout will take you an hour and 15 minutes. I don't know if you've tried it, but it's nasty. :cool: If you do that four days a week, you won't care too much about how much volume you aren't doing.

    The reason I mention 20s is because I would use them to build up to doing the 60. Try a month of 2x20s...then a month of 3x20s...and then the 60. Depending on when you time it, that could set you up nicely for then doing VO2 max work(about two months before your event).


     
  5. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

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    Good question. I think volume is a relative term here. Volume to people like you, me is 4-8 hrs/wk in the off-season and volume to a pro that has all day during the week to get workouts in, even through the Winter months, may be double to triple that. And, yes, I've heard the same getting longer rides in (ala 3 hrs) this time of year..but as you and I know that's tough since we only have an hour of light when we get home from work..so the weekends are the only time we can get that in- weather permitting. But, we do what we can do..with the available time we do have..and that is to go long and less intense this time of year..building a base. And, I don't know about you..but I'm not sitting on my trainer inside for more than an hour at a time..I just can't do it mentally. I've heard of guys doing 2-3 hr. training rides..bleh. Which is why this time of year, I get an hour in when I wake up in the a.m. and get an hour in at night- and ride long on the weekends..that is if I can ride outside. Rob
     
  6. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

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    A minute at FTP? I don't know if I could EVER do that. Heck, I'm spent at the end of 2x20s. Is it possible to ramp up like you said? That'd be cool to at least do it once..because I'm sure, like you said, it's nasty. I'd also like to see..if that would make me stronger come spring time doing 10 mile TT's. Interesting..just never thought of it. Thanks Rob
     
  7. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

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    BTW, when I said decrease the volume and increase the intensity I was assuming your volume was 2-3x what it is in the off-season (build phase).
     
  8. ruleof72

    ruleof72 New Member

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    There are some weeks when I get more than 6 hours a week but usually only in the Summer. Here's a typical Winter training week for me:

    Monday: off
    Tues: 45min-1 hr on trainer in evening
    Wed: Repeat
    Thurs: Repeat
    Friday: Off
    Saturday: 1-2 hours outside if weather cooperates
    Sunday: 2-3 hours outside

    So at a max I might get in 8 hours but typically it's 5-6

    I am thinking of doing 2x20's/sst on Tues,Wed,Thurs, a faster group/solo ride on Saturday and slower group ride on Sunday. As I get into the Spring I could do an L5 workout on one of the weeknights. Am I on track here? If so, then I need to start quantifying the exact workouts on a weekly/monthly basis.
     
  9. mullerrj

    mullerrj New Member

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    I wouldn't do 2x20s three nights a week for two reasons: 1) I couldn't handle it mentally or physically (need a day of rest) and 2) I really don't think physiologically it would really benefit you. (I'm not a physiologist so i can't say that with any certainty. That might be an ignorant statement.) Personally, I like mixing it up more..maybe throw in some 3x10s at L3/L4, or 4x5s at L4 (during the week), and higher intensity (L5-VO2max) workouts (also during the week) the closer you get to race season. For the weekends, I'd do like you said, a faster group ride one day and a slower recovery ride the next. But that's just me, I'm 50 now and need more rest than what I used to. So, yeah, I think you're on track. Rob
     
  10. ruleof72

    ruleof72 New Member

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    I wouldn't do 2x20 three nights a week either, that would be pretty bad. I plan on mixing things up a bit. I'll toss in some Spinervals stuff as well as doing something like you mentioned. As I get closer to the race I will do L5 stuff on the trainer as well as on a nice steady hill near the house.

    The issue for me now is how to actually "build out" the 6 months from Nov thru April/May. That's where I need some help. I seem to remember a spreadsheet floating around somewhere that could help with mapping out each week's workouts. Anybody know what I'm talking about?
     
  11. NomadVW

    NomadVW New Member

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    You should consider 3x20's at a lower power (ala 91-93%). It will stretch your time on the bike only slightly, but you can reduce the recovery between intervals. It's less taxing mentally, and is much more repeatable multiple days in a row.

    3x20's @ 91% = 82 TSS
    2x20's @ 100% = 67 TSS

    But, I am a firm believer that 2x20's have a MUCH higher MSS (Motivation stress score)

    I would start with:

    Tues - 3x20's @ 91%-93%
    Wed - 60-80 min steady endurance
    Thur - 2x20's @ 95-100%

    When you feel like you're getting stronger, move the Thur 2x20's to Wed.

    There are a whole mess load of threshold workouts you can do to change it up on the trainer, but I wouldn't do more than 2 of your 3 days @ threshold pace. YMMV.
     
  12. ruleof72

    ruleof72 New Member

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    I agree that any more than 3 days at threshold is not for me. I'm thinking 2 at threshold and 1 at endurance on the trainer along with 2 days outside and longer rides. Any ideas on what kind of improvement I could expect to see by doing 2 days/week of threshold work (2x20's or 3x20's) for 4 months?
     
  13. 3rensho

    3rensho New Member

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    Nope, an hour. But look on the bright side, that is only (60) 1-minute segments. [​IMG]
     
  14. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't just base my training on FTP alone. You say you're a climber - and without knowing your height this will be a pretty blanket statement - but at 162ish lbs you could possibly look at losing a few lbs too. If you're 6ft 2 or taller then maybe not... Not only do you lose the requirement to produce as much power to maintain a given speed, but calorific expenditure is less. Cooling concerns at that event are not an issue - staying warm often is. Wasn't it cancelled this year due to cold/wet conditions?

    Also factor in the fact that at 10,000+ft you will not put out as much power as you would at sea level and in some people even trying hard at those altitudes can bring with it the risk varying degrees of altitude sickness. Weight less, to try less, to lessen the risk of other problems.

    At over 8,500ft you can tell the difference, I'd guess that it'd be a challenge even on the 4 to 6% slopes on that ride at almost 11,000ft

    As for the motivation issue raised below - if the thought of the event itself does not raise interest in training enough to deal with the discomfort from 3x20 at the proper level then maybe the event isn't worthy of changing up a whole winters worth of training for. Get a fecking big poster of the Colorado rockies and post it on the wall that you face when you're on the trainer. Post a similar but smaller picture on the fridge door (or the door to the twinkies/donuts cupboard) to remind you that those extra nibbles can be skipped. The only training that isn't going to leave at least a feeling of stiffness/slight soreness are the recovery rides and that's just part of the fun, no? Suffer in the comfort of your own surroundings so that the ride in the spectacular scenery of the rockies will be much more fun...
     
  15. ruleof72

    ruleof72 New Member

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    I agree about not betting everything on FTP but I know I need to increase it at least a little. I plan on doing some L5 type intervals in the month or two before the ride. I also plan on doing some fast group rides as we get into Spring. As for my weight, I am right at 6' 1" so I might be able to get to 160 or so but probably not much lower.

    As far as motivation goes, I will have no problem with that. I lived In CO for 15 years and spent a lot of time training at altitude. I've never had altitude sickness issues and I don't expect any problems. I have a lot of work to do but I think I'm up to the challenge. I am looking forward to improving myself and a little stiffness/soreness is just part of the process as I see it.
     
  16. dthompson

    dthompson New Member

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    Last night I did three 20 minute intervals at my functional power threshold with five minute pause between each at an easy pace. I found it hard but not too hard and suppose that I could have maintained a slighter higher wattage. Should I be increasing the wattage to as much as I can bear each workout?
     
  17. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I suspect your FTP is a bit higher than you've estimated if three consecutive 20 minute efforts at FTP didn't feel very hard.

    The idea is to accumulate a lot of quality time not necessarily to hit the highest possible power if it forces you to quit a session early or skip subsequent training sessions. One strategy would be to bump up the intensity in your third set and see if you can complete at least 20 minutes at that level. If so you could consider bumping up the power in your next similar session. An hour at FTP, even with short breaks should be very challenging and many of us do our L4 repeats backed off by 5% or more just to get through each session and so we don't fry ourselves mentally or physically to the point where we skip future training sessions.

    Basically, increase power when your intervals start feeling easy or when you feel you can without impacting the big picture and future training. Think about setting aside a session every few weeks where you chase higher numbers but avoid falling into the trap of continually chasing records and burning yourself out. It's a combination of intensity and time accumulated at that intensity that leads to greater fitness so don't sacrifice one for the other.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  18. dthompson

    dthompson New Member

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    I calculated my FTP by going as hard as I could for an hour - this was about 300 watts. After about 20 minutes my HR spiked and stayed at about 174-178. However, when I did the three sessions of 20 minutes each, my HR stayed at about 164-166. So I think that the five minute rests (at easy pace) made a big difference in reducing the effort required.
     
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