How does this workout schedule look?



tux259

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Mar 24, 2007
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Alright guys, I used to cycle a lot, but it has been nearly a year since I did it with any frequency. I am a 19 year old male that weighs about 155lb. Slim build. Resting heart rate is about 75bpm, max heart rate is 205.

I have a 350 mile tour over an unknown number of days coming up. I have about 2 months to train for it. Unfortunately, I only have a stationary bike that I can use.

Here is what I have been doing for 4 days now.

Day 1: 50 minutes
15 minutes - Warm up (increasing intensity)
5 x (4min high intensity + 2min low intensity)
5 minutes cool down

Day 2: 50 minutes
15 minutes - Warm up (increasing intensity)
5 x (4min high intensity + 2min low intensity)
5 minutes cool down

Day 3: 50 minutes
15 minutes - warm up (increasing intensity)
5 x (40 sec. very high intensity – 20 sec. low intensity)
3 minutes recovery
5 x (40 sec. very high intensity – 20 sec. low intensity)
3 minutes recovery
5 x (40 sec. very high intensity – 20 sec. low intensity)
3 minutes recovery
5 x (40 sec. very high intensity – 20 sec. low intensity)
5 minutes cool down

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start repeating

As far as heart rate goes, I keep it between 160 and 180. At the end of the workout, I am pushing 185 and 165.

I have done anything like this before, so there is a great chance that I am doing something horribly wrong. However, I am just basing the workouts off this site's recommendations.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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tux259 said:
....I have a 350 mile tour over an unknown number of days coming up. I have about 2 months to train for it. ...I have done anything like this before, so there is a great chance that I am doing something horribly wrong. ...
The website you're basing your training on is one that advocates a particular form of HIT(High Intensity Training). Your longest intervals are 4 minutes which will target VO2max or the very high end of your aerobic system. Arguments can be made for getting some VO2 max work as it sets the cap for your aerobic capabilities. But the rest of the workouts are completely anaerobic. In power jargon these are L6 workouts and represent the energy system a racer calls on during that make or break attack when you just have to hang on (or lose somebody) and it's worth pulling out all the stops. Not the kind of thing you should draw on very often while bike touring.

Personally I favor a program based on 10 to 30 minute L4 intervals. This is the core aerobic metabolism you need to develop to do long rides at a high pace. If you wanted to start the week with the 4 minute L5 intervals that might work, but I'd definitely dump the L6 work given your stated goals. Try something like:

day 1 - rest
day 2 - do your 4 minute L5 work
day 3 - 2x20 minutes at 95% of your best pace for that time with 5 minutes rest between plus warmup and cooldown
day 4 - 2x30 minutes at 85-90% of your best pace for the duration(a bit easier than day 3, but longer)
day 5 - rest

That's block based, but most folks I know prefer a weekly schedule and then I'd add some longer steadier stuff on the weekends or some more L4 work (2x20).

I'm sure there are folks here that are big fans of the HIT stuff you describe, but it's way too anaerobically balanced for my tastes and doesn't speak well to your stated goal of a 350 mile tour. If nothing else you need to condition your butt to sit in a saddle for hours on end during your tour so you'd better get some saddle time now. Too bad you're stuck indoors on a trainer, no way to get out on a real bike once in a while to develop some saddle toughness as well as bike handling?

Good luck,
Dave
 

tux259

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Mar 24, 2007
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Thanks Dave. I really appreciate the help. I think I am starting to understand the basics of fitness a bit better.

Quick question: What is the best way to obtain my "best pace" for a certain time(such as 20 minutes) on a stationary bike?
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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tux259 said:
...Quick question: What is the best way to obtain my "best pace" for a certain time(such as 20 minutes) on a stationary bike?
Warm up at a comfortable pace for 5 to 10 minutes, this shouldn't hurt at all. Then bump the intensity up a few notches and try to ride for 20 minutes. It should take concentration but shouldn't be brutal. Your breathing should be deep and steady but not ragged and out of control. If you can speak more than a few words at a time you're going too easy but if you can't take a swig from your water bottle you're going too hard. Basically if you finish the 20 minutes and feel like you could have gone that pace all day then you should bump up your next effort. If you can't finish the 20 minute interval you'll need to bump down a notch for the next effort.

I did quite a few gym erg workouts on lifecycles this winter. It was convenient when travelling for work. I'd start the erg and select manual workout. Then I'd dial in the level or wattage depending on the machine. First for a five minute steady warmup then I'd bump up the level for my 20 minute work zone. On the lifecycles I rode it was easiest to just punch in a level number from one to nine for each segment of the ride or you can use the up and down arrows to fine tune your efforts. If you've chosen your levels well and you do this regularly with good weekly rest you'll improve and need to adjust your levels upwards when things start to feel too easy. That's the beauty of training with a power meter or with a power equipped erg, it's easy to see your progress which keeps you coming back for more.

Good luck,
Dave
 

tux259

New Member
Mar 24, 2007
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Thanks so much, Dave. I really appreciate the description. I know exactly which level I need to go at.

The tour has been bumped up to about 1.5 months from today. But I don't think there is anything I can really do to help my abilities besides what I am doing, so I won't worry about it. I have started eating better, too. Fruit + muffin +Harvest bar for breakfast, then salad or a sandwich for lunch, and something high in carbs and protein for desert. I think what will really help is the fact that I don't snack on things and don't eat between meals.

I will certainly stick around this site! I plan on joining up with my university's cycling team this coming fall, and I have a feeling this will be a valuable asset as I try and train to become proficient enough to join the team!
 

tux259

New Member
Mar 24, 2007
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Just wanted to post back with the results I am seeing. I am amazed.

When I started, I was using 10 for the "high resistence", where I would pedal for 4 minutes, then rest for 2. And that was exhausting. At the beginning, I could only do 2 sets of that.

Now I am using that as my resistence during my 2x20 sets.

Additionally, whereas it used to take about 2 minutes for my heart rate to drop about 10 beats, it now drops about 25 in the span of 1 minute or so.

Not only that, but I feel soooooo much better about myself. I sleep tons of better and am much less stressed. I've lost a few pounds, but I have been weightlifting with this workout as well, so I am mainly just seeing my stomach disappear and my upper body appear. Haha.

So thanks again for the help. I can't wait to actually get on a bike.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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tux259 said:
Just wanted to post back with the results I am seeing. I am amazed.....
Good job sticking with it and seeing results. Stay with those weekly 2x20's and bump the power up as needed and you should continue to see improvement for some time. Let us know how the tour goes.

-Dave
 

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