It's killing me but..........

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Sillyoldtwit, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    Sorry for the radio silence-a combination of things has kept me off the bike a lot more than I would like. In the intervening weeks, I've been having physical therapy (ART and Graston) for my hips. Briefly, my right hip was so tight that there was virtually no rotation in it, which had a bunch of consequences--the biggest one being that it made running impossible without quick and decisive injuries (calf strains, IT band, you name it). (The left one was not much better, but the right one is really bad). In any event, that has since loosened up considerably.

    After being pronounced cleared to run, I went for a 2-hour ride with this exact question in mind. The short answer is that if I have to guess, it's pelvic. Sadly, I'm not sure exactly what proper rotation feels like (and if there are any pointers you might have to drill that, I'm open to listening). In any event, all I can say is that when I try to flatten my back, relax and push from my gluteus, it feels like it's easier to breathe, the pain in my quads goes away, and the power jumps 15 watts.
     


  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    As to proper pelvic rotation, I have not seen this discussed much (by anybody), but there is a useful paragraph and images at the bottom of this PDF document on John Cobb's website: http://cobbcycling.com/newsfiles/printed%20seat%20installation%20instructions.pdf

    As to learning the proper feel from the waist down, I suggest the following drill. Note that this drill is also useful for discovering your optimal cadence. Here's the drill:
    On your trainer, set up your gearing for riding at your FTP in your large ring and with a cog about in the middle of your cluster, with several cogs on each side. Set up your fan for proper cooling. Get well warmed up (e.g., 10-15 minutes). Bring your power up to your FTP and then sit straight upright on your saddle. Just drop your arms to your side. Focus on your downstrokes and ride as smoothly as possible. You should not be rocking or moving your upper body at all. This position puts the emphasis on your hips and legs entirely. You may initially feel that you can't sustain FTP in this position, but that's just not true. I have ridden in this position for an hour at near FTP and I can generate about 800W in this position. Once you settle down and get over the fear that you can't maintain power in this position, begin to experiment with your cadence, maintaining FTP. If you set up your gearing correctly, you should be able to do this by changing your rear cog, one cog at a time. Of course, if you have a CompuTrainer, you can do this without changing gears, but just changing your cadence. What you are looking for is the cadence at which you can maintain FTP with the least perceived effort. Most people find this in the range of 85 to 95 RPM. Once you find your best cadence, just ride at FTP for several minutes, paying close attention to the feel of your lower body especially on each downstroke.

    After the above drill, you want to find your best aero position. Maintaining FTP, rotate forward from the hips with a relatively straight back. IOW, don't roll forward from the hips but rather rotate your straight upper back forward and down. This may put you further forward on your bars than you're used to but it will properly rotate your pelvis. When you get in the down position, your stroke should feel exactly the same as when you were sitting straight upright especially on the downstroke. Your arms and hands serve the purpose of relieving stress on your back and you should have a very light grip on your bars. I sometimes don't wrap my fingers around the bars to emphasize the feeling that my arms and hands provide stability only and there's no reason to pull up on the bars and hence no reason to wrap my fingers around the bars. The tilt of your saddle can help or hinder this position, so if you have a higher perceived effort in the down position then something's wrong and you might need to make an adjustment in your saddle. The bottom line is that you want zero additional stress or discomfort or perceived effort relative to the straight upright position.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    Today was better. The trainer is in moving boxes, but went out today to try some V02 work: 4x5 (5RBI)@ 246, 247, 246, 244, then 1x15 @ 201 (tempo/SST). I tried some of it (e.g., relax the upper body, don't grip, steer with the core and just rest weight on the arms). Made me realize that bike handling is yet another thing that needs work. Riding in a straight line is easy enough, but dealing with traffic is something else altogether. Road bike is in the shop, and I miss it. Also, intervals were negative splits. These numbers are (roughly) ten percent lower than predicted VO2 values on the road bike. So it seems that things are improving, but slowly.
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Actually, the hardest part is to generate power from the hips down exclusively. Our natural tendency is to try and help our legs with our upper body. A good drill on the road is to rest your hands on your bars or hoods without wrapping your fingers. This forces you to avoid using your arms and torso for power.
     
  5. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Well today i did it /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif

    20 mins AP 301w... In Jan 2011 when I did my first test with my new PT, I managed a lowly 201w, and today I finally hit my target of 300w. Followed lots of advice on here and with lots of hard work at L3/L4, and the improvements were steady and constant.

    Keep going everyone - even at the wrong side of 40 significant gains can be achieved without any kind of sporting background.
     
  6. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    Holding 300w for 20 minutes is a good effort as is improving from 200 to 300w in 7 months, nice work man!! I haven't used a power meter since my old PT broke, this threads great motivation to save some pennies for one.
     
  7. James Wilkinson

    James Wilkinson New Member

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    hey guys the best advice for training is keep going recovery days lol never heard of it i cycle around 300 miles a week and only rest on sunday i have been doing this for 10 years and i have no problems with recovery keep going it gets easier in a bit
     
  8. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Nice!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif Now you need to target 300 for an hour. Well done.
     
  9. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Thanks RDO - I'm a little way from holding that for an hour just yet :D Its just amazing to feel and see the speed differences in general riding these days, compared to even late last year. I'm out in S France as I type, where I was this time last year, and am kicking the ar5e out of the Strava KoM's I set last summer. Taking nearly a minute off my 11 min climbs! When I get back its time to start CX specific training though, so it will be interesting to see what effects that has on my FTP?
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    If you can manage two 20 minute efforts like that then you'd be somewhat close to holding that power for an hour in a time trial. Doing it in training might be a tall order for a while.

    When you start doing CX specific work, make sure you get enough L3 work in too - even L2 if the legs are stuffed from racing. If you have a nice base of fitness then it's sometimes quite eye opening what some short sharp work can do for your threshold power. But the key is the base of fitness that you have.
     
  11. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Thanks Swampy I've built a good base as my focus the last 3 years has all been about long sportives and multi day rides. L3 is my bread and butter training and I dont see that changing. I'm not at all sure I'm looking forward to the brutal stuff I need to do for 'cross though :(
     
  12. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    Congrats! (I am jealous). Given the demands from other quarters, I'm fighting to break even, holding intervals at 215-220 and only get out a couple of times a week, with just a few weeks left to go till the "a" event. It could be quite grim.
     
  13. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    And grim it was. I will say this: using a combination of RPE and the PM, I divided the bike leg of a triathlon into 10 minute laps, and simply tried to hold those laps within a 10w range. That was successful.
     
  14. GraceB

    GraceB New Member

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    Hi all and thank you Felt_Rider for pointing me here. Cannot believe that this thread is still going and is 5 years old??

    The only power meter I have access to is at my local gym but it is set up on a recumbant style spin bike. Can I do the tests and intervals to determine FT power #s on a recumbant and use that bike to train and see it transfer over to the road bike okay? Or should I stick with HR training on the road bike? (I have been using HR for 4 years and am very familiar with my zones.)
     
  15. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Congrats on the forum hazing. Reading through this thread prepares you to be a participant in the special group. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif j/k

    Having a power meter is nice and it is one of the best investments that I have made for cycling and training. It is a bit more consistent than using HR from day to day and many of us that use a PM no longer wear HR straps. Some still do, but either way this thread is more to do with certain training principles and you can use HR or RPE (perceived effort) with these training principles.

    IMO - you will be better off training with an upright spin bike and even better for your winter indoor training to be on your personal road bike on a trainer or rollers that have resistance. Spin bikes are okay and I was able to progress with a spin bike for a number of years, but there was just another slight bump in suffering when I went exclusively with my own bike training with sustained submaximal efforts.

    Tyson or Sillyoldtwit used a gym spin bike equipped with power through most of this thread and at some point invested in a Computrainer toward the end. So certain gym bikes are okay if they happen to be consistent day to day.
     
  16. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    OK, so as winter, and indoor training, approaches rapidly I've started thinking about indoor sessions again. While looking around at various resources for indoor workouts, I'm surprised how many are suggesting sessions with short L4 intervals - anything from 5-10 mins seems very common, often with no other time spent in L3/SST etc.

    I've always subscribed to the idea that L4 intervals really need to be >12mins to be long enough to really create any meaningful training effect, but I'm interested to know others thoughts? Does a session like a descending pyramid 20/10/5/2.5/1.25 mins of L4 with rest intervals of 3-4 mins between each, really do much to create a training effect? How about multiples of 5 mins at 100-105% of FTP and the numerous similar concoctions I've seen all over the place?

    I understand why these sessions with lots of short intervals can keep people focused and avoid boredom and keep things mixed up, but if raising FTP is your goal should you not really be doing longer intervals? I know the HIT school of thought suggests the use of short and much higher intensity intervals, which I appreciate, but its the sessions suggesting lots of shorter L4 intervals that has me wondering.

    Appreciate people's point of view on this...
     
  17. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I believe I have seen from Dave and RDO no less than 12 to 15 minutes for L4.

    My goal this season and through the winter is to do 3 x 20's or 2 x 30's or 1 x 60 @ 91% FT. I will do shorter durations every now and then like yesterday I was frustrated with my legs acting lethargic so I pushed to 99% on some 10 minute intervals just to let them know who is the boss. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif I did squats yesterday morning so I guess they had reason to be slacking a little on the intervals.

    .........by the way how are things progressing? Last we saw you had made some great progress.
     
  18. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yep, anything less than 10 sustained minutes for L4 intensity work and you're more or less kidding yourself unless you keep rest periods between subsequent efforts uber short as in less than 30 seconds or so. And personally as Felt mentions I've had much better luck with slightly to much longer L4 efforts and unless forced to by something like the length of a climb I try to make them at least 12 minutes long.

    For the HIIT folks, at least bump the intensity up above L4 range if you're gonna cut the efforts short but I'd argue that the vast majority of folks struggling to increase their cycling performance on sites like this would be much better served with a steady diet of SST/L4 work and those efforts should be sustained in fairly long blocks and not performed as short intervals. If you want to make it more interesting than do over/under work or micro-intervals or find other ways to spice it up but sustain the efforts for longer blocks unless you're specifically targeting high end work with higher power efforts.

    My single best L4 workout in recent years in terms of FTP progress and overall results is a solid 1x60 minute effort at 90-95% of FTP. Ramp into it at high Tempo and build throughout the effort for a full hour. It's not exciting work to go round and round a looped course but it's very effective for building fitness and FTP.

    -Dave
     
  19. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    For most people it takes more than 10 minutes of L4 (power zone) to get their heart rate up high enough to do any good relative to raising FTP. It is the raised heart rate that causes the improvement. (According to Andy Coggan almost all of us have the muscle mass to put out 1000w. If that is true, then any FTP increase is due to cardio vascular improvement. That requires proper heart rate.)

    Personally, I need more than 10 minutes at L4 (power zone) to get my heart rate up high enough to do any good. So I cheat. I get my heart rate up by starting at L5 (power zone). When my heart rate is in a reasonable range, I drop down to L4 (power zone).

    If I was doing serious training, 3 10 minute sessions an hour, 6-8 hours a day would do wonders for my FTP.
     
  20. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    I think we're on the same page then, although I tend to do my 2x20s at 100% FTP outdoors, or as close to that as I can manage indoors - usually about 95% or so at current levels.

    Progress has been interesting as I've been doing events more than just training. Maratona dles Dolomites in the summer and a recent week in the Alps doing AdH (1hr 1 min made me very happy!!) and some of the famous cols around there incl Glandon, CdF, Galibier etc. I've been working on 'cross race fitness but the botom has fallen out of that after a 2 week virus and some work travel meaning I'm feeling less inclined to go racing now. All the training for that was HIT and I'm now just re-evaluating exactly where I'm at. I think I've pushed it on a stage but 2 weeks off ill means I'm easing back in for a couple of weeks. Certainly feeling lots stronger than earlier this year and ready for some continued gains over winter :D

    This diet has worked very well for me for the last 18 months - loops of flat'ish courses done at high tempo/SST/L4 depending on the session and number of loops/distance etc. 2-3 hour focused tempo rides with no let up, sStrong winds and flat courses seem to do wonders for building my FTP and boosting my ability to climb long ascents!

    I'm interested in the physical benefits (if any?) of over/unders vs steady efforts and after doing some 15 sec on/15 sec off micro-intervals as prep for 'cross season, I'm also wondering how you are defining those when FTP development is the goal?

    Thanks


    BTW, this plan on TrainerRoad, for a 7 week '20 min power boosting' programme was typical of a lot of the workouts I see described for indoor training.

    http://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/plans/97

    I guess they are coming at it from the 'pull up' strategy rather than 'push up' with L3/SST/L4 development. That just seems an odd way to do it given they suggest doing it 18-20 weeks out from your key events?
     
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