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

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

  1. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I know CTS loves those shorter intervals, but I'd STRONGLY recommend doing your focused SST/L4 intervals in longer sustained efforts with 10 minutes being the bare minimum and personally I wouldn't block out L4 efforts that were less than 12 minutes each. It takes nearly 8 minutes to exhaust higher end systems so if you really want to focus on sustained metabolic power (which is the essence of FTP work) then the first 8 minutes is basically just priming the pump and getting the effort started. Stretch them longer even if the power needs to drop a bit to pull that off.

    I know that's counter to what the CTS book tells you, but having done a lot of these over the years and having worked with quite a few athletes working these efforts it's really clear that longer sustained efforts are far more productive but they do take additional mental energy as 20 minutes or more can seem like a long time to stay focused when riding nowhere on the trainer. Again personally I find it mentally easier to do a solid 45 minutes and even a full hour at 90+% than it is to rally for that second or third 20 minute effort but YMMV.

    And I'd also strongly recommend working up to that fifth day each week but it's fine to keep that day easier and shorter. Try to fill that extra day with a 'soft SST' day where you roll for perhaps 40 minutes at around 70-80% of your current FTP. That's not a brutal workout either in terms of intensity or overall workload and a lot of folks find these moderate and not terribly long workouts great for freshening up the legs but mostly it helps in terms of training frequency or how often you get on the bike to at least do something each week. It's not total rest but you'll tend to be pretty fresh the day after a workout like this and ready to get back to more focused work.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     


  2. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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  3. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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  4. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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    sorry for the double posts of nothing my browser sesion got ditched for some reason.
     
  5. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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    Thanks again Dave for the great advice, you pretty much confirmed what I have been suspecting, that the plan I am on now, will not get me where I plan to be, I need more volume and intensity.
    I think ill finish out the week as planned while I look for a plan more in line with what I want to get out of it, or maybe I just substitute some of the shorter intervals with longer ones and stick with it. sorry for derailing Tyson's thread, I just had to chime in, I feel like I am at a similar starting point and apprecaite everything I have read so far.
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Who knows ira41 you may become the new SOT (tyson) and keep this thread active with your efforts and questions

    Best wishes
     
  7. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    In theme with this thread and to what Dave mentioned about the various combinations of sustained interval blocks I decided a few months ago to set a particular goal for my indoor training.

    The goal was to extend the minutes from 20's up to 60. When the 60 is feeling pretty solid hopefully that will indicate (not necessarily, but hopefully) that my fitness will be at the point for a FTP adjustment. When that I happens I will reset and start the process over with the newly set levels.

    • 3 x 20 @ 91% FT
    • 2 x 30 @ 91% FT
    • 1 x 40 @ 91% FT / 1 x 20 @ 91% FT
    • 1 x 60 @ 91% FT
    • Start over with the new FTP values

    Right now I am doing the 30's as my goal and have been in this range for a few weeks, but I am nearing the point of going to the next step.
    The past 3 nights have been a virtually identical indoor training effort and last night I felt fairly good.

    1st set - 30 min. @ 96% FT
    2nd set - 20 min. @ 91% FT (I was fading so I stopped for a brief moment, stretched my legs and got back on to finish)
    3rd set - 10 min. @ 99% FT (went to 99% primarily because I wanted to end with a 90 TSS and because I was a little ticked at losing focus on the 2nd set)

    Depending on how things pan out next week I am feeling ready for the 40 / 20 sets and for those I will really be sticking to the 91% to make sure I finish strong on each. Doing these have been a challenge because lifting interferes with cycling training and doing L4 intervals are twice as discomforting to me. I have stumbled into something that has really helped alleviate that issue and it has worked everytime for the past 5 weeks.

    Omitting my lifting schedule this how it look right now.

    Monday evening - A form of active recovery - combination of short roller intervals and stretching
    Tuesday - Thursday evenings - L4 intervals
    Friday - Off the bike
    Saturday - outdoor endurance ride with a mix from L2 - L4 (mostly low L3), saddle time is based on weather and fatigue.
    Sunday - outdoor 2 x 60's (mostly L3)

    Total time = 9 to 10 hours

    I feel pretty good with this schedule and my endurance this past season really picked up even if my FTP has not gained a whole lot. I am just a slow adapter when it comes to cycling.

    I said this last fall, but I will use it again. I am really looking forward to the 2013 season and really hope to do well in some 100 mile events. I don't race, but I would like to get to a sub 5 hour solo total time. I think I will have my TT bike set up just like I want by next season and hopefully training will go well through the winter with no interruptions from illnesses.

    This past season I did a lot of time doing 80 mile training on the 100 mile route that I am going to use and with having 3 - 26oz bottles on the bike, eating while holding power and working on position I feel good about those aspects. Now it is just a matter of working on the engine a whole lot more.
     
  8. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    I see talk about doing work in this thread (at least the small parts I have read), but what about rest? This year, based on some expert recommendations, I have had the habit of scheduling at least 1 day of rest each week and scheduling a total rest week every 4th week. I do little or no riding for 4-7 days in the rest weeks. I might do a recovery ride (<100 watts for 1 hour) on rest days. The single rest days really help me feel fresh and motivated. However, my perception of the rest weeks is that they are overkill, but I'm trying to have faith that there is more to this than what I can perceive. It's not clear to me how to tune the amount of rest I am taking. Should I do it by how I feel or should I do it based on a performance measurement? Or should I try going without rest until I break and thus identify my threshold?

    There's also this concept in the back of my head that working at my maximum training load is not necessarily optimal. There was a study done (can't find it at the moment) where one group did HIITs every day and the other group did HIITs every other day. The first group did more overall training than the second group. The result was that the second group, the one with more rest, had better performance after the training.

    So in the end I guess the best thing to do is to come with a plan, execute that plan for a while, measure performance, adjust the plan and repeat. The big challenge is that the time course of these things is very long and so there are only so many experiments one can perform per season and per lifetime.
     
  9. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I know each of us are different and with different schedules, genetics, life interruptions and so on so I can only tell you from my point of view on my goals.

    For me what I observe in taking time off and I had a couple days off two weekends ago for my wife's birthday weekend that my CTL dropped like a rock. Last spring when I went to the beach for a week my CTL dropped a whole lot. My CTL is no doubt reflective of my fitness drop and when it does it seems like it takes a whole lot of effort in terms of weeks of time to get that fitness back up.

    If I were to take a week off every so many weeks I would lose the effort I put in for the weeks I am training as if taking 1 step forward and 3 steps backwards. I have been doing quite well training consecutive days, weeks and months on the schedule I listed above. At no point have I felt lilke I have mentally or physically overreached. That is not to say that I have had some subpar training days, but I don't see training as a linear progression anyway. But that is just me. Plus I am training 7 days a week in either lifting or cycling. 5 days a week I am training both. I am not suggesting anyone else do this, but I am a recreational level cyclist that does not necessarily have to adhere to race schedules and training.

    It kind of sticks out to me that you answered this by saying the rest weeks are overkill. That suggests to me that you are still mentally and physically fresh when that rest week comes and if you are then why take off from training?
     
  10. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    Hmm, I find that surprising that a day off effects your CTL a lot. One or two days off has very little effect on my CTL. Even a week off is no big deal. My CTL has been hovering between 80 and 120 since June. On the other hand, rest days and rest weeks have a huge effect on my ATL and TSB; as I would expect. If my CTL was much lower, then I suppose 1-2 days off would make a bigger difference. In any case, I don't know how well my CTL correlates with my fitness and I don't test my fitness at the end of every rest week, so I really don't know how much each rest week has an effect. I think I might start testing myself after every rest week so I have a better feel for it.

    By the way, I spend 1 day/week in the gym lifting heavy stuff. This leads to 2 days off the bike per week. I have done gym+bike days, but that leads to a very long day (1 hour commute/workout, 8 hours in the office, 1 hour in the gym, 1 hour commute/workout) and it lowers my intensity across the board.

    I can feel very fatigued entering a rest week, but I feel back to normal after 1-2 days. I don't feel any fresher after 3-4 days. However, I can only really feel muscle soreness, skin soreness and nerve irritation at my contact points, appetite changes, and the like. I can't feel fitness adaptations that might be taking place during a rest week.
     
  11. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    That is why I started my post with the caveat that each of us seem to be very different.


    ....my CTL does not drop very much with just a day off. The time off was 3 days and my CTL dropped from 79 to 72. It doesn't seem like a huge drop, but considering how much effort it seems to take for me to just to gain a point or two I sure hate taking time off. I struggled for a few days training inside and on the outdoor rides. I am back in the groove now though. My genetics are far better suited for the gym and the squat rack than a bike so everything is so much more difficult for cycling training. It is what it is.
     
  12. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    Welp, unless you have changed your time constants, CTL behavior is exactly the same for both of us. However, we seem to differ in our reaction to a ~9% change in CTL. I don't worry about small dips like that. Note that CTL is only related to fitness and the relationship is highly dependent on many things like genetics, type of workload, and amount of rest. If you don't get enough rest, there is a chance that your fitness to CTL ratio is smaller than it could be; or at least that is the conclusion I have come to after reading a lot of stuff. I have not actually carried out a controlled experiment with myself as the subject.

    Another thing about CTL and fitness is that my fitness does not seem to improve unless my CTL is increasing. I started training hard this year in March and my CTL maxed out by June at 120ish and leveled off. Based on my testing, my fitness followed the same curve. I have not measured any fitness improvements since my CTL leveled out. So as far as I can tell, maintaining a constant CTL does not result in improved fitness. I could have probably trained less initially and ramped up more slowly and still reached the same peak only a bit later, e.g. July. This is frustrating because raising my CTL much higher would be difficult given the amount of time I have. So my take away is that I need to find ways to improve my fitness to CTL ratio by optimizing my training.

    On the other hand, there is some stuff in the literature that suggests some adaptations are more long lasting and might improve fitness year after year causing the fitness to CTL ratio to improve.

    I wish I could find that study. I've been searching pubmed for an hour with no success. Any help someone? If I remember correctly, it was a study where both groups were doing 30s on 30s off type stuff and one group had rest days and the other did not. The group with rest days and less overall workload improved more.
     
  13. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    I've logged a lot of solid 2x20 sessions recently, mostly at 88-90% of FTP indoors on the rollers. Work commitments and poor weather the last few weeks mean I've done these as my staple session really, and certainly more frequently than ever before.

    So is there any downside to high volumes of a 2x20 interval? I'm logging lots of L3/L4 time, able to train frequently without undue fatigue and staying motivated so all seems good. BUT, my CTL is not climbing as I'm also not getting many long sessions done right now, but apart from that is there any physiological downside to lots of these sessions, assuming some progression in power outputs over time as FTP develops? Thinking back to the list of benefits from each training level in Coggan's book it would seem not if you're goal is building a big diesel engine?

    I know at some point I'll need to do some VO2 work as my 20 MMP is getting closer and closer to my 5 MMP, but that can wait until next year. As I'm not racing I'm not worried about anaerobic ability very much either, so apart from the risk of boredom is there anything to watch out for?
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Not really. Doing a lot of solid aerobic work is pretty much perfect for this time of year. The only real downside to a steady and exclusive diet of 2x20 work is the risk of mental burnout and lack of CTL building. You could address the first by mixing things up a bit like doing a micro-interval or over/under session with the same AP targets in exchange for a stock iso-power 2x20 session. In terms of the latter, can you extend some of those sessions with some extra Tempo or build to some 3x20 or 2x30 sessions or ideally work in some longer outdoor L2+/L3 rides on nicer days to both break the indoor monotony and to put a little more CTL in the bank.

    But if you don't fry yourself mentally (and that can be hard to predict until it creeps up on you and then you don't even want to look at the trainer) and you can stick to a steady schedule of at least 4 if not 5 days per week with several more focused 2x20 sessions then there's no real downside to that as a way to build your winter base but it isn't hard to make it a bit more interesting and definitely keep at least a loose eye on overall load in CTL terms.

    -Dave
     
  15. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I sure hope not because I am right there with you. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
    I want to become a diesel engine someday. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  16. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Thanks Dave - pretty much as I hoped. Club rides on many Sundays and outdoor tempo rides just as you describe are also very much on the menu anyway.

    Keep it going - lets see what we can do by spring /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  17. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Last winter I set a loose goal of trying to keep my CTL above 70. I picked 70 because the year before I let it slip into the 60's and part of that was from a devastating respriratory illness that took a few weeks to kick, but part of it was not being focused enough with the indoor training. It is important to note that I kept a loose eye as Dave mentioned. It was a goal that I made, but wasn't a goal that was so hardened that it took the joy out of training. As a side note I really love training (inside or outside) so it takes a lot for me to get unhappy about it.

    It would not seem that 70 CTL would be hard to keep, but it was actually quite challenging. Even though I was very fortunate last winter to stay healthy I did have a whole lot of holiday social events (from Thanksgiving to Christmas) that were mandatory to attend. And there a few times that I had to attend two in the same day. ARGH!!!! Did I mention mandatory that I attend? I would have rather been on the rollers to be honest, but these things happen and keeping employment is more important. Between those events and losing the big endurance rides it was down to fighting to get enough TSS to keep it from falling. At one point it did drop to 68, but through all those months the CTL bounced in the 70 range for the most part.

    However, in the spring it really paid off because instead of digging out the 60's or lower my ramp rate to get to the 90's wasn't as extreme. Kind of like the procrastinating student that crams for a test or the student that studies a little each night. By keeping this fitness up I felt less rushed and by not being rushed there was less risk of overreaching or burn out by trying to push hard as if one can adapt that fast anyway. By March my time on a 100 mile course that I use was really good and I knew my endurance had really improved through those winter months. Once my CTL got into the 90's I was really feeling great and the climb in intensity to get there wasn't all that bad.

    This year my indoor training has continued to improve and I am getting more toward 90 TSS per indoor session in consecutive days. If I can stay healthy (I have already had a coworker in the office next to me sounding like he has bronchitis) I think I will shoot to keep my CTL in the higher 70's.
     
  18. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    Felt_Rider, from a couple of your recent posts, I surmise that your CTL is fairly constant. If so, have you measured any fitness improvements during periods of constant CTL? Personally, I have only measured fitness improvements during periods of increasing CTL. I have only been tracking and measuring such things since March of this year.
     
  19. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Edit: I am not sure why I agreed with your question as to my CTL being fairly constant. It is actually ramping up very slowly. Lately it has stalled a little due to some recent interruptions, but in the PMC it is actually trending upward.
     
  20. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    I really haven't worried much about CTL. I track it, but only as a sanity check and a curiosity. I never make it a goal. I train by a basic template and tune it based on how I feel day-to-day. I try to do a standard test about every 4 weeks to determine if I am making gains. This fits in well with the 3 weeks work / 1 week rest template I have been using. I have not measured any gains since June and that coincides with my CTL leveling out.
     
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