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



RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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I have never, ever done a block of L2/L3 work, so I have no opinion on the benefits of lots of volume of L2/L3. When I want to increase my endurance for an upcoming target ride, I maintain the same mix by level but simply increase my total volume as measured by TSS. Everybody is different in terms of their body's ability to handle increases of total volume, but I would be very cautious about increasing more than 10% week over week. Also note that if you increase hours on the bike by 10%, you will get more than a 10% increase in TSS due to the fact that you will probably keep your warmup/warmdown segments constant so most of the increase will be quality time. But, even if you increase only 10% per week, you can go from 10 hrs/wk to 13 hrs/wk in three weeks. That's actually a pretty big jump in 3 weeks.
 

jsirabella

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Jan 1, 2005
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bp, as rdo says if you have a way of measuring your TSS than I would suggest to go that way. For me personally I have found my best improvements when I would do rides anywhere from 135-150. When I hit above 150 I felt I needed to take a day off or would be just too beat up to really give a good effort the next day. As far as L2 rides unless you have lots and I means lots of time than may not be worth it. Recovery is not a bad word.

Otherwise if you could do rides fairly regularly of 3 hours or more L3 is the place to be from my experience. It will be killer but it will have its benefits. My goal was no matter the mix on the 3 hour ride was to just make sure my average by the end of the 3 hour ride was in the L3 area and if you do them on a trainer, man they will be intense.

-js
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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Originally Posted by jsirabella .

TZ, I have not been here in a while but I lurked and have not seen your posts. Still racing?

-js
Yeah, I'm still out there on a regular basis. Definitely less gung-ho about it, but the training aspect is still as fascinating as ever. Less ibuprofen these days too/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif.
 

Bigpikle

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Aug 5, 2010
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Originally Posted by RapDaddyo .

I have never, ever done a block of L2/L3 work, so I have no opinion on the benefits of lots of volume of L2/L3. When I want to increase my endurance for an upcoming target ride, I maintain the same mix by level but simply increase my total volume as measured by TSS. Everybody is different in terms of their body's ability to handle increases of total volume, but I would be very cautious about increasing more than 10% week over week. Also note that if you increase hours on the bike by 10%, you will get more than a 10% increase in TSS due to the fact that you will probably keep your warmup/warmdown segments constant so most of the increase will be quality time. But, even if you increase only 10% per week, you can go from 10 hrs/wk to 13 hrs/wk in three weeks. That's actually a pretty big jump in 3 weeks.
Originally Posted by jsirabella .

bp, as rdo says if you have a way of measuring your TSS than I would suggest to go that way. For me personally I have found my best improvements when I would do rides anywhere from 135-150. When I hit above 150 I felt I needed to take a day off or would be just too beat up to really give a good effort the next day. As far as L2 rides unless you have lots and I means lots of time than may not be worth it. Recovery is not a bad word.

Otherwise if you could do rides fairly regularly of 3 hours or more L3 is the place to be from my experience. It will be killer but it will have its benefits. My goal was no matter the mix on the 3 hour ride was to just make sure my average by the end of the 3 hour ride was in the L3 area and if you do them on a trainer, man they will be intense.

-js
Thanks guys

Looking back in GC it seems that 135-150TSS is quite a good marker for effort/fatigue for me. A few rides in that region recently were steady 2- 2hr15m tempo rides that were fairly hard efforts but didnt leave me too tired to train the next day. A couple of 175-190TSS rides that were 3hr15 - 3hr30m rides where AP was right on the edge of L2/L3 left me probably too tired for any meaningful effort the next day. I'd either need to knock back the intensity to mid L2 or shorten the rides slightly, which then just backs then into shorter tempo sessions again anyway.

Maybe that is the answer to this then? Lots of bread of butter 2-3hr low to mid L3 rides that allow enough recovery to keep volume fairly high, and take advantage of occasional good weather days to throw in a long 4hr L2 session and then rest the next day. I'll be lucky in that I'll be home the rest of the time and able to recover well (eg be fairly lazy with good nutrition and sleep :D) and my training history has regularly included periods like this where I've ramped up TSS 'too quickly' and I know I can cope with it pretty well. My bizarre working schedule destroys any consistency week to week, and always has done, so I always train in fairly concentrated chunks of days with a few days to recover. Other than vacations where I get to ride 2-3 hours most days for 2 weeks or so, I dont generally get a period as long as this, but I cant really see a downside to getting a 800 mile block of quality L3 work done fairly early in the year, given my focus is an endurance event? As always, weather will probably have the biggest impact on what I end up doing anyway, but fingers crossed I man up and get the riding done!
 

jsirabella

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Jan 1, 2005
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bp, like you have found out on your own and I have on my own is that the 135-150 rides were real gems but I just want to put a couple notes down based upon my experience.

1) L3 is the meat of training. No doubt about it and like a famous Brit said you can not have your pudding till you eat your meat so definitely L3 should be the focus especially this time of the year but one thing I will say is that it does not need to be straight L3. It can and should be at times SST/L4/L2 mixed rides where the average at the end is either in the high or low end of L3 range.

2) To get to the next high, you will need to pull back, spend some of that CTL and than give your best effort to see if you are improving. L3 will build endless CTL but you will need to know when to spend it so you will hit your next high. The high should come naturally but I have noticed when I hit about 80 or so on the CTL I would pull back and suddenly new highs would happen. Not all the time but many.

3) I think the best thing you wrote is make the training targeted for the event and only you know what that is. Lots of L3/SST and so is good for long events but in a crit, you better have the higher ends going more than the L3 area of your training cause you will probably get blown off the first loop. Ofcourse lets not forget all the other things that going into events like bike handling, pack skills...which can make up many times for lower output levels.

Keep up the great training dude...

-js
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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Well back at it. A week of L2/low L3 last week, with a 4hr group ride Sunday turned out to be a bit more fatiguing than expected, but mentally refreshing. I went into Tuesday with a bit of DOMS from Sunday, the a.m 2x20 @ 90% was made a bit tougher due to sore legs, mentally it was much easier than 100% efforts. My p.m. 2x20 was not bad the first interval, but 10 minutes into the second I found myself having to go a bit deeper than I wanted so I let up. All and all not a bad day for the 1st day back. My mindset has deffinately changed for the p.m. two a day workouts, instead of making them feel like an obligation, I am making them feel like bonus time on the bike, so if I don't feel like getting on the bike or feel like just riding no biggie. I got outside yesterday and had one of my best workouts yet, I did a 1hr 85% by feel and easily completed a 311 watt effort (91%). Today I rode to work and did 2 quality 2x20 and while my legs are a bit sore I think I have at least one more in me for the ride home. On top of all that, my weight dropped to a new low, within 1lb of my goal! So I am going to ease off the diet! Really positive week so far!
 

Bigpikle

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Aug 5, 2010
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Good news on the weight and training.

Weather looks pretty reasonable for the next 10 days and its time to start my 25 day training period - looks like I might have only 1 full work day in that period, so I'm going to go for a higher volume block and see what happens. Fingers crossed it will stay reasonable weather until the end and I get a really good block of quality L3 work done and make sure I have a really solid 'base' built after all the indoor work over winter. I also hope to ride off a few kg's...

Will let you know how it progresses.
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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I liked my time spent doing more volume at L2/L3. I always feel like it improves my recovery between efforts and even between workouts.
 

bgoetz

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Nov 25, 2010
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Tonight's workout was not as planned. I had the single worst dead cross wind I have ever encountered. My headwind to work shifted for the ride home :(. For perspective on the sections into the wind 350 watts got me 15mph! I simply could not do any meaningful effort while trying to keep the bike up. I ended up just doing a higher end aerobic ride the whole way home.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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My consistency streak was finally broken this week by a project deadline with very long work days. I was able to train through January and the first week of February with working 10 hour days and slip in a 90 minute session in the evenings, but this week my work day is even longer and I simply could not train. I dread looking at the CTL investment loss in PMC when I can back to training tomorrow. It may not be all bad since it has been many weeks since I had a break. Still it is not fun to have work stress and that has made me feel more run down than the weeks of training stress.

I suppose tomorrow will be an inside ride because I don't feel like training in predicted 30 degree (F) temps with 15 mph winds. I think I would rather do some quality work on the rollers, but I am going to be happy to get back to making the training investment even if it is a shorter indoor session.
 

Bigpikle

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Aug 5, 2010
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We've had some weeks of terrific winds with many days of steady winds of 20mph+ gusting to incredible levels. I actuallt like those days when i can find some good stretches of really tough headwinds, as its about as close to a mountain as I can get around here! I agree about those scary crosswinds though, and look out for those gates and gaps in the hedges where the sudden gusts can blow you right across the road if you arent prepared!

I'm not 100% sure if its going to have a huge impact on FTP develoment, although I hope to see my 2-3 hr power increasing significantly, but I agree about the recovery aspect and endurance benefits I hope to get.

Have fun everyone.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Originally Posted by Felt_Rider .

... I dread looking at the CTL investment loss in PMC when I can back to training tomorrow. It may not be all bad since it has been many weeks since I had a break. ..
Don't stress over the life interruption Felt. Stuff like this happens and it's best to roll with the punches when it does. The good news is that all the work you've put in is still there, physiological adaptations take time to create and they don't evaporate over night even if it sometimes seems that way.

Get through your work period, stay on the bike where and when you can to maintain and regroup and so you don't have a big startup to get going again and you'll likely come out of this stronger. fresher, and more highly motivated to ride.

-Dave
 

dhale75

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Feb 15, 2013
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Hi Guys,

Been viewing posts for some time. Great information on this board. I have a question about SST/training hours. I am training for crits this year and although I don't have a lot of racing experience, I have raced sporadically over the last year and have been "just riding around" for 20 years. I am 38 and will still be a 5 this year so I'm just getting started really.

Anyway, I have been training about 6 hours a week since December and pretty much 100% of it has been about 90% of FTP, so SST. My FTP has gone from 282 to 305 in this time. I weigh 87kg, so w/kg sucks, but most of the crits around here are flat (Illinois). But am I still building the engine with only 6 hours per week? My FTP progress is telling me yes, but I read a lot where if you are not putting in the big hours per week, you can be limited.

Since that's all the time I have, I focus on quality (no choice). So come spring and race time, If my FTP keeps progressing in this fashion, I should still be able to at least hang on in races? This year it's all about racing, having fun and learning, but I still want to be in the race long enough to experience all the lessons. Thanks for any input.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Yes, you're still building your engine. The progress in your sustained power numbers proves that. But yes, you might have progressed further or faster if you had more available weekly time to train but as that's not an option there's not a lot of points worrying about what might have been. Do what you can do, keep the quality high but primarily sustained and not short gut busting efforts and keep moving forward.

FWIW, if crits are you primary focus you might try some micro-interval or Hour of Power (HOP) work. Google those terms but think about workouts that are mostly mid to high Tempo with repeated quick intense bursts. It's a nice way to introduce power dynamics, some leg speed quickness drills, some lactate clearing and recovery in motion work, while still maintaining an SST/L4 overall focus by sustaining the effort but bursting higher than the base pace every couple of minutes. Lot's of ways to structure these, but they can be very good for folks stuck indoors but preparing for crits. I wouldn't do them all the time but a session per week or perhaps more as the season approaches can be very helpful.

-Dave
 

dhale75

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Feb 15, 2013
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Thanks Dave! I will give those HOP intervals a shot. Anything that makes the trainer a little more palatable, with the added benefit of specificity, I'm all for it.
 

jsirabella

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Jan 1, 2005
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Nice to see all the posts. Gets the blood going a bit.

Lots of work with long hours but I was able to still get in the time on the bike but I was sure the numbers would suffer from lack of mental rest atleast. I did feel sluggish but I was able to keep up till Thursday. I made the mistake to adjust the seat a bit to feel a bit more comfortable in the TT bars and boy I found out the hard way that the slightest of adjustment can turn a ride bad and make me feel really achy the next day. I took off today and hope to get back more to SST/L4 tomorrow and put the damn seat back to its original position.

-john
 

Bigpikle

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Aug 5, 2010
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I know what you mean about work and long hours, in my case largely due to travel all over the place, but hopefully you'll keep getting just enough done to see you safely through to the next quieter phase when you can build on your good work again.

2 days of L3/SST work done now and I'm enjoying myself. The weather has been cold but sunny and the wind has dropped back to normal levels again. 4hrs and 130km covered at a solid L3 effort so far, with a bit of L4 work into the headwinds and on the hills. I'm not trying to set any records on the power levels so I can keep the volume up a little across the next few weeks so it will be interesting to see how the fatigue and performance develops. Legs are feeling good an the CTL is beginning to creep upwards again. Living in the compression tights after riding and hoping they might make a difference as well.

The roads has really dried out today so I even indulged in the summer bike and enjoyed every minute. Only downside was the PT batteries died at 90 mins in but all fixed and ready for tomorrow now. The weather forecast looks dry all week although temps are dropping again back into < 5 C/40 F but as long as the rain keeps off and the roads stay free of ice in the mornings then I'll be happy.
 

jsirabella

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Jan 1, 2005
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bp, So i see you are a traveling man also. I actually was able to get a really good price a long time ago on a breakaway bike and on the right trips it is alot of fun but for many of my trips I really do not have the time to get much time in on the bike anyway. I look to those short weekend conventions as either gym time or just get some rest. Rest is not a bad thing after all. In the past I worshipped the CTL chart but later found you have to eventually spend it to see the gain. Felt, I bet you may see a small drop for a week or so and than the numbers will all come back again pretty fast.

bp, sounds like you had a great few rides there and bravo to dealing with the weather. For me here in the northeast, just too crazy right now to be outside. After about an hour no gloves or booties will keep your hands and feet from hurting. Keep up the great work on the L3/L4 and when the time is right your body will let you know when it is time to bust out. Keep an eye on the CTL till hits about ~85 and the other things to watch for is when the TSS ride of 130-150 do not feel as hard any longer and you notice the IF climbing. I kind of break down my rides into two groups, ones that focus on TSS and ones that focus on IF. MY L3 rides usually are in the 2-3 hour range and get me good TSS and IF about .8~.9 and the SST/L4 will be 90 minutes to an hour and get me lower TSS but the IF will be >.9 and as I my fitness is getting better they will creep to the 1 which you know is when you should be looking for a FTP breakout.

-john
 

Bigpikle

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Aug 5, 2010
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Yep - all about travel for me. Local, national and international. I often put a bike in the back of the car in spring/summer unless I'm staying in the centre of a big city, and do get a few rides done, but mostly I just go pretty hard the days before I leave and treat them as 2 days rest like you. The problem for me comes on 5 day trips when I de-train, but frankly there is little I can do that I just have to put up with it and value the downtime afterwards.

Today was another good one - 7 degs but sunny for most of it and dry on the ground, so a good day for another ride without mudguards. 2hrs, 135 TSS and IF 0.81. Legs felt heavy at the start and I was worried, but after warming up well they were OK again. Rode without watching the numbers and was surprised after an hour to see an AP of 231w given mentally I was thinking I'd take it slightly easier as it was day 3. Chose a new route with some good long sections and was able to put in some good L4 efforts as well as the L3 meat and potatoes. By the end I was feeling it a little after the harder efforts mid-ride and had to dig deeper to keep the effort up. CTL just hit 60 again, so I think I'm feeling the lack of consistency recently.

190km, 410 TSS, 6.5hrs (3hr L3/1.5hr L4) in 3 days and the big question I'm contemplating is whether to rest tomorrow or ride? Being >40 I'm thinking a day off and then be fresher for a few more days good riding, rather than a **** day due to fatigue and have to rest anyway? Anyone have any clues on how to make these decisions?