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

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

  1. maxroadrash

    maxroadrash New Member

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    Contacts dude.
     


  2. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    As js mentioned most of us look at you as what we would love to achieve but cannot. Just think that you quickly went to a level that most will never be able to achieve. When I looked the list of competitors in Battenkill the other day there were so many listed at all levels. Though your expectations are tough on yourself, and that is not a bad trait, just keep remembering where you are at and how quickly you got there. As danfoz said most of us have recognized your fast rate of progression and we realize you are going against guys that have many years of training and racing experience. The more years and races under your belt to go along with consistent training it will get better.

    No need to be disappointed for very long. Just dial back the thought of it and look forward to the race season ahead.
    Best wishes
     
  3. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    As felt said, how could you be disappointed in how far you have gotten in the time you have done it. I guess given your competitive nature that you wanted to pull it out one last time and felt you let yourself down but you are at the beginning of your racing career and will know for next time. I think this is also true about how to approach the weeks prior to a race. You will learn soon enough what works best so you are prime for race day.

    For myself I actually am starting to feel better about riding which is good. Today is the first time in a while I was looking forward to getting on the bike. I did 2 hours on the trainer but what really has made a difference for me are a few things. I started to use the breakway bike that just got repaired and it is nice to ride. My seat cracked actually the other day and I went back to an old comfy seat which was giving me discomfort after the back issues but now feels rather good. Last I have taken down the cadence to 85-90 for grinding out the intervals. I feel more natural at 95 but at 85-90 I can really pace and grind them out better. I had back to back days of 150 TSS and tomorrow I will do just a quick hour of recovery. I will keep an eye on the TSS, CTL, IF and just general feel to not fall back into the dead feeling again.

    felt, do not tell me about getting old. I have so much trouble reading some things and too stubborn to get the glasses, not to mention having to go to the bathroom it feels like every couple hours at times.

    -john
     
  4. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    This whole forum and the advice I have gotten from you guys has really given me a ton throughout my rise up the rankings. So in a way it is like you guys are all out there with me! You guys support/advice has done more than you know. Whatever happens from here on out it will need to be done with less time, things are getting fun and exciting with the new family! We are going to give the racing world a go this year and see how it works and go from there. I spent the weekend on the MTB and had a blast! I would love to have a PM on my MTB to see what is going on though, I just cannot seem to fatigue myself on a MTB. I was going hard today, even on some longer climbs and my legs/cardio only felt stressed a time or two. Maybe it is the "newness" factor and/or the level of distraction. A part of me hopes I am getting a good workout in, but based on my appetite after my rides, I would say I have to be.
     
  5. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    bg, Congrats on the new family. There a bad reasons and good reasons and this one is a great reason!

    On my front I am working on a new schedule to avoid that general burn out feeling while still seeing the CTL slope rise each week by of course a smaller amount than the past. Does anyone here have a formula or spreadsheet that will predict your CTL based upon the next days TSS score. I am not sure how WKO does it and what it takes into account but would be a great way for me to plan when and what my next work out day will be.

    Thanks all and hope the cycling is going well.

    -js
     
  6. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    I have on that Dave sent me at one point, I can email it to you.
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's pretty easy to code up in Excel but for day to day stuff (as opposed to planning a specific big build or taper) I just estimate as follows:

    With the default CTL time constant of 42 days it takes roughly 41 TSS to raise or lower your CTL by one point.

    So say your current CTL is 60. The first 60 points of TSS in a workout just keeps you level, if you do a super short recovery spin and get ~ 20 TSS then your CTL will drop roughly a point (60-41 ~ 20) if you want to bump your CTL by one point for that day then target roughly 101 TSS (60+41 = 101). If you go out and target say a four hour 200 TSS ride then expect your CTL to climb by roughly 3.4 points (200-60 = 140, 140/41 ~ 3.4).

    So IOW, track your TSS for a ride compared to your current CTL in chunks of 41 points (or heck just estimate a 40 per CTL point and it's plenty close enough) and you'll get a pretty good estimate of what your post ride CTL will be.

    For longer term planning the spreadsheet is both easier and more accurate.

    -Dave
     
  8. wbkski

    wbkski New Member

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    I'm brand new to crit racing and had my 3rd race yesterday. I was doing really well throughout the race and on the final lap...BAM... blew up in the sprint to the finish. I know there has to be a trick to all of this, and I'm sure I'll learn those in time, but, from a physical preparedness pov... is it best to train for sprinting on a trainer or on the open road? Has anyone tried both and prefer one over the other? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated (tips on crits too!)

    Thanks!
     
  9. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Crits are not long and don't typically push your aerobic capacity. They do push your anaerobic capacity, so the best crit-specific training is to mimic the accelerate-cruise-accelerate-cruise pattern. I can and have done this on my trainer and on the road. My preferred trainer workout is 6sec at 600W + 24sec at ~85%FTP and repeats for 1/2 hr or 1 hr. These are easy on my CompuTrainer because it is programmable, but you can do them on a standard trainer with a repeating stopwatch timer. The 6sec at 600W mimics the acceleration out of corners to get up to speed and the 85%FTP mimics the cruise to the next corner. Almost no course is going to require an average of 2 corners per minute, so this is a more demanding workout than most courses. Outside, I try to find a church parking lot on weekdays or a school parking lot on weekends. I try to find a lot long enough for about 30secs at cruise. I accelerate out of each corner leading to a straightaway to about 25mph then cruise to the turn. This acceleration typically takes 5-6secs similar to the trainer workout. As a small aside, I hate the guy that came up with speed bumps for parking lots -- what a pain!

    As to crit tactics, my main suggestion is to take the inside line on corners. Most newbies take the outside line believing it to be safer. But, when a rider goes down in a corner, he slides out, so actually the safest line is the inside line. Also, in the corner don't allow the guy next to you to get his shoulder ahead of your shoulder. If your shoulder is even with or ahead of his shoulder, he can't cut you off. Sprinting is a whole other topic and I'm sure you'll find some good threads here on sprinting. Good luck.
     
  10. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Dave, As always thanks for the info. So if I am at 60 and take the day off completely my CTL will drop by 60-0 = 60 or ~1.5 points. Now I can better plan and with the PT giving my TSS score while I ride I know.

    Let me ask all a couple questions,

    1) I rebuilt my Rocky MT CX so I can put some panniers on it and do commutes and I know it will be hilly. I have a 42 on it but wondering what I should use for my other chain ring. Any suggestions or do you need more info? I do not know exactly how hilly but it is tough.

    2) I switched seats and amazingly have had huge jump in comfort on my LB but suddenly right between the shoulder blades I am experiencing tightness and discomfort. I am looking at my set up and using the same numbers to set up the seat? What would usually cause more stress on the upper back?

    Thanks all for the read...

    -js
     
  11. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you've got it. If your CTL gets up to 80 and you take a day off you'll drop almost two points, etc...


    Well that depends on the hills, how much weight including what's in those panniers, and the power you're willing to put out during your commute or for the big ring question, how fast you want to be able to go during your commute. Realistically anything in the 48 to 53 tooth range would likely be fine for commuting especially if paired with a cassette that has an 11 tooth cog. Really how fast do you need to or want to go while commuting? The small ring is the bigger concern if you'll be carrying a lot of weight or want to be able to ride real easy on some days to avoid getting too sweaty or just so you have an easy spin to work option on days when you don't feel stellar. I commute with both my compact (50x34) equipped rain bike and my race bike (53x39) they're both fine but if I want a mellow cruise with the hills I hit on my commute I'll opt for the rain bike with its lower gearing. I don't really spin out either bike unless I'm really going crazy on a couple of the descents.


    Tough without seeing your position, but I'd start by looking at your stem extension and wonder if it's too long. Depending on what seat adjustments you made you could be overly stretched out, a bit low with the handlebars or a combination of both that could easily lead to tightness between the shoulder blades.

    -Dave
     
  12. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Good advice above on short bursty work, but IME most lower category riders that struggle with the 'sprint' are really struggling either with the increased pace in the final laps leading to the sprint or in particular the pacing and positioning on that final lap before the sprint really winds out. What did the speed look like when you suddenly blew compared to the earlier laps where you felt all right? If you have power, what did the power look like at that point in the race.

    A typical crit has three to four crazy fast laps at the start, a bunch of mellower laps in the middle when folks find their pace and their lines and things smooth out and then some really fast laps at the end leading to the sprint. Many folks do all right till those last few laps and then lose places to pack swarms or can't stay forward at the warp speed final laps. If you're not up very close (but ideally not quite at) the front in those final laps the 'sprint' may not actually happen as it's really tough to do much from ten or twenty riders back when those first few riders out of the final corners are already sprinting and you're still cornering. So to sprint well, first work on positioning well in the final laps. Actual sprinting is another discussion as RDO noted but if you can't reliably be up front and stay forward of any late race pack surges then work on that first.

    I'd also say that even though it's those short punchy bursts that will make or break you in a crit it's the culmination of many of those that you feel in the final laps and how well you handle that depends on your sustainable primarily aerobic power. IOW, don't just focus on the bursty stuff, make sure you've got good staying power with things like 20 minute SST and L4 intervals in addition to the short punchy work. You'll need top end bursty speed and a lot of it but the folks with the freshest legs after all that bursting will be the folks with the higher sustainable power and higher cardiovascular fitness. So don't ignore the basic long duration power building work just because it's the bursts you feel during racing.

    -Dave
     
  13. wbkski

    wbkski New Member

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    Thank you. I'm going to do just that. It's .3 miles from the corner to the finish so I'm going to start training to that length. Question... should you bust out of the corner knowing you have 3/10ths to go or bust it out from the .2 or .15 mark to the finish? I know I can't sustain max anerobic power for .3 of a mile...not today anyway.
     
  14. wbkski

    wbkski New Member

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    Thank you. Can you give me an example of an "L4" Interval?
     
  15. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    dave,

    I will be packing my laptop and a few other extra items but nothing crazy heavy I hope. I actually need to find a good pannier for a laptop. My current Cannondale ones were good for camping but funny thing is that it can not fit my laptop. The last time I did the route it was tough and was thinking of using my 42 and some smaller ring like a 34. Right now I have a 50 and a 42 on the bike but wanted to make the commute be able to give me either an L2/L3 type of workout so I will try 42/34 to start.

    Thanks for the two suggestions on the tightness in the back issue. I made some big adjustments to make sure I am not over extended and see what tomorrow brings.

    I am having fun trying to work a good workout schedule now that keeps the CTL growing but not too much to exhaust myself.


    -john
     
  16. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Sure, a steady sustained effort at least 10 and ideally 15 to 60 minutes long where you ride hard but not so hard that you blow up and have to back off the pace before the effort is over. So IOW, a bit like a mini time trial but it can be backed off a little bit from actual race day pacing so that you can do these during normal training and perhaps do more than one interval on the same day.

    These should get your breathing deeply and steadily but not gasping or ragged out of control breathing and they should require a lot of mental focus to avoid slipping back down to easier riding. The first five minutes or so usually don't feel too bad as these are steady hard efforts trying to hold relatively high average speed but not gut busting and unsustainable sprints. But the second half and especially final few minutes of each effort should take a lot of willpower to avoid slowing down or dropping off the pace, again it's not a huge sprint style burst of speed but if you pace these well those final few minutes will feel very hard and you'll want these to end but should actually be able to get to the end. It can take some time to dial in the pacing but they self correct pretty fast.

    If you start too hard you'll realize within a few minutes that the pace is too hard and will have to back off to finish, if that happens start a bit easier next time. If you do them too easily you'll get to the end knowing you could have easily gone faster, if that happens try to start a bit quicker and hold a higher pace next time. Within a few sessions you should know about what you can manage and over time the speed should climb but the effort level should feel about the same as you get faster, that's what happens when you improve your fitness.

    Many people do their L4 work as a set of 20 minute efforts with the classic 2x20 workout. These are good, long enough to get a solid workout and a lot of time up near Threshold pacing but short enough that most riders can learn to stay focused start to finish for each effort. But if you lack the road for exactly 20 minutes you can do lots of variations but try to make these at least 12 if not 15 minutes long each with 10 minutes being the absolute minimum for these efforts and longer is usually better. So you could do something like 3x15 minutes or even work up to 4x15 minutes or perhaps 1x30 or 2x30 or a single 45 or even 60 minute effort but in all cases these are steady hard but not quite maximal efforts for the duration. The rest period between each interval is not critical but most riders take 5 to even 10 minutes between efforts to drink from the bottles, regroup a bit mentally and then start the next effort.

    These can be done on flat roads, on hills or with some effort on rolling terrain but that requires a lot more attention to shifting and keeping the pressure on the pedals continuously as you don't want gaps and breaks where you coast or recover for too long during these efforts. Keep them continuous and sustained as much as possible but if forced to, a few seconds of backing off for corners and traffic and such here and there won't kill the effort but keep any such interruptions short as in less than 20 to 30 seconds. If there are too many longer interruptions then try to find better roads for doing these efforts or do them indoors on a trainer as many folks do.

    So steady hard and sustained solo efforts that are relatively long as in 10 to 60 minutes each and ridden hard but usually not quite at your absolute limit so that you can actually do the work on normal training days when you're not 100%. When in doubt or when just figuring out the pacing start them a tad easier so you actually finish each effort over time you can pick up the intensity and sooner or later you'll try for too much and won't be able to hold the effort level, that's how you'll learn your best pacing for future efforts.

    Do a lot of these on the days when you're feeling fresher and want to work harder and your bike speeds and sustainable power will improve. Don't try to do these every day as they're pretty hard but a couple days a week with some of these efforts is pretty typical for folks working on Threshold power.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  17. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Been watching from the wings the last few weeks and enjoying some great stuff being posted here...

    Its now 9 weeks to my A event in Spain. 205km/127miles across the mountains and frankly I'm getting rather scared! Just in terms of distance thats still about the longest I will ever have ridden without factoring in 3500m/11,500ft of climbing in 3 Cat 1 ascents.

    I rode a 112 mile event two weekends ago, in rolling countryside and straight into horrendous 20-25mph headwinds for the last 40 miles home and was wrecked by the end. I probably went out a little hard and sat on the front of a small group with a tailwind for the first 50-60 miles and once we turned and hit the wind it really hurt me. The group ended up going from about 8 to the 2 of us as everyone else fell away, and it took every bit of determination I had just to hang on the wheel of a very strong clubmate for the last 30 miles. In reality I was mostly about 3-5 bike lengths off his wheel for much of it, as I was just struggling to stay on, so I guess I was working almost as hard as he was to keep the pace up and in hindsight I guess this was a good effort for me.

    Anyway this has me worried. My FTP is 4w/kg right now so I'm not in bad shape, and I'm now holding about 80% FTP for 3 hours when really pushing myself to the limit, but I just cant get beyond the fact that 205km with all this climbing is such a step up from where I am. The good news is that what goes up must come down, so there is loads of time time spent descending/recovering unlike 200km in the rolling terrain and there will be about 9,000 other people riding so I should find some groups to work with on the flatter bits, but even so...

    Good news is that work has largely dried up for the next 4 weeks so I have a great opportunity to devote pretty much whatever time I want to training and recovery. I'm very aware that with only 9 weeks to go there is a limit on how much I can impact my fitness but I'm still wondering how best to use the time? RDO keeps reminding me this is a ride that is essentially a series of 2hr tempo climbs strung together with descents so I'm still pretty certain I need to do a lot more of these rides and push my sustainable 2hr power to its max level, and I havent done any focused L4 work really for a while, so some of that will probably be useful each week, but is it getting to the time where some L5 efforts might add a little final icing to the fitness cake? I hope never to actually ride at L5 during the event apart from maybe the steepest ramps of the Marie Blanque, but am thinking that some L5 work would boost my VO2 max and hopefully add a few W to my FTP in the short term? The question in my head though is about the sheer distance worry. Am I better off just working looooong L3/SST sessions and leaning on the high volume/lower intensity side of the equation as this is more event specific, or with such a short time left do I trade some of that volume for intensity and hopefully some shorter term gains? I have no real goals for the rest of the year so it really is all about the 22nd June for me!

    Appreciate views/thoughts on this again. I really want to make the most of the precious 4 weeks I have in front of me especially now the weather seems to be more encouraging at last.
     
  18. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I don't have enough training experience to give a guy at your level advice. I believe you will do well if you ride within the fitness you have at the time of the ride.

    Looking at your data for that 112 mile ride I thought you did good and maybe you did go at it a bit too hard in the first half. That is the nice thing about having the PM during a ride like this to pace your intensity. I tend to get a little sneaky on big events like this with a group by doing a sufficient turn on the front when my time comes but not sit up there and work hard so the other guys can be fresh later. I did that before and the group dropped me without mercy at 3/4 of the route. For 100 mile +/- events I tend to go with what the typical Ironman competitor does at no more than 75% FTP. Fortunately having IF and TSS realtime has helped me gauge my pace on those longer events, but I must admit my long events with mountains were about 100 miles and about 9,000 feet of gain.

    So if you went too hard in that event don't let it get to your mind for the event coming up. Just stay within your fitness level. I believe you have good fitness now it may go up a little more in the weeks to come.

    I will leave it to someone with more experience to help you balance out a plan.
     
  19. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Your post raises two questions. The first question is how to use your remaining training time to prepare for the event. The second question is your best strategy for the ride itself. I'll leave the second question for later, closer to the event. As to the first question, I advocate as many long SST/L4 sessions as you can manage with your schedule. You can certainly spend some of these sessions doing 20-30min L4 efforts at 90%+FTP, but if you keep your recovery durations relatively short (e.g., 5mins) you will still end up with an NP at or near SST. One good thing to do during some of these long rides is to develop and get comfortable with a pedal stroke you can use when you're spent. I call this a gravity-drop pedal stroke, where I don't push down at all, simply allowing my leg weight to supply all power. I can generate 125-150W with this gravity-drop stroke and it is not more demanding than walking. I use it all the time when I go out for a long solo ride and find myself totally spent with 25-30 miles to go.
     
  20. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Thanks guys - helpful stuff.

    Felt - I didnt have my PM on the bike on that long ride as I'm still waiting for the flippin Rotor to arrive after 5 months /img/vbsmilies/smilies/mad.gif I chose to rise my 'posh' bike and light wheels so went out a little bullish and with the tailwind probably got slightly carried away.

    RDO - thats not something I've ever heard of so will practice that technique. I should be able to pack in loads of SST work - what sort of durations do you recommend? You mention 2x30 @90% but I'm guessing you're also thinking of 90-120 min sessions @ 85-90% as well?

    Thanks
     
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