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

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

  1. joroshiba

    joroshiba New Member

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    I hate to be debbie downer over here, but if you are still waiting for that Rotor power meter, you might be best moving along. Based on the initial write ups I have seen precision so far sounds as though it may be questionable (suffering from random drops in cadence, perhaps thermal drift). Waiting 5 months is just 5 months of data you don't have, plus I'd hate for you to wait drop a bunch of money and get something that isn't accurate and precise. Could get an SRM, PowerTap, or Quarq within a week and get good data. (That would be my order of preference for accuracy if money was not an issue)
     


  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    The key to the gravity-drop pedal stroke is to find the right gear and cadence. I like to do it at a fairly high cadence (e.g., 90rpm), which isn't really stressful since you're not pushing down with each stroke but rather just relaxing the leg and letting leg weight push the crank down. As to the long sessions, I think you can mix them up with shorter L4 efforts (e.g., 20mins) and long, constant power efforts (e.g., 60-120mins). The key is to get in lots of long sessions with an NP in the SST range. You have plenty of power, you just need to max out your endurance.
     
  3. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    I have my PT so can use that. The next 172.5 in the UK is mine so it will be any day....
    thanks - the 2-3 hr sessions seem to be helping, so I think I have my plan now.
     
  4. wbkski

    wbkski New Member

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    Thank you for that extremely thoughtful reply. I live in Utah... lots of hills... so finding a long stretch of flat is next to impossible (within reason), so, it looks like the trainer is my best bet for execution along with some sprint training outside. Thank you again!
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't need to be flat, just relatively steady so a good long hill works great. Not sure where in Utah you are, but some of the best long open roads I've raced and ridden on were in Utah. It shouldn't be too hard to find something that works not too far from home.

    -Dave
     
  6. wbkski

    wbkski New Member

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    I would have to think that a steady climb would work in this situation wouldn't it? I just reviewed some of my rides in Strava and about half my time in spent in Zone 4 in my heart rate chart.
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Uhhhhh, yeah that's what I just tried to tell you. The road does not need to be flat and many people prefer doing some or most of their L4 work on climbs as it can be mentally easier to just roll up a hill as you don't need to stay quite as focused to keep the power high on a climb. It should just be relatively steady and not super steep, it can get steeper and shallower in climbing gradient but if it has a lot of roller coaster short descents where you coast or back way off on power then it's not the greatest choice but it still beats not doing these outside at all.

    If possible you should also look around for some flatter long stretches of road as it's good to do at least some of these on flatter roads to get used to riding at speed and to learn what sort of speeds you can sustain during solid hard near Threshold efforts. But if climbs are what you have and they're at least 10 minutes long(and ideally a bit longer than that), then do this work on climbs.


    Be careful assessing how much L4 work you do both by HR and by total accumulated time in zone. Maybe your HR zones are right on target but a lot of times HR zones based off of Max HR aren't that accurate and there's also a lot of day to day variation in HR. But more importantly HR is easily driven up by short hard bursts and then takes time to slowly settle back down. The result is that you can easily see a fair amount of time in Threshold HR zone but you really did short hard bursts coupled by relatively easy riding. That is NOT the same thing physiologically as a sustained L4 effort, it's what I call 'burst and float' riding and isn't likely to lead to the same fitness gains.

    Find some open road, hill or flatter and do some hard but sustainable longer efforts. HR may help you gauge the quality of your efforts but make the focused effort and work hard on steady riding pace. Regardless of what Strava tells you for time in zone the key is to actually do sustained and focused efforts and not just piece together a bit here and a bit there in terms of increasing your sustainable power and speed.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  8. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    all - Now that I understand how the CTL works (math wise) I have been trying to play with a schedule that has me ride everyday but still allows me to rest. Meaning on days that I do not want to have the CTL go up I instead do a TSS ride which keeps me constant. I try to keep the rides where I go up by 1 CTL point on days I want to work out. Has anyone tried this craziness and can it be done. Ofcourse even at 1 point rises with each additional ride my TSS must be a bit higher to accomplish that. I have never this many days of L4 work in short sessions in a long time.

    As I kept looking at the formula I kept thinking how evil cause the higher the CTL, the bigger the drop when you take off a day...

    -js
     
  9. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Actually that's pretty much how I trained this past winter.

    I decided to tip my training towards volume this past winter after nearly seven years of a more focused SST/L4 approach. So I tooled up for commuting with a good rain kit, good lights and such and moved away from as much structure towards riding day in and day out with no real planned rest days. I still got rest days for things like busy work days with early or late meetings or other reasons I couldn't commute every day. And I still got a fair amount of SST/L4 work but in more ad hoc ways by grabbing a 20 minute effort on the way to work and another on the way home or rolling solid Tempo/SST for as much of the ride as I could manage.

    My basic commute is a bit over an hour each way but very easy to stretch the miles on days when I had more time. On days when my legs were heavy I just spun in riding easy gears with no extra and on some days, usually in the evening, if I felt good I'd throw in a couple of five to seven minute hills ridden hard. So very loose on structure but targeting higher weekly hours and TSS and still riding things like 15 to 30 minute L4 intervals and some L5 work but without a firm weekly structure and following the flow of my energy.

    The results have been very interesting. My early season racing has been really good. Since I haven't done a ton of dedicated 2x20 days I haven't seen huge numbers for those durations so I can't say for certain if I'm back to fitness of previous years. But I have seen 5 minute efforts in and out of racing within a couple of watts of my best ever and my racing has been a lot of fun this spring. My ability to attack and recover quickly seems better than ever. My ability to be a factor in both Masters racing and racing Cat 3 with the young guys has been better than ever and as a team we've been on fire this spring. I got away with another guy for over half an hour in a recent Cat 3 crit, we got caught by some guys bridging in the final laps but I still held on for 5th ahead of the charging field after being away for a very long time. Got away in a five man break on the first lap of another race and we held that one till then end where I took 4th after launching my team mate for the win. I didn't have the legs for that kind of stuff outside of age graded Masters racing in recent seasons. It's fun to be able to stay up front, get off the front when the opportunities arise and have a real chance at sustaining a break.

    So yes, I think riding lots with less structure can work. I still don't subscribe to a pure LSD approach or twiddling little gears all winter but riding more with a blend of intensity and distance has seemed to work nicely for me. It's also a huge confidence builder when I roll out of bed on Monday morning after a big race weekend, the legs feel heavy and I'm not too psyched to ride into work. But then I get out on the bike, ride easily and almost always feel pretty good by the time I arrive at work and then feel fine on the commute home very often ready to go again by that evening or at least by the following morning's ride. It's great to get to the point where riding every day seems normal and I know I can push hard or take it easy but it's just my normal bike commute either way.

    From a CTL standpoint I've been over 115 a handful of times this season and spent nearly 9 weeks over 100 TSS. Building beyond those levels became difficult once weekend and weeknight racing began as that cuts into daily TSS but it hasn't been hard to keep my CTL pretty high using the commutes. From a weekly riding hours standpoint, 14 to 17 hours per week became normal while I was commuting daily once you add in longer weekend rides and a few bigger weeks broke 20 hours. Of course right now I'm on a 3 week business trip around Asia and limited to hotel gym bikes so that hard earned CTL is plummeting right now. We'll see how the rebuild goes when I get home.

    So yeah, I think daily riding via commuting can work really well, just don't feel you necessarily have to skip all quality work even when you're riding a lot but definitely tune into and keep paying attention to your freshness and recovery.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  10. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Dave, I do not have your numbers, knowledge or years racing but I am glad my idea is not nutty. I am actually having a bit of fun with it, for instance today I knew I could not get more than an hour in this morning but since I was at a 67.8 CTL I just made sure that I would do one hour with 1 30 minute, SST interval to get my TSS at 70 and by the end I was at a 72 so now I am at a 68 and tomorrow I should be able to get back on the bike again. I notice mixing up my cadence has helped me alot. When I want to do the 2 x 25 or 3 x 20 I try to keep it at 85-90 but when I only have an hour I do 90-95.

    My commute should be 1 hour 30 minutes each way but if things go bad I can always take a car, van or train home. I want to see how it does for me. I do not want it to be L2 unless I actually plan that. Based upon many of the guys I used to ride with, you may be reaching that point where you really do not need to train as hard to compete on a high level. I remember a few guys who had ridden and raced for years and told me similar stories of how they approached the new year.

    BTW, aren't all the bikes up there in Seattle rain bikes by definition?

    -js
     
  11. wbkski

    wbkski New Member

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    Makes sense... thanks again for your thoughtful reply.
     
  12. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    This weekend was a 13.1 mile TT that I wanted to do real well at and a training crit to keep me racing. Right now I am mid-90s CTL and about even TSB, slowly tapering (or was till this week). The TT went bad, despite what I know and preach I went out @ 385 for the first 5 min and toasted myself, ended up @ 340 for 29.75min and took 6th. Power wise I was 20 watts off what I know I can hold, not sure how much to account for the TT bike. Time wise I was 15 sec faster than last season, but it was a lot nicer outside. I felt really "non aero" on the bike. I could see way too much of the road which tells me my head was too high, not what I wanted. I also forgot to put my valve hole tape on my wheel cover, so that thing was wide open the whole race :( I took 3rd in the crit from a 5 man break, but felt like shit most of the race. I nearly dropped myself after a couple early attacks. Right now my cardio feels great, but my legs just keep loading up like crazy!! Anyway I decided I have not done enough racing to peak, so I started a bit of buildig after Battenkill and am trying to maintain CTL for the next week at least. I just wish I could find my legs,and am wondering what I should fill in beyond my racing to get them to flush?
     
  13. yeaux

    yeaux New Member

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    Were you at Willow? If so, I experienced similar sensations and frustration as you (started another post on your legs vs. cardio feeling as a result). Also,I ended up going right by the first turn on my first lap due to no flagger standing there.

    Good job on the 6th placing though - especially for not feeling your best - there were some really fast guys out there this weekend. I"m hoping that, for your and my sake, some higher-end work is what is required to find the legs.
     
  14. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Yeah, just 6th in the 1/2, not sure where I ended up overall, I think 11th, but all the faster times were earlier catagories and the wind on that back section really picked up for us. Last year I was 5th overall, so I kinda took a step backwards, lol. Willow I just went out too hard, AAVC though is where my legs did not feel real great.
     
  15. frost

    frost New Member

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    Nice to read about your racing reports. I am really lazy at racing and really bad at road races (no any sort of motivation) but reading about your races gets to a feeling might motivate to try to ride better. So please, continue /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Originally Posted by bgoetz .

    Power wise I was 20 watts off what I know I can hold, not sure how much to account for the TT bike.
    Rule of Thumb: 10w = 1 sec/km = 0.01 CdA = 0.001 crr


    Originally Posted by bgoetz .

    I felt really "non aero" on the bike. I could see way too much of the road which tells me my head was too high, not what I wanted. I also forgot to put my valve hole tape on my wheel cover, so that thing was wide open the whole race /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif
    Valve hole cover probably didn't make or break your race but small things maybe really annoying. How was the route profile and weather for the TT? 340w for 29.75min at 13.1mi sounds that you might have improvements in aero department.
     
  16. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Weather was pretty nice, the wind picked up pretty good by the time we raced and most of the open sections had a head wind. The tailwind sections were sheltered so it was not as helpful. There was also one corner you had to slow for, each of the 6 laps (24mph), I did end up having to slow more twice due to cars. So you are saying that 20 watts= around 40 seconds? I figured I would be low 29s high 28s, hence the disappointment.
     
  17. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Good to read some racing stuff here as well.

    After a few weeks focus on longer L3/SST stuff I headed out yesterday for the first 2x20 L4 session for ages with hopes of some good numbers. Didnt go quite as planned though and I ended up slightly disappointed. My PB from earlier this year was 300w for 20 mins and while I didnt quite pace it correctly at the start due to the horrendous head wind, I ended up 10 mins in realising I wasnt going to hold 300w so backed off and finished holding 280w for the last 10 mins. Brief recovery and then another 20 mins at 275w.

    In hindsight I guess it was a good session, given my best FTP estimate was 285w, although I'm wondering if this might be slightly high now? There was no doubt I was carrying some fatigue from the last few weeks and its only 7 days since I saw the end of my chest infection symptoms so maybe I shouldnt lose heart just yet. Its also been about 4-5 weeks since my last true L4 session as well, so maybe just a case of needing to get back into the groove a little as well? My 2hr power has developed so its also a good learning that I need to make sure I keep a little variety in the programme and keep some L4 sessions mixed with the longer intervals.

    Tonight is the club TT and the lack of work right now means that for once I'm actually at home and able to race. I usually go better on the 2nd day of these efforts so it seems a good idea to have a go tonight. I havent ever actually set a time on our clubs private circuit and should have some new wheels arriving today so it seems only right that with the sun shining again I head over and have a play...cant hurt either I guess as it will be a good workout! Its not the fastest circuit as its 4 laps of the perimeter of an aerodrome and is always a little windy and has a slight hill in it, but I have hopes for a reasonable time.
     
  18. frost

    frost New Member

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    Bigp, did your Rotor PM arrive? I recieved mine last week and they show 3-7% low on steady effort comparing to PowerTap (while for crank based PM it should be exactly the opposite, 2-3% more). I have so far tested with only one PT because the other one I have is wired so I haven't yet bothered to transfer it from the other bike, but the one that I have been testing has been very consistent with other PM's I use and when side by side with Quarq it's 2-3% less as expected.
    The power spikes from sprints are lacking like 10-15% and you can see from the shape of the power curve on file that there is some filtering/smoothing that doesn't work very well.

    This is exactly contrary to first forum reports of Rotor PM that have had Rotor showing remarkably more than PT, so I guess they have done something to correct that for this batch and it has been an overreaction.

    Just saying that if your intervals are now recorded with new PM there might be a technical reason for lower than expected power. Anyway your plan sounds good to me. With the base you have been building, now that you get the balance of rest and higher intensity right it should show a nice jump in power.
     
  19. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    No Rotor yet sadly, or maybe not sadly? These were on my old PT.

    There are sporadic deliveries to the UK in various sizes and I keep being told that the next 172.5 110BCD coming in will be mine, but no sign yet. Yesterday I was told it was unlikely to be for 2 weeks now. Thanks for your feedback on the numbers though as there seem to be so few around that its hard to get a picture of whats going on. I wanted it months ago as I ordered before Xmas, but am slightly more reassured that getting a later unit means maybe they have resolved any issues they found. Problem is the bearings are shot on my PT hub and it really needs to go back for replacement and recalibration but I just dont want to be without it for 2-4 weeks right now.

    I sat down and looked at the numbers last night and in reality I completed a 2x20 at about 95% after spending the first 10 mins @ 105% so I'm less concerned now than I was when I got back. I was at a STS of 82 when I set out on the session and only 7 days after a week of nasty chest cold, so its probably about what I should have expected. As Dave keeps saying, its not healthy to keep chasing records on every interval.

    What perhaps worried me more was that the issue seemed to be with my breathing more than my legs. After 10 mins it was feeling more like the end of a VO2 session rather than a L4 session. I had this happen on the last test I did a while back as well and its got me wondering if I'm too close to my VO2 max and making further FTP progress is going to be hard work. Its one of the reasons I have been thinking that some VO2 work is due as well to see what I might be able to achieve at raising the ceiling a little more?
     
  20. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    BP- those bearings in the PT are real easy and inexpensive to DIY
     
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