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

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

  1. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Thanks. My tempo and low-threshold sessions have been much longer than these early season races, and I purposely keep them somewhat variable (1-min over threshold : X-min tempo) but without dedicated 'rest' periods, so hopefully I'll be prepared. They're not 'highly variable', so if someone's surging that much this early in the year, then I'll probably have to let them run off the front initially and reel them back once they settle down.

    I don't want to drag this thread off-topic, so I'll start a new thread after a race or two.
     


  2. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    I've had 2 days rest now after 3 days in a row of hardish (for me) interval sessions. I was going out on the bike tomorrow to test myself, but the forecast is for heavy rain and strong winds from early morning on.

    Thought this would be a good oportunity to find out my FT for the second time.
    Thinking of going for 165W on the Aerobike in the gym. Too ambitious RD - what do you think?

    TYSON
     
  3. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Yes, I think 165w is too high. If you're going to ride for an hour, I'd suggest that you ride at the power you have been using for your 2x20s (is it still 140w?). The challenge of the 1 hr FT test comes in the last 20 mins. In the 1st 20 mins, you should feel as though you could increase power by at least 10w. In the 2nd 20 mins, it will feel as though you could still increase power by at least 5w. But, in the third 20 mins, you should find it increasingly difficult to maintain your power and in the last 5 mins you are really looking forward to the end of the ride. If you picked the right number, you will be able to maintain your power to the end of the hour, but just barely. But, if you underestimated your FT and you find that you can increase your power by 5-10w in the last 20 mins, then do so and figure your FT is your average power in the last 20 mins.
     
  4. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    RD I half heeded your advice today and came a little unstuck.

    I thought you were correct with regard to 165W, but I couldn't see the logic behind doing 140W which I 've been doing all the week. My thinking went something along the following lines: if I achieve 1 hour at 140 W then what do I do my intervals at next week - 130/135? Seemed to me to be going backwards.

    So I plumped for 150 W. The first 50 mins seemed OK then I began to feel a little nauseous (it was 9.50 in the morning!) The next 5 mins I did at 145W, then I started to really feel it and dropped to 140W for 3 mins but returned to 150W for the last 2 mins.

    So what did I achieve? It has given me confidence to do 2 x 20 @ 150W next week. Sorry to have disobeyed my coach.:(

    TYSON


    One funny note again regarding the gym. There's a young guy who comes to the gym on the odd occasion and pedals away @ 100/110 strokes per min with the sweat coming off him in buckets. The only problem is he looks like a penguin on a bike, swaying from side to side. Anyway, I thought I'd approach him and give him some advice about how his cycling would improve if he stopped swaying like a willow in the breeze. So I gingerly crept up behind him and peered at his display screen. Geez, the guy was pumping out 225 Watts!
    He does this for 1 hour at the cadence mentioned above - the last 2 mins or so at about 180 strokes.:eek:

    Needless to say, I slipped away quitetly and gingerly proceded with my miserable 150W, convincing myself I wasn't doing too badly for an old f..t!;)
     
  5. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Congrats on a good ride! What did you achieve? First, you got in 60 mins at L4. That's equivalent to 1.5 days of 2x20s. Second, you got a pretty good fix on your FT. Actually, you came very close to hitting the nail on the head when you started at 150w. Your actual numbers were AP=149, NP=149, TSS=99. But, remember that your true FT is your 1 hr max power with race motivation. This last condition makes it very difficult for most of us to establish our true FT with a training ride. With something on the line, it's a bit easier to endure the pain of those last 20 mins. As I said in my earlier post, riding an hour at or near your MP is all about the last 20 mins. I view it as a 40 min warmup and 20 mins of hard effort. Riding at a given power (within reason) is easy. It's maintaining the power for an hour that's a bitch. So, I think with sufficient motivation your FT is definitely at least 150w. This means that your L4 range is 137w (91%FT) - 158w (105%FT). So, you've been riding your 2x20s right in the lower half of the L4 range. As to your training from this point forward, I think you'll get more benefit from getting in more minutes at 140w than you will by riding at 150w if it means less minutes. That's a function of your available time. If you're time constrained, ride at 150w. If you have the time, ride at 140w for longer. I'm not sure anybody can tell you (backed up with data) that you will actually get more benefit from riding at 150w vs. 140w. I know I can't. What will happen is that as you log significant minutes at L4 intensity week after week, you'll eventually break through the 150w FT level and, when you do, you'll probably make a big jump (e.g., to 160-165w).:cool:
     
  6. Pureshot78

    Pureshot78 New Member

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    RD, what are your feelings on the nature of this increase?

    In trying to maximize my training time, I'm wondering if i would get more benefit for the time if I focused my training on 5 minute intervals.
     
  7. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Well, you may not realize it but the essence of your question cuts to the heart of training programs (IMO). For various reasons (some of which I'm not ready to go into in detail at the moment), I have begun working on a physiological adaptation modeling system. In theory, the purpose of training is to attain physiological adaptations. If those adaptations are predictable as a function of specific and total stress (even with error), then they can be modeled. This is true even if they are competitive with one another (i.e., if one adaptation competes with another), but my guess is that they are largely non-competitive with each other (i.e., LT adaptations don't compete with VO2MAX adaptations). So, taking it the next step, if the adaptations can be modeled, then an adaptation optimization plan can be developed as a function of available training time. That's where I want to go personally, so I have begun to investigate the extent to which adaptations can be modeled. But, I'm not there yet and I don't know if I will ever get there because I don't know if the relationships are sufficiently well understood to be modeled. In the meantime, we're left with a bit of research, experience and anecdotes. Not great, but that's what we have.

    My own view of 5-min intervals is that they are primarily targeted at VO2MAX, but clearly they result in significant LT benefits as well because even intervals as short as 30-secs have been shown to result in significant LT benefits. I include VO2MAX intervals in every ride, year-round, in part because my courses have a lot of segments (e.g., short hills) that are just right for 3-8 min intervals. But, what I really covet are the L4 intervals (10-30 mins) and in a perfect world I would have at least a 2:1 ratio between L4 and L5 minutes on my rides. In reality, it's closer to 1:1. Bottom line, I think there is a definite role for L5 intervals, but I think the L4 intervals are a more "efficient" use of time.
     
  8. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time out to reply with a detailed explanation as usual.
    I never imagined making pedals go round could be so involved. It's funny you should suggest sticking with 140 Watts for the time being, I had the same thought last night. I feel getting another good 3 days of 2 x 20 @140W would make me feel far more comfortable about stepping up to 150 or as you hinted at, perhaps 160/165 W. And maybe, just maybe, I think I could go for 3 x 20 @ 140W on the 3rd day (last day of intervals), as last week 140W felt very comfortable towards the end of the week.
    200 + Watts still seems a long way off, but I now believe it is within my grasp if I just keep plugging away. My ambition is to do it without looking like a penguin!:D TYSON
     
  9. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    It's not. It's the physiology that's complex (i.e., "involved"). But, aren't you glad your body is so incredibly well designed (albeit complex) that it can adapt to the increased requirements you are imposing on it? Imagine if you were the plant manager of a manufacturing plant and the company's CEO comes to you and says, "Hey, Tyson. Good work meeting your production numbers for the last 60+ years. But, now I want you to increase capacity by, say, 50%." You say, "That's a big increase. I've got to special-order parts, get everything installed, hire new people and then test everything. How long do I have?" The CEO says, "Well, how about getting everything up and running by June. I have this young punk I ride with on Sundays and I want to show him my rear wheel on the hills." That's effectively what you're asking of your body. The amazing thing is that it can pull it off.:cool:

    I agree. Some people think the acronym for intervals (HIT = high-intensity training) stands for high-intensity torture. I don't. I like to finish an interval knowing that I pushed myself to ~90% of my limit, but I'll reserve the feeling of total exhaustion for an important race.
     
  10. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    RD I would like to ask you a question that is probably impossible to answer.

    As you are aware, I'm heading for my first goal of 200Watts. It's still a way off
    (15thMay;) ) however, as I said I can see it is attainable.

    The question is what then? Can I look forward to achieving 250Watts or
    greater? I suppose the real question is; what are the limiting factors?
    Everyone must have a ceiling somewhere along the line I assume.

    PS Today did 2 X 20 @ 140W - felt good, so after 1 minute rest did another 10 mins for good luck. I know it's still pathetically low, but we'll get there.:eek:
     
  11. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I agree.

    Yes, we all have a ceiling, but I think there is a negligible decline in that limit as a function of age. Studies indicate that VO2MAX increases flatten out fairly quickly (e.g., in months if not weeks) but that LT increases can continue for years. As you continue to stress your body in the right ways, it just keeps on adapting. As to your own personal limit, I have no idea but you will not reach it this year (or next year or the year after). Isn't the human body an incredible machine?

    That's the sign that you are increasing your sustainable power. 140w will just continue to get easier and easier, to the point that soon you'll bump it to 150w just to avoid boredom.:D
     
  12. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    RD wrote:

    Thanks RD for that. So what you're saying in effect is, that sometime in the future I will have to find another gym with trainers that go above 300 Watts.
    Damn! I like my gym.
    Are you in this year's TDF btw RD, or is that next year?;)

    As for VO2max, I haven't even started to think about that yet - maybe soon.
     
  13. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Ain't life a bitch?

    No, I'm still boycotting the French over their attempt to embarrass us in the UN.

    Don't worry about it. After all, you need to save something for next year, when you're reaching for 300w+.:D
     
  14. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Geez! What ever happened to just getting on a bike and enjoying yourself?!?!

    I remember when I was 15, with virtually no training or at least no specific training, hopping on my hand made (??:confused: ) and heading for Scotland and touring the lochs. Rode 100-150 miles a day without a care in the world.

    I know you won't believe this but I didn't take any tools and didn't even take a puncture outfit or spare tube. God knows what I would have done if I'd had a puncture.

    Aaaah! The bliss of total ignorance and limitless optimism.:D

    Btw RD, what does this mean?
    :mad:

    The way I look at it is, as soon as I reach 200W, I shall be reaching for 300 Watts, and that is THIS year! Probably won't make it, but nevertheless shall be reaching.
     
  15. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Oh, I didn't intend to put any artificial limits on your potential. I was talking about when you're at 275-280w and you're setting your sights on 300w. Who knows? The way you're going you may be there this year.:cool: Just go easy on those young fellas when you get there. You know, they can't help it if they're young and inexperienced.:D
     
  16. Bike-206

    Bike-206 New Member

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    What do L4, L5, ect refer to? I take it they are training zones, but do they correspond to HR, and if so what are the HR's?
     
  17. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    The references are to Andy Coggan's training schema, explained here http://www.midweekclub.com/articles/coggan.pdf. The title might lead you to believe this is only about training with a power meter, but all the training levels are characterized in HR and RPE terms as well.
     
  18. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Last Autumn on the steepest part of my Sunday ride (400metres) I remember thinking, how much longer can I continue to climb up here without dismounting? And I thought, when I can no longer climb up here, maybe I should give up cycling and take up brisk walking like most sensible people of my age do. Now thanks to this forum and the encouragement of RD and others, I'm thinking about just how much faster I can climb it on into the future. I imagine, barring injury or some unforseen circumstance, I've been granted at least a 10 year reprieve.:)
    RD, today in the gym I stepped up to 2X20 @ 160 and managed it without undue stress. In fact I felt I could have extended the last 20, but decided to save something for tomorrow. However, I confess to being a little apprehensive and reducing my cadence to somewhere between 60 -70.
    My plan is to consolidate 160 this week and next, and attempting to increase my cadence to 90 as per usual next week. So far the jumps in power have been 20 Watts each time, but I'm not sure I can continue to make these big jumps. Time will tell. Should it prove possible, I think I will be ahead of your 15th of May phrophesy RD in reaching the immediate gaol of 200Watts.

    Right Rd, now berate me - I can take it!:D
     
  19. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    That's awesome! What I like best is that it's not forced. You're going about it the right way, creating just enough stress and then allowing your body to respond and build more capacity. And, you're being consistent, week to week. I won't be surprised in the slightest if you achieve your immediate goal ahead of my prediction. And, as you increase your power, those hills are going to actually become fun. We had this awesome ride Sunday. There's a 5-mile section of about 3% grade -- not steep but you definitely know you're going uphill. I got things going as soon as we started up the hill by going to the front and picking up the pace. After ~1 mile, there were only four of us and we just kept increasing the pace, starting at ~16mph. Then, somebody picked it up to 18, then somebody picked it up to 20, then somebody picked it up to 21-22. We maintained 20-22 to the end and then pulled into a parking lot to wait for the rest of our group. It was cool because there was this 22-year old kid who turned to me and said, "Wow! I've never gone so fast on that hill. I just kept looking down at my speedometer and thinking, we can't go any faster than this, and then we went faster, and faster, and faster." Before long, you'll be enjoying rides like that. It's cool to make these bikes do what they're designed to do -- go fast.
     
  20. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    What can I say except, awesome! Now where did I learn that from?:rolleyes:
    At the mo I'm just dreaming about such rides. Last Sunday on the level stretches I felt the power increase, but the hills were still there though they may have levelled out just a teeny weeny bit. Difficult to say, because for the first time ever I rode my course in the opposite direction. The climbs weren't as long duration-wise but were definitely steeper of course.I'm also avoiding my young riding partner as long as I can. Because when I take him, I want it to be decisive and sadistically soul destroying. He actually sometimes goes out with a group of young Japanese, and whereas he used to be the best climber apparently he's now 2nd best. He's invited me to join them sometime; of course he will then be 3rd best!:D
     
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