Jumping on the block training bandwagon!

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by tk_bike, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. tk_bike

    tk_bike New Member

    Feb 18, 2005
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    There has been a lot of talk about block training recently and I wanted some opinions on my current schedule.

    My training week at the moment looks roughly like this:

    Mon: Recovery ride with 10x10sec sprints
    Tues: Fast training race consisting of 25 minute ride to the circuit, 55min-1 hour in a group training behind a moped then a 15-20 minute race and 25 minutes cool down riding back. I consider this as mainly a threshold L4 session but there is a lot of harder stuff in there too
    Wed: Long SST ride, 15min warm up 2-2.5 hours aiming for an IF of around 0.90, 15 minute warm down
    Thurs: L5 intervals on the trainer 5-6x5mins L5, 5 min recovery (sometimes 2 sets of 3)
    Fri: off
    Sat: easy ride with a few short efforts for race prep
    Sun: road race 100-140km

    Totals around 14 hours and 800 TSS (I work in a recovery week every 3 weeks with a lot less volume)

    I consider Tuesday – Thursday as a 3 day block, even though it’s not strictly working at one level.

    This week has been hard recovery-wise and I couldn’t complete the L5 session yesterday. This schedule is similar to block training L4 I think so I was thinking of switching it around a bit.

    I think switching the block to Sunday’s race, long SST ride on weds and the Tuesday session then having a day off or active recovery before Thursday’s interval session would allow me to be fresh and perform my intervals better, this might just compromise my other hard day on the Tuesday? I know Timan recommends 2+ days off following block training so maybe there’s simply not enough recovery in there?

    I would be grateful for any opinions.

    Oh yeah and all my midweek sessions are in the evenings after work.

  2. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

    Sep 29, 2003
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    You are trying to fit in a lot of different type of work during the week but as long as you have a good base of threshold work in and sleep/eat and rest well then you'll do fine I think, unless you have a "physical" job.

    No such thing as a recovery ride with sprints. :eek:
    They need to be super easy like a walk on the bike like Eddy B used to say. NO PRESSURE no hills...30-60 minutes is usually enough. OR...just go for a brisk walk.
    I can see why you could not do the VO2 work...it's too late in the week and after a lot of hard work.

    Try this...

    Monday RR for an hour max. Ride with your girl friend, wife or kids.

    Make the next two days damn hard! EAT WELL during the day! Get lots of sleep at night!

    Tuesday am before work...go out and do an hour of sprints. Rest 3- and then 4 minutes between sprints as you tire. Then your usual in the pm
    Want to sprint indoors...you can on these rollers!!! Check out the video clips!

    Wednesday am do the VO2 work before work on your trainer. You can do VO2 work with "some" leg fatigue but this is going to be tough work today none the less. You can do it with mental fortitude. By the way 6 sets of 5 minutes is a killer workout if you are at 113% FTP.....I think 5 is plenty.
    If you do 3's then try 7-8 at 117% FTP
    The usual in the pm.

    Thursday.... Some Tempo and L2 OR recovery ride depending on how you feel.

    DO NOT hesitate to do a recovery ride this day and if you do then DO NOT train Friday in an attempt to make up miles/hours..do a recovery ride again. In fact you may very well need this as a recovery day all or most of the time so listen to your body and don't be stuck on getting HOURS in on the bike. It's all about POWER and not hours.

    Much of how you feel Thursday will depend on how well you slept and eat in the last two days. At any rate you'll be somewhat fatigued no matter what.

    Friday...RR for 60 minutes

    Saturday...loaf all day after sleeping 9 hours at night. Putt around with your bike with the kids perhaps.

    Tune up ride can be on your trainer after dinner for 45 minutes. It doesn't take a lot to activate the energy systems...a few solid short efforts is usually enough.

    Alternatively, and I personally like this.... you can do a short tune up for Sundays race early Sunday am (don't get tired)....then take a couple hours off ...eat and rest...then warm up for the race.

    If the race is shorter than 3 hours do more work at threshold....unless the race was very hard. Make this a BIG DAY!

    SO just by making Monday a real recovery day, rearranging things a bit and dropping the VO2 work Thursday you'll do much better.
  3. mark_e_smith

    mark_e_smith New Member

    May 26, 2004
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    Here's mine (all done in the AM):

    M-easy hour
    T-ramping warmup,VO2 Max 5x4min 4 min rest + 1hr endurance or Tempo
    W-ramping warmup VO2 Max 7x3min 3 min rest + 2 hrs endurance or Tempo
    T- off
    F- easy hour
    S- 4 hrs MTB endurance
    S- Hard Group Ride or Race

    The Thursday and Friday rest really charges you up for the weekend!
  4. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

    Nov 18, 2005
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    10 Sprints is not even close to recovery... don't think you can really do much more than about 6 quality sprints even on a good day... the day after a hard road race you are not doing quaility sprints period much less 10 of them.

    TiMan's schedule makes sense and i tried it... i have a training race on Tuesday too... but what i switched to was a LeMond weekend - week inversion... Sat, Sun become what would had been Tues, Weds and Fri, Sat, Sun become what would have been Tuesday, Weds, Thurs... with TiMan's suggested schedule i wasn't getting enough recovery for some reason... used to do it ,maybe it would be better if i could get out in the morning (can only get out at lunch though) not enough recovery

    this is what i'll be doing in about 3 weeks... when i can get outside regularly...
    Monday - OFF
    Tuesday - Training Race or whatever i'm working on... i'll only do the training race if it suits my purposes or if i can ride it in such a way to suit my purposes
    Weds - L4 followed by SST (2.5-4 hrs... to get over 3hrs need to do the L4 at lunch, SST in the evening)
    Thurs - 1hr recovery ride (as TiMan described)
    Friday - Sprints (max 6) 1-1.5hrs total time
    Sat - if i'm not racing sunday 2-3.5hrs whatever i'm working on or agressive group ride... non targeted race on sunday 2hrs of what i'm working on.. if i'm racing and targeted race 45min to 1hrs SST with a few little gives but shut everything down before legs hurt... in my case if my legs hurt i f'd up.. i'll be stiff the next day.. maybe that's just me... really just want to blow your pipes out... think everyone needs to figure out what to do the day before.. think it varies
    Sun - race or 4-5hr E-SST with some Th unstructured... could be a group ride where i do more than my fair share of pulling... depending on the group i might do less than my fair share..

    may actually give TiMan's schedule structure another go.. i'm much stronger than last year and it is what i used to do back in the day... hard to do with a 9-5 though and i'm not an early morning person at all... think i just talked myself out of it again... :)
  5. giannip

    giannip New Member

    Jul 7, 2005
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    This throughout the year ? (minus the races in the off season of course)
  6. tk_bike

    tk_bike New Member

    Feb 18, 2005
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    Thanks for the replies guys,

    This was my week plan for the last week, of course the training changes throughout the year. I have just started racing so am still trying to keep some volume in there with the longish SST ride but fit in some speedwork too. As the season progresses I will alter this to work on different aspect and to hopefully peak! I have a few more weeks of L5 before a bit more of a L4 emphasis.

    I hear the recovery ride comments, my recovery rides really are just turning the pedals (excluding the sprints of course!), maybe they are a bit too long though, I still ride them like when I rode full time in France and had a lot of time available so I did 2 hour rides at 100bpm! The sprints don’t seem too hard on the system but I guess a recovery ride should be just that - recovery!

    I think the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions suggested by Timan may be too much, I leave for the Tuesday session after work, but it’s an hours drive away so I don’t get back til quite late so it’s a long tiring day, especially getting up before 6 to get the sprints session in. Getting up before 6 the following day doesn’t seem to allow much recovery for L5 intervals? Maybe one split day would be better from a recovery perspective?

    Would doing sprints before an intervals session compromise subsequent L5 performance much if sufficient recovery was allowed?

    When I do 6+ intervals I sometimes do them in 2 sets of 3, otherwise 5 is the limit for good quality intervals.

    Over here races generally start around 10am, so with travel an early morning tune up ride isn’t really possible. When I do race in the evening and have time I do a short ride in the morning (again a throwback to those continental 3pm starts!)

    Finally, I think much of the problems with last weeks was down to busyness and the consequent poor sleep and recovery at the start of last week, hopefully this week will be better!!
  7. gvanwagner

    gvanwagner New Member

    Jan 25, 2006
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    Is a 1-3-1 schedule really a block? It's pretty much a standard lemond schedule. I think that it;s only a block if you need more then one recovery day in a row. Those straight rec days what make block great for certain situations. They allow for much fuller recovery and also change the mental side of things. I think if your schedule allows then say doing a 5 or 6 to 2-3 schedule would be more effective. When I do 5 day blocks I will usually like it look like this

    1- Hard _maybe a double- 180 plus TSS
    2- Something like sst in stress and length- 180 plus TSS
    3- a shorter hardish ride like a 2x20 that still provide training stimulus but some recovery- 90-110 tss
    4- Hard - 180 plus
    5- hard
    1- don;t touch the bike
    2- repeat
  8. Laflore

    Laflore New Member

    Jun 20, 2003
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    I'm also giving block training a go this year. For now, I'm following a 4-day on, 3-day off schedule. I find that 3 days off the bike (I walk, do pilates or yoga on those days though) definitely puts me at 100% for the next block.

    3 days away from my bike also does wonders for my motivation and works great with my family. I do have to EARN the 3 days off, however, by completing a very tough 4-day block of work. I'm going to stick with it for the near term, at least, and give it a fair shake. I got the idea for this approach from Michael Ross's book: Maximum Performance for Cyclists. I don't necessarily agree with all his methods, though.

    My current block:

    Sat - Longer ride with significant periods of SST & Tempo. (180 TSS)
    Sun - Race (190 TSS)
    Mon - 3 x 20 min FT, followed by Z2 (145 TSS)
    Tue - 2 x 20 min FT, 1 x 30 min Tempo, some Z2 (120 TSS)

    That's it for bike time.. 10 hours.

    Sat & Sun I really felt great and had no problems generating power. Monday was a different story! I found I was able to keep the power up with A LOT of concentration, but I was quite fatigued and sore. Surprisingly I felt much stronger Tuesday despite a lot of soreness. I was amazed that basically equivalent efforts felt so much easier than on Monday.

    For sure today (wednesday) I'm sore and tired and am ready for a break! Tonight I'll probably do a walk with the wife and kid and then tomorrow I'll do yoga at my gym. I think the stretching and mental relaxation from yoga helps with recovery.

    No race next weekend so I'll shoot for a similar block, but with another long ride on Sunday instead.

    Anyone else block train more than 3 days in a row? I find I'm definitely digging a hole for myself by the 3rd & 4th day!

    The main shift for me is to not focus on HOURS but rather POWER instead this year. That isn't easy.
  9. jetnjeff

    jetnjeff New Member

    Mar 17, 2006
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    I am on week four of a 4/3 blocks. week 1 was VO2, 2 was FTP, 3 was VO2 5 back to SST.

    Block one I was tired every afternoon. But came back and PB my hour FTP on day one of the next block. Not as tired after the FTP and came up with a PB for Day one of the block 3 VO2 (by a little) (Week 1 was the first formal VO2 of the season.)

    Now today was day 1 of my block 4 SST. It was out side and I did not feel so sharp today even after the 3 days off. Maybe it was all the shoveling from the Snow storm on Friday in the NE US.:)

    My 2 hour NP was SST but my AP was barley L3. It was my first steady out door ride on rolling terrain. So My Steady state Isopower trained legs got a wake up call. I am shot!

  10. Frigo's Luggage

    Frigo's Luggage New Member

    Sep 16, 2006
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    Not that anyone cares, this is my typical schedule for this time of year:

    Sat - easy ride for 1.5 hours
    Sun - double sessions: Morning is a 1.5 hour group ride, evening is 5x5 min zone 4-5 intervals
    Mon: 15x1 minute intervals with 1 minute recovery between each
    Tue: one half hour of 15 second sprints with 15 second recovery between each
    Wed: 10x2minute intervals
    Thursday: watch TV or training race
    Friday: watch cyling.tv

    If I do a training race on Thursday, I ride easy on Sunday and don't do the double sessions.

    Does anybody else do double sessions?

  11. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

    Jan 5, 2005
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    Double session? Sure. Is all mental. I even feel more fresher after a 3 hour nap before the second session. Sometimes I have to double check my powermeter for accuracy because I would be hitting FTP and didn't even feel the effort. :D

    With the training races, they usually last about 1 hour and some 15 minutes on a somewhat flatish course. I just can't see myself being burried in those races. They start really early like 6:30am. By 8am, I am done with the race. I am sure 6 hours later I can still hop on the bike and get in some SST session.