Level 2 revisited

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Chipotle, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Chipotle

    Chipotle New Member

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    I was mouthing off today at the LBS and started in on the wrong guy. Turns out my young friend is a student studying excercise physiology and also happens to be a Cat 2 racer. I joked that he was old school, doing all that super easy stuff. All the while puffing my chest going on about L 4.

    To summarize what he was explaining me: Go hard now and you will maintain current fitness and be strong in the Spring. Lay down 5 days of LSD and 1 day of intervals in the Winter and you will finish the next season even stronger than past, thus building year to year.

    I've ridden with this guy and he is impressive. So, I came away a believer in angiogenesis.

    So what's up with L 2? Junk miles or my new secret weapon?
     
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  2. postal_bag

    postal_bag New Member

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    Yeah, but imagine how good he'd be if he was pounding out the SST miles. ;)

    Actually, I decided I needed a rest so I did some L2 this week (first break in months).

    I see why they call it "all day" pace. Ride for 2 hrs at 68-70% FTP and you hardly break a sweat. I still managed to do ~2000 kj for my 2-2.5 hr workouts and I feel like I could do this day in, day out. That gives you peace of mind in the weight management department. If I weren't riding indoors I would definely be shooting for 4-5 hrs (well, maybe not on my rest week).

    Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the "carefree effortlessness" of L2, I am looking forward to getting back to the "blissful numbness" of SST.:)
     
  3. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    Cat 2: You're going to have to learn how to be on the bicycle 5 hours at a time.

    Are you going to do L4 intervals for 5 hours? SST for 5 hours?
     
  4. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    I'm living proof that you can win 5+ h P/1/2 races w/o ever training for more than ~2 h at a time.
     
  5. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Then that must mean you favor training at higher intensities, not lower ones.
     
  6. tdl123321

    tdl123321 New Member

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    I'm putting all the marbles on L4 training this winter, but I can't find one local person that supports this method(and there are some fairly serious riders around here)

    It really doesn't matter, because I do beleive in the L4 workouts and secondly I don't have the time to do lots of l2 base training.
     
  7. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Yes but you're one living proof. I wonder how widespread this practice is in the field these days?

    And what about stage riders, and what about training camps? (secretely wondering what about IM triathletes as well)
     
  8. Chipotle

    Chipotle New Member

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    I do now. Thank you.
     
  9. Bullseye_blam

    Bullseye_blam New Member

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    Well, I've got a question or two for you, Dr. Coggan! :)

    1. So, if FTP is power for a sustained hour, and a traditional method of increasing FTP (for example) is doing a lot of L4 work in something similar to a 2x20 or 3x20 format, then why should anyone ride more than ~75 minutes at a time (and what would you be attempting to train in two hours, if that was your longest workout)?

    2. Let's say you were a professional racer and you had more time at your disposal; if you yourself spent more time training, what would you have done to increase your race performance?

    Thanks for all of the candid responses.

    -Eric
     
  10. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    I think this says more about AC's physiological talent and ability to construct time-efficient workouts than anything. I doubt he's arguing it's ideal.
     
  11. peterpen

    peterpen New Member

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    n=1 and all that, but this is a pretty provocative statement.

    How many P12 races did you win and what were the fields like? (competitive like CA or CO?) By extension, do you think it is a waste of time to train longer than 2 hrs?

    Don't mean to grill you, but you toss something out like that and you must expect some skepticism. :cool:
     
  12. RipVanCommittee

    RipVanCommittee New Member

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    Well, the reality is that when you get away from the world of the online training forum, most 1/2 racers feel this way. I'm not suprised. It's worked for a lot of people in the past, and it still works for a lot of people. Additionally, people like analogies and symbols, and the pyramid deal is easy for folks to wrap their hands around.

    Every time I hear this, which is often, I always ask the same question. What it is that's so unique to all of that level 2/going easy stuff that makes your later work more effective? I'm still waiting for an answer to that question....

    Yes, you should do some training that mimics the demands of your races, just from a specificity standpoint if nothing else. With that said, after not doing a single ride over 220TSS last year between Oct-Jan, I did a couple of 'prep' rides to get ready for the season, and see how the low-volume thing was really working. Included in those were some hard 5-15 minute efforts at the end of a couple of 300-350 TSS days (equal to my longest races). I was still able to come within abou 96-98% of my max for those durations at the end of those rides.

    You can only store so much glycogen. Yes, you have to get used to fueling during long rides (though I think there are other ways to get used to fueling on the bike besides doing 5 hr rides), and you have to be able to sit on the bike for 5 hrs, but my experience, and that of others I work with, is that those adaptations happen pretty quickly if you're already consistently doing regular rides that are about 2/3rds of your target events.
     
  13. peterpen

    peterpen New Member

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    I certainly wouldn't call L2 junk miles, but, I'm not sure exactly what junk miles are. :confused: L2 as defined by the CP website is a very broad range of power - with a FTP of ~300w, I feel a marked difference between 168w and 225w, both of which could be called "L2." Also, I'd be surprised if a 3 - 5 hr ride over varied terrain that results in a avg power of 225w (given a FTP of 300w) would fit most people's concept of LSD.

    This forum seems to have a fondness for high-intensity workouts, but also a preponderance of people who train indoors and less than 12hrs/wk - these all would seem to go hand in hand. I'm riding 15-18hrs/wk right now and in the past 28 days, 30-35% falls in L2. This month is the first I've started doing regular intervals at/over FTP, although weekly group rides frequently include time above FTP on 5' - 30' climbs. My CTL is at 122 today and appears to climbing roughly 10 tss/d per month. I feel like I'm on track, and while I know I could tolerate more intensity, I don't see the need in January - my first race of the season may be next weekend but my first target is in May and my last is in September. It's a long year. ;)
     
  14. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    Why not try less hours and more L4/L3 and see what happens to your FTP. I bet it will shoot up nicely....just try it. Drop down to 10 hours a week and double your L4....seriously. Why not try hard to increase it NOW and until the end of March before the racing season really gets going.

    Last year one of my Cat 1 clients was doing 20 hours a week at this time of year and a good deal of L2. This year I have him doing only 10 hours a week but over 4 hours at L4 and the rest is L3 and L7( Sprints one day/week) with a bit of L2 and a bit of unstructured L5 on a weekly group ride. His power has gone through the roof and is still climbing! He is up to 380 watts FTP at 74 Kilo. Wait till we start doing structured VO2 max work!!! Shit this guy could turn pro after this season I think.

    This is the second year that I really started to push L4 and lower total volume in the winter with my clients and they ALL had their best ever seasons last year. So I am a recent "convert" to lower volume/ higher intensity winter work and I am glad a crossed over.


    Like Lemond said "quality before quantity"....the exact opposite of what most trainees think. That doesn't mean doing VO2 and anaerobic intervals now...he means getting in loads of tempo and threshold work before volume at L2 and those long 4-5 hour rides.
     
  15. rr9876

    rr9876 New Member

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    Long L2 rides "work" becuase they increase CTL. People figured this out (through trial and error essentially) long before anyone knew what CTL was, and the idea of long L2 rides for building base has stuck. But now that we do know what CTL is, we also know there are better ways of building it (SST and threshold intervals) that are more time-efficient than L2 riding and have other benefits as well (like an increased rate of FTP development).
     
  16. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    No, I'm not. Clearly, however, you don't have to do 5+ h training rides to race 5+ h as Spunout asserted.

    More specifically, it's a mistake to try to directly link race duration to how much/how long one should train...
     
  17. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Because reaching one's maximum potential requires a sufficiently high overall training load, which can be difficult to squeeze into 75 min/d regardless of the intensity.

    I'm not sure I understand your question, but will attempt to answer it this way: even if I'd had the time to train more, I don't think my performance in one day races would have benefitted.
     
  18. peterpen

    peterpen New Member

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    30% @ L2 leaves 70% for other stuff, no? ;) I actually do a fair amount of L3 and am incorporating regular L4 at this point. The next two months will see more L4, phasing in more L5 and eventually L6, as well as occasional racing (plus the weekly day of L7 I've been doing since my season break.) Based on Monod extrapolation, my FTP is already over what it was at the end of last season and this is without 'resting & testing.'

    In my particular case, FTP is not everything. I've only been racing a few years, have a weak lower back, and have often faded in the last hour of races over 3 hrs. These factors lead me (and my coach) to believe that longer hours in the saddle are warranted. I feel that they are paying off. I also am fresh and very ready to begin more focused work on raising FTP - I'm fairly sure I would not feel that way if I had been banging out 2x20 L4's since the beginning of October.

    Two points re: your Cat 1 client - a) as a Cat 1, he presumably already has a relatively large fitness history to draw on (ie, has decent efficiency, form, and endurance on the bike) and b) it will be interesting to see how he feels in July. It may turn out he actually feels physically fresher, since he did half the volume during the winter. Or he may plateau mentally, since he's been training with high intensity for so long. Keep us posted.
     
  19. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    This is only his forth winter on the bike! :eek: But he was am Olympic 400 IM swimmer in his past....yet swimming doesn't work the legs hardly at all so all this threshold power, a lot of which is muscle/sport specific, he built slowly over three years. He was fat and out of shape when I started to coach him and now he is one of the best riders in the region. That says a lot about his genetics.....and loosing 40 pounds!
    .....but no, he never built the huge base from years riding like you might think.
    Last year was his highest volume year but he is doing much better with quite a bit less hours this year. He tells me that he has much more energy to train since cutting his L2 hours, and feels better mentally too. The proof is in his FTP.
     
  20. NM87710

    NM87710 New Member

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    Need to compare apples to apples. 8 hours of SST type training wk will get you more fit (yes, enough for some to win some 5+h P12 races) than a more "traditional" 8hr training program. On the other hand if you had 16 hrs wk then 8 SST and 8 long L2/L3 could be a better approach(if it fits w/your goals) than 16L2 or 16SST(possible?).

    IMO it's not about SST, L2, Friel, Carmichael or coach du jour it's about maximizing TSS points with training that's goal specific.

    p.s. In my younger years I won a P12 race after a sleepness night of chasing women and drinking although I wouldn't recommend it as the best training model. Well maybe the chasing women part... :cool:
     
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