Long Steady Ride

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by bigbadwoulfe, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. bigbadwoulfe

    bigbadwoulfe New Member

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    Hi, I have a question for you guys. I have been doing pretty much SST/L4 rides the past 7 months already and I'm pretty fit right now. Last Saturday, I did a long ride which lasted 6 hours. I was trying to be home before 12 noon so I kinda kept my pace high and cadence fairly even. The route consited of lots of small hills and 2 bigger climbs. Sunday I did an extended recovery ride with my buddies with very minimal hammering not lasting more than a minute (no sprint effort). Come Monday and Tuesday, my legs were pretty fried. It ached but I still could comfortably walked without the pain affecting the way I walked but I'm pretty sure I can't ride my bike. Wednesday was back to my regular 2x45 SST/L4 ride.

    My question is, what kind of training benefit did I gain from the long 6 hour ride that I did? I work 9-5 so I'm usually limited to doing 2x45's and 2x20's most of the time. I have done pretty long rides before and felt the same (legs being fried) I'm planning on doing the same route again this coming Saturday to try to beat my PB. Before doing the long ride, I'd like to know what benefit am I gaining from this ride.

    Thanks in advance guys.
     
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  2. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Basically no benefit at all, except getting used to sitting in the saddle for 6 hours. You would gain far more from doing higher quality (higher intensity) L4/5 workouts. This is the area where the bigger engine is built, enabling you to draft comfortably at a higher wattage, and even feel relaxed taking the lead occasionally. I think it was Andy who said he doesn't bother with rides much over 2 hours in preparation for a century race. With the long rides you're doing, you are building up "saddle stamina" but running on a small motor, which won't help you to stay with the leaders.
    I'm pretty sure your long Saturday rides are preventing you from concentrating on and putting maximum effort into the engine building L4/5 (and possibly L6). Remember the formula 'Bigger engine = more power = more speed = more satisfaction' ;) Tyson
     
  3. bigbadwoulfe

    bigbadwoulfe New Member

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    Thanks Sly! In that case, I'll just be doing a trail ride tomorrow. Bust my legs until it pops on the crazy climbs we have (mountain bike ride). More or less it will fall into VO2max workouts but not a structured one. Takes for reminding me to stick to SST/L4/L5 :D. Yes the Saturday effort took a toll on my weekly workload. I primarily did it because the week was turning out to be a rest week which shouldn't have been in the first place. So my reaction was I needed to play catch up thats why I did the Saturday ride. TSS for last saturday ended up 320+ TSS. I ended up not being able to do my normal routine for this week because of sore legs.

    Thanks :eek:
     
  4. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    You benefited a great deal. Increasing your endurance will enable your performance to improve by improving quality and quantity of efforts in the future. In longer races (if these are your goals) you must be able to perform in the finale, and you must be trained to deliver the work (Kilojoules) required.

    Get a massage, your active recovery should be very light and less than 1.5 hours. Best to do these hard workouts having a recover day and a day off afterwards.
     
  5. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Sorry - don't agree. Doing long rides did not increase my endurance one iota.

    Instead of doing 4 hour rides in preparation for a century (which just tired me out) I benefitted a lot more by cutting it down to 2-21/2 hours of higher quality and not being fatigued for my L4/L5 workouts during the week.
    Doing quality workouts facilitated the building of a bigger engine, allowing me to relax more at the higher wattages generated by the fast guys.
    And finishing a 100 miles was a lot easier than struggling to keep up because of a low FTP.
    If you want proof, just watch what happens in October in my Lake Biwa 140 km event. Last year on the second stage I couldn't hold the young bucks in the Nagoya City Racing Team. I know from my recent experience of leading a field of 300 riders (not 350 as stated) at the 32km point and feeling strong (before taking the wrong turning) that I shall be up there with them this year all the way to the finish. :D Tyson
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    That's a bit extreme Tyson.

    Yeah I rail pretty hard against long steady rides as the basis of a training program but the occasional longer ride isn't a bad idea at all and still provides training benefit. The big problem with a steady diet of LSD riding is lack of overall intensity in the program and the residual fatigue from very long rides that often keep folks from training on subsequent days. But that doesn't mean that a long ride from time to time is a bad idea or useless, especially if it leads into a rest week as the OP mentioned so that it doesn't detract from overall training.

    I agree with you Tyson that shorter harder training efforts are better in terms of specific adaptations and a better basis for overall training. But a six hour ride that's ridden quickly is far from useless.

    -Dave
     
  7. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    True Dave, but the OP doesn't really tell us how he rode for 6 hours, except to say that he's legs were fried (could be his legs fry easily), and what's more he says he intends to do the same ride again today. To my way of thinking, he's asking for continuously fried legs detracting from overall training (as you mentioned).
    I'm not quite sure what he's trying to achieve, apart from as it seems, the challenge of riding for 6 hours. Tyson
     
  8. Jono L

    Jono L Well-Known Member

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    Agree completely.

    6 hour rides shouldn't be an every day thing but there is a time and a place...
     
  9. bigbadwoulfe

    bigbadwoulfe New Member

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    The six hour ride was done below threshold but was intense enough so that I am breathing deep all through out. I tried to maintain around 210 watts and never go below that. My goal was the ride to be on the tempo side. Rolling terrain and two 30 minute climbs pushed me to threshold at times but I just try to catch my breath during the ride down. I probably wouldn't do it again seeing that this week turned to be a rest week instead of a regular training week. Also I gained 1.5 kilos this week as a result of the extended recovery and general distaste for the bike. TSS last week was in the 800 area, this week only about 400+. Will probably stay with SST/L4/L5 from now on except for some occasional long group rides for fun. Thanks for the advice everyone :)
     
  10. jD_Empath

    jD_Empath New Member

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    thanks to the spambot for bringing this thread back. (are there any moderators on this forum at all? that Spambot needs to be banned)

    I think LSD (on occasions) is a good training idea.

    What is the likelihood that racers who finish high in the leadville 100 don't do long distance rides? I would think very low. A friend of mine who finished in under 8 hours has an amazing engine, but his real best quality is *endurance*.
     
  11. FreeHueco

    FreeHueco New Member

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    IMO, you should do an LSD ride about every two weeks (and it should get longer and faster as you get stronger). Just don't push so hard that you can't ride the next day. But still take it easy the next day!

    My example is this: yesterday I did a steady 75 miles followed by an easier 24 (forced because of lots of signal lights). The 75 included one major hill and lots of rollers out along the coast. My pace was my target pace for a double century (my goal is a sub 11:30 double in the next year). Today all I did was an easy 41 miles around town...

    The benefit? Slowly increasing my endurance. The shorter rides are for building the power... I do intervals and fartleks while commuting.
     
  12. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    I think you'll find table 2 on this page interesting: http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp

    Training from l2-l4 is pretty similar in the types of adaptations that occur, what's different is the magnitude of the adaptation given a certain amount of training. This is offset by your bodies ability to tolerate much larger doses of lower-intensity training.

    I'll beat the interval/intensity drum pretty hard for anyone who's time limited, but the idea that longer training rides are useless seems silly. Training for endurance sports is mostly a matter of doing as high a dose of aerobic training as can be recoverd from. The best fitness I've ever had came off a week where I did two 4 hour climbing races and a 7 hour training ride, followed by a few days of sleeping and eating all day.

    I do think 6 hours may be a bit excessive in your case, since it sounds like it compromised your midweek workouts. My advice would be to find a length of quality l2/l3 ride that still allows you to recover fairly quickly.

    I do agree that
     
  13. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I think the problem with LSD is the 'S' = slow. For some events it doesn't hurt to get some long rides in, but you still have to be training. FLandis is no longer one of my favourite riders (exogenous test doesn't just 'appear'), but I liked his quote when asked if he did long slow rides. Something along the lines of "no, because I don't do any long slow races". I know a few people who have had success building up their tempo/endurance rides to 300W for 5-6 hours. That's still training, mos def. Piddling along at <50% threshold really isn't.
     
  14. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    I think advocates of LSD prefer this translation: 'S' = steady. If I had the time I'd probably spend more time on the bike (3-4 hrs/day). Naturally, it would have to be slower than L3. Point of the Flandis quote taken, but no one does '5 x 5 min @ L5 with 5 min rests' races either.
     
  15. blkhotrod

    blkhotrod New Member

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    I do a LSD ride each week and it is as important as the weekly intervals or hill climbing workouts. Why? Because it is 90% high spin (100+). It may be slow, but it pays benefits:)
     
  16. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Eddie B pushed that interpretation in his book 25 years ago, but a lot of folks still ride their Steady a lot easier than SST.

    My thinking about this has evolved in the past year. I went from many years of LSD base training where the S was pretty darn slow compared to SST work (under the direction of very qualified coaches but with terrible results). Then I got a PM and hardly did any long rides with an emphasis on focused shorter SST/L4 work for base building. A search of these forums shows how hard I've pushed that approach. This season I had a bit more CTL focus and have really benefitted from riding at least one longer ride per week on the following condition:

    - The long ride should only be as long as I can maintain good focus and keep my intensity at least in the upper reaches of L2 and preferably finish the ride with an IF in the L3 range. I shouldn't be absolutely trashed after this ride, if it costs me several days of recovery and missed training sessions then it was too long.

    IOW, my current thinking is to ride at least one ride per week that's long as long as it doesn't degrade into junk miles or cost me future training sessions. For some folks that might be an hour and a half ride. For Cat 1/2 riders regularly racing 100 mile events that might be four or five hours of solid pacing, for a pro riding grand tours that might be longer. The key is to limit the ride to what you can do with good intensity and still recover well enough to stick to your weekly training schedule.

    My late race performance has improved with this approach. I've only done one of these Long Tempo rides that exceeded five hours and a few that were four plus hours long. I almost always ride them alone so I can ride my own pace and I worked up from "long" Tempo rides that were approximately two and a half hours long this spring adding time and mileage as my fitness improved.

    It doesn't surprise me that high category riders do a lot of rides that are really long compared to other folks but I suspect a lot of them are holding pretty good intensity during those longer sessions. And I'll bet they're not just cruisin' around with a bunch of friends sitting on wheels most of the time and maybe hammering the hills which seems to be the norm for most weekend group "training rides" around here.

    YMMV,
    -Dave
     
  17. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    I don't disagree. I can't seem to put in a focused quality ride of more than 2.5-3 hrs, so I never do those longer rides anymore. Traditionally, my longest rides have been my races. After all, it's the strongest riders who win races not the ones with most mileage. I credit my ability have it at the end to my off-season indoor SST training where I would ride non-stop for 1-1.75 hrs starting @ L3, gradually increasing intensity and finishing in the high L4 range. I have no other explanation for why my former weakness would become my strength. Well, perhaps a resulting increase in FTP also helped a bit. ;) OK, proper fueling helps too. So that's 3 reasons.:)

    Edit: When I said that given more free time I would ride more, naturally I meant I would build more CTL and BE ABLE to do longer quality rides just like those Cat1/2 riders you mentioned.
     
  18. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    That's all well and good, but how many races do you think the OP will be doing anytime soon that are 6+ hours in length?

    I found that training very hard for upto 2 hours several times a week would greatly increase my ability to ride hard for a duration several times longer - upto 6 to 8 hours in the hills, when we'd go off to our little "training camps" in spring.
     
  19. Jono L

    Jono L Well-Known Member

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    200 metre sprinters do rides up to 2 hours ya know:)
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    ... and some of the 4km pursuit guys used to ride upto 40,000km per year and your point is?

    If Armstrong get get by with lots of 3 to 4 hour rides, as well as his racing, in order to prepare for 20 something days of racing 4 to 7 hours a day in July, then I'm sure that we as mere mortals who cannot support his training load, can manage just fine with fewer rides per week of less duration.
     
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