No man's land time of the year....

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by 10kman, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    Building an actual training plan for once, and have a question/need advice.

    My A races are from July 11th through August 15th. There are 3 included in that time frame.

    I'm willing to sacrifice the July 11th race if it would yield greater results on the 15th. I don't think it's reasonable to maintain a peak/race form for that long, but if it is in fact possible, I'm all ears.

    My issue is that if I go through the 3 Base period, 2 Build period, 1 Peak period, then race, my timing is off, having me start race peak around June 1st. No real important races for that time.

    Sounds simple enough to just shift everything to start in February/March, but then that leads me to this post, what about the time from now until then (if I go that route)? Should I do a longer base? Should I add in more build periods? Should I start now and do 4 Base periods then 3 Build periods? I haven't read much about doing longer than 6 months in a "cycle".

    I just did a FTP test last week to get some numbers/zones dialed in for the early training targets, so I'm good there, just not sure how to structure this for myself. Anyone been in a similar situation?

    I was toying with the idea of using the "dead zone" time of the year to focus on form/pilates/weight loss, so that is more or less done and I don't have to think about it again during the heavy training time.

    Thanks a lot,

    10k
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Unless you've had prior experience with training at different levels it'll be very hard to know what training yields best results. Without knowing what your events are it'll also be hard to advise on what training may help. August ain't that far away. I personally need at least 6 weeks of high intensity work to start seeing good gains - 8 to 10 is preferable for me but that was when I was younger, so I could hazard a guess that it may be more now. As for base - you can never have a big enough base... If you're stuck for things to do right now just go out and ride hard and have fun. Ride in your race position and get comfortable riding like that. All events have an element of speed involved so working on this during the off season can bring added benefits. Its certainly going to be better doing it now than starting during hard training.
     
  3. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    I've been riding a lot of miles for a lot of years, and have been doing hard training, but without a plan up until 2015. Just sorta put it together on the fly, it worked, but I want to do it right and see how things go for once.

    Race distance for my A's is an hour uphill time trial race. So, consider I'm training for an hour long effort where my power has recently been 362 for that time. Looking to get my FTP up and peak correctly this time around.

    That's my longest event, an hour, but everything is uphill, so I'm pegged for the time. Ranges from about 30 minutes to an hour for event duration.
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    As Swamp suggests, it is impossible to build an empirical plan without some basic information.

    All plans start from scratch. And by building a plan you create a database upon which you can tweak a program to get better results.

    My advice is to ride and after each ride record the data from that ride (distances, time taken to cover the distance, average speed). You can purchase plenty of devices which provide you with this data. And then tweak your training so that each training session leads to "granular"
    improvement in your cycling performance.

    Purposeful Training is an important concept. All training should be tailored to a specific objective (s).
    Only you can set your own objectives.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    362 watts for an hour? What category are you in? If your A race is an uphill event, unless you're already svelte, I'd take a serious look at losing weight. On a 7.5% grade it takes approximately 1 extra watt for each pound. For this reason I wouldn't go stupid on trying to reduce bike weight. You can spend $1000 of reducing bike weight by 1/2lb and at 360 watts you couldn't even tell the difference on your powermeter... Most people can easily stand to lose a few pounds. If you're already skinny it's still possible. Depending on the type of hill and type of race you have several different strategies of training to look at. If it's a TT on a hill with a fairly even grade then you'd have different requirement than a mass start event on a hill with irregular gradients that change constantly. Threshold power is always the main player but in a road race scenario (and to a lesser extent a TT on a hill with constant grade changes) you need to look seriously at an extended period on training with shorter intervals to be able to handle attacks or keep momentum on the steeper sections. If you're already around 5% bodyfat and weight under 140lbs then with that threshold power you'd probably win most events unless you're Cat 1.
     
  6. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    I don't have a race license, I have only done hill climb events up to this point. The wattage number came from my 58 minute time up Mt. Washington. What I was looking for in this thread was a general question about what to do if you're essentially waiting 2 months to start "real" training. I have a plan drawn up but I'm not starting it until mid February. What I decided to do is focus on trimming down and cleaning up my diet where I can, and I'm going to do 2 base cycles to see if the hours work for my schedule. If I'm good to go then I don't need to adjust my planned hours, if not, then at least I'll know beforehand. I'm fairly light when racing, I range between 148 and 150 pounds. Done some reading and am going to not diet so much and focus on eating clean calories. I think I've made some mistakes with that and have a plan in place there. One thing I've learned is writing it down helps a ton, I wasn't even close before when I was winging it. My one issue is I've never timed a peak properly, probably from never really tapering correctly. Too many long rides for no reason. That's the fault of my wanting to ride for enjoyment all the time in the summer. Lots to work on. For now, base and strength, and cleaning out the Christmas cookies. I'm only 155 right now, hardly a problem.
     
  7. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    58 minutes will get you top 10 overall easily and about 6 to 8 minutes off the overall win. If you want to go for the overall then get down to 140 or less. If you naturally go down to 145lbs just through riding hard in the summer then that shouldn't be a problem. For peaking, look up a power point presentation that Andy Coggan did for pursuit training. Google: andy coggan pursuit training powerpoint Yeah, it's for a pursuit but since you "say" you've never peaked for anything before then this pull out the last few tenths. The basic rule for being able to go fast for a long time is that you need to be able to go faster aerobically for a shorter period, say 5 to 8 minutes, first. If you can't do 11 mph on a 8% grade for 8 minutes then there's no way you'll do it for an hour :p 362 watts average in an event that goes upto 6,000ft puts you in the relm of needing to go see the coach for Team Sky's stagiaires team rather than ask some folks on a cycling website. :p What power meter do you have?
     
  8. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    Funny you mention the top 10, I've been top 10 every year except one out of the 6 times I've gone up (not counting Newton's Revenge, same course, but held in July). Highest was 4th in the August race, 3rd at Newton's. The times are so variable from year to year, the weather and winds are brutal at times. My 58-minute PR was done in almost pristine conditions, just not smart training.

    I'm in denial that I'm racing my bike, hence why I'm a fool posting on a website for advice. Nonetheless, I value bouncing ideas around and post what I need to for solid answers.

    I have 3 power meters at the moment, Quarq, my powertap is on my trainer bike, and I recently bought a pair of Vectors which will be used on my climbing bike when the races come up again. Easier for me to swap them around considering the gearing I run/cranks I use. I've used all 3 meters on my trainer to compare numbers and much to my surprise, they all are very close, enough that I didn't notice one from another in terms of data.

    I had surgery in late August for a torn labrum in my hip, probably hasn't been helping me over the years in terms of performance. Got back no problem from that and have just been riding since then. Got antsy and wanted to get a training plan together for 2015 and that's how I landed here posting. Did a FTP test (first power down since surgery), and hit 330w. Wasn't pegged but it didn't feel fluid. Need more time in that zone which will come back fast once I'm training hard again. I just needed a number to go off of for early training.
     
  9. 10kman

    10kman New Member

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    And regarding weight, I've never done that correctly either, I've dieted down but never did a plan to clean the calories up for an extended time, so my body naturally thins down. I'm doing that now. Not sure of target weight but I'm monitoring and if I see my power dwindle I'll eat more and settle in.
     
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