Optimum duration for LSD rides?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by dsb137, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. dsb137

    dsb137 New Member

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    Not meaning to bang on the old skool thing, but I just wondered if anyone had any info on this.

    I came across this while reading:

    '...rides of 3, 4 or 5 hours are traditionally recommended, but new research suggests that any LSD ride less than 6 hours will not actually increase the body’s ability to store glycogen nor increase stamina any more than a 2 hour ride would. the research suggests that the body can gain just as much benefit from shorter, more intense rides (such as the Hour of Power [HOP] and High Intensity Interval Training [HIIT])...' - LSD vs. HIIT

    I'm not so much interested in the comparison of LSD to HIIT, but rather the LSD duration threshold. If doing 3, 4 or 5 hour rides isn't any better than 2, and you have to do 6 to get the effect, that would fundamentally change the way I do things.

    Thoughts?

    Any idea of the 'new research' he refers to?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I think that quote paints an extreme picture. Sure if the goal is to largely deplete glycogen stores then it may take 5 to 6 hours to accomplish that in a fit athlete and if that's the primary reason the athlete is doing L2 work then the quote makes sense.

    But at some level riding (at a given intensity) is riding and for someone building fitness but starting from a very different point or for someone using L2 work as part of a blended plan to prop up workload on less intense days there isn't an arbitrary duration that's required to see progress. But yes at some level for those who can handle the load, more is better. For many it is not and would not be appropriate if they hadn't built to the level necessary to handle a steady diet of 5 to 6 hour rides.

    IMO, the main thing for riders who want to build base with a program built exclusively on L2 is to ride often and ride relatively long often. For some that might be perhaps 3 hours per ride but five or six days a week at that level. For other more advanced riders with deep training histories and the lifestyle to support it it could be five to six hour rides but likely not quite so many of them each week (a 30 to 36 normal training week would be huge even for most pro riders). But yes for those who can handle it and who are preparing for very long and demanding events like grand tours, nearly (but hopefully not completely) depleting glycogen stores on a regular basis can be a powerful training tool, that doesn't mean it's appropriate, necessary or even recommended for most riders.

    Personally I'd suggest looking at the value each training level can bring and craft a plan that makes sense relative to the rider's goals, the rider's training history, the rider's strengths and weaknesses and that plan will likely use a lot of different levels in different ways. That said I'd typically only schedule an L2 focused day that was on the longer end of what the rider typically does but in most cases it is not a full 6 hours or at least not very often but then I haven't coached any grand tour athletes or full time paid riders.

    On a more philosophical note, be careful of reading about how the pros train and trying to mimic those plans. Not saying you're necessarily doing that but a lot of articles about training seem to start from the premise that if the best riders do it, we would all benefit from doing it. That falls apart for a lot of reasons but one is the weekend warrior syndrome where folks try to emulate the pro's long LSD rides but do so one or maybe two back to back days a week, sit at a desk with little or no quality riding and no long riding midweek and wonder why it doesn't bring the results the pros see. It generally doesn't pay to literally mimic parts of other riders plans when your overall lifestyle is substantially different and or your starting point and history is very different.

    -Dave
     
  3. dsb137

    dsb137 New Member

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    Thanks Dave,

    It's kind of interesting because it sort of sounds like the common advice for training zones, go hard or go easy, just don't make everything 'middle'. In this case it would seem to be ride 6 hours, or do 2, but don't live in the 3,4 or 5 hours range.

    Naturally, what I do is 3,4 or 5 hour rides, pretty much Monday through Friday, but it would be just as easy to do say 6-2-6-2-6 if there was a discernible benefit.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Dave,
    I wouldn't agree with that statement. I've worked with a lot of riders that make very good progress when their long rides are in that 3,4,5 range but the key is how it fits into their overall plan, their available time to train and how quickly they recover from their harder or longer days.

    My main point was not to think in terms of absolutes as in you MUST ride 6 hours to see value in an L2 ride or you should NEVER ride L2 for less than say 2 hours or things like that. All of the training levels can have value and durations are somewhat flexible on the macro scale. On the micro scale as in interval durations primarily targeting one system vs. another not quite so much IMO but even then there's some flexibility as in a 1x20 or even 1x15 L4 effort has training value and could be used by some athletes in some situations and it does not NEED to be a 2x20 set to deliver any value.

    Anyway, only you know your goals, and what you're targeting in your training so perhaps taking into account your bigger picture and your situation it might not pay to do too many 3 or 4 hour L2 rides. I don't know but I wouldn't generalize into a 'no mans land' way of thinking unless that makes sense per your overall program as in you're not recovering well enough for your harder days because you have too many mid range, mid intensity days. But for someone else on a less polarized program or in a less polarized training phase it could make perfect sense to ride 3 hours per day, day after day. IOW...It depends... the most hated answer out there, but often the only real answer.

    -Dave
     
  5. dsb137

    dsb137 New Member

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    I agree with you completely... The article espouses a benefit of 6 hr rides that I wasn't aware of... I've never heard of this 6 hr threshold for LSD (or L2 whatever), and I'm not seeing a benefit to the 6-2-6-2-6 hr ride scheme over just doing say 5-4-4-5-4, the time in L2 is the same, unless maybe there are recovery issues... I understand that doing a steady diet of L2 at durations shorter than an hour or two may inhibit progress, other than using it for recovery, but I've always thought that durations beyond that were beneficial at L2, seems odd to me...

    Which is why I asked...

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  6. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    LSD rides have a great range in energy consumption. And riders tend to have different eating habits.

    It is possible to exhaust your glycogen stores in 2 hours - hitting the wall in a marathon. Or not exhaust them in 24 hours - typical 24 hour events.

    Eat a bit less or work a bit harder and you will not reach 6 hours. Eat a bit more or work a bit less and you can go forever.

    Some research results are not worth the paper they are printed on .

    ---

    Considering training benefits for me 3 hours at 80-85% if a lot different than 3 hours at 85-90%.
     
  7. smaryka

    smaryka Member

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    Is there a link for this "new research" other than that guy's blog? Even on his blog, the only link I can find is to some interval training, not this 6-hour ride research.

    The phrase "new research suggests" without any actual concrete links to support it is about as useful as saying "I would have won that race if only..." /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    The obvious rationale for his 6-2-6-2 approach is nearly complete glycogen depletion followed by an easier day to give you time to replenish those nearly depleted glycogen stores as opposed to less complete depletion on say the 5 or 4 hour rides and having a bit more in the tank the following day. I can see some theory behind what he's suggesting but I'd say it's more an idea to play with rather than an accepted approach to base building.

    I'd also say it applies to a certain type of athlete, that is one who is riding roughly 22 hours per week on either plan. If you're in that camp it could make sense (or not) but I sure wouldn't adopt his approach in a scaled down fashion by cutting all the hours in half leaving the intensity the same and expecting to trigger the same responses, but I expect you already know that.

    -Dave
     
  9. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    I'm at a loss too. At least the author could have provided a link to the study!
     
  10. dsb137

    dsb137 New Member

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    Hehehe... 3-1-3-1-3 @ L2 wouldn't be quite the same thing would it?

    I see your point with the glycogen depletion, especially if your training age/history puts you where a 4-5hr L2 ride isn't very taxing, I just don't see anything magical about 6 hours...

    @smaryka... No, he doesn't cite any reference to his 'new research' which is why I enquired here.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  11. TShame

    TShame New Member

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    Better to throw better quality into your rides.
    Do a 2 hour ride, maybe a fast 30 minutes, then finish with another 2 hours.
    If you got any thing left, finish those last 30 minutes by upping the tempo.

    As to the 6 hour thing, that's strange and merely one odd opinion..
     
  12. iZnoGouD

    iZnoGouD New Member

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    Do Sweet Spot Training, LSD is junk miles it not good
    Even pros don't ride much LSD nowadays, they only do it is because of the benefits in economy, pedalling efficiency etc
     
  13. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Glycogen recovery has a half life of 7-8 hours. With proper food consumption the overnight should recover 90% of glycogen stores. That leaves one only 200calories short the next day. It is really hard to deplete glycogen to the extent that an easy day is necessary. (It is harder if you eat during the long rides.)

    Now that we have some "real" numbers from professionals, Rory Sutherland at Paris-Nice, we can start to examine myths. He seems to recover from 300TSS days - 6 hours at 70%. That reenforces my belief that we all can recover overnight from long days.
     
  14. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Never really understood it myself cause I remember my days when I would do the 2-3 days rides touring from NYC to Boston or Baltimore and I never really felt that the next day I could not get up and put in another century if I needed to. Yes I was a bit beat up but the next morning I could usually deal with it pretty well. I find that we pretty much have endless amount of L2 in us and can go endless upon it. I remember TV special of a kid with his father that had little to no training and made it from coast to coast. I like to say wheels have a tendency to roll and when you are outdoors you can get so many micro breaks that you can go on endlessly if you pace yourself correctly and have a comfortable setup to put in that many hours.

    -js
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "Better to throw better quality into your rides."

    This.
     
  16. dsb137

    dsb137 New Member

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    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya

    The quantity vs. quality conundrum... I get that if you're time constrained that perhaps a larger portion of your time would be better spent training in quality mode since there isn't sufficient time to acquire enough quantity for it to give as great a benefit. But, I would think that a 6hr/2hr/6hr/2hr/6hr mid week training schedule would indicate that sufficient time and volume were present, especially since that schedule still leaves 2 days during the week to ride even more...

    The question I had was whether there was any known benefit of a 6hr 'LSD' ride over a 4 or 5 hour one, other than just more of the same, since the article that I linked to implied that if you couldn't ride 6 hours you might as well only do 2, I hadn't heard or read of any 6 hour threshold, and was curious if I had missed the memo. Btw, I've had contact with the author of the article I linked to, and he hasn't been able to provide a link to the study that he referred to, if he does, I'll post it here.

    This article: http://www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.htm

    Pretty much spells out the efficacy of the 80/20 rule, which, given the training volumes of those studied seems to work, if not 'optimally', at least better than less volume with more intensity.

    At what volume does the 80/20 rule break down? I dunno...

    If, and I'm just throwing numbers out here, a person trains 800 hours a year, that puts the 20% 'quality' part at 160 hours. If you divie up those 160 hours across 40 weeks (which gives you 12 weeks during the year for no intensity at all) that puts 4 hours a week for 'quality'.

    If you're training more along the lines of 500 hours a year, maybe it's better to work up to those 4 hours of 'quality' despite that putting you at a higher percentage than the 80/20 rule prescribes, I dunno, I can't answer that.

    Somewhere along the continuum of possible training volumes is a volume where increasing intensity beyond the 20% stated in the sportsci.org study is probably counter productive. What minimum amount of volume is sufficient for the 80/20 rule to be applicable is, again I can't say, but I've always thought that 20 hours a week was sufficient, and that perhaps 15 hours a week wasn't...

    What do you think?
     
  17. Limbatus

    Limbatus New Member

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    Any time I eat L I get overly ambitious with my rides. Remember 4th of July 2 years ago, ate a half strip at dawn and cycled way up into the mountains. Hills started fluctuating and got real wobbly, great geometries and spectrums emanating off of everything. Sky appeared to flash between night and day revealing space networks when everything blacked out . Just kept climbing and climbing. Knees were sore for the next 6 months or so so had to really cut down on hills for a while . It was a morning adventure, and I rolled back into town to catch the fireworks. so I'd say that optimum ride duration was a out 12-14 hours. Just bring enough water.
     
  18. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    You seem to miss a main training issue. One goal of training is to increase the ability to train. A goal of the guy training 500 hours is to be able to train 800 hours.

    According to the link you posted professional cyclists ride 20K miles a year. So one could argue that the high miles are necessary for them. Given that professionals race 5-6 hours at 75% FTP it seems that the long days at 75% are reasonable for them.

    If you are planning on doing 1 hour races at 100% FTP, perhaps training like the professionals is not appropriate. Perhaps LSD will not do it for you. Perhaps high mileage will not do it for you.

    Maybe 1 hour a day at whatever effort you can recover from is necessary and sufficient.
     
  19. longandsteady

    longandsteady New Member

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    It all depends on what the goal is. 5 Hours can and will certainly deplete glycogen stores. The body has the ability to store a maximum of 2000kcal of which 1400kcal - 1600kcal are stored within the muscle. The remaining 600kcal - 400kcal is used within Liver stores, Brain & Plasma.

    Therefore spending time doing LSD isn't really about depleting glycogen stores, as this can be done in 2 hours where the intensity is high and a higher % of fuel being used is from muscle glycogen, but rather it is increasing the bodies ability to use fat as a primary fuel source and as a offshoot, teaching the body to spare muscle glycogen. LSD will assist in shifting the 'crossover' point to a higher % of 02 uptake where CHO outweighs Fat as the bodies preferred fuel source at an individuals specific intensities (generally 60-75% v02). Of course this has to be completed at a lower aerobic intensity and it is the main reason that you can not just substitute a L2 ride for a L4 or L5 ride, they train different aspects of an athletes 'engine'. Quality has its place and Quantity has its place, they are separate metrics that should not be compared and the reason that the Pro's still do both, depending on the phase of training they are in.
     
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  20. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    More importantly is that everyone does not respond the same to the same type of workout.

    Some people can do HITs and never improve. Others people can do long rides at low lower intensity and improve.

    It seems that genetics determines how one responds to a specific training plan.
     
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