Riding Twice A Day

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by swimmer88, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. swimmer88

    swimmer88 New Member

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    Does anyone ride twice a day? I've been doing this lately, due to my school schedule. About 20 miles in the morning, and 20 at night. Yea, it's not the same as doing 40 miles straight, you don't get the same endurance, but I think there are some advantages too. You are more fatigued after 20 miles, so resting a few hours, then going at it again later in the day can allow you to have two shorter rides at higher intensity, as opposed to one long ride at a lower intensity.
     
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  2. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    I do whenever I commute to my job by bike. I don't always "train" (that is, do something at a higher intensity than just "easy") but when I do, I notice similar effects. The 8-10 hours between sessions allows for some recovery. I'm usually able to put out some good numbers even though I'm usually a little tired on the way home in the evening. Despite that, I still do any higher intensity stuff in the morning when I am more awake just because it's easier to motivate myself at that time.

    I don't know if there is an overall advantage to doing things this way or not. I did a lot of SST last autumn this way and the training effect on my 20-minute power didn't seem to be any different than in previous periods where I was strictly doing once-per-day sessions.
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I ride doubles a couple of days a week. A couple of hour to hour and a half training rides just fits my available time better than a longer ride. I can usually hold a little better overall intensity on double days as long as I'm dilligent about refueling after the first ride. But it can also be tough mentally some days to get back on the bike for the second workout.

    I don't know that the overall results are any better than one good ride and I expect I'll be doing fewer, longer training sessions this summer. But so far, especially for indoor training, doubles have allowed me more total training time than one effort per day. It's definitely helped me get my CTL above 100 while still being stuck indoors on the trainer, I just can't handle two and a half hours straight on the trainer but a couple of hour plus sessions is manageable.

    -Dave
     
  4. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Since you're mostly talking about commuting my advice may not apply. I recently did an intense training crit of 55 min length. I'm a cat. 3 and this was a 1/2/3 race that included couple of BMC pros so I was pretty spent by the end. After driving home and refueling properly I decided that despite the intensity I didn't have enough TSS for the day, so I did a 90 min SST session in the evening and my body handled it quite well (CTL = 88). I think that if you were to train twice a day you likewise would probably want to do your intensity earlier in the day, followed by a less intense ride later. Just a thought, although YMMV.
     
  5. swimmer88

    swimmer88 New Member

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    Actually these are training rides. The other posters in the thread are commuting. I am preparing for a 60 minute crit in a few weeks (my first race ever), so I am really trying to be on the bike as much as possible to train for that. I put in 40 miles total on Monday, 45 miles on Tuesday, and just 20 miles today (2000 feet of climbing).

    Anyways, I was a swimmer for 14 years, so training twice a day is nothing new for me. I was just curious if it was common amongst cyclists. Seems like most people just brag about how far/long they rode on one ride...I'm focused more on quality, not quantity. Hopefully I'll show up to this crit and be a Cat 5 sensation![​IMG]
     
  6. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Well, my friend, I'll send you some of my files from "just commuting" and I think you would be surprised. In fact, given your level of inexperience, you definitely would find it surprising..

    I'm a bit surprised to see a Cat 5 (only, not combined 4/5) crit at 60 minutes in length. I'm also surprised to learn that 2000 feet of climbing is going to really help somebody's crit riding.

    It happens. Some do, some don't. It happens at all levels to some degree.

    Maybe and maybe not. But you wouldn't be the first person to show up at their first Cat 5 crit with an attitude.
     
  7. swimmer88

    swimmer88 New Member

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    Link to El Dorado 60 minute Crit Flyer (Cat 1/2/3, Cat 4/5, Men 40+/Women)

    Steve_B, I'm sure you are fast, commuting or training...but how does my 5 years of riding consititute inexperience? Yes, I may be racing inexperienced, but just because I haven't done a race until now doesn't mean I'm a newbie cyclist.

    Something that has always concerned me is the narrow-mindedness (spelling?) of some riders' training techniques. Yes, I am training for a crit. Does that mean I am going to go ride flats in a 1-mile loop every single day? No. Any experienced rider would know you should balance your training, and include climbing and flats to work all your leg muscles. Climbing in that sense will surely help me develop balanced muscle strength, as it works the gluts and hamstrings, whereas sprinting works more on your quads.

    Sometimes riders get too caught up in intervals, wattage, HR, and forget that the more important thing is getting out there are riding longer and harder than before...hence the topic of this thread, riding twice a day.
     
  8. bigbadwoulfe

    bigbadwoulfe New Member

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    whoa.. it's getting hot in here... could it be because of the climate change... cool it guys
     
  9. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    I believe that a well structured training programme with several two-rides-a-day days will help someone who is focussing on shorter races/criteriums.

    No need to get in a pi**ing contest about who has more experience, though! ;)
     
  10. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    ..and you're missing the point. It's not about me. The original point was that many of us get quite a lot accomplished in that time going to and from our jobs. Often that's all we have time available for during the day so we have to make it useful.


    Fine. I am happy for you. However people that don't race tend to train a different way because they have different goals. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you're not experienced at racing, however, you're unlikely to have a complete grasp of some of the training racers do. That's all.


    Great, however you said you were training for (and seemed to be focused on) a crit and in absence of any other information, what else was I to conclude?

    I would also point out to you aspects of specificity. Crits are not climbing and they have specific demands in terms of power durations, cadence, neuromuscular power, etc. I wouldn't expect someone preparing for their first race ever to be that knowledgeable or concerned about those details - I think other matters will and should take priority. However, since you seemed to be so sure of yourself as absolutely the on the right path, I thought I would introduce a dose of reality.

    Getting back to your original question, I know of some elite and pro riders that will train in the morning then come home, have lunch, take a nap then go out again later in the afternoon. Most of us with "real jobs" don't have that kind of time available too often.
     
  11. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Sorry about the misunderstanding. Let me put it this way: if it was at all feasible I would train twice a day, because with the rest and refueling (and probably a nap ;)) in between I would most definitely get more volume and intensity out of a day. Good luck!
     
  12. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    I won't get into what muscle groups climbing may or may not help, that's a different discussion. Climbing is simply Sweet Spot training and that IMO ought to be the bread and butter of any cyclist's training, regardless of racing type focus.
     
  13. swimmer88

    swimmer88 New Member

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    Steve_B, sorry for flaming you. I was having a bad day and I overreacted. With that said, I do appreciate your advice. Let me back up and explain what point I am at in my training, and what my goals are, and why I am training twice a day.

    I have been riding for 5 years off and on, mainly due to the fact that I was on the swim team in college, so the only times I ever rode was summer or the occasional Sunday. Now, I have finished swimming and I am in grad school, meaning I now have time to focus on riding. Before I graduate from grad school and go into the "real world" I wanted to try to focus on cycling and really make an effort to be the best that I can be, while I still have the time to train.

    I've been building up my training for a few weeks and now I have started to really up the distance and intensity, but due to time constraints with school/family/old lady, riding twice a day just makes more sense. I have been able to do group rides 2-3 times a week, sometimes with 20+ riders. I am comfortable with my bike handling skills (meaning I can hold my line, and I don't swerve when looking over my shoulder).

    My goal is to do a crit in a few weeks. For my first race, my goal is not to win, my goal is to not get dropped. That way I can gain experience riding in a crit for the whole race, not just the first few laps. Then the next time I do a race, I can focus more on racing, not worrying about turns, accelerations, and people all around me. Baby steps.

    So anyways, does anyone have any tips for my first crit?
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    • Stay near the front to save energy and avoid crashes
    • Don't overgear, especially on a course with a lot of corners, leg speed is your friend when it comes to saving energy and quickly closing gaps. Use your gears well, don't just pick a big gear and have to jump out of the saddle on every bend. Shifting from the drops is real easy these days, save some energy by reading the course and shifting appropriately.
    • Close all gaps immediately, hesitation will kill you in a fast crit if you're stuck out in the wind having to chase
    • Take safe lines through the corners using all the available road, don't dive underneath riders in front of you because you suddenly see a gap. Start wide, dive through the apex of the corner and exit as wide as your speed demands. Hold a predictable line throughout the corner.
    • Stay off your brakes as much as possible and if you must brake do so gently. Lots of slowing and speeding up is the hardest thing in lower category crits, another good reason to ride near the front.
    • Look for easy opportunities to move up if you fall back in the field. Don't get complacent or mentally lazy and miss the easy opportunities when folks around you slow a bit and holes open up. If you're not moving up in a fast crit, you're falling back it's rare to just maintain a fixed position so always think about moving forward unless you're already very near the front.
    • The first few laps will almost certainly feel ridiculously fast. It's rare the field maintains that early pace so get a solid warmup, a good starting position and expect the race to go out fast. Things generally settle down after a few laps so be ready to dig deep at the beginning to stay with the leaders.
    • The final few laps will be just as fast or faster, expect it and if you have any hope of placing you want to be right up front at the end. That generally means you have to be pretty darn close to the front with a couple laps to go as it's really tough to move up when things heat up. But also be aware of last lap slowing as folks try to get cagey. You can be right up in the top five riders with one to go and if things slow everyone will swarm around you which is bad from a competitive standpoint and can be dangerous as well. Sometimes you need to put yourself out in the wind a bit on the final lap to maintain your position up front, especially in lower category crits where you're unlikely to find a structured leadout train.
    • From a training standpoint make sure you're comfortable cornering at speed pedaling deep, but not dangerously deep into the corners. You can generally stay upright if you clip a pedal, but it's rarely worth the risk. Make sure you're training includes some speed changeup work like Bill Black's HOP workouts to get used to lots of accelerations.
    Well, that's a starting point but there's nothing like riding a few crits to get the feel for them.

    Good luck and keep the rubber side down,
    -Dave
     
  15. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    +1 for the valuable advice from Dave. Suggest you print these out and study them often.....they are that good. You may be well-served to practice some tight cornering on your own....a school playground with painted circles makes a good practice venue. Slowly increase the speed until you're comfortable with quick entries and a good lean angle.

    Only thing I'd add is don't feel bad if you are dropped your first few times out.....you likely won't be alone. Main thing is just to get out and do it; be safe and have fun.
     
  16. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    I second what Dave and dhk have told you. Expect not to finish the first few crits, do not get discouraged and eventually you will hang with the group and become competitive.
     
  17. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    No worries. I have been having a little trouble sleeping lately so I was a bit harsh myself . Good luck.
     
  18. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    • I sometimes help out at an Intro to Racing Clinic here and the things that I have highlighted are the most important details I would recommend (if I had to prioritize). It will be difficult to not use your brakes simply because everyone else will be and you will be forced to react but do your best not to.
     
  19. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    if you can do it, two rides a day is great... basically as other have said, it's just easier to get more done and still maintain i high degree of quality/intensity... if find when i start slipping a two ride day into my schedule my fitness gains start to skyrocket.

    commuting is good and can be very intense but can be little chaotic and unstructured... at least with my route to work. it's hard to complete a structured workout with properly apportioned intervals... stoplights, traffic etc.. so if i commute i do it as a tempo/endurance/lower intensity workout

    when i get the chance and my fitness affords it i actually bring my bike to work and i do a lunch time ride that is focused, structured and higher intensity (if i could do it in the morning before work that would be even better, but just not a morning person) and then do a slightly less intense longer ride after work (i only do this once a week)... and do my longer workouts on the weekend...

    e.g. i might do a sprint workout at lunch and then do a club race in the evening... or anCap or VO2max at lunch and then maybe a 1x20 followed by tempo/endurance in the evening

    it kinda lets you slip another day (or maybe a 3/4 day) into your schedule.. and it doesn't kill you to do it.
     
  20. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Everything Dave wrote and Steve highlighted is absolutely true as last year was my first year of trying racing and from what I heard as I have only done Crits they can be the most discouraging as you can be done before you even feel you started. That happened for me in my first race. Lap 1 and done. I was not ready for the huge surge in the beginning and I started from way behind the start line. But I was smart enough to set out a goal of simply just finishing the race....which I did. When I finished while no where near the pack I found out the time difference between the winner and me and worked my training from there.

    As for riding twice a day, I did that but since I was waking up at 5am to get my first ride in and would not be able to start my second ride till 7pm..it was just too much as I was too tired having worked all day. Also I needed recovery...and my family was really starting to get pissed off at me. I found it did not work for me.

    -js



     
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