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Steve07

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Oct 11, 2007
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My name is Steve, im 18, 5ft 9, 62 kg. Ive been cycling 3-4 years now, currently racking up about 350km a week. I usually ride on my own but have been out with a local club recently for a few rides. My training week usually consists of 4 rides, one long ride (100-150km), two middle distance rides (70-100km) and usually spend the other day doing a 30km T.T or hill climbs. My interval training is done on one of my weekly mid-distance rides. I take my training seriously, eat well, and do 2 strength training days in the gym each week as well. The roads I train on are on the coast, so wind is a big factor, and theres a good mix of rolling hills and big, steep killer climbs. My avg. speed is usually between 34-38 kph, and my P.B time trial was 30km in 44.21mins.

Now that I've filled you in a little bit, im wondering if anyone could let me know where I could improve on my training. And what stage i'd have to get to to seriously be contending at a semi-pro level. Cheers, id appreciate any info!
 

Roadie_scum

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Nov 14, 2003
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Steve07 said:
My name is Steve, im 18, 5ft 9, 62 kg. Ive been cycling 3-4 years now, currently racking up about 350km a week. I usually ride on my own but have been out with a local club recently for a few rides. My training week usually consists of 4 rides, one long ride (100-150km), two middle distance rides (70-100km) and usually spend the other day doing a 30km T.T or hill climbs. My interval training is done on one of my weekly mid-distance rides. I take my training seriously, eat well, and do 2 strength training days in the gym each week as well. The roads I train on are on the coast, so wind is a big factor, and theres a good mix of rolling hills and big, steep killer climbs. My avg. speed is usually between 34-38 kph, and my P.B time trial was 30km in 44.21mins.

Now that I've filled you in a little bit, im wondering if anyone could let me know where I could improve on my training. And what stage i'd have to get to to seriously be contending at a semi-pro level. Cheers, id appreciate any info!

1. Stop strength training

2. Focus on sustainable aerobic intensities. Eg, build up to lots of tempo and threshold.

3. As your target event approaches make your training more intense and specific.

You will do best with a good coach.
 

Piotr

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Jan 29, 2007
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Steve, stop racking up miles and concentrate on quality miles (L3/SST/L4). Seeing your other post I suspect you're trying to compare your mileage to that of top pros. Don't, it makes no sense. Your mileage and theirs may serve completely different purposes and may yield completely different results (better endurance for them vs. chronic fatigue for you). Don't overextend yourself on the miles and concentrate on improving your Functional Threshold Power. If you ever come close to being a pro, the powers that be will be interested in how "strong" (sustained power) you are, not how many miles you can do in a week.

Edit: Let me add that they won't be interested in your sustained power either unless you start racking up some serious wins... but you get the point. ;)
 

Roadie_scum

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Nov 14, 2003
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Piotr said:
Steve, stop racking up miles and concentrate on quality miles (L3/SST/L4). Seeing your other post I suspect you're trying to compare your mileage to that of top pros. Don't, it makes no sense. Your mileage and theirs may serve completely different purposes and may yield completely different results (better endurance for them vs. chronic fatigue for you). Don't overextend yourself on the miles and concentrate on improving your Functional Threshold Power. If you ever come close to being a pro, the powers that be will be interested in how "strong" (sustained power) you are, not how many miles you can do in a week.

Edit: Let me add that they won't be interested in your sustained power either unless you start racking up some serious wins... but you get the point. ;)

350km a week is certainly not excessive mileage if you are training halfway seriously... it just depends on the composition of the training and where you are at in terms of long term volume (CTL).

Eg... consider my 6 week training block in a few weeks, with a focus on TT's and base prep...

Key sessions: Monday Wednesday Friday

Monday:

Warmup/L2, 90 minutes to base of climb.
3 X 20 minutes at 90-100%FTP
60 Minutes Upper L2/L3
30 Minutes easy spinning lower L2 and cooldown.

4-5 Hours ~130km

Tuesday: Off/ <1 hour easy MTB

Wednesday:

Warmup/L2, 40-60 minutes to flat 60km loop
90-120 minutes L3/4
40-60 Minutes L2 and Cooldown

3-4 Hours ~ 100km

Thursday: 60-90 Mins MTB ride, not too hard

Friday:

20 Minutes Warmup/L2
90-120 Minutes Tempo = L3 AP, L4 NP
15 Minutes cooldown

2.5-3 Hours ~80km

Saturday: Easy spin if cooked, else longer L2/3 ride. Increase length as block goes on.

Sunday: 60-90 mins MTB or Off

So, even if I only do my key sessions and a couple of recovery rides, I am at 350km/week. Once CTL is a bit higher and I can start doing long rides properly on Saturdays without compromising my recovery for the key sessions, I will be doing more like 400-500. 350km does not seem like a lot of mileage, but the key is building up to it with sustainable aerobic work, rather than starting out at 500km a week of no quality, like lots of people do. I know a pro ironman guy who rides 6 hours at 300W plenty of weekends... that is quality training! Bernard Van Ulden did a 6+ hour ride at 297W in his prep phase. As far as I am concerned, that is still SST. The key is being able to handle it when you get there. Most people look at those rides and think 'I should ride 120 miles because that's what pro's do' - it is bass ackwards and completely neglects the two important variables: 1... the quality of the session and 2... the volume relative to there CTL/sustained training load. What you should do is gradually build up the amount of training you do at sustainable aerobic intensities that have a high physiological payoff in terms of training adaption.

Piotr: Bottom line, I am going to agree with your core message which I interpret as: work sustainable aerobic intensities with a high physiological payoff (eg - L3 especially, also upper L2 and L4, depending on time and target events). But I am going to disagree that 350km/week represents a lot of volume for someone training that way at a serious level.

Steve07: It would be a mistake to copy someone else's program. I am just putting my idea of my training out there for illustrative purposes. Note also that I will vary my week when I am feeling excessively fatigued and monitor my progress carefully in terms of training load build rate.

Edit: I wouldn't expect many 500km weeks with where I am at training wise. That was an overstatement.

Edit: If anyone cares, Wednesday and sometimes Friday or Saturday are TT bike days.
 

Piotr

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Jan 29, 2007
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Roadie_scum said:
Piotr: Bottom line, I am going to agree with your core message which I interpret as: work sustainable aerobic intensities with a high physiological payoff (eg - L3 especially, also upper L2 and L4, depending on time and target events). But I am going to disagree that 350km/week represents a lot of volume for someone training that way at a serious level.
We essentially agree completely. I don't think 350km/week (217M) is excessive under the right circumstances. I sensed from Steve's posts that he might think he doesn't ride enough (just a hunch, I could be wrong), so I implied that that way of thinking might be a bad approach to training. Slowly increasing training load (CTL) rather than mileage is the way to go.
 

Mckenzie

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Oct 12, 2007
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Keep training. You have got plenty of volume already. Do plenty of threshold work and the results will come.

A coach can help, strength training probably won't. Get with a cycling team nearby and talk to people who race. They can give you an idea of competition.

At your age, you are just starting to develop your abilities.
 

Roadie_scum

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Nov 14, 2003
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Piotr said:
We essentially agree completely. I don't think 350km/week (217M) is excessive under the right circumstances. I sensed from Steve's posts that he might think he doesn't ride enough (just a hunch, I could be wrong), so I implied that that way of thinking might be a bad approach to training. Slowly increasing training load (CTL) rather than mileage is the way to go.

I thought it might be mainly wording. Nice to know we are both on board. Steve - looks like there is a consensus. :D