The cyclists training bible. Joe friel.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by credit_agro, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. credit_agro

    credit_agro New Member

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    Hi,
    I only started cycling in October. I got this book a few days and have most of it read by now. As im a beginner and have never raced before its difficult for me to gauge a few things. Firstly, how many hours should I do annually. What would be considered high intensity for me and what would be considered high duration? As soon as I find out these things im 90% there to having a training plan. Im 22, have been sedate for the last few years. Im in general good health. In the last few weeks I have been doing 10 miles 1 or 2 days a week and then about 60-80km on a Saturday. I can manage the 60-80km but I do be quite tired afterwards. I have loads of time in the evenings and weekends to train. I could train 2-3hrs on any weekday. I could train any amount of hours at the weekend.
    Of course, I won't be using all these hours as it would be overtraining but I just want to get an idea for training and starting of at Base1. Guys, I know theres so many variables involved and I haven't the experience here to make a decision on this myself, so if you can give me ballpark figures or something to work from. In the first year, Im not expecting much from myself but to rack up experience. Hopefully, then next year I will be in a much better position to make this decision myself.

    And also, when I will be doing my Base1 basic endurance training should I be working in 60-70% of MHR or 70-80%?
     
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  2. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    i was a little disappointed with the Friels book. I found it too conceptual and "big picture", and not specific enough for a himbo like me. He barely says anything for the first 100 pages!! :) The first half of the book is like: "it's important to have a plan, it's important to have goals, it's important to be committed, it's important to have some natural ability, it's important to periodize".....there's the first 110 pages right there :)
     
  3. credit_agro

    credit_agro New Member

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    Yes, its true that the first 100pages aren't specifically written to help you get quicker but when you do get to the second part I found it great. btw, you make it sound like a pop psychology book and its nothing like one.
    Its only when I got to this second part that I found the philosophy he laid down in the first 100 pages or so really came into play and helped me understand the training plan as well as trusting the methodology while motivating me at the same time. I learned alot about training, body systems and stuff in the first 100 pages that I never knew and as I am self training I would be doomed without. Perhaps you have read books on training in the past and knew all the mumbo jumbo already and wanted to get straight into the details. This book is great for the details but you've wasted money on the first 100 pages I suppose. Personally, I feel the second 150 or so would be worth the price of the book anyway. :)

    The only real prequisite this book has is experience on the bike and racing. These I do not have which is why I need help with the above.
     
  4. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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  5. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    To raise FTP as you train ask yourself am I going to fast to take a swig from my water bottle right now? If the answer is yes back off a little. Then ask am I going so slow that I could take a swig without having to take three quick breaths before it? If the answer is yes pick up the pace a little. Once you find this semi comfortable hurt zone after about 20 minutes of this check your HRM that is probably your sweet spot (low L4 91% FTP) plus or minus 5 bpm. Do 3x20s every other day at this pace. L2 endurance is a waste of time try to stay high L3 Tempo (always pushing takes a little concentration to maintain it and prevent slipping back to L2) or above whenever possible.
     
  6. credit_agro

    credit_agro New Member

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    *********CHANGE .DOC to .XLS if your looking at the attachment******* I couldn't upload an excel file so I changed it to .doc

    Jez man, are you having me on? no disrespect but that really seems like a 1 dimensional training plan there. How are you really meant to improve yourself overall with this?

    What about strength training, speed skills et cetera? What about peaking for the race of the season?


    Aussie: Hmmm, I did check out that Lance book before getting the Joe Friel one and it has got some bad reviews. The Joe friel book has got excellent reviews which was my reason for choosing it.


    Back to my original post: I have been working on it more today and there are graphs in the book for each stage of training. For example, the base 1 graph goes as follows:
    Base1
    Monday: Recovery
    Tuesday: Low duration 1hr, low intensity (1hr)
    Wednesday: High duration 3hrs, low intensity (3hr)
    Thursday: Medium duration 2hrs, low intensity (2hr)
    Friday: Low duration, Medium intensity (1hr)
    Saturday: High duration 3hr, low intensity (3hr)
    Sunday: Medium duration 2hr, low intensity (2hr)


    I have added in the hours myself (in brackets) as this is what the book expects you do. This is what I meant when you should know whats high and low frequency for YOU.


    Ive made high duration 3hrs, med is 2hrs and low is 1hr. After doing this it seems I only have about 350hrs a year not including race periods. I have much more time on my hands! :D I could put in about 600 I think.

    But it would seem strange to me to put my high duration up to 6hrs and then 3 for med and then 1 1/2hr for low when the longest race wouldn't be any longer than 3hrs.

    Heres my annual training plan as is (not finished). I have no goals set out properly yet. Change .doc to .xls as I couldn't upload the excel file.
     
  7. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I'm sorry I thought you said you were just starting out if that is the case FTP is going to be to low to race if you don't work on that first the other areas won't matter and will detrain more quickly.

    FYI I am not an expert but I am noticing time is better spent on low L4 FTP first. I wasted alot of time on long L2/L3 rides last year.

     
  8. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Actually, wiredued's plan is pretty good, especially for this time of year. There's tons of stuff left unsaid in his post (e.g., which comes first, L4 or L5/L6?), but it is not only a good program to establish a good aerobic fitness on which to build VO2MAX and AWC but it is also a good way of fine-tuning intensity if one doesn't have a power meter. I give it a thumbs up. I'm doing almost exclusively L4 to the end of this week, when I'll shift some time to L5 and L6 for a target race at the end of January. Although it's kind of funny, I haven't done any focused L6/L7 work for almost two months and on today's ride my 30s power was within 25W of my PB. Go figure.:confused:
     
  9. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    When are they going to merge the power training forum with the cycling training forum? Some one has to reach these HRM people.:)

     
  10. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I sense that we're on the verge of a major shift to training with power. I have been testing the waters for a group buy of PTs for my new cycling/racing club and the response has been pretty amazing. I think after I implement this program that ~50% of our members will be riding with power. And after the non-PM folks see the PM folks make big gains this season I think next year we'll have >50% riding with power.:D
     
  11. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, I also think the Wiredued post makes a lot of sense. You shouldn't discount it so quickly.
     
  12. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    This will make you very good at riding around for a medium duration at low intensities.:rolleyes:
     
  13. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    Here we go again. :D Can someone deconstruct the history of why there is a firm belief that base training is all about LSD??? Coming from the power training side, I think your base training is all about trying to sustain certain wattage or power intensity which is close to or near your typical targeted event lenght and average power requirement.

     
  14. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Yeah, I did this type of thing through our very mild winter and thanks to CyclingPeaks Performance Management Chart I was able to see that I dug myself a very big hole. A training-stress balance of -59. The real result was poor form and a two bad flu's that set me back 6 weeks. Also didn't drop much weight.

    Through a shift in training from L 1-2-3 to 3-4-5-7 I am going faster, sitting around zero on training stress balance, setting new PBs for local climbs, have the reserves to attack track racing and despite less time spent training the weight is dropping off a huge rate.

    When I desire to peak for Track Nationals in March I will throw in 4 weeks of level 6 "train till you puke" efforts and am sure of setting a 3000m pursuit PB. Then I feel confident I can attack the road season and do well in any event from 25-100miles.

    Hamish Ferguson
    Cycling Coach
     
  15. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Well since you're only just starting out you will get better by simply riding lots but riding to a plan is a great way to hasten the process.

    Friel provides a structure to do that and for that reason alone his book is worth every penny. Don't get hung up right now on the precise nature of every interval or ride intensity being "the perfect one" to elicit a certain physiological response. They are all beneficial. There is plenty of time for that and much depends on what you are trying to achieve.

    Make sure you enjoy the riding and learn about your body's response as you go. Try different things and see what happens. Keep a diary. Maintain the passion and recognise what you enjoy about riding.

    Do you have a goal in mind? I didn't see one. It's pretty hard to give good training advice without a goal. Are you a member of a club and perhaps have access to a coach that might be able to help guide you through it all? You can learn an awful lot about effective training from a good coach.

    When starting out, many forget that the ratio of work on skills & road/bunch savvy to actual physical capacities needs to be higher. I see plenty of strong but highly unskilled riders out there. Don't neglect this important aspect of your development. It should be part of your regular routine. Developing good skills and rider nouse now will pay dividends many times over later on, especially as you get stronger and become more capable of putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations.
     
  16. credit_agro

    credit_agro New Member

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    This is base1!!! Endurance phase

    Heres an example of build2. Here the high intensity workouts will be based on muscular endurance and hill cimbing.

    Build2
    Monday: Recovery
    Tuesday: Low dur, High intens (1hr)
    Wednesday: High dur, low intens (3hr)
    Thursday: High intens, low duration (1hr)
    Friday: Low intens, low dur (1hr)
    Saturday: High intensity, high duration (3hr)
    Sunday: High dur, low intens (3hr)
     
  17. credit_agro

    credit_agro New Member

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    I am part of a club and theres a very good coach there luckily. I have decided to go the route of getting the essentials together myself though which is what im doing. As im a newcomer and don't even know much about the races close to me I will be going to him to set realistic goals and to decide when I should peak and just sort out all the other bits and pieces. I will also discuss workouts with him then but I want to get started this week. In fact I started properly yesterday. I haven't got the €300 I need for a consultation with the coach yet.

    You say that work on skills & road savvy are crucial at this stage. What skills is there apart from speed skills on the bike and confidence in a group?

    I must admit my confidence was good in the group until I lost balance and knocked myself and another fella off (he was a pro). I suppose just experience will get that back.

    You also say there "learn about your bodys response as you go". Over time or with workouts will the way the training is going make that significant a change that I will really notice "jesus, that week made a huge difference" or are you talking about getting this clarity from a lab test.
     
  18. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    OK, good.
    I think a club coach should be able to provide some initial guidance for less than 300 euro though.

    Well there you go, already you have something to work on.

    There are plenty of things, some of which you won't know until you are trying to do them under race pace pressure. Take cornering for example. Can you corner? Can you do it at high speed? Can you do it at high speed with riders all around you? Can you hold a wheel in technical crits through corners? Riding a paceline smoothly. Riding a paceline when the hammer goes down. Holding a wheel. Drafting effectively. Bunch positioning. Bumping other riders safely. Sprinting (there's years of skill work in that often neglected area alone). Starts. Time trial pacing. Not to mention all the bunch etiquette. How to avoid problems, e.g. jumping over obstacles. Changing a flat and other out on the road repairs. Traffic nouse. Reading other rider's signals (body language I mean). There's stacks of things and I won't go on.

    I mean at macro, meso and micro levels.
    Macro - how do you feel after 3 months of solid training. When I started out I found breaking through the 13 week blues hard. I got through it though. Are you testing to determine if you are actually improving? (Don't need a lab to do this, e.g. a ~10 min hill climb if reasonably sheltered from wind is a good marker - how far can I go in 10 min or how quickly did I get to the top?)

    Meso - can I cope with the workload this cycle. Do I need extra or earlier recovery? How are my legs today - can I do the intended workout or did I overdo it yesterday/last week on the club smash fest(s)?

    Micro - managing your self through the ride. How did it feel? What happened when the pace went up on that rise - did I get dropped? When and why?

    Given you don't race yet, it is likely you are yet to really learn (a) what races you like doing and (b) what your strengths and limiters are. So give 'em all a go and see what you enjoy.

    Takes notes of performances - what went well and what didn't. was the pace steady but just too fast? Was it the constant accelerations that did you in. Or are you not able to keep up on the climbs? When we have a sprint - where am I placed when it starts and when it finishes?

    There is sooo much to learn - I still am and loving it.:D
     
  19. credit_agro

    credit_agro New Member

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    Your advice is excellent. I am learning a great deal here. I have checked the coaches site and the price is in fact €200 not €300. I know now I definitely need to go to him as I have realised that there is so much involved for a beginner like me and that this book as good as it is and as good as the information provided it was not the intention of the author to cover everything a beginner needs to know. The prerequisite is previous experience in races.
    So this is where I hope the coach can help out.

    Regarding your testing method, I have heard of this before. I think I will try it. When doing this test should you be on your limits of lactate threshold? Is the best way to measure this perceived exertion or heart rate?
    I suppose though thinking about it now this test will not come into play for a while yet as all im doing at the moment is endurance. Just another question, when doing endurance rides (long duration, low intensity) should I be working at 60-70% or 70-80% of MHR?
     
  20. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    You can ride 10 min harder than your Functional Threshold Power, so don't hold back too much. For 10 min I wouldn't worry about HR much - just go by feel. A longer climb is OK too!
    Do the tests anyway - you'll be surprised how sensible "endurance" riding can actually improve your Functional Threshold Power*. This way you'll actually know. Do one a month for a few months - it makes for part of a great workout anyway and gives that extra incentive (will I beat last time?). The first time you'll probably not quite get the pacing right (maybe start too hard, maybe not). Next time you'll get better at it (but that's part of becoming a better rider too, remember;)). It sure won't hurt to do them occasionally in the overall scheme of things.

    * Earlier this season my FTP lifted by 17% without doing any specific L4 work.

    If using HR to guide pacing - there is a tendency by some to not pedal hard enough on declines (as HR response is very slow compared to power output) - make sure you keep the pedal pressure on going down as well as on the flat / hills (providing it is safe to do so).

    I would suggest 70-85% MHR for your endurance rides (assuming you know what your MHR actually is). Lower end for longer rides and upper end for "tempo" efforts. Less than 70% MHR is most likely to be tooling around / recovery riding. But also get used to the actual sensations/RPE, use both indicators as HR can be misleading on some days.

    Do the hill climb test hard and give it some gas for the last few hundred metres - you'll find out soon enough what your MHR is!!

    Also, when you start racing, you might find HR higher at same RPE than you see in training. That's pretty common. You get used to it!!

    Another test of course is a flat TT but that is more likely to be impacted by weather conditions than a short sheltered hill climb. e.g. I do a flat(ish) 16km TT test and had times differ by 1':30" even though power was only 1 watt different! If I went by time only I be severely mistaken about my progress.

    Now where's my €200?:D
     
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