Tips to Best Increase Power

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by skip9, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. skip9

    skip9 New Member

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    Hey Guys, Long time reader, first time poster here.

    Just after some opinions and knowledge on how to improve my bike power, in particulary my FTP.

    A bit about me.. I'm only 20 years of age and am a Triathlete rather than a cyclist racing Long Course races (70.3 & Soon my First Ironman). I did a test as recommended in "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" on an indoor trainer and came up with a FTP of 205w, 2.97w/kg. I felt this was a little bit low as was told that indoor trainers can vary your watts by up to 6%?

    Anyway what i am after is some information on how it is best to tackle training to increase my Threshold Power?

    What sort of Intervals should i be doing e.g. 5x5min intervals at V02? 3x15min at FTP? What recovery time between intervals?

    How often should this sessions be conducted per week?

    Is it a good idea to include these during Long Rides of 3.5hrs+ or should I strictly keep this in the "Endurance" Zone?

    Any other information or recommendations is appreciated!
     
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  2. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    It depends to some extent on where you are with your training now, what you have been doing, and, most importantly, when your target races are. Therefore, I can't give you an exact personalized training plan (plus, I don't really know how you, personally, respond to training).

    With that being said, if I were targeting a race in a month or so and wanted to raise my FTP (who doesn't), I would do 2x20s two times per week. VO2 intervals on sat, and a long ride on sunday.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Typically getting results off the trainer would likely lead to an FTP that would appear lower than it would have been if you'd done the test out on the road.

    "Tips." Train better, eat better, sleep better. Rinse and repeat.

    Simple.

    I'm assuming you're interested in the training better part, in which case there's a whole bunch of good info out there but a good place to start would be Coggan's and Hunters' book on Training with a power meter.

    Typically, you'd be more interested in a mix of long L3 and L2 (2 to 3 hours hard) with L4 sessions which are typically 2x20ish at best 1 hour pace.
     
  4. skip9

    skip9 New Member

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    Thanks for the replys guys.

    Calico - My main Target Race is a few months away (6th of May) but i do have some shorter races in between now and then. Currently i have just been focusing on Building a solid Foundation and training 3-5hrs per day across swim,bike and run (I am on Holidays so have all the time in the world) an am currently only doing one Threshold Session & one Tempo per week.

    I Ride 6 days per week & Im looking at doing;

    1x Long - 3.5hrs+ in Zone 2 and the middle 1.5hrs in Z3 (Tempo) or V02/FTP Intervals in the Middle
    1x FTP - 2.5hrs - 3x15min Intervals w/5min recovery or 2x20min Intervals w/7min recovery, remaining time spent in Z2
    1x V02 - 2hrs - 5x6min Intervals w/5min recovery, remaining time spent in Z2
    1x Upper Endurance + Tempo - 2.5hrs - 15min Z1, 45min Upper Z2, 1.15hrs Z3, 15min Z1
    1x Endurance - 2.0hrs - 15min Z1, 1.5hrs Upper Z2, 15min Z1
    1x Recovery - 30min Z1, 30min Low Z2, 30min Z1

    There is a fair bit of work in there but having a solid base and previously riding 14hr weeks i think with proper nutrition and recovery I can handle it.

    Swampy - Do you think i should re-test on the road? In regards to Long Rides with a Mixture of Z2 and Z3, would you just "float" between these or rather at the 1hr mark spend the next 1.5hrs in Z3 and then drop back to Z2?
     
  5. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    The good thing is that you have a good long time before your target race, so you can get in some periodized training phases and properly peak for your race. Your training volume is high which isn't necessarily good or bad, you just want to use that time wisely. I don't really like the fact that you are doing VO2 intervals in the middle of your long ride. I would like it better if you had one dedicated LSD ride per week because your intervals won't really be at the prescribed intensity in the middle of a long ride. A long ride requires a lot of fuel, and is great for training your body to utilize fuel efficiently. However, trying to make those kinds of metabolic adaptations while at the same time doing intervals, you are doing neither properly, and just breaking yourself down mentally and physically.

    Take a rest day after your LSD ride. Even if you think you didn't go super hard, it can take a while for the body to recover, partly because so many calories are burned during a long ride.

    I would skip the 2hr endurance rides this time of year. OK as a recovery ride in-season, but it's winter, and you are cross training, so these rides aren't doing much for you other than needlessly increasing training volume.

    For your intervals, instead of doing FTP one day and VO2 the next day, I would plan training phases such that you work your VO2 system for a while and then transition to working at threshold. My training plan looks like 4weeks VO2 maintenance, 4 weeks of low cadence hill climbs (with one day per week of VO2 work), and 5 weeks of threshold, and 5 weeks of VO2 build before my first peak in April.

    During the winter, 4 on-the-bike days (three interval workouts and one LSD) seems to work very well for building towards early-season fitness. I don't think there is any reason to do more than that.
     
  6. skip9

    skip9 New Member

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    I wasnt 100% on the intervals on a Long Ride but wasnt sure if it could be beneficial to do them during or not. My rest day is scheduled after my Long Ride, How i have my rides above is not in order. They are as follow;

    Monday: V02
    Tuesday: Upper Endurance + Tempo
    Wednesday: Endurance
    Thursday: FTP
    Friday: Recovery
    Saturday: Long

    You think I Should it would it be wise to do 2 sessions of FTP (Mon & Thurs) rather than a V02 considering that is my main focus atm?

    Im in Australia, so its summer here /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif so i thought the extra endurance ride could only help getting some more km's in the legs while i am on holidays and it is not too strenduos on the body
     
  7. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    I wasnt 100% on the intervals on a Long Ride but wasnt sure if it could be beneficial to do them during or not. My rest day is scheduled after my Long Ride, How i have my rides above is not in order. They are as follow;

    Monday: V02
    Tuesday: Upper Endurance + Tempo
    Wednesday: Endurance
    Thursday: FTP
    Friday: Recovery
    Saturday: Long

    You think I Should it would it be wise to do 2 sessions of FTP (Mon & Thurs) rather than a V02 considering that is my main focus atm?

    Im in Australia, so its summer here /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif so i thought the extra endurance ride could only help getting some more km's in the legs while i am on holidays and it is not too strenduos on the body




    Sorry, I didn't realize you are Australia. During the summer (in-season) I ride 6days pew week (two of those days are active recovery), but in the winter, I skip on the bike recovery in favor of core/strength work, and, well, life. My training days are Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun. M/W are active recovery and Fri is off. I like having a rest day before a hard interval day, and would suggest that you try something like that too. For example, if my T/R/S schedule doesn't work for you, you can do intervals M/W/F and go long on sat and take sun off. I think this will work better than back to back endurance rides on Tues/Wed which I doubt you are getting enough benefit from to justify the time. Just ride easy on tues instead. Then, you will actually get in three real training days instead of just two, and with 6 days per week on the bike, your volume is plenty high regardless. Also, you said that you had some non-target races coming up. You will have to work these into your schedule, but since you don't have to peak for them, use them as training. mentally, it is easier for me to do two interval session and one race per week than three interval session. Racing is hard, time consuming, etc., but it is fun and a great way to break up the daily grind and monitor progress. Good luck, and have fun. . . . jeez, I am kinda jealous that you are having SUMMER and planning in-season training while it is quite the opposite in chicago . . .
     
  8. skip9

    skip9 New Member

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    Haha yeah summer is always enjoyful, but training through winter makes it even better!

    I get what your saying with the 3 Interval days-1 Long day and remaining two easy, which does make sense and will probably work well considering it will give my body more of a chance to recover from the running aspect of training as well. So i think a M/W/F Interval Split with Recovery on Tu/Th, Long on Sat and Sunday Off will work well!

    With your Intervals, will you do 2x20min everytime for FTP or mix it up and do say 3x15min or 4x12min etc. and what is optimal to keep recovery length between intervals for both FTP and V02?
     
  9. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    For the next 5 weeks, I would do 2x20s on M/W, and then do a VO2 maintenance workout on Fri. Then take an easy week before transitioning to your next phase which as you approach your peak, should consist mostly of VO2 work. Keep in mind that VO2 work will also help you build your FTP, and will help you recover faster if you have to put out a big effort during a race (cover an attack, climb, etc). So, for your second phase, I would do VO2 intervals (3X3min, 3X2min, and repeat) on M/W and maybe 2x20s on Fri. For your final training phase, try doing VO2 with less recovery ("recover" at tempo instead of OFF). That should bring you to your peak, taper for you event, and then give 'em hell (and tell us how it went)!

    How you actually do you intervals is kinda a personal thing, but I'll tell you what I do:

    For my 2X20s, I usually give myself 10min in between. That is just how much time I need to feel like I can give another solid effort.

    For my 3X3mins, I recover for 3min between efforts (spin easy during recovery), and for 2x2mins, I recover for 2min between efforts. Then I spin easy for 10min and do the whole thing again.

    In your final phase, if you choose to do the limited recovery intervals (these are brutal), try 10min blocks of work where you ride at tempo for 3min, then go hard (115-120% of FTP) for 2min, followed by 3min tempo and 2min hard. Then spin easy for about 5min. While these are really hard, they have been pretty effective at bringing me into peak fitness, so I am a total advocate of these. Oh, and you should do 3-6 blocks of the 10min sets. Do these 2X week (M/W) and maybe hill reps on Friday . . . . I just can't make myself do the same workout 3X/week.
     
  10. skip9

    skip9 New Member

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    Thank You ALOT Sir!... or Madam..

    That sounds like it will fit in with my Schedule perfectly and hopefully allow me to be an animal on the bike (Running is my strongest leg rather than Cycling). Will keep you posted with final routine and how it is all going.
     
  11. Nate Pearson

    Nate Pearson New Member

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    This time of year most cyclists benefit from the same type of plan.

    Mix of SST and Threshold workouts.

    A four day a week plan would be something like this:

    2 x 60 mins SST or FTP intervals. I would keep those intervals between 5-13mins. Tuesday/Thursday
    1 x 90 min aerobic tempo ride. Do this one in front of a movie. Switch gears/cadences while you ride. Saturday
    1 x 90 min big daddy ride. 3x20min, 4x15min, ect - Have these around 95% FTP. I like to make each one a little different so my brain has something else to think about. Sunday.

    That plan will raise your FTP no questions. I left off VO2 max because VO2 max trains quickly and is easy to plataue and feel burnout from. 6 weeks (so I hear) is the magic number for Vo2 max work to plateau. When you get closer to your race season you want to start throwing that work in.

    -Nate
     
  12. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    Hi Nate,
    I would agree with you, but if you read above, skip is IN-SEASON! It is summer for him in Australia, so the plan I gave him is a lot like my own in-season training plan. I know it is hard to think along the lines of in-season training with snow falling outdoors and CT sessions in full gear, but skip is one lucky guy . . . if only I didn't have a job, I'd spend "winter" training in Australia (wait, aren't I supposed to be happy that I have a job!?!?!)
    .
     
  13. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'd test both indoors and out, just to see what the difference is between the two.
     
  14. Nate Pearson

    Nate Pearson New Member

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    Opps!

    Then yes, VO2max and race specific workouts. Since you're going long try to keep those long rides up in the lower end of SST. It's amazing how much fitness you can get by long SST workouts rather than slightly longer level 2 workouts.
     
  15. JKTowson

    JKTowson New Member

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    I actually do P90X several days a week. You can focus on Leg and core excercises to make it bike specific.

    Give it a try, works for me.
    Jason K.
    http://www.bikepumps.org/
     
  16. allanmrego

    allanmrego New Member

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    Hey, I have a blog in which i am currently posting a multi part series on weight training specific to cycling. its an excellent way to increase force and power, while "mixing it up" in the winter months. allanrego.blogspot.com
     
  17. Johnny Miller

    Johnny Miller New Member

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    Hey Skip

    I feel like most people need to set their own pace because nobody knows your body as good as you do

    I have some ideas on diet changes you can make to increase power.

    Try to drink a liter of water right when you wake up in the morning.

    Try to eat a whole grain breakfast either bread, or cereal with some type of fruit juice I like orange juice.

    try pistacios or walnuts almonds and pecans for a in beween lunch snack I like pistacios

    then for lunch try to go for some grains with protein and some vegetables and make sure they are raw so yo can get the enzymes

    then have another snack of nuts and make sure to get your grains protein and vegetables for diner I like to eat fish with my meals

    hope this helps
     
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