Training Bible and Workout Durations for Beginner

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by robertjuric, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. robertjuric

    robertjuric New Member

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    I'm a new cyclist and using Friel's Training Bible to design my workout schedule. I'm 25 and in fairly decent shape (not cycling shape though I've come to learn). My goal is to do a few crits next season. My question is regarding workout duration. My work/life schedule allows me about an hour in the mornings and I also have the option of about 45min-1hr to workout at lunch. I try to get a 3 hour ride in on the weekend and 1 day of rest. Will workout durations of 1 hour or less hamper my training abilities? I'm considering 2-a-days for my heavier weeks because right now in "Base 2", I'm having a hard time scheduling 10 hours of workouts in 45 minute increments.

    Also regarding intensity, I don't think I'm getting much out of a 45 minute ride in Zone 2, will moving into higher intensities hurt my training later?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    You can definitely get by with less than 10 hours per week but as you drop weekly hours yes, you should bump up intensity. Not gut busting short intervals, but hard sustained efforts in the 15 to 60 minute range will generally lead to more success than easy riding if you're severely time limited. You don't need or want to do these harder sustained efforts every day but at least a few times per week if you're not riding a ton of hours.

    And of course like anything you get out of it what you put into it, so if you can arrange for more training time (and back down the intensity if you add a lot of training time) then you'll likely make more progress than you will on fewer hours.

    -Dave
     
  3. robertjuric

    robertjuric New Member

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    Is 10 hours a week sufficient? I know more can be better, but if 10 hours is severely limiting myself then I could take another look at my schedule.
     
  4. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    10 hours isnt severely limiting you, unless you're goal is to be a 'pro' etc...

    The key is to look at how best to use that time, use an appropriate amount of intensity and make sure you dont just spend those 10 hours tooling around etc. I rarely end up with 10 hour weeks and am happily increasing my FTP, endurance etc and riding long european sportives etc successfully enough.

    I have found that it did take a bit of a leap of faith to realise you dont need lots of the traditional LSD miles in order to build a 'base' but now realise how true that is. Spend those 1 hour sessions riding at a good tempo or low threshold pace as Dave describes (and 300+ pages are devoted to in the 'Its Killing Me...' thread) and you'll see amazing gains.
     
  5. scottz123

    scottz123 New Member

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    Robert,

    Sounds like you are on the right track and getting plenty of solid advice. The only thing I could ad is to make sure you deload occasionally as mentioned in training bible.

    Best words of advice that I wish I has listened to at 1 or 2 points in my life:

    "When in doubt leave it out" (pertaining to fatigue you may feel)

    "Better to be 10% under trained then 1% over trained"
     
  6. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    FTP (zone 4) is based on 1 hour rides. Your rides are less than an hour. Your goal should be to ride these 45 minute rides close to or at Zone 4. Save the Zone 2 stuff for rides over 6 hours.

    Pick up your pace on the rides. As you get into better condition (but not necessarily stronger) it should become easier to ride 45 minutes in Zone 4.
     
  7. robertjuric

    robertjuric New Member

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    Should these L4/Z4 workouts be the primary focus of my training, or is it still important to keep the balance with other abilities such as speed and my long endurance rides on the weekend? In other words, how I should modify my existing schedule to incorporate these L4 workouts?
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    The more 'beginner' you are, the more the emphasis should be on riding your bike, doing some longer rides and overall aerobic fitness. Threshold (L4) work can be an important part of that fitness building but at the start simply riding a lot and building stamina for longer rides generally pays off nicely. When progress begins to slow and the idea of the occasional three or four plus hour ride isn't a huge challenge then increased focus on L4 sessions is usually your next best step. If you're going to race next season then later in the winter to early spring it makes sense to do more speed work and if it's your first season racing then you'll definitely want to find some groups to ride with as riding skills are very important for mass start racing and you'll usually get some pre-season speedwork out of feisty group rides as well.

    -Dave
     
  9. robertjuric

    robertjuric New Member

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    That makes sense, and actually looking at my plan I wasn't too far off. I was just confused about the purpose of the workouts I was supposed to be doing. Right now my weekly schedule looks something like:

    Form Sprints/Cadence Spin-Ups (Bike Skills)
    Tempo Ride
    Force Reps (Short Moderate Hill Intervals)
    Tempo Ride
    Threshold Intervals
    Rest
    Long Ride (3+ hr)

    Most of my rides are along a course with moderate rolling hills, so even on my tempo rides always get some sort of hill work in. As the season(or off-season) progresses I plan on increasing intensity and adding more intervals. My main concern has been with the duration of my workouts, am I making the best use of my time on the bike. After the much appreciated input from you guys I think I'm going to bump up the intensity.
     
  10. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    The general consensus on these forums and the wattage google group is that cadence drills and "strength endurance"/"force reps" are not worthy of your time. They seemed really odd when I first read about them in Friel's book but I did some of them anyway in the beginning, but now I don't bother. There's little or no evidence that high cadence drills or low cadence drills are beneficial.

    http://www.aboc.com.au/tips-and-hints/why-we-dont-use-strength-endurance-anymore

    Albeit, there was a recent study that contradicted this, but I can't seem to find it anymore.
     
  11. POGATA

    POGATA New Member

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    Doesn`t hurt being able to ride comforably with a high cadence?
     
  12. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    My guess is that riders just navigate to their optimal cadence during normal riding and that their optimal cadence changes with fitness changes. Just because you can "comfortably" ride at a very high cadence does not make that cadence more efficient. I haven't read anything that stated otherwise, but I have not looked very deeply into the issue. Perhaps Dave or Frost have some more advanced ideas.

    I wasn't paying attention then, but it sounds like Lance Armstrong started a high cadence fad back in the day and that explains a lot of this heart felt sense that higher cadence is king.

    CAVEAT: High cadence is probably more important to those riders that ride bikes with no gears: track and bmx. They have to peddle faster to go faster. However, I did read something recently that suggested that track sprinters have recently started using bigger gears and lower cadences than they used to.
     
  13. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    It does, but one doesn't need "drills". Just ride at a high cadence during rides. Pretty easy on endurance or tempo days.
     
  14. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    it seems im the old fashion person here, to some extent i disagree, specially when training indoors on a trainer, cadence is one parameter that i check out often,
     
  15. frost

    frost New Member

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    You obviously haven't got that power meter yet /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  16. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    The 45 minute rides are not L4. Your goal should be to be able to do your 45 minute work outs at L4. Just do the 45 minute rides. Try to keep your power up. Try to increase your power output from time to time.

    The goal of long workouts is to condition your heart. Your goal is to keep your heart rate up. After many rides the same heart rate will produce more power. LSD (long steady distance) are steady in that you have have a goal heart rate that you try to maintain. It is proper to let you heart rate rise to LT during climbs and fall below the goal on descents.
     
  17. POGATA

    POGATA New Member

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    High cadence might come in handy from time to time, ergo it`s beneficial to be comfortable with high cadence(I`ve written nothing about increasing ones normal cadence, just to be comfortable with high cadence, when it`s necessary).
     
  18. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    Make sense. One situation I can see high cadence handy is during a sprint. Winding out the gear instead of shifting is bound to save some time.
     
  19. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    And another is feisty road races with a lot of pack surges or crits with frequent accelerations out of corners. It's a lot easier to rely on leg speed to quickly cover gaps then it is to jump out of the saddle and pound huge gears out of each corner or in response to each attack or pack surge. In those situations riding a bit lighter gear and having leg speed at your disposal is a very good thing.

    That said, I don't advocate one legged drills or much more than mixing training up so that some of it is done in lighter gears (generally dynamic group riding situations) and some of it is done at comfortable self selected cadence (mostly solo long interval efforts). IOW, you don't need to spin quickly every time you ride but if you haven't yet developed the coordination and suppleness to spin quickly when the situation demands it then it's worth some attention to expand your useable range of racing cadences.

    -Dave
     
  20. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    I would say that real beginners spin too slow when they pedal in their "most efficient" zone. and that is natural since at 15 mph probably 75 RPM is the most efficient cadence and you are wasting energy when you pedal at 100. however if you ride 25+ mph probably 100 is the most efficient cadence. I'm not sure but I think there is a cadence velocity curve which says that a low speed/power low cadence is most efficient and at high speed high power is efficient. that is why sprinters go 120 and in the mountains riders go like 75.

    any time trialist on the road uses a 100 cadence (or 95 to 105:)) because this is just the best cadence I think (I can't explain why but noone is riding 30 mph with an 85 cadence). so getting comfortable with those cadences early when they can not be used efficiently already might be a good idea even if you are not really being efficient.

    when I re started cycling about 2 months ago I forced myself to pedal 100 and I really got not forward and was gassed after 2 miles. so I corrected myself down to 90 and did that for some time and now I pedal like 95 when I ride near my threshold. sometimes you have to force yourself to do something.
     
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