Training for a target FTP around endurance and races



BullGod

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Apr 6, 2006
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I'm busy preparing for my first season as an elite rider here in holland.

So far I have been riding regular 4-5hr endurance rides (25kph avge) mixed with some mid week "SST" rides of 60-180 minutes on the KK at roughly 250-280w.

I haven't done any work on L4 or 5, except on sunday I rode a 90 minute preseason club race that was pretty fast (40km/h average on a tight circuit with lots of wind) - I had to dig deep to stay with the rapidly thinning peloton til the end.

I am now looking to start building my FTP with structured L4 training, and I want to work to a target of 350w (I weigh 152 lb / 69 kg). I figure if I can ride 3 hours at 250w, and my "sweet spot" is around 280w then 350 for one hour is realistic, plus I will need to be around that level to not get dropped....

It will be difficult for me to work any real "block" on L4 as I have to fit it around mandatory team endurance rides (way too slow) and weekly preseason races (way too fast) that mean I won't have any real freshness after endurance riding, but will also have to have good legs for the races on sunday, as it's not unusual to see guys like Laurens ten Dam, Sebastian Langeveld and Niki Terpstra lining up - and I have to be totally on form to stay with them ;-)

I'm wondering a few options.

A - 10 minute blocks at 350 - as many as can be sustained - with 10 mins L1 between each.

B - 30 mins x 2 (15 mins L1 between) at a weekly increasing wattage for one month one day per week - 300 / 315 / 330 / 350 (hopefully)

C - 20 mins x 2 (20 mins L1 between) at 95% of 350 once a week - hope like hell i can do it from the off and that it starts to get easier after a few weeks....

The weekly racing should take care of the L5 and 6 to drag it up a few notches too.

any thoughts? (apart from stuff about getting a powertap and a coach - I gave up my job to be an amateur rider - money is tight)

I am thinking about trying C, and if it is too hard, reverting to B if that is the case, and using A as a back up if the trainer is killing me.
 
BullGod said:
I'm busy preparing for my first season as an elite rider here in holland.

So far I have been riding regular 4-5hr endurance rides (25kph avge) mixed with some mid week "SST" rides of 60-180 minutes on the KK at roughly 250-280w.

I haven't done any work on L4 or 5, except on sunday I rode a 90 minute preseason club race that was pretty fast (40km/h average on a tight circuit with lots of wind) - I had to dig deep to stay with the rapidly thinning peloton til the end.

I am now looking to start building my FTP with structured L4 training, and I want to work to a target of 350w (I weigh 152 lb / 69 kg). I figure if I can ride 3 hours at 250w, and my "sweet spot" is around 280w then 350 for one hour is realistic, plus I will need to be around that level to not get dropped....

It will be difficult for me to work any real "block" on L4 as I have to fit it around mandatory team endurance rides (way too slow) and weekly preseason races (way too fast) that mean I won't have any real freshness after endurance riding, but will also have to have good legs for the races on sunday, as it's not unusual to see guys like Laurens ten Dam, Sebastian Langeveld and Niki Terpstra lining up - and I have to be totally on form to stay with them ;-)

I'm wondering a few options.

A - 10 minute blocks at 350 - as many as can be sustained - with 10 mins L1 between each.

B - 30 mins x 2 (15 mins L1 between) at a weekly increasing wattage for one month one day per week - 300 / 315 / 330 / 350 (hopefully)

C - 20 mins x 2 (20 mins L1 between) at 95% of 350 once a week - hope like hell i can do it from the off and that it starts to get easier after a few weeks....

The weekly racing should take care of the L5 and 6 to drag it up a few notches too.

any thoughts? (apart from stuff about getting a powertap and a coach - I gave up my job to be an amateur rider - money is tight)

I am thinking about trying C, and if it is too hard, reverting to B if that is the case, and using A as a back up if the trainer is killing me.
What's your current FTP you think, around 300 based on your "TSS" rides? I'd do "C" too, but up to about a max of 110% of current FTP to keep it an L4 effort and then increase wattages toward the 350 target as your FTP increases in conjunction with the L5 and L6 efforts of the racing. Build the FTP, don't smash it! ;-) Get some rest too.
 
BullGod said:
I am thinking about trying C, and if it is too hard, reverting to B if that is the case, and using A as a back up if the trainer is killing me.
I would tend to agree that C is the best option for raising your FTP. Workout B would be more useful for raising CTL, but it sounds like you are getting in lots of base building on your team rides. For workout A, if you are going to suffer you might as well go with an all-out pull up approach of 5 min VO2 max intervals. On the other hand if you are able to crank out 1hr at 350watts by doing 10 min intervals...
Something else to consider is something like Bill Black's Hour-Of-Power workout. I'm starting to do these type of workouts on the trainer. It helps with trainer boredom since you have the surge every 2 minutes or so, rather than just slugging it out for an hour. Plus it utilizes both the pull-up and push-up approach to building FTP. My line of thinking is the best workout is the one that gets you the most time at ~FTP while still keeping you motivated.
 
I think that you are focusing too hard on hitting 350 watts, instead I think you should focus on where you are right now. If you are doing 250-280watts for 60-180minutes, the chances are that your ftp is only around 280-300 watts. If you start trying to hit 350 watts straight away, you are setting yourself up for overreaching, burn out, etc, all in the early season!

Instead I would try the following. Because it is very early in the year, do not keep rigidly to such a plan. Hard races and group rides require more recovery time, so allow for that! You should focus on threshold after resting, and ease up on the following training slightly.

Day 1; Race/hard group ride
Day 2; Day off, (if you still aren't 100% on day 3, take it off too!)
Day 3; Try doing about 10x 6 minute blocks at Vo2max (for you maybe 330-340watts). (2 minutes recovery between each block). Only do this if you are really psyched up for it!
Day 4; 2x20 at 90-95% FTP (275watts for you), followed by 1 hr tempo later in the day (240-250watts)
Day 5; same as day 4
Day 6; 2 hrs at tempo
Day 7; Off, or recovery ride (level 1). Nothing strenuous before the race!
 
haggismn said:
I think that you are focusing too hard on hitting 350 watts, instead I think you should focus on where you are right now. If you are doing 250-280watts for 60-180minutes, the chances are that your ftp is only around 280-300 watts.
i guess what would really help is to test for current FTP.

i will have to base that on 0.95 x 20 minute effort, as I don't think a 1 hr max all out effort will do my training plan any good right now.

might leave it a few days though.....out with a cold and have a mouth ulcer from too many hours out in the cold....been on 16 - 20 hours a week recently.

i wopuld estimate FTP to be 300 - 320.....but if i can ride 3 hours at 260w with HR never going over 150 (max is 180) then i reckon the extra intensity i can produce for the shorter duration definitely gives me the potential to get to 350.

Anybody know what % of max HR they have recorded for their best FTP efforts?
 
BullGod said:
Anybody know what % of max HR they have recorded for their best FTP efforts?
Dont use heart rate!! It can vary by huge amounts, sometimes for obvious reasons, sometimes for no reason at all! For me, my FTP heart rate can go anywhere from 165 to 182. There are simply too many factors which affect heart rate to make it reliable. Sure it is definitely useful as secondary info, more useful than speed. However if you really want to know where you stand, you have to use power and (initially)feel.

Do 20 minutes all out, and take 95% of that as your FTP. You might need a few attempts before you have an accurate idea of what your power is. Then work from there, concentrating on high threshold (95%FTP). Try to lay off the 3 hour rides as they will drain you. Its good for burnng off fat, but at 69kgs its probably not a priority. Since you want 350watts, concentrate on high threshold work as suggested in the example week I gave you.

Also, you were saying about powertap/coaching. Who cares about the coaching really. This site has more than enough info! I take it you mean that you don't have a powertap? If you dont you really should save up! KK with power is very good, but it loses some accuracy with heat, and then there are all sorts of motivational and physical issues which affect indoor training. Powertap/srm logs everything, and after you can spend forever comparing your rides and graphs once you have finished. It is also more fun for intervals on the road, particularly short ones, and more useful for maintaining constant power on rolling terrain (good for tts). I would put it top of your wishlist!

Keep us posted on your training and improvement! You should be able to get beyond 350watts in not too long if youre tempo is 280watts!
 
haggismn said:
Keep us posted on your training and improvement! You should be able to get beyond 350watts in not too long if youre tempo is 280watts!
Just tried the first 2 x 20 of the year....

the first one I went hard (95% I would say) and got 338 avge. Strangely i think i was holding a slightly higher wattage for the second half of the interval and finding it "easier"....

The second one I eased back (recovering from a cold and have race on sunday so started to worry I might make things "difficult" by going all out) so only got 310 avge....but it was too easy for a proper effort....

Reckon I can hit at least 325 for the hour indoor on the trainer right now.....add in some preseason races, some L5 work and I am pretty sure of wrapping 350 up by end of March. 360 at 68kg would be nice!
 
BullGod said:
...mandatory team endurance rides (way too slow) and weekly preseason races (way too fast)....
Just a question (perhaps a leading one), but when/how is the rest of the team going to build their FTP to racing level? Is there a team coach/trainer/manager that is dictating how everyone should train/race at this point?
 
Hey Bulldog fill me in whats going on mate? You're racing for an amateur team and obliged to do time consuming base training in harsh weather conditions that have resulted in a mouth ulcer and a cold. But here comes the worse bit. You already know how to train using up to date scientific methods and now there's a sudden rush to get your FTP up to 350watts. I hope they're paying you well cause I reckon nearly half of the regular posters on this forum could've set you up with a better preparation plan for racing. Sorry to be so harsh but I'm quite perturbed:confused:
BullGod said:
I'm busy preparing for my first season as an elite rider here in holland.

So far I have been riding regular 4-5hr endurance rides (25kph avge) mixed with some mid week "SST" rides of 60-180 minutes on the KK at roughly 250-280w.

I haven't done any work on L4 or 5, except on sunday I rode a 90 minute preseason club race that was pretty fast (40km/h average on a tight circuit with lots of wind) - I had to dig deep to stay with the rapidly thinning peloton til the end.

I am now looking to start building my FTP with structured L4 training, and I want to work to a target of 350w (I weigh 152 lb / 69 kg). I figure if I can ride 3 hours at 250w, and my "sweet spot" is around 280w then 350 for one hour is realistic, plus I will need to be around that level to not get dropped....

It will be difficult for me to work any real "block" on L4 as I have to fit it around mandatory team endurance rides (way too slow) and weekly preseason races (way too fast) that mean I won't have any real freshness after endurance riding, but will also have to have good legs for the races on sunday, as it's not unusual to see guys like Laurens ten Dam, Sebastian Langeveld and Niki Terpstra lining up - and I have to be totally on form to stay with them ;-)

I'm wondering a few options.

A - 10 minute blocks at 350 - as many as can be sustained - with 10 mins L1 between each.

B - 30 mins x 2 (15 mins L1 between) at a weekly increasing wattage for one month one day per week - 300 / 315 / 330 / 350 (hopefully)

C - 20 mins x 2 (20 mins L1 between) at 95% of 350 once a week - hope like hell i can do it from the off and that it starts to get easier after a few weeks....

The weekly racing should take care of the L5 and 6 to drag it up a few notches too.

any thoughts? (apart from stuff about getting a powertap and a coach - I gave up my job to be an amateur rider - money is tight)

I am thinking about trying C, and if it is too hard, reverting to B if that is the case, and using A as a back up if the trainer is killing me.
 
frenchyge said:
Just a question (perhaps a leading one), but when/how is the rest of the team going to build their FTP to racing level? Is there a team coach/trainer/manager that is dictating how everyone should train/race at this point?
There is no advice from our numerous "directors" (who in any case know very little I imagine) but the experienced riders on the team swear by LSD all winter, and then use the preseason races to build the intensity. There seems to be very little structural training re. intervals.

The preseason races are good - ridden fast with plenty of wind. Really a good weekly workout.

When we are group riding we usually ride on the small ring at an "all day" speed , and I do see some of them grinding on the 54x11 and calling it "power training".

I still think (for me at least) there is a need for one day a week of recovery (day after race_ and a dedicated L4 2 x 20 session. Might add a weekly 5 x 5 L5 session in March - although I can see from my HRM that these races are giving me some quality L5 time.

One of my teammates just rode the Tour of Venezuela and is flying right now.

But here in Holland that seems to be the way things are done: long endurance rides all winter, and then start racing early and frequently to build the speed.

BTW - if anyone in the 20hrs a week club gets jip from mouth ulcers try Vitamin B - cleared them up in no time.
 

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