Training for Century with 12,000 feet climbing, but limited training time...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by donrhummy, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    I'm training to ride a century that has 12,000 feet of climbing (9,500 is in the last 50 miles) but in training, I only have three days a week available most weeks (ocassionally, I'll have 4) with the following time restrictions:

    Day 1: 2 hrs riding time
    Day 2: 2 hrs riding time
    Day 3: Unlimited time

    What are my best options for training with those restrictions? I have about 7.5 weeks to do this.

    I'm not starting from zero (I've been riding all summer, mixing in hard 1 hour rides with 50-70 mile rides with 3-4,000 feet of climbing). Any help is MUCH appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    I would do as much SST as possible in order to have a chance to ride as long as possible during the century

    I have ridden centuries and even doubles on that much training, but it is not easy and you need to be smart about your time and not expect a PR
     
  3. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    By SST, do you mean: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3232 (Sweet Spot Training)?
     
  4. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    By SST, did you mean Sweet Spot Training?
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I shouldn't speak for Watoni, but I'm certain he was talking about Sweet Spot Training. It is exactly what I'd suggest for focused century training. Get a fair amount of mileage in your remaining training but do so with good focus and good training quality. That's basically the essence of SST, ride sufficiently hard to encourage your FTP to rise but sufficiently easy that you can do a lot of it and rack up a lot of quality training time.

    -Dave
     
  6. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    Thanks, Dave!

    That is exactly what I meant.

    The more intensity you have the less volume you can do. If time is a major limiter than working on Vo2max is not the best strategy. If you are doing a century then you need to ride steady and upping your FTP and getting some quality miles in is your best bet.
     
  7. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    Thanks. So then, I should leave out the intervals? I should just spend as much time riding near/above the speed that I'm looking to do in my century? Or is it done differently than that?
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    If by "intervals" you mean minute or two minute gut busting efforts, then yes leave them out. If you are talking about 15 to 30 minute intervals ridden close to your best intensity for the duration but backed off enough that you can complete the workout, then no those sort of long threshold intervals are a really good idea for your two days when you're time limited. Given your original post I'd structure the two hour ride days to get an hour to an hour and a half of solid Tempo/Threshold work which typically means 20 to 30 minute efforts ridden very near your best effort for the duration. Ideally at least some of these would be on sustained climbs since you're concerned about climbing in your upcoming event.

    On your long training day I'd go as long as you can with the condition that it doesn't degrade into slogging out slow miles and it doesn't trash you so much that you miss subsequent training sessions. IOW, I'd target a 3 to 4 hour ride ridden at roughly your best sustained pace for that duration. You should start at a good solid Tempo pace and not let it drop anymore than necessary. If you run out of gas or have to back off dramatically you should cut back the time on the bike and distance the following week so that you finished fatigued but not trashed and don't let the pace degrade into long slow junk miles.

    -Dave
     
  9. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    Yep, I am also very time limited and this is what I try in my 2 hour days.

    For example, yesterday I did a 2 hour ride with 2 climbs of 21-23 minutes & one about 15 minutes, all at threshold and pushed tempo on the flats to the extent there were any.

    That is only an hour at threshold but getting to the hills took a few minutes and the descents are about 4 miles as well. I find it works best to train on hills if that is what you will be facing ...
     
  10. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    Thank you both VERY much for the responses.

    I will do the intervals on those two days of 20-30 minutes, but how much rest should I have between each interval?

    Also, I am unable to find a climb of more than 4 minutes on those days. The closest 20+ minute climb (and actually the only climb longer than 4 minutes) is 55 miles away from me. I won't have time on the shorter days to go out there. So I hit that on the long day.
     
  11. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    Fair enough.

    I always rest however long it takes me to get back down the hill, which can be too long in some instances since I take a slightly different road down due to pavement/traffic.

    I aim for no more than 8 minutes rest, with 5 being ideal (which is why I do one local climb more than another).

    http://www-graphics.stanford.edu/~lucasp/grade/kingsmountain.html
     
  12. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    Thanks! So, I think my short (1.5 to 2-hour) days will be something like this:

    * Warmup (15-20 minutes)
    * 30 minute L3-L4 interval
    * 5-8 minutes rest
    * 30 minute L3-L4 interval
    * 5-8 minutes rest
    * (If time allows) 20-30 minute L3-L4 interval
    * Cooldown (15-20 minues)

    Just one question, since I don't have a power meter and only have a HR monitor, what would L3-L4 be? I had my max HR tested, so I can figure things out from there...
     
  13. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    L4 would be very near your best time trial style effort for the distance. Hard enough that it takes a lot of focus to finish the effort but easy enough that can actually finish the effort and after a short break you can do another. L3 would be backed off from there and represent your own fast but reasonable pace. Neither are slow, both get you breathing deeply and steadily and both take some focus to avoid dropping back to L2 or below. In either case the idea is to pace yourself so that you are fully in level after 6 to 8 minutes and hold pretty much the same effort from beginning to end. IOW don't go out too hard, get your breathing up too quickly and have to back off dramatically to finish. If you pace them well the first couple of minutes will probably feel too easy but if you continue with the same pace it'll catch up to you before the 20 or 30 minutes is up and you'll be happy to finish each effort.

    A good guideline for L4 work is that you can still reach for your watterbottle and take a drink, but only after a few quick breaths and not easily or relaxed. L3 should be easier but still ridden quickly and with focus.

    You'll get differing opinions, but IMO those are better reference points than your HR during L3 and L4 efforts.

    BTW, on your previous post. If your hills are too short and the terrain allows you can start these efforts on the flats and finish the final minutes on the climbs. I do that on one of my typical L4 training roads. It works out really nicely because it takes a lot of focus to hold the intensity on the flats and the hills almost seem easy as my power stays the same but I don't have to force myself to put out the power, the hill more or less keeps me honest. Lacking a PM you need to be careful not to kill yourself on the hill portion, just keep tuning into your breathing and effort but a lot of folks go way too hard on climbs and then have to let up to recover. It's better to keep the effort conistent and let the speed do what it must.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  14. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    Thanks!

    I actually have done a bunch of riding in the past at that level and I used a HR monitor so I know about where that level falls. However, in the past after I did a warmup, I started right out at that level and then tried to hold it, which I'm gathering you're saying is not the right way to do it. Definitely in the past I was able to hold the intensity but the speed dropped as the interval continued.
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    What we have here is failure to communicate......

    Seriously, we're running into some terminology trouble. If you're riding on flat or steadily graded terrain and the wind or road surface doesn't change dramatically then your speed will stay pretty constant if your power stays constant. If your speed typically drops off in a long interval and the terrain or wind hasn't changed then you've been fading at the tail end of your efforts. You might feel like you're working just as hard, but intensity is measured in terms of power(at least if we're talking about Coggan's training levels such as L3 and L4) not mental effort and if your speed is dropping that means your intensity is dropping.

    You're most likely going out too hard during these efforts and trying to hit preset HR targets can lead you to do just that. It takes 6 to 8 minutes for my HR to rise up to the average HR for my 20 minute intervals when I ride them at steady power from beginning to end. My HR will continue to rise more slowly all the way to the end of the effort if the power stays steady. IOW, if I try to get my HR up into "zone" too quickly I'll go too hard at the beginning and if I try to cap my HR to some arbitrary upper limit I'll have to back off on the power before the end. I rode with both my HR strap and power data for about a year and the data always showed that same relationship. I rarely wear the HR strap anymore since it tends to hurt more than help.

    Anyway, try rolling out a bit easier on your twenty minute efforts and keep the pedal pressure and speed fairly constant unless the wind, terrain or road surface changes dramatically. You shouldn't have to back down your speed to finish your efforts but it should feel pretty hard towards the end of each one. If you can't finish your efforts on steady terrain at a steady speed then back off a bit for the next effort and find your best pacing.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  16. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    Ah, I get it. I think the misunderstanding was due to the fact that I don't have a powermeter so I wasn't registering L3/L4 as a power-intensity. Instead, I was thinking in terms of HR. Hmmmm...this isn't going to be easy to figure out with just perceived-effort as a guage. You wouldn't happen to have an extra PM lying around would you? (Just kidding)

    Thanks again for ALL your help! (BTW, do you do this for a living? Your knowledge/advice is better than any of the "expert" books I've read)
     
  17. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, you'd have to wrestle it away from Feltrider and from what I understand of Felty I wouldn't try it :)

    Thanks for the kind words, but no I'm just a hack bike racer. I taught and coached nordic ski racing for a long time but don't coach cycling. But I do read everything I can and try to put this stuff to the test in my own training and racing. I also had a lot of very mediocre seasons racing bikes when I was younger and have had much better results since getting a PM and moving to Coggan/Lydiard style SST base work which is why I'm such a big fan of this approach. Anyway, the information is out there and it's not too hard to separate the tradition based training from the science based training but it takes time, effort, and some healthy skepticism.

    BTW, your experience with pacing falling off during your long efforts reminded me of frenchyge's very good point in a recent HR vs. PM vs. RPE thread. Many of us have had to learn how to do steady paced efforts. It's easy for me to look back and say I'd scrap the HRM now that I know what it feels like to do a steady 20 or 30 minute interval but that's 20/20 hindsight. For some reason there are folks out there that just figure it out sans instrumentation, after all there have always been top cyclists that have been able to pace time trials well even in the days before cycling computers. But a lot of us need some help to dial in the proper pacing and steady power L3/L4/L5 efforts are a lot like time trials for the appropriate durations. The power meter really helps to figure out what it means to hold steady power, but not everybody can or will make that big an investment.

    The best advice I can think of is to treat those intervals like training time trials. No, they don't have to be ridden right up against your best possible effort like you would in a race but try to pace them evenly from start to finish. Don't start too hard and try not to let your speed drop during each effort.

    -Learn to time trial to learn to train ... learn to train to learn to time trial....

    That may not apply to someone focusing on century rides, but it's pretty much why my race results have improved in recent years. I hated TTs when I was younger and could never nail the pacing or sustain the efforts. I also had to race in the group at all times since I couldn't conceivably get off the front and go it alone for any distance. Training with the PM and doing longer steady power efforts taught me to pace which taught me to TT and some of my best finishes have happened when I went off the front, got something going and came to the finish in a small group.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  18. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Don, I will be out on the back roads of Cartersville, Georgia tomorrow.
    One easy swipe with your car and the PM is yours.:)

    Except for the back wheel missing no one will question the accident since I have a reputation for crashing. :D


    By the way I am now on the one year mark of my bad road crash. I am finally getting some stability and good strength back in my separated shoulder with military press 105lbsx10 and 30lb db's side laterals. Before the crash I was using 75lb db's x6 for db presses and up to 40lb db side laterals. Also my bench is still pretty embarassing, which is a good thing I train super early when no one is in the gym. :eek:
     
  19. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I was struggling with this for a year and half with percieved effort and now it is great to finally have numbers to look at. Keep an eye on ebay and maybe something will turn up. I seem like there are 2 or 3 PT's a week that start at a reasonable bid, but I don't have great ebay bidding skills (interpret - I get distracted easily and forget that I am watching a particular item).

    I do believe for those who take training seriously (I don't compete, but I take it serious) it is a worthy tool.
     
  20. donrhummy

    donrhummy New Member

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    You need to give me more notice than that! LOL.
     
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