Training for multiple disciplines

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by dshort461, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. dshort461

    dshort461 New Member

    Feb 11, 2011
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    Most of the races in my area are criteriums, so training for one specific type of event hasn't been that difficult, but next year my goal event will be a stage race with a road race, TT, and criterium. I know all three require different types of training, so I'm struggling with developing a program that will prepare me well for all three types of events. I'm familiar with hill training, TT training and all, but not familiar with where or how to plug them into my program (what days and how many days). I usually train 5 - 6 days a week. Anyone have experience with training for the different disciplines?

  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
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    Yes, the vast majority of cyclists I've ridden with, raced with or coached train for multiple disciplines, IOW it's the norm not the exception.

    Don't over complicate things, the basics don't change. Work on sustainable power and base over the winter, target specific skills and high end energy delivery systems that either address event specifics or your particular race limiters during the pre-season build up to racing and then do load management and specific peaking work as more important events approach. How that looks on a day by day and week by week basis depends on many things including your available time to train and training history but craft a well rounded program and it's likely your crit racing will improve along with the other things you've mentioned.

    As a starting point google SST (Sweet Spot Training) as a method of building sustainable power if you're training 15 or fewer hours per week on average and especially if you're limited to 10 or fewer hours much of the time. That won't put the icing on the cake in terms of specific race fitness but it's a very good foundation for an all arounder's program and since a lot SST work revolves around steady 20 to 45 minute or longer Tempo and Threshold intervals it's perfect training for time trial prep as it teaches you to do solid work for sustained durations which helps develop pacing and mental focus skills essential to time trialing. Do a lot of that over the winter and early spring months, transition to targeting higher end systems like VO2 Max work as racing draws nearer and then find ways to integrate really high end work like thirty second to two minute anaerobic interval work tailored to your specific needs to put the top end on your racing.

    That's a pretty standard approach for a general road racer and it isn't till you get to the last phases of race specific specialization that things change much but even then the strongest road racers and time trialists tend to be pretty good crit riders even if they aren't bunch sprint specialists as the basics of sustainable power, training base, and overall fitness are the same.

    Good luck,
  3. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Nov 25, 2010
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    Dave's advice is solid with regards to the training, alway is. One thing I will add based on my experiance this season is that if the road race is a long race (60+ miles) be sure you are getting in some real high intensity endurance. Either road races or a long hilly hard training ride were you don't stop (I suggest hilly because it is hard to simulate race intensities on flat roads for 3 hours). What I experienced was that I came out in solid form early season, but went through a period where I was doing a lot of crit weekends. My schedule then went back to road races and I have found myself struggling with leg cramps part way through. In other words, in the weeks leading into your taper for the race, my opinion would be that you would do better to do a couple road races vs crits OR not racing and finding long hilly routes to trash yourself on. Ideally you have some races that are both crit and road race weekends, then you get both. I think most people tend to trade the long hard endurance for short intensity as the season progresses, but in a stage race type scenario if you cramp with 20miles left you may loose a huge hunk of time. It is a ton easier to gut check a 60 minute crit, plus if the crit is on the last day you still end up in more of a muscular endurance situation any way.
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    The only thing you really need different for any of those disciplines, is a willingness to bump elbows and hustle around corners a wee bit quicker in crits. Other than that it's all gonna hurt and it's pretty much all aerobic based pain anyway. If you have any midweek crits in your area, ride those with the intent of training and not focusing on winning. Go out and give 'em hell. If you blow with 10 minutes left, no biggie - it's training. You had fun and you got the work in and you hopefully made people suffer. Sometimes no pressure = the win.

    With TT's I'd focus a little on riding the TT bike in 10 to 30 minute intervals at 95 to 105FTP. For most the TT position is a bit crap. Going over 100%FTP is crap. Doing both and waiting until race day to do it is beyone just a little bit crap.