Training plan for newbie triathlete... speed up my 40km Olympic tri ride

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by mikej321, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. mikej321

    mikej321 New Member

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    Hi All,


    I am pretty new to cycling and have started doing triathlons, I have been riding for about 4 months (December last year) now with no real structure to my training and a lot of guess work. I am at a stage where the tri season has finished and the next one will recommence in about 8 months, I feel the bike is an area I need improvement and want to take it more seriously. It is the only part of my training I don't really understand well or have a specific structure to improve (get faster) my current training is as follows:

    Monday - Rolling Hills Ride 50km
    Tuesday - Easy Spin/Recover 35km
    Wednesday - Rolling Hills Ride 50km
    Thursday - Easy Spin 35km
    Friday - Easy Spin 35km
    Saturday - Long Endurance Ride/Mountain Ride 80-100km
    Sunday - REST

    I am planning to follow this for approximately 3 months to help build a strong base, just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me? Am I overtraining? Is focusing on hills going to help me go faster?

    After this block of 3 months I plan to work on high cadence 120-130, high speed interval work, I am hoping by my next Tri I can get my average speed over 40km up to 35km/h


    Your suggestions and feedback would be greatly appreciated
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    If you're really going to target the bike during this off season, then target the bike. 50 km rides aren't long rides. Instead of just dictating the terrain, go after some specific sustained intensity goals. You could define those in power terms if you have a PM, HR terms if you train with HR or just plain old perceived exertion (RPE) terms if you have neither but work in sustained efforts that get you breathing steadily and deeply and require focus to hold steady for 20 minutes or longer per effort. You don't want to do this stuff on every ride but at least a couple of days per week if you really want to pick up your cycling leg.

    If you're still running and swimming then craft a balanced program that manages fatigue and recovery across all three sports but if you're really trying to improve your bike splits then some focused workouts and not just miles on the bike will really help. And make that focus longer sustained efforts as in 15, 20, 30 minutes or longer in steady efforts without rest breaks but ridden within your capabilities so not crazy hard sprint intervals but steady hard work that requires a lot of focus and not just miles on the bike.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
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  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I started following what Dave is suggesting for targeting a certain level or zone for a sustained period of time and want to highlight how that has helped me even though I am not a competitor. The more I began to understand and apply this I could see a difference when out on the road at times when I am near another cyclist for comparison.

    Where rolling hills may be targeted or may be the only thing available in your area as they are in mine for most outdoor routes you will sometimes see people say "you need to smooth out the hills" meaning their power data reflects an irregular effort of intensity. Since this was an initial difficult task for me being new to this type of training I picked out the flattest courses I could find in my area so that I could virtually train outside with near the same consistency of holding that level or zone as I can in a controlled indoor setup for a long sustained period of time. As I improved in endurance I have been able to smooth out the rolling hills sort of speak so that my power output I try to hold the same going up, going through the crest and then hold it on the descent. Repeat and repeat and repeat and not let up and until a stop sign forces the break or you finish the route.

    Now that I have been focused in on this for a while and becoming much better even holding for very long periods of time/miles. What I have observed when I come up on or passed by another cyclist that appears to be a triathlete (based on how the bike is setup with all the bottles, bento boxes and such on a TT type bike) is whether than can hold that type of output for sustained periods of time.

    In my area I have been quite surprised at the amount of cyclists and many of them looking far more fit and race ready than me will pedal with consistent torque for a number of miles and then out of the blue coast for a short stretch and then pick it up again. Every now and then I will come along side another like a couple of weeks ago where the guy must have lost focus while training solo, but when I went by him it must have sparked his competitive side. With both of us on TT bikes he held an extremely steady pace like I had never seen before. He was not about to let me come around him again. I sat just off his left side so that I would not lose my intensity from drafting and held to my training level regardless of what he was doing. It just so happened that we (me and a complete stranger) sat at the same steady pace for about 20 miles with no words spoken. It was just flat out seeing who could sustain this effort and it was a cool experience. I was quite impressed with how steady he could hold such a steady effort because I see so many that seem to just for what looks so random let up off the intensity on a flat fast road. The only thing I can think is that they have just not learned to hold those big long steady efforts and cannot tolerate the legs screaming for relief.

    So my two cents is what Dave suggest by holding intensity (with a power meter, HR or perceived effort) does two things as far as what I have observed. It is a great way to build the fitness you need in a triathlon or TT or even general bike fitness and the other is starting to become friends with the pain zone and loving it when those legs begin to burn in agony and your mind ignoring the call to ease up. The people I have observed that let up and coast for a few seconds here and there are the ones that probably have better fitness than me, but just cannot tolerate being that uncomfortable for even longer stretches of time or miles.
     
  4. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    Interesting, I'm pretty poor at steady continous pedalling although not that poor when motivated to do it, I've done a 110minute TT where I held good continuity and watts which were a good percentage of my FTP - but I find it doesn't really do a whole lot more for me than a ride where I can coast every few minutes. As that coasting allows me to go harder for the next bit (in a TT of course this isn't so efficient as I slow too much and lose too much in then re-accelerating too).

    I suspect this has a lot to do with the type of mentality you have. SteveI recently said something that to me that I came to completely agree with - some people get huge benefits from a Power Meter as they get a force to work, whereas others would likely get to the same place without as they have an internal motivation to work. I'm very much the latter, I really enjoy working hard, it's why I ride, and I don't think the power meter has done anything particularly for my cycling (although it has my enjoyment around it, tracking progress is very interesting)
     
  5. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    It may not be crucial for doing well in triathlons. My coworker who has been a fairly successful in her AG for a number of years admitted to me the other day that she has a bad habit of breaking the sustained effort, coast a bit and then go at it again. I would guess it is more crucial for those that have very similar abilities. Last year she came in second in her biggest event by less than a second from the bike split and she mentioned that at one point she eased up on the bike thinking she had it in the bag. After the race she was very angry with herself for not staying involved and focused throughout the bike portion because that is her strongest out of the 3 events.


    Just using her as an example that she is so good on the bike against her AG that she has been able to get away with coasting for a bit and get away with it, but other times like this one it cost her. I don't want to imply that it is absolutely crucial, but training like Dave, RDO and other mention where you train with longer sustained efforts has another positive side effect and that is getting used to the mental side.

    I also want to say we all have a point of caving and I still cave especially when it comes to training solo and being in a headwind for many miles. Mentally it becomes a real battle. I think of js and RDO that will do a 2 hour sustained indoor effort and to me that is impressive. I also think of these guys competing in an Ironman that have to stay mentally and physically focused/involved and try no to let up for 100 miles and I also think how someone like Cancellera must have the highest tolerance to suffering of just about anyone on the planet. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    That being said my breaking point for mental anguish is better than it used to be, but still needs a lot more work. What needs the greatest improvement though is still my FT. That part is still at the pathetic level.
     
  6. anthonyclayton

    anthonyclayton New Member

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    What about nutrition? I may have skipped over something but I didn't notice anything about nutrition. What types of foods should a person star away form when preparing for a triathlon?
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    That's a huge subject but basically the same as you would for other endurance sports, general life health, recovery and weight management. Lot's of paths you can take nutritionally but there's nothing special about triathlons that make it different than say nutrition for cyclists, runners or swimmers other than the caloric needs of sustaining training for all three sports simultaneously.

    Basically eat well, manage your weight, keep your glycogen topped up as well as you can to sustain heavy training loads eat a balanced diet and follow whatever nutritional philosophy you subscrie to. Sure ask enough athletes and you'll get a lot of different answers as to what works or doesn't work for them and many answers about the latest 'perfect diet' for sports but there are many ways to approach this and no real magic bullets that let you ignore the basics of fueling your workouts, fueling your recovery, fueling your bodiy's rebuilding processes and managing intake vs output to manage weight.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
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