Training plans for Winter?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Eden, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Mellic

    Mellic New Member

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    I know just how it feels when your body wants off the bike around the 2 hour period. You are out there trying to keep your pace consistent and you start thinking and feeling that you are really uncomfortable. The reason why you are feeling uncomfortable is because you are starting to 'hit the wall'. The discomfort you can feel does vary from person to person, but it can be just little things like sore feet and hands which are tell tale signs to look for.

    Hitting the wall or bonking occurs when your body runs out of glycogen stores. When cycling the body relies on getting energy from two major sources - glycogen and fat. Glycogen stores are predominantly used during the first 30 minutes of exercise, and then after this point glycogen is used to mobilize fat for fuel. If you work at an intensity beyond the rate in which your glycogen mobilizes your fat stores your glycogen does run out and you hit the wall (this usually occurs between 1hr 45min and 2 hrs in moderately trained endurance athletes).

    If it is not too late you can prevent yourself from hitting the wall by reducing your speed and/or intaking more glycogen. Glycogen can be obtained quickly from ingesting drink/food with high carbohydrate levels. So make sure you drink sports drinks and if you plan to be on the bike longer than 2 hours take something to eat as well.

    You can train your body to utilise glycogen better by doing long slow rides training.
     


  2. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Excellent, informative reply Mellic!!!!
    What do you consider a very good snack to take along on rides optimal for keeping you going? Also, which sports drink do you think best, or are they all about the same?
    So far I've just been eating well - way more than I did when I was fat ironically, and taking 2-16 oz water bottles along with me. I have the insulated polar ones which are great for keeping things cool ~ even in warm weather. I fill them and stick them in the fridge in the evening and grab them on the way out the door when I go for a ride.
    Question- I'm not as hungry now as I was during the summer months. Does this have to do with the fact that I don't perspire the way I did when it was hot and humid? I often ate a bowl of pasta with my boys at midnight during summer. I don't really feel hungry after dinner anymore.
     
  3. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    It sounds like Mellic is right on target. Getting enough to eat and some electrolyte replacement could probably help a lot.
    Especially since you mentioned getting cramps and sweating a fair amount you probably should make sure you take some type of sports drink in addition to water. You are losing a lot of salt (and other electrolytes) and if you are only putting back water you're diluting whats left even more so its pretty imprortant to get some replacement. A salty snack can do the trick, but sports drinks are the easiest way and usually have enough sugar in them to keep your glucose levels up for shorter rides.
    A snack (something like an energy bar, a banana, some fig newtons) will keep your energy level up and keep you from being starving when you get home. Eating will be vital when you work up to longer rides.
     
  4. Mellic

    Mellic New Member

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    The snacks I take on rides are small little things I can stick into the pocket of my jersey such as muesli bars and other snack bars. I try to avoid foods with a too higher sugar content otherwise they are released into the blood stream too quickly and you experience a sugar high followed by a sugar low.

    In regards to sports drink you need to get one with a carbohydrate concentration between 6% and 8%. A sports drink with a concentration above 8% will slow the absorption rate and that is not good. Most mixed sports drinks have a carbohydrate concentration above 8% (except for gatorade which is 8%). The sports drink I use is powerade (because I like the flavour) but I buy the powdered one and dilute it a little more than the instructions recommend.

    I don't think there is any research showing the differences of consuming sports drink cold or at room temperature. I guess drinking it cold will help cool the system down more, but am not sure on that one.

    In regards to consumption of food in summer and winter - I tend to eat more in summer too. I think this probably does relate to energy usage in summer being more substantial than winter. But I know of heaps of cyclists who eat more in winter. The night before a big ride I eat heaps of carbohydrates (pasta or rice) and the next morning I follow it up with more for breakfast (cereal, toast, and a banana).
     
  5. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    This may also have to do with the fact that you are now more fit and your body is running more efficiently. When I used to ride less- only long rides on weekends, I used to come home starving and wanting to eat everything in the house. Now that I ride much more, usually 5 or 6 days a week, even the longer rides don't make me feel like that any more.
     
  6. tjodit

    tjodit New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the good advice. I'll try to remember the Gatorade. Once I tried PowerBar's Power Gel and it did seem to help. During last night's ride I hit the wall only 50 minutes into my ride. But I hadn't eaten a thing since lunch and it was almost 6:30pm.

    This may sound like a dumb question but I'll risk it. How do I work up to a longer ride? I have a couple of set routes that I take from home - county roads- and once I get back near my house I just head for home. It's not like I can just ride around the block a few more times. I live out in the "country". How do I gradually add more time/distance?
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    This is actually not quite true. You can change the 'substrate' utilisation from glucose to fatty acids by doing lots of long slow rides -- however, this would only be case if you weren't very fit. On the other hand by doing moderate-to-intense rides of 90-mins to ~ 4-mins (as 'intervals') you increase the 'aerobic machinery' (mitochondria and capillary network) within your muscles which allow higher rates of fat oxidation at higher intensities, thus 'sparing' muscle and liver glycogen. In other words as you increase your fitness your body is able to process and expend fat at a higher workrate than when you were less fit.

    Ric
     
  8. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    As always, thank you Eden and Mellic!!!
     
  9. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    The error wa that I typed my reply smack in the middle of your post instead of at the end. Sorry.
     
  10. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    I put my friggin back out yesterday at the supermarket bending over to pick up a loaf of bread.:( I'm so annoyed! I haven't done that in about 3 years! The temporary pain I can deal with, the real damage is I'll lose about 3 weeks of training - 2 at best before I'm back on my bike again. :mad: What can I do to make up for lost time once I'm back in action?
     
  11. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Bummer. I'd say treat it as an earned rest. Its good to take some real time off every once in a while and you may even come back with your legs at least feeling stronger. Its just a shame that you had to be forced to take the time off because of an injury. Hope you are feeling better soon.
     
  12. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    So I've formulated my winter plan
    if I can get outdoors during the week I probably will, but it rains a lot and gets dark here pretty early these days, so I'll most likely be inside.

    M- moderate spinning on the indoor trainer 1 - 1.5 hrs
    T- power intervals (goal to work up to being able to complete the DVD - power intervals + steady state - by the start of next season)
    W - moderate/mild (depends on how I feel) spinning on the indoor trainer 45min - 1.5 hrs
    Th-steady state intervals (goal to add power intervals to this day by beginning of next season)
    F - Rest Day
    Sa -group ride or base miles (60-80 miles) or x-country ski, or long trainer ride
    Su -group ride or base miles (60-80 miles) or x-country ski, or long trainer ride

    Any comments or suggestions for making this better would be more than welcome
     
  13. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thanks Eden! It ended up not to be as bad as I had anticipated. I did spend 5 days in bed more or less but am up and around now. Probably more because I can't stand being in bed any longer than anything else. My back still hurts some and I'm stil walking a bit funny but really missed being on my bike. I decided to take a short, slow ride around the block a couple of times today as I hadn't noticed much improvement in a day or so to see if some exercise might help. It didn't help but didn't hurt either. I guess rest will be the only thing to cure it. I can't see how rest would make you stronger. Wouldn't it more likely cause your muscles to atrophy a bit? Thanks for your concern.
     
  14. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Sounds like a plan. Sorry you are getting so much rain. We are having another warm spell here on Long Island I love the warm weather but we are supposed to get rain for a couple of days. Hope it doesn't get cold after that.
     
  15. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    It may sound counter intuitive but, rest is just as important as training. You can actually overtrain and end up slower/weaker the more you try. For some reason cyclists are particularly prone to overtraining so taking 1 or 2 weeks off from time to time isn't necessarily a bad thing for us.

    a nice explanation http://www.cptips.com/ovrtrng.htm
     
  16. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thank you for your very informative answer as usual. According to the article I may well have been over training. My back going out was probably my body's way of telling me to relax a bit. At least it wasn't too bad and I was on my feet in less than a week this time. I know the signs to look for now and will remain aware of them. My daughter had been telling me for about 2 weeks prior to my back going out that I was unusually irritable and wanted to know what was wrong with me. Excercise normally puts me in an excellent mood. I was just figuring it was the change in schedule from the kids going back to school. That may well have been a big part of it as I had not yet settled into a proper sleep schedule. I really couldn't believe it though, the first day my back was out and I was in bed for a full day I slept the entire day. I don't remember the last time I did that. Thanks again Eden!
     
  17. ptlwp

    ptlwp New Member

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    I am going to put a new union suit on under my clothes, (not for borrowing from spouses) get a microfiber get up at K-Mart and hope for the best.
     
  18. TrekCyclerChic

    TrekCyclerChic New Member

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    Well we've been having some weirdly wamr weather for this late in the year, but at least I'm trying to take advantage of it running. I'm ashamed to say it's been a while since I've been on my bike.

    But it's about time to pull out my trainer. I'm probably going to do a similar, but somewhat relaxed, training schedule as last year. Starting right after my winter break from school I started riding for 1-2 hours on my fluid trainer in my dorm 3-4 times a week. I try to go 20-30 mins on and 5-10 mins off then repeat. I also mix this with weight lifting and the stairmaster at the gym. By mid spring last year I was riding about 200 to 350 miles a week. My goal this year is to be averaging 175 miles a week by spring break. Maybe a little less since I want to gain miles running too.
     
  19. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I've changed the plans a bit since I first posted. My big change was joining a team (yeah me! Team Group Health www.teamgrouphealth.com) and I've cut out the intervals for now - the team encourages mostly zone3, zone2 riding right now. I'm thinking that I'll probably start the intervals back up in February? since racing starts up in March. I still get in a lot of trainer riding in the evenings (.5 to 2 hours/ night 4 nights/week) and now I have group rides on the weekends.

    I remember Rochester -I'm an RIT alumnus (1995) and I recall what the weather can be like out there - get outside while you still can :p. Actually, my husband and I developed a love of cross country skiing at Mendon Ponds, so we used to get out even in the winter, but it is kind of nice to be able to bike year round here even if it is kind of wet - we moved to Seattle after college.
     
  20. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Hi Eden,
    Long time since we corresponded. I finally picked up a trainer. 1 up USA. I was about to get a Kurt Kinetic when someone on the forum recommended it to me. I checked it out and decided it would be my best option as all bikes will fit on it, it's not too bad changing from bike to bike and I can't afford a new trainer every couple years so I spent a little extra and got this one. It has a lifetime guarantee and they provided me with 2 additional cups so my 10 yr old boys can go on also. My girls also use it but so far they have been using it with my bike on it even though they don't have cleats. If they begin to show real interest I'll bring their bikes in and put them on. Myself, I've been riding every night between 1/2 and an hr. Somehow there arent enough hours in a day to get good rides in during winter. I play music and close my eyes to envision a nice trail I might like to ride to break up the boredom. Somehow though I just don't feel like I get as good a workout as I used to during summer. I switch the gears around to make it tougher then easier as I would on the road and never allow my cadance to fall below 85 but it's still not the same. One thing I find is I drink lots of additional water and perspire way more than I do outdoors on a hot/humid day in summer even though my basement is freezing and I'm wearing shorts. The trainer doesn't provide hills and, of course dodging cars, etc. I'm not a maniac on the road or anything it's just full of surprises, thats all. I need to get back to Pilates which I really dislike but they do tighten up my body more than simply cycling alone. Any tips you can provide for training will be greatly appreciated.
    It must be really nice having a hubbie as into cycling as yourself! Somehow People don't really seem to get it unless they themselves cycle. My really good friends support me no matter what. Still, as much as they appear excited for me I don't get the impression they understand. Has this also been your experience? I've learned to just keep it to myself and ride.
    Nice for you you were able to find a team to cycle with during winter. I don't want to risk another asthma attack but would definetly enjoy meeting with a group once a week simply to shoot the breeze and pick up some training tips, etc. I have been as yet unable to locate any in my area. I'll check into your team and see if they have a branch on Long Island. Take care Eden! Talk to you soon! ~Deirdre
     
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