training so confusing

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by leanman, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. leanman

    leanman New Member

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    still winter time, so while i'm on the trainer i watch videos of cycling races to pass the time. watched one the other day and luc lablanc was in a breakaway with a 3 other guys..the commentator, who was a former pro rider was saying luc was using a gear way too big and hard to pedal. he will eventually tire out using such a big gear. he said lots of racers use too big of a gear and just tire their legs out. he was saying luc should ride a gear no harder than the big ring in front and 14 , 15 in the rear.. or eazier. spin and save the legs. he went on and on saying you're in a 120 mile stage you should only get in the 53x14 in the last few miles.. save the legs he kept saying. racing and trainin!!!! if this is the case why does chris charmichael have you doing muscle tension intervals? go for 5-10 minutes in the 53x11 going 60 rpm's. do a few of these once a week. maybe 2 times a week in the winter months.. and i read once online where andy coggan said all big gear riding does is wear out your legs. and i read eddy merckx never ever rode in anything harder than the 53 or 52x14..i thing all this reading and watching videos is confusing.. one world class coach says do muscle tension intervals, another world class writer/dr. says riding in a big gear just tires out your legs... WTF!!!
     
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  2. renderman5000

    renderman5000 New Member

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    ah...one was a race were conservation is critical.

    during training, you want to apply stress to your body so you'll get stronger after recovery. low cadence drills focus on building up your muscles...useful in a race.

    carmichael would agree with the commentators probably.
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    IMO, it's part announcer passing down more tradition than science, part context in terms of how to train vs. how to race effectively and part that there's lots of ways to skin the cat and not everyone pedals most efficiently at the same cadence in the same situation.

    IOW, a color commentator has to interject things like that, it's part of their job but that doesn't always make it true as much as passing on the way they were taught or the prevailing wisdom that may or may not be grounded in ex-phys or sports science. Sort of like when Armstrong was killing it and suddenly a lot of coaches were insisting that 110 rpm was the only way to time trial, never mind that many of the front runners were pounding bigger gears and going nearly as fast at 80-85 rpm. Or when Big Mig won a bunch of tours and folks started saying you had to be big and muscular to survive grand tours, then Pantani won and the commentators started talking about the need to be tiny and a flyweight.

    But there's also the context of racing vs. training. Is the goal to build power and cardiovascular fitness or is the goal to be able to accelerate instantly to cover a gap or go with a pack surge or attack? I'll often train 2x20s at relatively low, sometimes really low cadences but in a crit or punchy fast road race I'll run much lighter gears so that I can repeatedly jump out of corners quickly or stay tight on accelerating wheels. Sometimes I'll train at high cadences to make sure I can still wind the legs at power as I'll often want to race that way but not always. And FWIW I tend to TT at much lower cadences at least for steady non technical courses where there isn't any jumping out of corners to deal with.

    Then there's the whole Strength-Endurance debate. Coggan clearly comes down on the side that you're just kidding yourself that there's actual strength work involved doing thousands of sub-maximal reps at say 50 rpm. Carmichael seems to believe in them but it doesn't make it a point of fact. IMO, if your events demand grinding below your ideal cadence, like single speed MTB racing or very steep climbs on the road where you can't reasonably gear down low enough, then maybe it's useful in a specificity way but I buy into Andy's thoughts on the lack of any actual 'strength' work when grinding big gears slowly. It feels plenty hard but the peak forces are still very low, anyone with a power file that displays crank torque can verify this really easily.

    Anyway lots of viewpoints out there and I doubt they'll ever agree on everything. But I wouldn't take TV commentary as training advice. Personally I say train in whatever way allows you to sustain the most power, but also make sure some fast leg speed work is in your toolkit as it can be very useful in many mass start racing situations. That doesn't mean you have to train that way exclusively but if your pedaling falls apart at 100 or 110 rpm then it's probably worth some training time to extend your useable range so you don't always have to pound big gears at higher speeds. It just opens up more options and yeah in a feisty races with lots of attacks it can really help your legs over the long haul.

    -Dave
     
  4. leanman

    leanman New Member

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  5. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    You mention 3 people with jobs. They need to say something to keep their jobs. Most of the time what they say is worthless.

    It is not the gear, rpms, or power that tire out one's legs (at least not in the sense that the 3 are concerned with). It is the force applied to the pedals. If your legs get tired (in the sense that the 3 are concerned with), train to reduce the tiredness or change gears to reduce the tiredness.

    You should train in a manner that improves your condition so that you can use your condition to gain an advantage in races (or in whatever context you ride in). If you look at professional riders, you will find that riders with different strengths win races. They do that by making plans (including training plans) that exploit an advantage that their particular strengths give them.
     
  6. mando213

    mando213 New Member

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    Training can be really confusing and stressful, but one way you can handle it very well is by having a steady schedule and be really determine about it. Also have monthly goals. For example you can write down in a calendar that you are going to loose 10 pounds in one month, and in the following month 13 pounds. Try to challenge your self to make it more interesting and exciting. After that, guaranteed you wont be so confused by having your daily routine.
     
  7. grandamn

    grandamn New Member

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    I just read this and it seems pretty accurate.



    Quote: Maximum HR
    Many believe that you can calculate your maximum HR by using the formula of 220 minus your age. For some people this may be accurate, but for many it will be wildly out. I’m 54 years old so, using the formula, my max HR should be 166 (220-54). It’s actually 178, which is a big difference when training in very tight zones.
    A much more accurate formula is 210 minus half your age, then subtract 5% of your body weight in pounds. Add four for a male and 0 for a female. The only way to get a truly accurate max HR figure is to get a physiological test at a sport science centre, such as Fletcher Sport Science, but you can get a reasonable estimate by doing your own max HR test. Only undertake this test if you are fit and exercise regularly, though.
    Warm up thoroughly for at least 15 minutes. On a long, steady hill start off fairly briskly and increase your effort every minute. Do this seated for at least five minutes until you can’t go any faster. At this point get out of the saddle and sprint as hard as you can for 15 seconds. Stop and get off the bike and immediately check your HR reading. This is your max HR.
    “Don’t forget that your max HR figure is sport specific,” says Fletcher. “This means that your maximum on a bike will invariably be much lower than it is when you're running because the bike is taking some of your weight.”



    Quote: HR zones
    Having established the key numbers (max HR and resting HR) you're now ready to work out your training zones. There are lots of calculators on the web and, while many people use five training zones, I prefer the six-zone system prescribed by the Association of British Cycling Coaches. Fletcher is also a big fan of the six zones, although he points out that there is actually a recovery zone as well which is important. “If athletes are to perform well they need to recover well,” he says. “I monitor every session my athletes do and I can tell very easily when they need to recover and how long that recovery needs to be.”
    Zone 1 (60-65% of maximum heart rate): For long, easy rides, to improve the combustion and storage of fats.
    Zone 2 (65-75% of MHR): The basic base training zone. Longish rides of medium stress.
    Zone 3 (75-82% of MHR): For development of aerobic capacity and endurance with moderate volume at very controlled intensity.
    Zone 4 (82-89% of MHR): For simulating pace when tapering for a race.
    Zone 5 (89-94% of MHR): For raising anaerobic threshold. Good sessions for 10- and 25-mile time-trials.
    Zone 6 (94-100% of MHR): For high-intensity interval training to increase maximum power and speed


    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article/heart-rate-monitor-training-for-cyclists-28838/
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    It's much better to base HR training zones off of Threshold and not Maximum HR.

    And in either case it's much better to test than to estimate based on any formulas. For Threshold HR tests, go out and do a hard 30 minute steadily paced but all out effort for the distance (basically a training time trial) and take your average HR for the final 20 minutes as a very good estimate of your Threshold HR.

    Info on how to base training levels off that Threshold HR info here: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/cycling/power-training-levels,-by-andrew-coggan.aspx

    -Dave
     
  9. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    This is very true, max heart rate is pretty my irrelevant these days.
     
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