Training With/Predicting Power For Long Distances. Any Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by 82zman, May 12, 2009.

  1. 82zman

    82zman New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I completed my first TT (previous post) and while training for it I found oodles of info in Friel's, Coggan's books etc on typical training for events in the one hour range or less.

    I am now transitioning over to concentrate on much longer events trying to peak in mid August for a timed 200K with about 12K of climbing.

    For sure I am going to continue trying to build/maintain my FTP power with longer 20 min intervals. Besides that what are some good power workouts for the longer events or resources that cover this and is there any reasonable way to predict a 6+ hour event from FTP?

    Thanks
     
    Tags:


  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Keep training your sustainable power with the 20 minute L4 intervals and if you can add some longer SST efforts like steady 45 minute to hour long efforts with the power backed off another 5-10% from your 20 minute efforts. If you don't have the uninterrupted terrain for those longer steady efforts then do a couple of SST days a week where your just try to stay in the high Tempo to low L4 range for a couple of hours per session and deal with the terrain and traffic interruptions without worrying about it.

    And add a few very long rides here and there just to get used to being in the saddle that long and to dial in your pacing and hydration strategy. You don't need to ride the whole time or distance of your target events but if you want to ride hard 6 hour events you probably want to do some 4 hour or longer rides in your training. You don't need to do a lot of those and don't sacrifice your sustainable power work (the L4, SST, Tempo stuff) to cram a huge ride in every weekend especially if you try to train such long rides that you're wiped out for the next several days and skip your other training.

    The bottom line is that the fitness that gets you through a 6+ hour event is sustainable metabolic fitness. And that's exactly what you're targeting with those 20 minute and longer sustained efforts. You won't need to sprint and minute and a half anaerobic tolerance work isn't going to make or break a 6 hour ride and you shouldn't even get into VO2 Max territory very often during your big event. But the ability to sustain power for hours on end is key and that's what L4,SST,Tempo work trains.

    As for pacing you won't realistically be staring at your PM all day during your event but it's pretty typical to end up with an IF in the 0.65-0.75 range for an event that long. I'd have to look back through long ride files like the Death Ride, but IIRC that means you'll climb at ~80-85% of FTP, rest on the descents and ride the flats around 80% or less. That's at least what I see for long events paced so that I feel pretty good and not totally destroyed at the end of the day.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  3. kopride

    kopride Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    10
    Those 20 minute L4 intervals and time spent SST are so key to everything. A rising tide raises all ships. Its hard enough that you will get faster, and long enough that you will improve your ability to sustain power over time. Plus it is not so hard that you won't impede your ability to recover from work out to work out.

    It is the proverbial KISS. When in doubt about what to do on any given day, you really can't go wrong with 2 x 20s in the sweet spot.
     
  4. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    You had better ride 6 hours as hard as you can, a few times before the event.

    If you don't need to recover between your hardest workouts, you probably didn't go hard or long enough.
     
  5. kopride

    kopride Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    10
    In the immortal words of Marge Gunderson from the movie "Fargo." I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, [Spunout]

    OP has about twelve weeks to train for a 6 hour race. He certainly doesn't want to do a 6 hour all out ride within a week or two of the race because he won't recover in time for the race. So then you are looking at 10 weeks of time to really do quality training--and I think that multiple 6 hour rides at near threshold ("all out") will be counterproductive. I would think the longest he wants to ride in these ten weeks is maybe two "pretty hard" 4 -5 hour group weekend rides, with the last one, at least three weeks before the race. If he can ride the course at L2 a month before that would be great. I think Dave's program makes a lot more sense, and I think that a few of those long weekend rides with a big group will acclimate him to being in the saddle so long, as opposed to really going out hard for six hours. Marathon runners don't go out and do multiple marathons at race pace within a few months of an event. The same is true here. His bread and butter training should still be to boost FTP with workouts being hard enough to create progress but still allow recovery. If you go out on a hard 6 hour threshold ride on a sunday, you are going to need until wednesday to fully recover and do quality work. I would think trying to do 3 x 20s rather than 6 hour super rides would be a better investment in his limited training time. Again, my police work could be just as faulty, but I don't think you are really considering the type of breakdown that occurs from spending 6 hours "as hard as you can" as part of a work out program. You are shot for that day and a few days after.
     
  6. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nobody (someone will flame me) can do 6 hour rides at or near threshold.

    If OP can't do a six hour ride a week before the 6 hour event and not recover, sorry for him. I assume the OP trains 10 hours plus per week.

    I'd advise him to give up on the 2x20s and go out and put in some long days in the hills.

    Cycling is not marathon running.
     
  7. kopride

    kopride Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    10
    Maybe something got lost in the translation. Your post above says

    "You had better ride 6 hours as hard as you can, a few times before the event."

    I interpreted "as hard as you can" as being near FTP. If that's not what you meant, sorry. (To me, near threshold is synonomous with FTP, but it is probably an imprecise use of this term, because it doesn't define what threshold).

    So what level would you recomend the OP ride for 6 hours? L2, L3, L4? In other words, how do you define "as hard as you can." Because if a coach told me to do a 6 hour ride as "hard as I can," I would assume that he is basically telling me to do a 6 hour time trial. Having done lots of one hour time trials, which I strive to do at FTP, (or conversely, I use to define FTP) my experience is that it is a painful, emotionally draining experience that takes a few days to recover from. I can't imagine that a 6 hour time trial is any easier on the body, or that recovery would be faster. But I think I would understand my coach as saying that I should try to keep the pace as close to FTP as I can for six hours

    The issue isn't whether the OP can ride for six hours a week before and recover enough to survive another 6 hour ride. The issue is what type of training will allow him to improve over 12 weeks for this type of event. SST training allows the body to train at an optimum level and still allow sufficient recovery to improve. If coaches are advocating 6 hour training sessions at the sweet spot, this is news to me.

    Sure, running is different than cycling. But the concepts of trying to train optimumly while allowing recovery is a pretty universal concept. I just don't believe that it is possible to get a lot of high quality training in in 6 hour sessions. Seems like LSD training to me, by necessity.
     
  8. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nobody can ride near FTP for 6 hours. By definition, this is L2.

    As hard as the OP can will probably end up as low L2 average power, if OP is fit to climb in the hills and has enough base, NP might be mid L3. With proper pacing, this will be as hard as he can.

    I am a coach, and usually advise athletes be familiar with the distance and effort required for their races. My advice to the OP would be to be familiar with the effort required.

    LSD training...for an LSD event. Remember, 'S' is for steady, not slow.
     
  9. kopride

    kopride Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    10
    When I started riding in the 80s, this was near gospel. And certainly the European pros were riding lots of LSD and you would hear about the importance of "base miles," there are certainly lots of people over the years who have achieved great success using this model. The other side to this were the traditional weekend clubbies who rode most of their miles over the years at L2 or LDS and just never got faster. Grab a group ride on any given weekend and you will find a large group that lives and rides this way. And the old greats trained that way.


    I can't speak for them, but there are a large group of posters on this site, including Coggan, Stern, Alex, and Dave who contend that controlled research and the experience of more recent pros contradicts that time worn paradigm, and that LSD training is less efficient than L4 or SST interval work, even for riders involved in longer multi day events. I don't interpret them as saying L2 (LSD) work has no value, or that it doesn't have a place in a training plan. But to quote Dave: "But the ability to sustain power for hours on end is key and that's what L4,SST,Tempo work trains."

    I don't think that there is a right or wrong answer here, only a difference in philosophies. It would be interesting to do a controlled study with a group of amateurs, one who rides mostly LSD for 12 weeks, the other doing L4, SST and tempo for the same period and seeing which group fares better over a 6 hour race. If you are coaching, I am sure that you have had success with your philosophy.

    I do limited riding with my old group LSD junkies from my past life on weekends, but what I can say is that although I ride much less than they do-- I am faster even on the occasional century ride. I do practically no specific training for longer rides. The closest are 2-3 hour hard weekend rides that are closer to L3 than L2. Almost all the rest of the time is spent doing 2 x 20s and SST. Now one man's experience does not a controlled study make, and given my limited time resources (4 kids and a business), I really can't dedicate the same time to LSD riding that I could in my 20s so I can't say that I wouldn't improve from doing more.
     
  10. 82zman

    82zman New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for contributing. There is a wealth of knowledge here. I have some good resources but nothing beats getting the scoop from experienced riders
     
  11. bigbadwoulfe

    bigbadwoulfe New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a guy doing mostly what you are doing and he is finding success in the Tour of Ireland. I believe he is a member here. :)
     
  12. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    "Base miles" seem to differ on who you speak too. From reading comments from the likes of Hinault and Eddy Plankaert this would mean going out for 4 to 7 hours in the big ring. For most club riders 'base miles' sank to the level of endless twiddling of small gears that were punctuated with a stop in a cafe halfway through the ride for baked beans on toast and a cup o' tea...
     
  13. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,054
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my experience, power over 6 hours is very very largely dependent on motivation. I guess it would be that 'brisk' pace JUST below tempo, or about 20-30% below FTP. It's going to hurt a lot those last 3 hours.

    Food and hydration will have a huge role too.

    As with the above reply: IMO, small ring = junk miles (unless your climbing). So yeah, base miles shouldn't be poking around with heart rate below 130, haha.
     
  14. kopride

    kopride Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    10
    Then you are probably also old enough to remember the old warning not to even shift onto the big ring until daylights savings time (first week of April). The old geezers would get pissed if you did any real hard pulling in late february or march. "You need to work on your spin before you go mashing big gears like that." Good times. I miss those old rides where I would be out on a long ride for 7 hours and come back heavier from the food stops. Thanksfully, my riding companions were not eating beans or I might have been forced to pull well ahead to avoid the stench. And yes, for Merxx and the like, they were not just spinning stupidly in the small ring.
     
Loading...
Loading...