When did SST replace FTP training?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Yorlik, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Yorlik

    Yorlik New Member

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    When I first heard of SST, some coached us to train for 90 minutes at SST every day for two or three weeks without a break in order to raise CTL. Otherwise, others were doing 2x20s at FTP two or three times a week. I read of people doing 90min SST workouts for 20+ weeks. I heard others say that they did 14 weeks of 2x20s at FTP before their improvement started to level off.

    I stopped lurking for a few years and one coach has his clients doing 4x10 SST workouts in the early preseason. I could probably come close to riding 4x10s at 105%FTP. I assume a steady diet of 2x30 at SST is better training [email protected], at least in the long run. Is this a seasonal issue? In other words are we being coached to ride at 85%FTP now and slowly build to 105%FTP in April or May? What adaptation am I getting at 85%FTP that is better than 105%FTP.

    Is this anecdotal? Or is it based on scientific principles? Or are there studies?

    Pat
     
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  2. scottz123

    scottz123 New Member

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    I think a lot depends on how much time you have on hand, time of year and how fast you can recover. For example: 1hr - knock out a 2x20 @ FTP. 1.5hr - SST for 3x20 w/ 5m rest between.

    Keep in mind also some people's different definition's of SST (high end tempo/Low L4). Hunter Allen uses a range of 88-93%, some a wider range (83 to 100%), other's keep it simple and just say 90%.

    http://www.hunterallenpowerblog.com/2013/09/how-to-rebuild-your-power-foundation.html

    http://www.fascatcoaching.com/sweetspotpartdeux.html
     
  3. bmoberg337

    bmoberg337 Member

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    I have struggled to find research that addresses training adaptations as a function of time and intensity. The links Scott posted to Hunter Allens website touches on some principles that are also outlined in his book "Racing and Training with Power". The link below is a more condensed version of what his book has to offer.
    http://velodynamics2.webs.com/rcgtp1.pdf

    If you comb through the references in that pdf. or the ones in Allens book it is not inherently obvious, at least not to me, what research helped them construct their graphs. Namely the ones that show expected adaptations as a function of intensity, and other graphs that show duration, training effect, and strain as a function of intensity (shown as % of FTP). However, it's common knowledge that you can ride longer durations at lower intensities. Also, I'm sure you’re familiar with the strain involved when performing threshold efforts. So it seems ideal to train at a slightly lower intensity for slightly longer if it produces the same adaptations for less strain. In the end this allows you to incorporate more volume at that intensity per week/month/yr and theoretically allows you to get the adaptations you want in less overall time. When trying to match either TSS or kJ's expended at threshold vs riding at 90% FTP you will find that you need to ride about 3-6 minutes longer (depending on your method of calculation). Research and science aside, I would say 90% vs. 100% FTP is close enough to assume that adaptations made per unit time are almost a 1 for 1. At least this is what I have discovered in my own training.
     
  4. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    You should do training that results in changes you want. Unfortunately, the correct training for you depends on much more than most people imagine. So you try some set of workouts. If they appear to work, you continue with them. If not, you change to a different set of workouts.

    ---

    The only scientific data deals with responses to high intensity workouts. One can determine the effectiveness of these workouts by doing a genetic test. The variants of 12 genes one has determines how well a person will respond to this type of workout.

    Unless you see some discussion as to the effect of genes on workout results, you should not expect to get the results advertised.

    ---

    I find 4 hours at 75-85% helpful. I find 3 hours at 90-95% helpful. But they are helpful in producing different results for me.
     
  5. scottz123

    scottz123 New Member

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    If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying training that training at 90%, say with 2x20's for example, is just as effective as at 100% for raising FTP?
     
  6. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

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    Yep, but the added bonus is that at 90% the sessions become more repeatable, in that you can generally do them day after day ,which isn't possible if you are riding at 100%.

    From an N= 1 perspective, I can knock out [email protected] 90% of FTP, Monday to Friday, week after week, but at 100% I can only do them 2-3 times per week.

    I find I get better results, in terms of increase power, following the 90% of FTP protocol, however, I think people underestimate how much of it you can actually do and for how long too.

    If you are going to start doing this sort of protocol, you need to be doing everyday, otherwise, you'll be over recovering and you won't get the adaptations you are looking for.

    Paul
     
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  7. bmoberg337

    bmoberg337 Member

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    Again this has been my experience. Although I found I was able to incorporate much more volume at that intensity similar to what Fluro described.
    FWIW, two years ago I followed a strict threshold training program designed by a coach that included nothing but intervals at and slightly above threshold. I made big gains in the first 4 weeks then plateaued. I kept pushing longer durations at FTP until my performance started to digress and I had to take time off. Rather than convincing myself I needed to train harder I decided to take a risk and try something different this season. This year I started off doing the SAME intervals but around 93% FTP and made consistent and measurable gains each month. After a few months of training like that I realized I could hold longer duration during my intervals and with more frequency. And guess what? This led to even bigger gains. I now avoid riding at threshold like the plague.
     
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  8. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Perhaps you could explain your theory of why 100%FTP is not possible day after day.

    2x20 @ 90% is 54TSS. Less than 400TSS/week (I will give you a 7 day training week not just the 5 day training week you indicate). 2x20 @ 100% is 66TSS. Less than 500TSS/week.

    Neither workout produce enough "fatigue" or anything else measured by TSS to indicate that one cannot do either everyday forever.

    ---

    My theory is that you cannot do 100% everyday because you do not train properly.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Pat,

    A lot depends on how you train. If you get a lot of your training outdoors during the winter then masses of L2 and L3 would likely serve you well. Be honest about doing it at the correct level - and not a nice club run with a stop for a cup o' tea in the middle... unless that's what you want. As you get closer to the racing season then add more intense efforts. That said, there's nothing stopping you from doing a few hours of L2 with some lengthy L3 efforts and even a few L4+ digs for fun and to keep it interesting. As you get closer to the racing season, replace some of the L2 with L4 and higher efforts but do it progressively. If you have a glaring weakness, work at it otherwise raising FTP is key and a nice hard base of L2 and L3 is a great way to build for that.

    If you have to train indoors, especially during the week, then there's nothing wrong with several L3/L4 efforts of 15 to 30 minutes in length with a bit of a "rest" in between. It's about as fun as shaving with pepper spray but very effective. If you can get out on the weekends then mix this with the longer L2/L3 rides. If you're upto your knees in snow then you pretty much have to train indoors. If you can deal with it then do some intervals longer than 30 minutes - some on here do rides of a few hours indoors.

    Personally, I've found that if I go for the longer L2/L3 sessions during winter rather than L4 indoors then gains seem to be longer lasting and fitness doesn't seem to be lost as quickly if time off the bike 'happens' because of crash, injury or illness. This may not hold true for you though.
     
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  10. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    The purpose of SST is to give you the most improvement in the time you have available.

    Last week I was doing 100-105% for 30 minutes on my trainer because that was the effort I could do each day in that amount of time. This week I have 2 hours a day on the road and will be doing 85-90%.

    The 100-105% was reasonable training. My heart rate was near LT for most of the time. I need that type of heart work.

    The 85-90% was not so good. My heart rate was too low for most of the time. But I did do numerous 3 minute intervals between stop lights. Not as high of efforts as I would do in the summer, but reasonable for going into fall.

    In either case I was rested for my ride the next day.

    ---

    SST is a vary broad range of training. So broad anything is SST.

    You really need to look at what work you can do and be rested for your next workout. And also consider what systems you need to develop.
     
  11. KevinMetcalfe

    KevinMetcalfe New Member

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    n=1, I've had really good luck with a winter program of M-F, 1 hour with 2x20' at about 90% most days. Then on the weekend 4-5 hours each day relatively easy in an unstructured format. If I feel like it I got hard for a bit, if not I don't. I'm on the trainer M-F so maybe that affects how I feel about it, but there is no way in hell I want to do FTP work during the winter let alone day after day. When it comes to race season I want to be fired up about going hard, not hating my bike. If I did lots of 2x20 at FTP over the winter it would affect my ability to be at my best during the racing season. Especially late in the season, like September when I race at nationals.

    If I was in a situation where I could ride outside during the week over the winter I would train differently, but I still would not include a large diet of FTP until early spring.

    Once the time changes in the spring I do a pretty standard training program.

    With this training program my FTP never drops more than about 5% from my peak.

    Background, I've been racing at a fairly high level for going on 30 years this season, so I've got a big base. It's also pretty safe to say that I've pretty much tapped my potential FTP. I'm not leaving anything on the table there.

    Kevin Metcalfe
     
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