When to back off

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by hrumpole, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    I'm trying to learn how to use the PMC (or the golden cheetah equivalent). At the moment, routine consists of 2xtrainer, 1xhammerfest per week, plus some strength training. (I don't count the strength training in CTL,but I do keep track of it.). The routine has ended up in about a 5 point CTL raise per week for the last five weeks. Mental issues aside, my legs are beginning to feel a bit heavy--most of the "snap" is gone, although I still look forward to my next trainer session. So my thought is to back off for a week on the intensity. My CTL is only 42 or so, and the TSB is down in the thirties, and has been for the last two weeks.

    Is this the right way to read it: Even though the TSB negative is relatively low, I'm carrying relatively high level with respect to current fitness. It's therefore not a crazy idea to back off a little to get some snap back so that I can dig deeper through the next cycle. That sound right?

    (I know that my mileage may vary).
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    A few thoughts:

    - There are different approaches to load management during a build period, some do a pre-planned rest every x weeks approach, others ramp their load at a sustainable rate for much longer periods before taking a break. The more traditional Bompa style periodization approach is pretty safe in terms of making sure you don't over train and it does allow you to feel relatively fresh fairly often. FWIW, I planned my builds that way for years but these days work towards a sustainable CTL ramp rate of 3 to 5 points per week and rarely take easier weeks until something like business travel of family obligations forces extra rest which seems to happen often enough but I've sustained steady builds for as much as 10 to 12 weeks straight.

    - If the point is to build base and build sustainable power then retaining 'snap' in your legs really shouldn't be your primary goal. Yeah that's pretty important during race periods or even pre-race prep periods when you want to hit your high end work hard. But during a December build period snap really shouldn't be your primary focus as much as building a strong base and solid fitness in terms of sustainable power. I don't know how you're approaching your hammefest rides, but at this time of year I don't worry about 'winning' the city limit sprints, I still contest them on feisty team rides but top form and being the fastest guy in December isn't my goal, solid building is my goal.

    - Sustained TSB of negative 30 means you've ramped pretty fast. Ramping at 5 CTL points per week isn't unusually high but you might want to back that down just a bit but still continue to build rather than introduce rest weeks where CTL will drop.

    Bottom line, if performance on those hammerfest rides or feeling fresh and snappy at this time of year is important to you then either back off on the ramp rate a bit or plan some easier weeks periodically. Otherwise find the ramp rate you can sustain, work at that rate for a while, take some easier weeks when life interrupts or come up for air after you've been on the build for a while and feel the need for extra rest. So basically it comes down to a combination of what load building and load management philosophy you buy into and how important it is for you to feel snappy and ready for short hard competitive efforts at this time of year.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  3. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    To be clear-I wasn't contemplating a week off. I'm not as much subscribing to a philosophy as I'm trying to combine listening to my own body and reading the data correctly at the same time. What I was thinking of doing was replacing the hammerfest (which won't go this weekend anyway) with another, less frantic ride of around the same time. The main reason to back off is that my legs were starting to just feel heavy-even on the trainer. I agree-I would like to keep going up.

    The main reason for the ramp rate is, I think, that I viewed staying with the sunday ride as the focus of the week. I am now more or less keeping up on the flats, but exploding on the hills. The more I can do, the harder I'm trying. Perhaps not the best or wisest approach.
     
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