When to push

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by ccorrick, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

    Dec 9, 2003
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    I thought I might see what everyone here think about this.

    At 27 I've just started back cycling. 4 years ago I was riding comfortably with CAT 3s and on a hilly course more than comforably. With a resting hr of about 48 and a max hr of 220. Ok, that's just a frame of reference of where I WAS. Now, however I'm starting all over. In mid November I caught some reruns of the Tour and I started missing riding so much I could no longer stand it. I worked out with my boss a way to come into work earlier so I can get off earlier to go ride. At the first of December I started riding with a passion. Can't believe I ever stopped!!!

    All that brings me around to my question. I have maybe 600 or 700 miles on me right now. I've been riding as weather permits and on the trainer. Nothing really structured, just getting everything back in working order. Last ride was 2 nights ago and everything FINALLY clicked into place. The saddle actually felt good, no pains anywhere, and I FELT like I could have really ridden hard. I'm leery of that however, and this is where the question comes in.

    When should I start to push it? How long do I need to work on core strength to avoid injury? Any advise on a training program to look into? I'd like to start back racing locally this summer, is that going to happen, or will I need a whole season to get everything back?
    For reference my resting hr is about 60 now, but that's down from what it was a month ago. Don't have a clue what I could max it out at now or what my VO2 max is. I feel my body responding (don't have a hr monitor yet) but, should I worry about documenting yet? At this point is it even worth worrying about?

    If you have some time let me know what you think. I like some structure, but rely pretty heavily on feel, rather than pure technical output. Regardless I enjoy riding, and will just ride however I feel for the time being. As I start to get my legs back I have more and more of a desire to get back into it all.

    Thanks for listening(reading, whatever)


  2. funknuggets

    funknuggets New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
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    I did about EXACTLY the same thing... but didnt jump back in until I was 29, after racing in college. I just really really missed it and am serious again and it feels great.

    Honestly, I think you are doing what is right... getting good base mileage before the season. I dont think it is too late to hop into a structured plan... like Friel... who will give you a good workout regimen for you to follow. However, he is very heart-rate focused, and it is interesting that you say you go by "feel" which is an important part of developing as a cyclist ... to develop a good understanding of "perceived exertion". I think it would be interesting for you to get a HR monitor and "feel" what it is like to be in your specific target zones and see how that correlates.

    Friel breaks things down into different phases utilizing the theory of periodization... which is very similar to what we see Lance doing... having distinct periods of rest, base, build, and peak... Friel is focused on your LTHR (not VO2 Max), which there are differing techniques of obtaining... but it is all covered in the Training Bible.

    Right now, it sounds like you are doing base... nice easy miles which is important. To get some motivation, set some goals, or target some local races which will get you excited. Then, join a decently fast group in your area, and you likely WILL get dropped... however, your time will come. Put in your hours on the bike and you will come around.

    I think getting a plan like that is good to develop structure and understanding of how to peak and understand what is happening on body development during the phases. Once you understand that, and get some practice... I would then get rid of the HR monitor and go by feel like you say, and only use the HR monitor to make sure you dont go too hard on your recovery days.

    Dont get me wrong, there are other good plans out there and all have their strong points. I like Friel because I am a stat nerd and like the scientific approach and datapoints in his plan that allow me to specifically monitor my growth. Plus, I was like you and found a renewed devotion to the bike, but didnt have a clear plan of getting anywhere. In the old days, I just got on the bike and hammered, but now...with family, house, and work... it is now different and I have to specifically tailor my efforts on the bike to the decreased hours I have in the day. Believe me, it helps. This will be my second year on Friel, and last year, after only the base phases... I came into the season in better shape than any of my fellow riders and was in better shape than them to start the season. This year will only be better...

    Keep us posted on your growth and post your questons!!! Lots of good knowledge around here...