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Thread: training advice

  1. #1
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    Jul 2007
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    training advice

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    I'm hoping you all can help me get some direction...

    I started riding a few months ago, but have been off the bike for the last three weeks due to a muscle injury. Now, I'm feeling better, but my riding backslid a little. Before my break, I was averaging about 12.5-13 in the hills and around 14 or so on flats- I've slowed down slightly. I've ridden up to 50 miles on both hills and flats, but am riding shorter distances since my time off. My goal is to increase my speed a couple mph and to work up to a century in feb.

    I just got a trainer and a spinerval dvd (just the 1.0 to see if I like it at all). I also have access to a couple of spin classes, but have a difficult time getting there. I only really get out to ride on weekends. My boyfriend is working with the Cyclist's Training Bible- and is very excited to have a "plan". So far, I've just tried to ride and keep it fun. Now I'm thinking I might get to my goal faster if I try to get some direction.

    I'm not looking to race, I just want to increase my speed and distance. I enjoy riding on hills more than flats. I was thinking two or three times on the trainer doing spinervals or interval training out of the book and then a short hilly ride and a long hilly ride on the weekend. I might throw in a spin class here and there. I assume I'll change it up a little every now and then.

    Do you think this should get me where I want to be? Would you suggest something different (or specific intervals to increase speed)? Do you think I would be better off sticking more "religiously" to the Cyclist's Bible (it seems a little structured and race focused). Is there another Spinervals tape that really helped you with speed? Anything else you would suggest?

    Any advice or opinions will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Hi Aly,

    I trained for my first century this past summer and followed the Diablo cyclists training plan...can't find it online now, but essentially it amounted to increasing your weekly mileage every week by about 10%, including a similar increase for your longest ride. Most days at 'century pace' but one a week at an easy pace and one a week at a faster-than-normal pace. I followed it very roughly, probably a good plan for you too, at least in getting back to the 50 you were riding before.

    Keeping it fun is always a good plan, and I don't like feeling guilty if I don't make a ride on a given day because I am not feeling well, so I tend to take rest days when my body, rather than my training plan, demands them. The general thinking is that if you can ride 75 miles, you can do a century, though I was glad to have some 80+ mile rides under my belt before the actual century.

    Anne

  3. #3
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    What is the terrain of the century you want to do in February? If it is hilly, ride hills and build your long rides, as suggested, by about 10% every week of so. Be sure to give yourself one week out of the month where you're not pushing the distance or the pace. But you want to get comfortable on the terrain of your goal ride - hills, flat terrain, rollers, etc.?
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice! The century has some climbing, but it doesn't look too hilly- I think under 2000 feet of climbing over the 100 (maybe even closer to 1500). A lot of the gain is one long climb at a lower grade. I'll keep an eye out for the Diablo plan- it sounds good to me.

    So, it sounds like I should concentrate more on endurance and let the speed come on it's own. Will it come on its own? It also seems that it may be a good idea to avoid my big climbing rides until after the century and just do more moderate hills. I actually really enjoy the rush of climbing,but it seems that I'll benefit more from base miles right now. Should I worry about monitoring my heart rate at this point? I plan to find my LTHR today, but maybe it isn't relevant yet.

    I'm thinking I'll aim for one long ride per weekend (hopefully I'll get at least two 80+ in) and a recovery ride each weekend (25-35 miles or so at a slow pace?). Then during the week, I'll do two days of intervals and one shorter session on the trainer at a faster speed than normal. How does this sound? Also, would it be ok if I do the short slow ride the day before I do the long ride? I generally have a riding partner on Sunday and I think she'll want to do the longer rides.

    Thanks again, I've been searching past threads and found a lot, but it's difficult when we all have such different schedules and goals. I guess I also just want confirmation that I'm on the right track. I can't wait till I can say I did a century, too. You guys are great!!

  5. #5
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    There will be many here who have much more experience than I (like 100% ) of training for a century event.

    But it is recommended that you increase your distance by approximately more than 10% per week... just as Onimity points out

    So if your max distance is 15 miles... then only aim to do 16.5-17 miles the following week.

    If your max distance is 25 miles, then the following week would see you increase to 27.5-30 miles tops...

    Take care of those muscles and have fun in the build-up...
    Last edited by RoadRaven; 11-24-2007 at 10:16 AM. Reason: I can't spell early in the morning!

  6. #6
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    Ah... Aly

    I started replying to you, and then had to zip out and be "team mechanic" for my partner who is heading off for his Sunday bunch ride...

    So you have been in between me hitting "reply", and hitting "post reply"

    And yes, def focus on endurance... in fact, what I suggest for a distance goal (although mine has not been 100miles /160kms) is to practice riding the time you would like to take to complete the distance.

    As your body gets used to the time on the bike... your speed will lift as you get "fitter" in terms of aerobic efficiency for that distance.

    If you want to become competitive in terms of time, there are many threads here about specific training workouts for speed... but that will come later if you are interested...

  7. #7
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    I don't have much advice to offer in terms of riding faster (I'm still working on that myself!), but I did find this training plan useful when training for a century this past summer.

    Good luck! Keep putting in those miles, and you'll be fine.

  8. #8
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    Well, I'm not an expert... just passing on information my tri coach has given me.

    The idea of long rides for base miles is a good one... and yes, a recovery ride will be good too... but you need a short, all out hard ride too.

    I know for me, I only have 3 days a week to ride... so I can't waste any of my rides on a lazy, casual ride. Every mile has to count.

    Here is what my coach sent to me... and it applies to cycling. We aren't focusing on my swimming or running... so this is for my cycling.

    NOTE: I am training for an Ironman in August 2008. So, I will need to be able to swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and then run a marathon at the end. And the bike course is hilly. Not extremly hilly, but hill none-the-less.

    2. base training is done at 68-72% of max hr, or a 7 on the 1-10 scale of perceived effort. if you are mid-6 to very low 7, ok. this is the effort level for the majority of your training. even when we ratchet the intensity up, more than two-thirds of your training volume will be at this effort level. this is the effort level that your body learns to burn fat most efficiently, and you should feel like you can go at this effort all day, as long as you keep fueled. most folks go too hard on their easy days and too easy on their hard days--we want to avoid this mistake. when you do not see a specific intensity for a given workout on your schedule, this is the effort level at which you should be training.

    3. tempo effort is 88%, or a high 8 on the 1-10 scale. we will start with short distances at this effort level and extend them. this effort is also called (incorrectly) your lactate threshold, or your anaerobic threshold. this is the effort where there is balance between the energy required for work and the muscular waste created as a result of that work and the ability of the body to supply that energy. above this effort is the red zone, wehre you cannot train for very long periods without ample recovery. tempo work is important for improving your performance at all race distances. it will always be a challenging workout.

    4. workouts that include intensities above threshold will be fewer, but they do have a role. they maximize the efficiency with which you body uses the energy you currently have going to the cells. you do not want to go into this red zone during your longer races, as the time it takes you to recover from the effort will negate the effort itself.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside thoroughly used-up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW WHAT A RIDE!!!!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRaven View Post
    As your body gets used to the time on the bike... your speed will lift as you get "fitter" in terms of aerobic efficiency for that distance.
    I'm sure this must be true, to a point.

    But, I have to say, this was not my experience last year. I for sure got fitter for endurance and climbing. But, what with all the focus I put into going longer and doing a LOT of climbing as I trained for my climbing century...well...I did NOT get faster. They say your body learns to get good at the way you ride. So, lots of steady climbing endurance rides...you get good at steady endurance.

    This year, I really want to get faster so I can do longer rides and get them done before dark. So, I am going to be doing intervals and working on speed a couple rides per week. Arnie Baker talks about this in his online book about Altitude Climbing Endurance. He says most riders will benefit from hard intervals so that they can make the cutoff times for those long climbing centuries.

    (That said, all the advice here sounds great...your century does not look like a climbing century.)
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  10. #10
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    I think the advice you've gotten on training for a century is spot on. Increase your mileage gradually each week and try to do a couple of rides in the 70 to 80 mile range before the event. Two thousand feet of climbing over 100 miles isn't much, so it sounds relatively flat. If you like climbing, then by all means, climb. It carries a lot of training bang for the buck. That said, you also need to increase your time in the saddle, so do some long, flat rides, too.

    Getting faster is, in my mind, a harder goal. I think you will see a modest increase in speed as you get fitter and as your body adapts to the stress of riding. That said, the only way to get markedly faster is, well, to ride faster. Find a group, if you can, that is a bit faster than your current comfort zone and try to stay with them as long as possible. Keep these rides relatively short--20 to 25 miles--perhaps. Interval training will also help, although I'm not expert on putting an interval plan together.

    I was in your shoes more or less last year when I started riding. I made endurance, i.e., doing longer and longer rides comfortably, my first priority. From an aerobic standpoint, building a good base first lays the groundwork for speed work and hard climbing. I think you'd be wise to start there, too. Getting faster is a good goal, but I would suggest focusing on that only after you've build up your endurance.

    More than anything, have fun and listen to your body.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  11. #11
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    Wow, I'd forgotten about this thread! I must have been busy at work!!!

    But yes Starfish - my suggestion was "to a point". Because Aly was beginning/getting back after injury, I was just meaning while her body gets used to being on the bike and she builds her endurance.

    You are both right, Starfish and Indy... speed is a harder thing to build... you have to do specific training for that... like interval training or riding with faster cyclists and just sitting in with them (sort of like motor-pacing).

    It is also important to remember that to lift your speed from 20kph - 28kph is much much easier than to lift your speed from 30kph to 32kph... the faster you want to go the more relative power you have to output... this mostly because of the increase in wind resistance.

    On a calm day, if you are travelling at 20kph, you have effectively created your own personal 20kph head wind. So when I go out tonight to my TT, and aim to complete with an average of 32kph, I will be creating my own personal headwinds of 28-38kph, depending on what part of the course I am on. This is disregarding of course, any head, tail or cross winds I might encounter along the way.
    Last edited by RoadRaven; 12-19-2007 at 10:25 AM.

 

 

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