Crit Training Plan - Help

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Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby ft_critical » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:18 pm

Training for 1hr Crits at high intensity.

3 to 4 cycles depending on commitments outside cycling and like a holiday with the family.
Plan, 4 week cycles (Increasing interval length decreasing rest each cycle.) Cycle 3 weeks on 1 week recovery.
7 day plan then,
• Mon - Recovery ride, although I can't avoid hills 30k
• Tue - Race or Intervals 80 or 70k
• Wed - Intervals 60 or 70k
• Thu - Recover 30k
• Fri - Off
• Sat - Coast and Toast or similarly intense Group Ride
• Sun - Off

Intervals, initially, 6xVO2 Max, 6xAnerobic, 12xSprint. Training: break (cover, initiate,) closing gaps and sprinting out of corners/for the line.
Recov week, same intensity shorter dist and less rep.
Back to back hard workouts looking for building, followed by good recovery section. I am too old to do three back to back hard days BTW.

My main question is am I being a wuss? This is about 330kpw. I think the intensity of the intervals is right to begin with (my base is fine.) I don't think I need more endurance work to support this program, e.g., rolling along at tempo to get the km count up. (I know when training for stage races or longer road races you do have to build in this stress but I don't think it applies to Crit race training?)
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by BNA » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:33 am

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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:33 am

Only one way to find out but I think you'll need to change the training after 6 weeks.

I see plenty of specificity but no progressive overload. I rarely see fitness improvements without this basic principle being applied.
Hard to comment as much depends on what your starting point is (it may well be that this is a sizeable overload for you).

Careful about how much and when you dose supra threshold work, especially when racing already.

Recover when you need it, not based on some arbitrary number of weeks.
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby ft_critical » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:42 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I think you'll need to change the training after 6 weeks.

I see plenty of specificity but no progressive overload. I rarely see fitness improvements without this basic principle being applied.


Thanks for taking the time to comment as always Alex. I planned to increase the number of intervals by 10% each week and reduce the recovery time between efforts by 10-20% each cycle. I think this covers the overloading. I will see how this goes in terms of overloading me and if it is not enough then I will increase it. But re your comments on rest, I do always find I need more rest in weeks three and four of a cycle.

When you say change the plan, do you mean the types of interval? Or is my plan to increase interval numbers and reduce recovery enough? Or are you suggesting that with all that specifity I will need to go back and work on some basics such as muscular endurance which I am not covering in the programme?
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby tripstobaltimore » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:06 pm

any reason not to swap wed and thursday so you have an easy ride between intervals and are fresher?
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby ft_critical » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:03 pm

tripstobaltimore wrote:any reason not to swap wed and thursday so you have an easy ride between intervals and are fresher?


Follower of fashion. There is a guy in my club who has an well known ex-pro as a coach and when he was training for the Tour of Canberra he had to block the hard sessions early and then the recovery as a block. I think it is around the idea of smashing and then actually allowing your body time to recover. Apparently the day on day off is not enough. Also the Crit programme I was shown (seperately) had a three days on shedule with 2 days recovery. I can't manage three days on though.

So, no idea, just following the trend I guess.
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:32 am

ft_critical wrote:But re your comments on rest, I do always find I need more rest in weeks three and four of a cycle.

I might need a rest week every 3 months. You need them less than you think, provided the overload is managed properly.

ft_critical wrote:When you say change the plan, do you mean the types of interval? Or is my plan to increase interval numbers and reduce recovery enough? Or are you suggesting that with all that specifity I will need to go back and work on some basics such as muscular endurance which I am not covering in the programme?

Well the time course for adaptations for much of the (top end aerobic and anaerobic) energy systems your plan appears to be targeting is pretty short (of the order of 4-8 weeks, and can be even shorter for the anaerobic stuff which responds very quickly to stimulus), such that you will likely plateau in development after ~ 6 weeks.

I would want to be timing some of this stuff carefully. Too far out from your priority racing and you might end up over cooking it. Also, what and how much you do and can tolerate has a lot to do with your starting fitness level and your training history. No point doing a lot of this stuff if your underlying aerobic condition isn't up to scratch to start with.

Impossible to give specific advice on such matters - one must know the athlete properly to do that.
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby tripstobaltimore » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:57 pm

ft_critical wrote:
tripstobaltimore wrote:any reason not to swap wed and thursday so you have an easy ride between intervals and are fresher?


Follower of fashion. There is a guy in my club who has an well known ex-pro as a coach and when he was training for the Tour of Canberra he had to block the hard sessions early and then the recovery as a block. I think it is around the idea of smashing and then actually allowing your body time to recover. Apparently the day on day off is not enough. Also the Crit programme I was shown (seperately) had a three days on shedule with 2 days recovery. I can't manage three days on though.

So, no idea, just following the trend I guess.


I would be looking at it on a more of a macro level (block to block) rather than a micro level (week to week). I.e. the idea is not to fully recover each week, but the day off takes the edge off to allow you to give the intervals as much as you can. But I guess it can also work the other way (some people work better doing the hard stuff together). I guess what works for you, just a suggestion.
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby ft_critical » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:01 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:...can be even shorter for the anaerobic stuff which responds very quickly to stimulus), such that you will likely plateau in development after ~ 6 weeks.

I would want to be timing some of this stuff carefully. Too far out from your priority racing and you might end up over cooking it. Also, what and how much you do and can tolerate has a lot to do with your starting fitness level and your training history.


Thanks Alex, I didn't realise that the level of adaptation is quite quick so thanks for letting me know.
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby daveywastaken » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:29 pm

sorry to slightly change the subject but what is the point of recovery rides?

if u train extremely hard one day and smash ur muscles wouldnt just sitting on the couch and eating b the best thing for u to let ur muscles repair? and if u are completely recovered and fresh couldnt u smash urself harder in the next training session? how does going for a low intensity ride help u recover etc? i know body builders are in a completely different world but there training is so extreme that they will generally only work out a set of muscle once per week to let them recover properly and i have to admit the gains are quite evident...not that being 150kg would help a cyclist :roll:
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:37 am

ft_critical wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:...can be even shorter for the anaerobic stuff which responds very quickly to stimulus), such that you will likely plateau in development after ~ 6 weeks.

I would want to be timing some of this stuff carefully. Too far out from your priority racing and you might end up over cooking it. Also, what and how much you do and can tolerate has a lot to do with your starting fitness level and your training history.


Thanks Alex, I didn't realise that the level of adaptation is quite quick so thanks for letting me know.

The adaptations occur in relatively a short time, but they can also be developed over a much longer time period. When I say careful with dosage/timing, I mean in terms of how much of this stuff you do. A little of everything is OK, it's when you start doing serious blocks of dedicated supra threshold work that you need to plan things a little more carefully.

As an example of how fast those sort of adaptations occur, if anyone has started some track racing or hard crits but hasn't really done much "top end" work before hand, then the first couple of races are pretty tough when the smack goes down but then you find those high end efforts don't hurt so much even after a couple of weeks. IOW the racing provides the top end stimulus al la intervals, just not in a structured manner and with an unreliable dose, but with a high degree of motivation for effort.
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby ft_critical » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:29 am

So week two of executing this and some adjustments required.
I am adding an intervals light and muscular endurance day. So it will be:
• race,
• hard intervals,
• long aerobic + one interval e.g. 20x20x20,
• recovery,
• hard group ride including hills,
• off,
• recovery + one interval (active recovery – see how this goes…)
I settled on a slightly different program because I am pretty strong on 5min efforts, but am weakest on backing up Lactic Interval efforts with short recovery. The recovery times I proposed were also too long.
1. 2 x 5min x 3min (number, interval length, recovery)
2. 4 x 1min x 1min
3. 6 x 30sec x 30sec
4. 4 x 1min x 1min
5. 6 x 30sec x 30sec
6. 10 x 10sec x 10sec
My plan is to increase the 10sec intervals to 3 sets of 10, and begin to reduce the recovery time on each interval set to below the amount of the effort itself.
A couple of comments on it. I am surprised that I can do a 50min to 1hr interval program even when I am feeling tired or a bit sore. Once you are in the session it is fine.

This session is really hard. I am supposed to get the 1min intervals out to 90sec. Pain, pain, pain. Does anyone actually enjoy intervals?
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Re: Crit Training Plan - Help

Postby tripstobaltimore » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:08 am

ft_critical wrote: Does anyone actually enjoy intervals?


only when they are over!
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