Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

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Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby tripstobaltimore » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:44 am

So I've been thinking about off-season training lately, and I'm curious as to what every one does. I've recently acquired a power meter, and the nerd within me is going crazy. In the past what I have done for the base period (throughout the winter) is just try to build distance in a very classical 'LSD' method. Obviously this helps greatly in the fitness stakes, I think especially because I haven't been training seriously for very long (probably a year and a half). And I assume the benefits taper off after a while (of course the aerobic base is still important for the build and speed phases during the on season).

So basically what does every one do in their off season? With LSD does your FTP decrease (but leave you in a better position to improve FTP later in the year?) Or do you continue trying to improve FTP throughout the winter with some threshold and SST training (or is this too much stress than the body can deal with? Is it possible to continually improve FTP year round?)

Let's hear everyones opinions/thoughts....
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by BNA » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:00 pm

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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby DanielS » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:00 pm

Who says its the wrong time of year? For road racers, summer is off season!

I sort of had a structured 'off season' last year in about Oct-Dec after a fair bit of road racing over winter. I initially took a couple of weeks off, then started doing some easy rides for a few weeks, and then started adding in SST-style rides. I did that for a few weeks (from memory) and then started doing 2x20 style intervals to raise threshold. I also did weekly crits for a bit of intensity. I had a couple of blocks in January of doing some consistent longer SST rides with hard efforts, and by February I was going pretty well! (~310W FTP (AT) 72kg). Unfortunately I was really hoping to do well in March and April so it all came a bit too early!

Regarding LSD (Long Steady Distance) -- I think it works for the pros who have a lot of time on their hands. For us working types, SST is better (Sweet Spot Training -- google it if you haven't heard the term before).

So, my advice would be: take a bit of time off, then do a little bit of easy riding, then spend a fair chunk of time doing SST + threshold intervals, finally do some harder intervals and group rides/racing.

My 2c, I'm not a coach etc etc.
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby tripstobaltimore » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:37 pm

Yeah that was my thoughts.... It's pretty much the plan I followed last time (albeit for tri's rather than pure cycling), couple of weeks off, then LSD for a while, then begin to build and bring in the Z5 and above once the season rears its head. Wasn't sure whether the effects of trying to maintain and even increase FTP through SST and Z4 work was possible/a good idea too early (i.e. will you peak too soon like you said you did?)

To your point about road racing being reversed - my idea was the winter (including road races) was a time to build the miles and the endurance, while summer crits and track racing is the time to sharpen the speed etc. Obviously you need the speed for road races, but for 100km+ races this has to be of less important, allowing you to work on a cycle similar to that of a triathlete who would only compete in summer?

No need for coaches only opinions (I am far from a coach myself, just interested in the science and methodology behind)! Just interested in hearing peoples thoughts and views on the subject.

Cheers
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby DanielS » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:16 pm

tripstobaltimore wrote:Yeah that was my thoughts.... It's pretty much the plan I followed last time (albeit for tri's rather than pure cycling), couple of weeks off, then LSD for a while, then begin to build and bring in the Z5 and above once the season rears its head. Wasn't sure whether the effects of trying to maintain and even increase FTP through SST and Z4 work was possible/a good idea too early (i.e. will you peak too soon like you said you did?)


Yes, I potentially started the whole process too early and ended up peaking too soon. I think the trick is building the training load slow enough so that you don't either overdo it or peak too soon.

tripstobaltimore wrote:To your point about road racing being reversed - my idea was the winter (including road races) was a time to build the miles and the endurance, while summer crits and track racing is the time to sharpen the speed etc. Obviously you need the speed for road races, but for 100km+ races this has to be of less important, allowing you to work on a cycle similar to that of a triathlete who would only compete in summer?


In my experience, road racing is much more physically demanding and requires a higher level of fitness in order to survive, let alone do well (with the exception of very technical crit circuits that require constant accelerations -- but Vic Park isn't like that at all). Many road races are like crits that go for 2+ hrs with hills thrown in. A full winter season of road racing is quite demanding -- so I think that some sort of rest or scaling down is required afterwards (hence an 'off season').
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby tripstobaltimore » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:26 pm

Ah ok, the road racing I have done has been quite subdued I guess, I have only done club races though (no open). It seemed it was more about general fitness than being able to react to sudden changes in pace, hence my idea of it working into the 'off season'.
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby JV911 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:24 am

there's an off season?

:shock:
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby DanielS » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:40 pm

JV911 wrote:there's an off season?

:shock:


Haha... of course there isn't really an off season in Australia because in most cities you can race every single week of the year. Hell, there is even a race on Boxing Day here in Adelaide, so there isn't even a break for Christmas! That's why I put 'off season' in quotes!

But I think that most people will have an off season whether they like it or not. If you try and train and race all year without a break then eventually something is going to give and you have to have a little break and then start again.
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby JV911 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:38 am

DanielS wrote:have a little break and then start again.


for me that's august, on a beach in Turkey 8)
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Re: Wrong time of year, but lets talk off season....

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:11 pm

Off season...that's when the CX bike comes out right :P .
Here the bikes get hung up totally from mid Oct to Jan 1st.
My bike is has been hung up for 6 months... :roll: .
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