Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

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Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby skip9 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:13 pm

Hey guys,

For starters, I'm a Triathlete rather than Cyclist and Im heading into a base building phase where Aerobic work will primarily be the goal, a lot of volume (13+ Hrs on the bike alone plus running, swimming and gym). Anyway i am a stronger runner than cyclist but want to defiantly improve my to power output. Anyway my question is, is it wise to include a few power sessions during the week in substitute for shorter aerobic sessions? Is there a way to increase wattage output without doing excessive lactate work? and what sort of training is ideal to increasing wattage., I am getting a power meter shortly so this should be a great training aid.

Also in regards to Gym work, i know it if a massive debate if its worthwhile or not but considering i'm going to be in the gym for core stability and injury prevention work - i would like to add some lower body strength work (12+ reps) that may aid. What are the better exercises that relate to cycling? obviously Quad, Glute and Hamstring are all muscles that are primarily targeted..
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by BNA » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:55 am

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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:55 am

I have never ridden a Tri but, I would look at riding a slightly higher gear on a gradual slope or do some slow starts to a get on top of the gear and then back off to your normal pace.
No doubt someone with Tri experience will come in with some advice. :)

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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:47 am

skip9 wrote:For starters, I'm a Triathlete rather than Cyclist and Im heading into a base building phase where Aerobic work will primarily be the goal, a lot of volume (13+ Hrs on the bike alone plus running, swimming and gym).

Aerobic work will pretty much be your only goal. Even hard intervals up to ~120% of threshold power are still predominantly aerobic and develop our aerobic capabilities.

skip9 wrote:Anyway my question is, is it wise to include a few power sessions during the week in substitute for shorter aerobic sessions?

Well presumably the "power sessions" you talk about are mostly shorter aerobic sessions anyway, so I don't see the difference.

skip9 wrote:Is there a way to increase wattage output without doing excessive lactate work? and what sort of training is ideal to increasing wattage.

You'll have to define what you mean by "lactate work". That could be interpreted many ways, e.g. for an aerobic endurance athlete, it might be training to lift the lactate threshold. or for a track sprinter it might be working on lactate tolerance.

Training at all levels above recovery has some beneficial impact to aerobic capabilities. What mix of duration and intensity is right for you, is specific to you, your background, training history, goals, rest of life demands etc etc.

skip9 wrote:Also in regards to Gym work, i know it if a massive debate if its worthwhile or not but considering i'm going to be in the gym for core stability and injury prevention work - i would like to add some lower body strength work (12+ reps) that may aid. What are the better exercises that relate to cycling? obviously Quad, Glute and Hamstring are all muscles that are primarily targeted..

The best exercise for cycling is cycling. We are not strength limited when cycling (endurance cycling that is). Whether you need gym work for your other sport disciplines is another matter. Core work is fine, although it's a pretty crummy/misunderstood term.

There is zippo evidence to support the myth that gym work prevents (non traumatic/crash) cycling injuries. The biggest causes of (non-traumatic) injuries is poor bike fit, poor preparation for what you attempt to take on in competition, ramping up training too quickly and in some cases, cadences at higher powers that are too high/low (but most likely linked to bike fit as well) - the literature on this was reviewed by Dettori and Norvell in 2006.
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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby skip9 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:05 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
skip9 wrote:For starters, I'm a Triathlete rather than Cyclist and Im heading into a base building phase where Aerobic work will primarily be the goal, a lot of volume (13+ Hrs on the bike alone plus running, swimming and gym).

Aerobic work will pretty much be your only goal. Even hard intervals up to ~120% of threshold power are still predominantly aerobic and develop our aerobic capabilities.

skip9 wrote:Anyway my question is, is it wise to include a few power sessions during the week in substitute for shorter aerobic sessions?

Well presumably the "power sessions" you talk about are mostly shorter aerobic sessions anyway, so I don't see the difference.

skip9 wrote:Is there a way to increase wattage output without doing excessive lactate work? and what sort of training is ideal to increasing wattage.

You'll have to define what you mean by "lactate work". That could be interpreted many ways, e.g. for an aerobic endurance athlete, it might be training to lift the lactate threshold. or for a track sprinter it might be working on lactate tolerance.

Training at all levels above recovery has some beneficial impact to aerobic capabilities. What mix of duration and intensity is right for you, is specific to you, your background, training history, goals, rest of life demands etc etc.

skip9 wrote:Also in regards to Gym work, i know it if a massive debate if its worthwhile or not but considering i'm going to be in the gym for core stability and injury prevention work - i would like to add some lower body strength work (12+ reps) that may aid. What are the better exercises that relate to cycling? obviously Quad, Glute and Hamstring are all muscles that are primarily targeted..

The best exercise for cycling is cycling. We are not strength limited when cycling (endurance cycling that is). Whether you need gym work for your other sport disciplines is another matter. Core work is fine, although it's a pretty crummy/misunderstood term.

There is zippo evidence to support the myth that gym work prevents (non traumatic/crash) cycling injuries. The biggest causes of (non-traumatic) injuries is poor bike fit, poor preparation for what you attempt to take on in competition, ramping up training too quickly and in some cases, cadences at higher powers that are too high/low (but most likely linked to bike fit as well) - the literature on this was reviewed by Dettori and Norvell in 2006.


Thanks Alex, again very helpful As you may notice i'm getting into the power meter game, have just purchased a 2nd hand SRM SRAM S975 with a Garmin 705.

So what your saying is i can still work at a high FTP while staying aerobic? I was sort of under the impression that higher FTP and Lactate was on the verge, if not into Anaerobic work, but now thinking about it i guess it is not.

By Lactate work i do mean increasing the threshold, the ability to sustain a higher effort or produce greater wattage for a longer period of time.

Gym work will mainly be focused on Core Stability - e.g. planks, swiss ball work, hyperextensions and squats + step ups as i believe they have enormous core benefits, especially to a triathlete. Plyometrics is another thing i am looking into.
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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:59 pm

skip9 wrote:So what your saying is i can still work at a high FTP while staying aerobic? I was sort of under the impression that higher FTP and Lactate was on the verge, if not into Anaerobic work, but now thinking about it i guess it is not.

We are using aerobic/anaerobic together all the time, but in terms of the predominant energy systems, then:
Riding at threshold / FTP is about 99% aerobic metabolism.
Riding at 115-120% of FTP is using both aerobic and anaerobic energy metabolism, but is still predominantly aerobic (like ~70-80% aerobic).

Again, what's the right training for you depends on many things. But there is no way that doing some work in and around threshold is going to harm your cause (provided you are prepared, healthy, etc etc) and it is likely to result in both improved sustainable aerobic power and endurance.
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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby skip9 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:19 pm

Ok so i have my SRM Powermeter in the mail.. SRAM Version, got a good deal.

I have read the book "Training & Racing with a Powermeter" and it has help a lot!

My next question on my quest is what is the best software for analysis? Im thinking Training peaks WKO+? I will be running a Garmin 705
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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:15 am

skip9 wrote:Ok so i have my SRM Powermeter in the mail.. SRAM Version, got a good deal.

I have read the book "Training & Racing with a Powermeter" and it has help a lot!

My next question on my quest is what is the best software for analysis? Im thinking Training peaks WKO+? I will be running a Garmin 705

How good a deal?

There are several options. WKO+ is very good and is at least well documented.
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Re: Building Power whilst Aerobic Training

Postby tripstobaltimore » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:59 pm

skip9 wrote:Ok so i have my SRM Powermeter in the mail.. SRAM Version, got a good deal.

I have read the book "Training & Racing with a Powermeter" and it has help a lot!

My next question on my quest is what is the best software for analysis? Im thinking Training peaks WKO+? I will be running a Garmin 705



I use golden cheetah, does everything I need. And it's free.
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