Where to now?

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Where to now?

Postby GaryFM » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:15 pm

Hi all,

I have been seriously riding for just over 6 months and am not sure where to go with my training now: I’ve noticed in these style of threads the first posts generally state ‘more info needed’ so

Details: Male, 52, 82kg (and falling)

Goal: Join local veteran club for weekly criterion racing-E grade. Races generally 40-45 mins at around 24-30k/hr average depending on the circuit.

I have heavy work commitments but are riding 400/k month at a 25k/hr average. The week night rides are generally 40 mins at night around home which is pretty hilly and I go 15-20k at 23k/hr.

Weekend rides are around 40k at 26k/hr along a reasonably flat road (Sydney, Northern Rd: Mulgoa to Bringelly)

I generally ride by myself but I belong to a tri club which train Saturdays and are considering joining their ride Saturday ride.

So thats the info….now the question:

I have a couple of options:

1. Increase the length of time i.e. push the weekend rides to 60k and maintain the average speed
2. Work to increase the speed but maintain the time i.e. Still do the 40 mins at night but work on increasing the average speed. Obviously both would be good.

Given my goals, which way go…work on speed or on distance (time)? Other thoughts?

I want to race in a month or two with the goal of not being dropped of the back of the bunch.

Regards
My companion on the lonely roads, Tracy: 2008 Giant TCR Alliance, T-Mobile

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by BNA » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:30 pm

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Re: Where to now?

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:30 pm

I'd be working on strength. :idea:

1. Hammer it a bit on the climbs and do slow rolling starts till you get on top of the gear.

2. Make your weekend rides longer if, you have the time.

3. Do some sprint work. Pick out an object up the road and sprint flat out to it. (do say 6 of these twice a week for a start)

Hope this gives you a bit of a start and enjoy the challenge. :mrgreen:

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Re: Where to now?

Postby GaryFM » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:24 pm

Thanks Foo but what do you mean by

'do slow rolling starts till you get on top of the gear'

I have been trying to push up the hills but hadnt even thought of practising a sprint.

Appreciate the advice.

Gary
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Re: Where to now?

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:18 pm

Hi Gary,

You slow right down and then accelerate as hard as you can for about 5- 10secs and then just back off to your normal speed. :)

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Re: Where to now?

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:53 pm

With tight time restraint and 400km/mth or 100km/wk really isn't very much, so it'll all come down to time efficiency. On this, there's nothing better than so called "power based training" and 2x20 interval training. And very fortunate we have AlexS here on the forum to advise on the subject.

So I'd say you should look up on the subject and work out a schedule based on that program. And at your power level, a 2x20 program using a stationary bike can do wonders. There's a story of a Canadian guy who does his training indoors with focus on power development and then come out every few months and win. Road riding with lots of stop and starts is not very efficient in training terms, but is far less boring than indoor riding. Hope this helps.
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Re: Where to now?

Postby zero » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:40 pm

I rarely ride 60kms+ at once, and I average 125kms / week, (might be rising now that I'm simply faster) and yesterday I did 34.8km/hr for 40 minutes. On Wednesday, 33.2 for the whole hour. Yesterdays effort was simply the first failed attempt to knock out 35kms in the hour, which I'll probably crack within a month (given I held for 38 or so - can't be too far off). Note I do have a tendency to accelerate to well over my hourly average speeds in traffic when commuting, so most of my kms are usefully intense.

Time you are putting in now is enough to make considerable gains - enough to reach your stated goals - you probably just need to find a course that is comfortable interruptions wise (safety/traffic lights, give ways other interruptions), that you can set "just out of reach" goals occasionally, and try to reach them. Once you set the just out of reachers, you'll start getting a feel for what you CAN do pace wise, instead of what you feel is comfortable.

I only ride 60km type distances when I need pacing information for that kind of length. So if compete in the three ring circus again this year, I'll do a few 2.5 hour rides beforehand to get a feel for what my 2.5 hour effort should be.
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Re: Where to now?

Postby sogood » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:21 pm

Average speed is not very meaningful as it is affected by the course terrain. So it's perfectly possible to exert the same amount of work/energy b/n rides that averages 20km/h and 35km/h, and the training effect will be better correlated with the work done.
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Re: Where to now?

Postby zero » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:30 pm

sogood wrote:Average speed is not very meaningful as it is affected by the course terrain. So it's perfectly possible to exert the same amount of work/energy b/n rides that averages 20km/h and 35km/h, and the training effect will be better correlated with the work done.


Circular course, no braking, coasting or drafting is what I use (Centennial or heffron - heffron results are a little slower than Centennial, which is partly caused by the energy wasted in turning more than 360 degrees per lap). That isolates external effects "enough" that the speedo can greatly assist with pacing.

My out and back rides have reasonable average speeds (often 30+), but I don't use them for telling myself I've improved, because hilly onroad terrain usually winds up with a red traffic light at the bottom of a hill, which is an uncontrollable random effect. Even power meter users have to go to the "normalised" power figure once the real world impinges on their efforts.

I'm not suggesting its a fine grained tool or that you don't have to make mental allowances for conditions, but I doubt that buying a power meter is necessary for making the kind of improvements the OP is after - after all going from 100w sustained to 200w sustained is a pretty easy thing to detect if nothing else changes, and 40 minutes 4 or 5 times a week is enough time to achieve that, so long as the rider challenges themselves in the riding.
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Re: Where to now?

Postby GaryFM » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:25 pm

Thanks to all who commented.

Added a sprint or three into todays ride....hmmmm.... note to one self to keep doing this as it was a bit of a shock (especially to the HR)

Reading the 2x20 threads and links and will incorporate were I can.

Reading the comments re value of average speed. I know my averages on a particular 'course' and hence fell I can use it as a measure of comparison.

Thanks again,

Gary
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Re: Where to now?

Postby Mustang » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:46 am

Hi Gary,
Your level is roughly where I'm at, (I've plateaued) very interesting advice given from the forum. Please keep your thread up to date, as I'm also going to use the ideas suggested
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Re: Where to now?

Postby sogood » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:10 am

GaryFM wrote:Added a sprint or three into todays ride....hmmmm.... note to one self to keep doing this as it was a bit of a shock (especially to the HR)

Reading the 2x20 threads and links and will incorporate were I can.

At your stage of training, you really just need to focus on power and more power development ie. 2x20 type of training for aerobic power. Once developed, they'll last a long time. Sprinting powers involves the part of the metabolic system that can come and go quickly, so it should not be your priority at this point. No point in exhausting yourself in a session through sprint repeats. Much better to spread your available energy and time in the 2x20 and other base type of training.
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Re: Where to now?

Postby brawlo » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:03 pm

I second the working on strength option.

At the start of the summer season I opted in for road and track racing and it's my first attempt ever. The only riding I have done since summer last year was some basic pre season track training. Since the season has started, the only training I do is on the track and 95% of that is strength/sprint training. The only road riding I do is the weekly club racing which is generally 20km. I have made great improvements and after starting the season off in mid C grade I am now winning the road races and came second in a time trial 2 weeks ago by just 5 sec. I have another racer vowing to come and train with us on the track because of the improvements I have made. The longest ride outside of the road racing I get is a 20 lap scratch race on track race nights which equates to around 8km.

I do lack something in the aerobic capacity, as on another time trial earlier in the season I found that my legs had plenty to give but the ticker was running out of steam. At 33 I'm not that old but not that young either.

I'm very time poor and don't have the time to join in the social rides for longer distance training, hence the track time and only really because my oldest daughter is having a go too. I think that once the winter comp kicks off and races become 40km in length, I'm really going to suffer!
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