The foundations for successful riding
13 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'm not that interested in racing just yet nor do I plan on doing any form of event where I train for something specifically, taper and then "race it".
So, is it possible to train for the general purpose of going faster? So far in my short year long uptake of cycling I've been using specific Segments in Brisbane to see how I'm fairing (along with the difference in my HR) ie Mt Cootha, Mt Gravatt and various longer sprint sections ie the Corso.
All the reading I've done has been based on training for an event ie Friel's holy bible etc. But I've tried to take some of the key messages out of these books/articles of ensuring I do;
A Vo2 session (ie 3 x (5 40/20's)
A "FTP" session" (I plan on incorporating this into my "hill" day and will just do 3-4 repeats of a particular climb at around 88-92% of my max hr)
3-4 other rides with varying intensity and length mostly with a group of riders.
From what I've sat down and down, it should be about 300km of cycling a week, with two days of recovery and a third with an extended commute home. I plan on mimicking an event every 8-12 weeks where I'd taper off for a week and re-try those specific segments.
Is this something I could possibly follow for say 6-12 months and if I decide on racing I'd be ready to go?
If the above is correct then why would you do the below...
Friel's book works on the premise that you can't physically maintain the training levels required to create SERIOUS improvements. This is why he focuses on events, because you use that event to build a baseline fitness level within a certain time, then go through the build and peak phase, and most importantly enter a genuine transition where you can sit back and relax, and reflect on that achievement.
You will struggle mentally to put in the effort to maximise your improvements if you don't have a finite endpoint to the plan using Friel's periodisation method. I did a ton of riding earlier in the year, built a better engine, but I just don't quite feel I am "there" yet. Fact is, I will NEVER get there without a particular goal and an ability to stop training. KOMs are great, but they can be taken away. I smashed one tonight, but that's got maybe a week MAX before Kz Mal tries to take it back. Then what? Even working towards times can be counterproductive, given how hard the wind has been.
Set a goal, and build a plan to achieve it. Your intervals might not be the best way to achieve those goals. If it's general fitness, stay in HR zone 2 and ride as far as you can.
Maybe I shouldn't have used "non events", I guess in my mind I see the testing that I would do ie racing the clock isn't an event compared to a race. So I was planning on following the build, peak and rest phases Friel talks about. Basically, I see it as doing a club 20km ITT without having a club sanctioned race, and it's merely racing your previous ghost.
The elements isn't something I've considered, but for my own benefit I'd record it and see if I was X amount off the PB.
I guess I should say, training for non-competitors in my title instead of events. So instead of setting a goal for a 32 minute 20km ITT, I've got a 10 minute goal on a specific climb or a 20 minute goal to go on a long uninterrupted segment. I was thinking that the training you would do for club racing would be interchangeable for other equivalent events?
That is much clearer then. Ideally you would go out and ride the segment as hard as you could several times a week and have a couple rest days amongst it. Intervals and testing is done because you can't do a National ITT championship once a week to keep your training moving forward and evaluate progress.
My goal has been to be first back to the coffee shop on the Saturday ride, and be in the first group back when the big boys are pushing - this is easily a big goal for me a year ago. Learning to pace myself and willingly going to failure has helped get there. But intervals? Doesn't quite make sense.
I unfortunately do a majority of my riding solo and and only group rides with a handful of people who don't have the time to ride as much and drop off quicker (I am trying to find more groups in Brisbane who live around me and do rides outside of the loop around the river).
So, by adopting some kind of regimented "training plan" I can be somewhat self sufficient and work towards something tangible and measurable.
The bunch ride is simply my goal - setting a time Nd trying to beat it every day would be enough. Get longer segments or harder ones once you achieve your goals. All the other stuff really is focused on competition and since the only competition is yourself, pushing to beat your times every day will be helpful. You aren't losing Nything by sticking to segments. You will adapt to meet the goal, and get faster. There are tons of riders who just ride and get fast. They make me angry LOL
I cover about 180km/week just commuting. I've found that if I just ride my roadie every day, after 6-9 days my legs start taking it easy. I'm not training for anything, but I like to at least maintain my fitness and performance, if not improve them.
Something I've found very helpful is mixing up the bikes I ride. I ride my singlespeed on most Fridays and in wet weather, and find it encourages me to use cadence as much as gears to achieve speed on the roadie. I also find I rarely reach for the next easiest gear on my roadie after riding it, but put more power down instead. I also try and ride retro one day a week (usually 'retro Ruesdays'). There's a very different feel and shift strategy with retro roadies, as well as being a couple of kilos heavier. The contrast between riding a retro roadie (even really nice ones) and a modern one makes me appreciate both more - the retro bike for being so smooth and simple, and the modern bike for lightness, indexed shifting and the feeling of connection with the road.
There is a lot to be said for HTFU isn't there? I had a smash fest last night, pulled some hard turns. I had to ignore the HR at 170 and just say only 50 more metres a couple times but I got there. Retro is cool but I am poor and impatient. Lol
Retro is super cheap if you do it right and pick the right bike. That said, I spent a few days doing up my retro ride, even though it only cost me about $50 all up. But sometimes you can pick up an almost pristine decent retro for next to nothing (with a little luck and charisma
I train for vets racing and that keeps me motivated. Before that I'd target Amy's Ride of the TDU community ride but it's hard to get motivated for those IMO are there are so many variables on the day to quantify whether it was a "good" ride or not. I also don't think big community rides are there for riders like me (or anyone) to try and beat a set time, although it doesn't usually stop me from trying
Kuota Kharma, Fuji Altamira and an MTB thingy.
One of my goals this year was to knock 30 mins off last years Amy's Gran Fondo time. The other main one is 18:00 on the 1 in 20. Well, AGF went from 4h27 to 4h02 which was ok. My best time on the 1in20 is a _long_ way off at 19:55. It's been quite educational on two fronts. Firstly, the importance of structure and actually planning training for the goal. And secondly, the importance of non-riding behaviour supporting training (proper fuel, good sleep and real recovery, weight management). Good luck! It takes a fair bit of discipline to work toward goals that aren't "events".
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