The foundations for successful riding
As far as best practice for training goes... I am totally clueless, though I do research via Goole quite a bit. Anyhow, while my kms per week are not huge, the 300 avg per week I am currently doing is as much as I can handle, and only if my approach is well considered. These kms are basically comprised of 4 hard rides and my recovery is 3 days off the bike. This week, after a hard 128 ks (30kph) I elected to take 3 consecutive days off where I did zero. I'm not working at the moment so I can get away with not doing much. So during the three day break the most I did was walk from the couch to the kitchen, and when it came to the ride today I had no strength or power... I felt totally flat as well. I am thinking that I made a big mistake in taking "ride hard recover harder" too literally, and should have at least gone for some walks on the beach. Did 90 ks today and have a hard bunch ride tomorrow... if I feel like I did today, I am gonna be screwed.
Seems like bad tactics to me - I'm sure I've mentioned previously that you need to mix recovery rides in with the hard rides. Use your heart rate monitor, set a threshold warning and get out for any easy spin for 30 or 40kms is likely to be better than doing nothing. One day off a week is probably plenty.
Even so, it's not unusual to feel a bit flat at the start of a ride.
4 rides a week... That's 12 to 14 days off the bike a month. Structure your riding training better. Plus after 3 days off your first day back on often feels like crap.
My experience too, anytime I have more than 2 days off the bike I feel like i'm back at square one.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
RonK I can assure you that PaulB is a very well educated articulate person, as you might have guessed from his posts.
I am unable to understand why there is one word in our language that PaulB has an aversion to.
RonK, may I suggest that you help PaulB by:-
1. Define "easy".
2. Confiscate his Garmin thing.
3. Convince him that "strava" is a dirty word.
First ride back from a break I always feel a little dead, even if it's only off the bike for a day (usually Sunday in my case). What I find helps to wake the legs up first ride back is warm up for 5 or 10minutes then do 30sec pedal drills, spinning your arse off to 125rpm or there abouts, 30sec easy and then repeat. After the 5th repeat I am usually ready to go!
Others have suggested the 3 off days per week is too much, if that what works for you and your schedule that is fine - 300km in 4 rides is a decent whack of mileage, it's also alot of miles if they are productive miles
My Training & Racing Blog: http://mountainbikemediocrity.wordpress.com
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Muscle takes time to build. You take three days off and you start to develop those muscles without develop the flexibility to use them. I think we also have a mechanism that switches off the flight mechanism that lets you power on and abuse your body. You stop charging, and the body sets itself to repair mode and probably develops nervous system connections to use those muscles, and this is probably responsible for the lethargy. I am certain that neurology is very important for our bodies and performance but we can't measure that. Heart rate, average speed, power, it's all easy to read on a screen, even though your nervous system is the thing that runs the show.
Part of training theory is that everyone is different and if three days puts you out of the game, then don't let that happen again unless you are taking a break. You want to have some time off regularly (once a quarter) and you want to use recovery rides to prevent this 3 day shutdown, while getting your body health back on track.
You can maintain the pace. Just try to put a few more serious attempts at recovery rolls, just like RonK said. 300 kms a week is a LOT. well done!
Hehe - mebe I'll just come down there and anchor him down. Well - if I can talk my wife into buying that nice little place I have my eye on at Primrose.
3 or 4 days of the bike and I usually smash it when I get back on, I do however work as a tradie and spend all day at work climbing up and down ladders, 3-4 days of inactivity might produce a different result.
Scott CR1, Kuota Kharma
All good advice... thanks guys. Another good ride today... went OK. Going to take a more considered approach in order to achieve optimum performance. My biggest issues are due to lack of experience... I am getting there though
Now that we have solved PaulBs' problems RonK , should we talk about your likely move to join the DFBTR?
Is the Primrose property still for sale?
Can we do anything to help?
I have perfected a technique for upsetting neighbours. Perhaps we could show the incumbents the undesireability of their present address? Drive the price down?
Riding past at 4am with loud discussion might help?
Yep it's still for sale. Never mind about the neighbours, I need a wife whisperer.
This is the view.
Yes that makes sense. So perhaps I add another day where I take it easy ?
I don't actually do any training. I just go out on four bunch rides each week... and I am not setting the pace, just staying in touch. I have put in a fair bit of time and effort and it would be nice to get it right. I did feel it was important to establish a base level of fitness, and I think I have that now... so it is a start at least.
It depends on how you are riding in these bunches Paul B. I ride with two bunches of a weekend = Saturday is a steady one (AT) 25-30kmh with a couple of sprints thrown in and Sunday is (AT) 30-40kmh with sprints and hard fast sections but the thing is..... With the Sunday one, I don't stay with them for the whole ride as a general rule because they are much fitter than me, so I read my body and drop out when I reach my maximum ability and then roll home. You need to ride smart and know when to back off and roll not keep pushing yourself.
Just remember though, I can only ride Saturday and Sunday but by me riding smart I am still improving and the blokes in the bunch are seeing this to because this morning one said to me. Gary you will be knocking on Gregs back door when you get the weight off. This Greg is ranked No 1 in QLD and No 2 in Aus in Masters 6 or 5 whatever it is, he is 56yrs.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
300 km a week is quite decent. I raced A grade for years on less than that. And the guys I work with now aren't doing much more than that, and they are very highly ranked riders (no not strava rankings). The general consensus is that with one race per week, only one other hard session should be done each week. The rest is easy stuff, varied. So these Hobart bunch rides sound like the usual strava smash fests, a sort of race / bash up your mates / show off kind of thing which equate to reasonably hard efforts for the duration. If you were a racing cyclist Id say to drop those rides and train properly, but if you don't race then I see the fun in them. But understand that you wont really improve as a bike rider if that's your modus operandi.
If I were you I would do 2 bunch rides a week maximum. These are your 2 hard rides. Don't do them on consecutive days. The other days you train alone or with a training partner which is by far the best way to train, with a mate of similar standard. Just ride the bike easy. If you feel a bit frisky you can do some little sprints or short TT efforts or hills but generally, just ride at an easy pace. Maybe add in that 5th ride, since all the others are fairly long you could just do an hour (AT) 26kph or something. Or turn the legs over on a windtrainer nice and easy for 20-30 minutes.
Its not how much you ride, how many consecutive days you can do, how many days off you have, how big your weekly kilometres are. Its what you do when you are on the bike. Unfortunately bunch rides while a lot of fun are usually poor quality training. The fast times are never fast enough to be of any value to you, and the slow periods are never slow enough for recovery. Its just dead riding.
Hehe - Paul you need to read this.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. So I think essentially two of my bunch rides are pretty full on. Wed is around 65 ks at 30 - 32 kph avg. Sunday is up 80-120 kms at a similar pace. Thursday is easy by comparison, around 70 - 80 ks at 27 kph and Friday 75 ks at around 28(the guys classify this as a recovery ride ). So Wednesday and Sunday is maximum effort while Thursday and Friday are substantially easier. I might add another in the manner of the 5th ride you are suggesting, Monday, which will give me Tuesday and Saturday off. I think that is a good balance.
At the end of the day my goal has not changed since day one, and that was to give a good account of myself in the bunch rides. I am pretty happy with my progress, but the crux of it all is that I am always looking for that extra edge.
That's quite interesting. I think I'm falling into the trap of too much 'meh' riding as well.
E.g. of the last week, in power zones. 40% in Z1, 20% in z2, 17% in z3, 13% in z4, and the rest is VO2Max and above level. But those numbers are quite similar for each individual ride as well, rather than focusing each ride targetting a specific zone.
I'm also on about 10hr p/w of riding, and racing B-grade with about 10 months experience on the bike. Though I'm trying to pad out my hours-per-week a bit more (or maybe it should just be more focused on quality?). Would the following be a better use of time?
2x 1-2hr smash fests that leave you walking funny
2x very easy 1 hour rides
And a 2-3 hour ride on both days of the weekend, staying in the endurance power zone. Though throw in a few race-pace 30s, 1m, 5m efforts when feeling good...
Maybe a track night or interval trainer session in there too for some short, intense efforts.
10 hours a week is fine and I don't really see anything wrong in what you are doing currently. If you are racing on a weekly basis then as well as your race, you could add 1-2 other efforts as long as they are short eg one track session, one ergo interval session. This is a completely different scenario to the OP's 100km smash-up bunch rides. I would not recommend 1-2 hour smash-fests. Your harder rides between races should be shorter and of a different variety.
Listen to your body. If you are tired do an easy ride instead of what you had planned. If like you say, you are on the longer weekend rides and feel good, throw in some short bursts but nothing longer than 5 minutes. I think you are on the right track sumo, just the fact that you are racing means you will be on the improve all the time.
I cant write programs for strangers, I can only give simple general advice. Everyone is different, and only through time and experience can people work out what works and leads to improvement. As a gross generalisation I have noticed that inexperienced guys tend to try to ride too hard too often. Variety is very important. Track sessions, ergo sessions, short fast rides, long slower rides, some hilly stuff, some derny work if you have that access....doing what you have always done will leave you where you always have been.
I can't stand the irony of the humble brag, but I don't know how else to add this info Paul. I had 3 weeks off, came back for a short hard race, then assaults on the local short hills with tempo pace in between for the next two weeks. Did 120kms two weeks ago. Got asked to do Endure for a Cure, 12 hours. I did 100 at a solid tempo pace on monday, 50 at weak tempo Pace on Wednesday, then managed 350kms for the Friday. 3 weeks after the break.
I was shocked at my achievement - my point? You really really have to question your schedule and wonder am I doing the right training for my goals? I am sure my 100 at tempo was a hard session for me, and would activate the aerobic systems. Clearly the base was there. This was a huge PB for me, previous best was 210. My arms and back were the weak point Last Friday. Not the legs.
I do much less than 300 a week. Maybe Paul just slow down for a week, but keep riding, see how you feel. Let the body come up for air?
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