The foundations for successful riding
That is some fantastic effort and no problem with bragging about that...350 ks is pretty impressive. I did 50 km on a totally flat course yesterday, wanted to spin fast so cadence avg was 100. As I have become stronger my cadence has dropped to mid 80s... I want to get it back up. Anyhow, that was my idea of a recovery ride which I followed up with a 100km ride today... cadence was back to 92 but I felt weak and like crap after about 35 ks. So this week I am going to do my regular Wednesday bunch ride and a few low km high cadence spins. Essentially, I think I will cut back on the majority of my hard rides and replace them with short moderate spins for a couple of weeks. Don't think I could manage 3 weeks off, especially right now with the last of the nice weather before we hit winter in Tassie.
Clearly the break has worked for you... if it comes to the crunch I will consider going down that track. Having said that, even three weeks of easy riding and building back up would probably be effective also.
Congrats on some nice results !!!
I do not think having two or three weeks off the bike has too much negative affect on "fitness".
Last year I had a few vacations of this duration (lots of walking and resting) and usually the first long ride was pretty good performance wise and the second one a week later was usually stellar - well by my standards
I put it down to being fully recovered and rested.
Interestingly looking at my Strava Fitness and Freshness graph it shows that form starts to peak and flatten at 3 weeks (with no rides from 31 Mar)
100 is fast? Perhaps your recovery rides need to happen in the small ring and perhaps in the easiest gears too You'll get bored, lots of fun spinning up to 180rpm, especially if you're slow twitch. Just blast up to max cadence in that tiny gear for 15 seconds, and then relax for a few minutes. You'll teach your body to spin fast I cruise best at 85rpm but I break the wind/take turns better at 100+ rpm.
Ultimately, you can practice spinning in the easy gears and still work hard, without creating a big hole to climb out. The above ride might be 20kms over an hour, and you'll struggle the next day to spin fast (be careful, your body will struggle to break 80 LOL) but you are working on different things and you WILL plateau doing bunches.
Thanks for the kind words, it's not easy but certainly achievable. Wondering if I should learn to swim faster and knock off an Ironman just to annoy the Tri-hards
Yea well I would have thought 100 rpm was fast as an average over 50kms. Same as 92 rpm over 101 kms today. From what I have seen most riders average mid to high 70s. From what I have read though, an average cadence in the 90s is the way to go. So yea... on these recovery rides I make a conscious effort to spin at an average of 100rpm in the small ring. Sometimes hit 140 but 180 rpm is quicker than I could keep up with.
Yes... swim and do an Ironman. That would be pretty cool.
Cadence is a wonder thing, your body will so whatever you train for. The only time your cad should be 70 is climbing up a big hill. The effort to spin at 85 is putting load on your joints and heart that can be shunted to lungs and muscles at 100. People don't marvel at your 50rpm climbs, but how fast you go up
Don't ride at 120rpm, but definitely train for it. Much easier to spin up than change gears sometimes. You watch all these poor souls killing themselves up a hill, but you have to ride after. Spinning means your body isn't maxed out for the effort.
I guess I am just saying that you will benefit from changing your perceptions. Road riders don't seem to break 90rpm if they are sucking a wheel, tri guys even lower, but when I found that the track sprinters were regularly over 120, and BMX over 200 (:shock:) it made me realise that there was a big aspect to my riding that I was missing and actively avoiding. Best thing I ever did was change from a 12-27 to a 12-23. Taught me to spin. I regret not having it on my big ride, because the 18 is right in my sweet spot of 90rpm at 33kmh. We often make bad choices because we just don't know better lol
If nothing else, do it to improve your efficiency on the bike.
Sorry this is slightly OT but I couldn't let a comment like this one slide...
If you're not losing substantial fitness in 2-3 weeks, you're not particularly fit in the first place.
On a 17 day break, I lost about two months worth of built up fitness/CTL. When I got back on the bike I was nowhere near hitting the numbers that I was previously.
I suppose it depends on how you define substantial fitness and what you mean by "particularly fit".
I do not gauge my fitness by the CTL etc numbers - it is time taken over segments.
All I can report is that after 2-3 weeks my times were slightly down on the first ride back and usually an improvement on the next weekend ride. I was surprised by the results - I expected that it would take a while to get back to where I was. Similarly it was interesting (to me) that this result was somewhat "expected" from the Fitness and Freshness graph.
Also it depends on what you do on your vacation. If you spend it climbing in mountains/forests and spending hours walking around towns eating plain healthy food, it may give a different result to that if you spend it lying in the sun and drinking and eating.
The main point (to the OP) was having a few days rest is not going to kill your fitness and being fully rested and recovered may lead to improvements in performance (i,e, tapering).
As in most things YMMV.
I'll say it again, if you're not losing a fair amount of fitness over a 2-3 week layover then you're not anywhere near fit to start with.
Climb times are not a very good indicator of fitness progress, at least in the short term.
But yes I do agree that 3 days off the bike should not have any real adverse impact on your riding, if you are feeling crappy after 3 days off it probably is telling you that you've been riding too hard prior to the break. Very easy to do this if you are riding like little red riding hood (not slow enough to recover, not hard enough to cause adaptions). You might not think you're riding hard, but the training stress accumulates and you wear yourself thin.
As far as training load goes, for me it's two hard days during the week and a long ride on the weekend. Fill in the other days with easy riding. Every fourth week I skip the hard sessions and ride everything at cruisy pace.
Yep have to side with boss here. 2-3 weeks off the bike will be devastating to your fitness. Friel prescribes 2-3 weeks as transition - the end of the season, before you start building the base all over again. This is a collapse in fitness. You might not lose everything, but you will lose that edge that lets you attack the last 200m of the climb, the extra 3kmh in the sprint (coffee shop or finish line). If that isn't an issue for a rider, they aren't training. It's the whole reason we train. That last 5%.
I am intrigued. Why aren't climb times a good indicator of fitness (I mean longer aerobic climbs)?
You still have not defined what you mean by "substantial" or "fair amount of" fitness?
Do you mean 10% or 5% or ... in power and/or times over segments.
You still have not defined by what you mean by "fit".
Does this mean racing A grade?
Does fitness fall of more sharply if you are at the highest levels of fitness?
My fitness level is being able to ride 50-160km /1 000-1500m climb rides on weekend and do it mid-pack according to Strava.
- well maybe second half of the mid-pack
Total agreement here!
^^^ I'm not fit according to my standards after a 3 week break a month back, managed strava top 10% through galston gorge and berowra waters climbs on Friday. B grade racing. There is a definition for you. I think you might be fit according to your workmates, but not according to stronger cyclists. You have a lot of room to improve. And that room is what boss is talking about. The edge gets lost quickly.
Fit is a term relative to one's self, not someone else (I think as Xplora was alluding to).
Why climb times are bad... quickest and dirtiest example I can give is there is a 8km, 5% climb that I ride regularly. 260w has seen me hit 25 minutes, 26:15 and 28 minutes depending on conditions.
Thanks for the feedback.
Naturally fitness is mostly relative to oneself but its good to compare what is possible by comparing with others via Strava (or racing).
Certainly I want to improve my performance but age/body type - genetics/available training time/other sports training are all going to place limits on what is achievable.
Sure need to have similar conditions in order to compare but there is nothing intrinsic about climbs that makes them bad for comparison. There use to be a website (used to get to via Veloviewer) that mined Strava and showed graphs of times on a segment. It was very good to show improvements over longer periods (months). The graph would have ups and downs but the long term average was going down. Lost that service when Strava changed the API. Damn.
Freshness in your legs is good for a couple of efforts before you fall flat on your arse again. It will take time to come back up to where you were.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
For various reason I had 3 weeks and 2 days off the bike then back to normal commuting this week but taking it easy.
Finished course of antibiotics last Wednesday but still feeling a little off up til yesterday.
Went for my usual Two Gorges (Galston/Berowra Waters) this morning but went at only moderate pace.
Surprisingly power graph shows todays effort pretty well matches previous best from 4mins out to 150mins (length of ride) and I certainly could have pushed harder today.
From graph some selected power outputs (W) at various time intervals (mins) show changes +2.5% to -5%
Will be interested to see how next weekends ride goes.
Antibiotics knock the stuffing out of you and you should build back up slowly Am50!
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Thanks Foo I did - had a sore back two weekends ago which put paid to my plans for a long Sunday ride.
Then took Monday and Tuesday off commuting but back to some easy commuting Wed to Friday.
Feeling pretty good Saturday and I managed to fit in the Strava Gran Fondo 5 challenge.
Quite a few PRs (M2-M7 cycleway) on the way out. Some twinges of possible cramps had me a bit slower
on the return (plus the flat tyre did not help!).
Interestingly my power curve showed I either matched or exceeded my previous levels from the 20min mark onwards.
I think the dip at 2.5 hrs is result of eating at Maccas at the end of the M7 cycleway
Next time no stopping at end of M7 - just turn around and return (well maybe an energy bar/drink)
I agree I am on them at the moment trying to get as fit as I can in readiness for an operation next week that'll see me off my bike for 3 weeks. My plan is to go as hard as I can until the operation, really burn myself, that way while I have my time recovering from op the first week or so the body will be recovering from the exercise
God help me, Elvis PLEASE do not do this. If the operation is preventing you from riding, you need to be fit as a fiddle and recovered BEFORE you go into the operation - because your body will be spending all its bikkies fixing your internal organs/bones/ligaments/gentleman's area after the operation. You don't want to be wasting nutrients and effort recovering your quads if your body is saying "hey, gentleman's area needs top priority right now!".
I applied this principle to my bursitis just before my cortisone injection. STUPID IDEA. Cortisone doesn't instantly fix anything, it seems, so instead of easing back into it after a week, I had to take two and my hamstring and glutes on my injected side was knackered for days because I couldn't stretch properly.
Don't do it.
Sorry should've made it clear it's getting my nose staightened and sinuses done part of a previous life from playing footy. I will not be able to do exercise for 3 weeks to stop internal bleeding. Looking forward to being able to breathe out of left nostril properly since the 90's
I had basically the same done 4 years ago... it ain't a pretty op, specially if you have to keep the plastic in your nose for a week or more after, but boy for me the sinus scrap was the best thing I have ever done health wise!.
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