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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a dumb question, and in reality, it probably is. The reason I ask is that we are deep into racing season here in Alabama, and it seems that everytime I get on my bike it's either a race or a freakin' race simulation training event with a teammate or alone.

So, is there anything wrong with just going balls out, the whole time, every time, all the time? Other than it hurts?
 

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ashpelham said:
This may seem like a dumb question, and in reality, it probably is. The reason I ask is that we are deep into racing season here in Alabama, and it seems that everytime I get on my bike it's either a race or a freakin' race simulation training event with a teammate or alone.

So, is there anything wrong with just going balls out, the whole time, every time, all the time? Other than it hurts?
Well, if it really is all the time, then it's not really fast. By definition, there's a very small limit to how long one can go really fast.

But to your larger meaning, no, there's nothing at all wrong with going hard all of the time.

Unless you eventually want to go faster. Muscles grow by being torn apart by hard efforts, but then require a period of rest to rebuild - which is when they get stronger. Vast oversimplification - but adequate rest and easy days are important to making real improvement.

See also: Periodization.
 

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Burn out. You body needs time to recover from hard workouts. If you always go all-out, I doubt if you are improving. ... But then again, I'm a relatively old guy. I literally cannot ride hard every time, so recovery rides are mandatory.
 

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how much rest in in between all the hard efforts? thats the important part. you dont necessarily have to do a "recovery ride" but you do have to recover.
 

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What everyone says. Keep in mind that while riding fast all the time might keep you riding fast, it will surely keep you from riding very fast. :)
 

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I recall reading an article in a cycling magazine last year that mentioned this same type of scenario. They said that if you want to improve your abilities on a bike, you need to mix up your rides. Going out "balls-to-the-wall" every time isn't going to help. They suggested throwing in some casual, or less aggressive rides here and here to throw your body off its normal routine and feel of riding.
 

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Riding hard all the time makes you tired, not fast. If you're tired and you try to ride hard anyway, your quality of effort won't be good but it will take just as much out of you as if you were fresh.

Best advice I ever got from a better rider when I was starting: If you don't go easy enough when you intend to ride easy, you won't be able to go hard enough when you intend to go hard.
 

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wim said:
What everyone says. Keep in mind that while riding fast all the time might keep you riding fast, it will surely keep you from riding very fast. :)
You said it perfectly.....
 

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I wish I could go fast all the time. Unfortunately I'm only fast when I'm going downhill and with the wind. The rest of the time, I'm just trying to keep up.
 

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how long is a piece of string? - one persons hard is anothers cruise ride...apples and oranges
 

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Ride slow to become fast..


Can't ride fast all the time or you blow up. If I peg it too hard one week my following week suffers. Maybe not in actual performance but enjoyment, motivation, and time suffer. Mix up the training to get the most out of it. (Simply stated)
 

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Cygnus said:
is overtraining a myth for recreational riders?
Anyone can enter into over-reaching and overtraining if the volume/intensity is too high and recovery too low.

Rec riders who are also trying to lose weight are especially susceptible to overtraining due to lower calorie intake inhibiting recovery.
 

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i'm not exactly sure of all the similarities or dissimilarities between road biking and distance running except that both are endurance sports. by being an endurance sport, it is more aerobic than anaerobic. to optimize your aerobic ability, one needs to train at that lower rate to develop it. i see some articles that talk about base training at a low intensity to produce great results. in running, there is an informative article by hadd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It probably seemed like an obvious question at the time, but I can judge by the answers in this thread, that it's not so cut and dry.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

My club is racing a lot this month, and we are spending a couple days per week really pushing at race pace between the lot of us. I feel like I'm building up a lot of fatigue in my body overall. For me, the first reaction I have is a week feeling stum-ich (to quote Borat). Today is better, and to the credit of the posters who recommended a lot of rest, I took the day off the bike altogether yesterday. I know it helped, but when I get on the bike later on, perhaps it will show in that "snap" you have in your legs when you're fit and rested.

For those of us who work excessive hours and have family obligations, there really isn't much time to "rest" on the bike. When I'm on the bike, it has a purpose. Rest means taking the day off from riding and just working and tending to the stuff that life brings up.

Hence my question about riding fast, every time, all the time. Thanks again to all who responded!
 

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ashpelham said:
For those of us who work excessive hours and have family obligations, there really isn't much time to "rest" on the bike. When I'm on the bike, it has a purpose. Rest means taking the day off from riding and just working and tending to the stuff that life brings up.

Hence my question about riding fast, every time, all the time. Thanks again to all who responded!
If you're racing one day a week and doing 2 rides or so during the week I would think if your body can handle it then going fast "every time" is okay. If you are racing Sat/Sun and riding Tues-Thurs with only 1 day off or whatever, then eventually you'll be in a big hole that will take some time and effort to climb out of (and a lot of days off!).

If you have to be going fast everytime you ride, just make sure you aren't riding everyday.

If you're out there 5-6 days a week, I'd say most normal people would need 1-2 easy days at the very least!
 

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depends on what you consider fast. I used to think I was fast until I started riding with some cat 1&2 guys. From them I learned how to ride slow and what fast really meant, most aspiring racers ride way to hard when they should be riding easy and therefore can't ride as hard as they should when they need to.

As for the comparison to running - there are many similarities, but a few differences. Since cycling is a low impact sport, most don't really need a true day off. A rest day is still on the bike, just at very easy effort - truly an active recovery day. For most this is actually better for recovery than taking the day off. In running, except for an exceptional few, a day or so at least off is needed after a true day of hard endurance racing.

So - as stated before. You can ride hard every time if you want, you just aren't likely to be able to ride really hard and be faster than before unless you put some structure and periodization around it. Unfortunately, unless those in your club are all at the same fitness level, respond the same to stress and rest, and have the same race goals; riding together all the time is probably not a good way to train.
 

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For those of us who work excessive hours and have family obligations, there really isn't much time to "rest" on the bike. When I'm on the bike, it has a purpose. Rest means taking the day off from riding and just working and tending to the stuff that life brings up.



Like most rec riders, I maybe get 2-3 rides a week, mostly only 2, and when I get on the bike I want to do over 2 hours of high intensity with some climbs and some flat sections to motor along. I go out with 2 other guys who are the same, so we push each other along. I have noticed a great improvement compared to riding this way once a week. Easy rides are for when I take the flat bar bike out with the wife for a cruise along the coast.
 

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ZoSoSwiM said:
Ride slow to become fast..


Can't ride fast all the time or you blow up. If I peg it too hard one week my following week suffers. Maybe not in actual performance but enjoyment, motivation, and time suffer. Mix up the training to get the most out of it. (Simply stated)
so youve just shown you know NOTHING about training principles and everything about training books you read. OP do not listen to this, its ride fast to become fast!!!
 

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Recovery is MORE important than the actual training. You should have atleast one rest day a week. My rest day is still on the bike...about an hour in z2 easy easy. And make sure your getting your 8 hoiurs of sleep since thats when muscle repair occurs.

It is super important to come into the season witha solid aerobic base. Its only during aerobic training that your body will build up mitochindria (that produce the ATP your muscles use for energy) and build more capillaries to bring more oxygenated blood to the muscles. Without base, you can still go fast but youll burn up quick. All anaerobic rides will work on your Vo2 but do nothing for your foundation of fitness.
 
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