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Going Nowhere Fast
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first year racing and I pretty much train with a few team mates most of the time.

Here's a quick example:
Sunday: Race or fast group ride(Flat)
Monday: Decent pace 20 mile ride(solo)
Tuesday: Fast group ride then training crit(flat)
Wednesday: Decent pace 20 mile ride(solo)
Thursday: Fast group ride then training crit(flat)
Friday: Decent pace 20 mile ride(solo)
Saturday: Fast group ride(flat)


Since I've started racing crits I can count the number of times I've done any significant climbing on one hand. I would like to start doing hill repeats instead one of those fast group rides.

Question: Will I see any benefits of doing hill repeats this late in the season?
I tried climbing a small hill near my house that I've climbed for years and seemed like I just started riding the bike.. no power at all!!
 

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I don't claim to be a coach or expert, but . . . there seems to be too little variation in your week.

1. No rest day.
2. No interval day.
3. Three days of "decent pace" solo hour's ride.
4. Three days of flat group rides.
5. No hills.

This seems kooky to me. IMO you need more variety in your intensity. Take a day off, then do some hill repeats. Find a group ride that hits hills. Do something different ferchrissakes.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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Maybe a day or 2 of rest would do you better than hill repeats?
 

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tbrown524 said:
Since I've started racing crits I can count the number of times I've done any significant climbing on one hand. I would like to start doing hill repeats instead one of those fast group rides.

Question: Will I see any benefits of doing hill repeats this late in the season?
I tried climbing a small hill near my house that I've climbed for years and seemed like I just started riding the bike.. no power at all!!
I agree with Kram.. more rest days..

then throw in a hill repeat ride. it's not to late.

carmichael suggests periodization... but a lot of us are training for the tdf year round.
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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Everyone here is right. You can substitute one of your group rides for hill repeats. Depending on the length, it could be good anaerobic or VO2max work, to which your body responds very well and quickly.

To give you an idea, I usually ride 14-16hrs/wk and still manage to take monday off and friday as a short recovery day. You get fast by recovering. Ride hard, recover hard.
 

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waterproof*
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Take 2 days off this week. Starting Wednesday. Stay home. At your usual ride time, take a nap or at least lie down in a quiet dark room for 30 min. Thursday, leave your sneakers and walking shorts on, get on your bike and cruise around for 15-20 mins, reallly slow, like on the sidewalk. End up at your local park and stretch and do some light calisthenics before you go home. Go to bed early. Do your regular Friday ride, but maybe take it a bit easier and limit it to 90 mins max.

IF you're not racing this weekend, then Saturday, skip the group ride and do those hill repeats. Just absolutely kill yourself. Sunday do the group ride you'd normally do, hopefully your legs will be wasted and you'll have to turn around and go home halfway (that's a good thing).

Monday, do the park thing again

Tuesday, do the race if you want, except resolve to attack until you either win or get dropped. If you get dropped, let yourself get lapped then go again.

Wednesday, see how you feel. You might be able to do a middle distance steady tempo ride, maybe not. If not, go home and stretch.

Thursday, same deal, if you're feeling recovered go and hammer, do the crazy attack thing.

See how it works? Your easy days need to be guilt-inducing easy. Your hard days need to leave you with the vague fear that you might have permanently damaged something.
 

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Anti-Hero
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A generic example of the training week my coach gives:
Mon: Recovery ride (little kids on tricycles could pass you)
Tues: short, high intensity intervals (usually 5 or 6 3-5 min intervals)
Wed: moderate intensity, longer intervals (1 or 2 10-20 min intervals)
Thurs: couple of hours of aerobic riding (zone 2 and 3)
Fri: off
Sat:sprint or hill work
Sun: mixed bag- interval workout of my own choosing or group ride

During interval rides, if I'm not in an interval, the default intensity is "zone 2," or aerobic riding. Types of intervals, length of rides, etc. changes a lot throughout the season.
 

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Going Nowhere Fast
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I should've mentioned that those decent pace days often turn into rest days or just commuting to the gym and then to work. Really slow pace on my single speed.

The schedule above isn't set in stone since I'm married which means that I often miss a ride or two...

Thanks for your post. After reading them, I beleive I need to add a day for sprinting and/or hill work. Training with my team seems to be all about speed and nothing else. I just upgraded to Cat4 so hopefully I'll have a better training schedule for next season.
 
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pretender said:
I don't claim to be a coach or expert, but . . . there seems to be too little variation in your week.

1. No rest day.
2. No interval day.
3. Three days of "decent pace" solo hour's ride.
4. Three days of flat group rides.
5. No hills.

This seems kooky to me. IMO you need more variety in your intensity. Take a day off, then do some hill repeats. Find a group ride that hits hills. Do something different ferchrissakes.
+1, I agree. No recovery rides or rest days and you made it to Cat 4???? If you have a desire to make it to cat 3 or higher, you will most definitely need to change training habits. just my $ 0.2 worth.:rolleyes:
 

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slyjackson said:
+1, I agree. No recovery rides or rest days and you made it to Cat 4???? If you have a desire to make it to cat 3 or higher, you will most definitely need to change training habits. just my $ 0.2 worth.:rolleyes:
If you can lift your leg over the bike 10 times you can make it to cat 4....
 

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Domestic Drivin' E-Thug
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It seems like a lot of racers, especially new racers, have this idea that if they rest, and especially if they take days off, they will somehow lose all their fitness gains, and their season will be in the tank. It just isn't true.

I'm a very competitive Cat 3 in a tough district, NorCal, and I train a maximum of 5 days per week, and I typically only ride 4 days. That's it. 2 or 3 more days on the bike aren't going to make me faster. I've built my base up over the course of years, and I have no problem going out on any Saturday and throwing out 90 miles and 7000 feet of climbing. It's not because I'm a genetic freak by any measure though. It's because I train smart, and I train consistently.

My weekend efforts are either races, or else very long rides with tons of climbing. If I'm not racing, I'm filling my tank, not depleting it. This means that I'm doing lots of either slow climbing or steady-state in my very easiest gear with an emphasis on pedal stroke and cadence. Think "perfect circles" although no one's circle it perfect. Some folks might be passing me on occasion, but that's not a concern. I'm filling up. They're taking out. Some folks reserve these rides only for the off-season, but they serve my purpose year round.

Monday, off.

Tuesday, mind-dumbing, blinding intervals via the Tuesday night hammerfest. If I'm not close to throwing up then I haven't gone hard enough. Half the folks I train with on this night are 1s and 2s. Two sprint points each lap, go for every one until you're close to dead.

Wednesday, because I only rode 1.5 hours, and Monday was a rest day, I still have plenty left in the tank for some solid, steep hill intervals. I do about 15 to 20 5 minute efforts, again with a concentration on cadence and pedal stroke.

Thursday, off.

Friday, pure recovery ride.

Weekend, repeat.


You show a lot of medium efforts in your training, and you don't appear to be emphasizing anything in particular. Rest is the only time your muscles regenerate and get stronger, and the time when you actually realize your fitness gains from all the hard word. No rest = plateau. You're never going to get much faster with your training "plan" because there is no real plan.
 

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I'll agree with what others have posted. Hard days HARD...think seeing spots.

Easy days, very easy. Think snails yawned. If you've seen the Comcast commercials with the turtles (the Slowskis), think of them turning around and saying, "Man KEEP UP!!"
 

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p != b
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tbrown524 said:
Thanks for your post. Seems to me that I really need to develop a training plan instead of just hooking up with my team doing whatever they're doing that day.
ATMO: Not necessarily - you may just need to train a little smarter. I know plenty of Cat 4/5s with very rigorously constructed training plans, who don't see any progress, for any number of reasons. I know cat 1/2s who mostly just go out and ride - but they're being smart about it.

Bottom line - don't get too wrapped up in having a training plan - formulate a general plan for your season, know what you need to be doing on a weekly basis (like resting!), and just ride!
 

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"Your hard days need to leave you with the vague fear that you might have permanently damaged something."

Absolutely the most delightful thing I have read this year. Bone-jarringly,
open-mouthed funny. Pearls of wisdom. Question: could there be any genetic
predisposiiton within this cadre, (aka Martin Luther and self-flagellation) to masochistic
or self-loathing traits?
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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pretender said:
Um, so which do you mean? Have a plan, or just ride?
Having a plan gets you further than not having one. Any cat4/5 who has a rigorous training plan and doesn't see progress is skipping rides. I believe anyone, regardless of genetics, can make it to cat2 with proper training.

Ask a P/1/2 if he got to that level by "just riding around" and wait for the obvious answer. Also, 1/2s can get away with just riding because they built to that level over time..with some training. They usually have a lot of intensity on weekends because of races, which is sometimes enough for the week.
 

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tbrown524 said:
Since I've started racing crits I can count the number of times I've done any significant climbing on one hand. I would like to start doing hill repeats instead one of those fast group rides.

Question: Will I see any benefits of doing hill repeats this late in the season?
I tried climbing a small hill near my house that I've climbed for years and seemed like I just started riding the bike.. no power at all!!
You will absolutely benefit from hill repeats, and a rest day. Give yourself at least two days to recover before racing.

This late in the season? Isn't it still June? Oh, wait, are those Christmas lights over there?
 
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