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hello,
allow myself to introduce err.. myself

i am joe, male 34 yrs old got back on the bike 3 yrs ago.. a Toronto Donut rider

I am training for the Etape Du Tour.- July 10th (187 km.. three peaks .. finishing on alp duez). I come from southern Ontario.. where there are perhaps a few hills that takes maybe 9 mits to get up).

so far i have been doing weights 1-2 times a week to build muscular strength (this will end by april 1 and will be replaced with specific hill workouts).. some shorter hill repeats once a week to build muscular endurance. And of course getting my miles up gradually with a couple of endurance rides per week. (i will also do a recovery ride the day after a Break Through work out)

I am finding my legs are very tired after a hill or weight work out (and this is ~after~ 48 hrs including a recovery ride or two) .... i don't think i should need to take three days to recover.. are heavy legs to be expected? is it ok to ride with legs that get easily sore due to previous workouts? (Joe freil has me paranoid about making sure i am fully recovered)

i guess the big question is ~~in what order should i be doing these works outs?~~

how should the week be structured?

should i be emphasizing a particular aspect of my training?

is there anything else i could be doing to prepare for the event? as the build period starts i will be including some intervals and tempo riding along with more hills and of course miles miles miles...

also food wise - any rules of thumb.. ie eat every 40 k? best energy drink? bars? best kind of/ use for energy gels.

i am liking bananas and a bottle of gatorade.. but as the miles get up there i am going to be looking for a more thought out on-the-bike diet

OH one more question - i did a century last year.. i was fine except for cramping. i would like to prevent this. potassium supplements?

any help would be greatly appreciated. Is anyone else doing this event?

safe riding!!

joe
 

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Having a plan is a good idea, but I wouldn't overthink it. If it were me, I'd cut out the weights now, and increase my milage on the road. Weights can be benificial in the off-season, but I wouldn't double up on weights and riding at the same time. You should be building a milage base. Don't worry too much about intensity, speed or hills at this point. Come mid-late April through May you can switch from milage base riding to shorter speed and hill specific rides. At that point, your legs and general fitness will be ready for it and you will excel quickly. Your hurting legs are telling you that you are tearing down the muscles too much and they aren't recovering. Continuing to beat them down when they are still repairing themselves, will just prolong the reocovery.

You asked about cramping on a century. It could be a result of heat, overdoing, and the onset of dehydration, but more likely, it's the lack of miles in your legs. Salt tablets will help if it really is a lack of sodium due to dehydration, but they won't do much if it's simply overtaxing of the muscles. They are going to cramp. It's your body's way of saying "Enough! please stop". That's why building a very good milage base in early spring is so improtant. It pushes your threshold out much further.

As a general guidline, if I'm planning on being on the road for 75-100 miles, I eat a powerbar every 25 miles and drink lots of water even if I don't really want it. It's important to keep the carbs flowing as your body is using them as the primary energy source. If it has to dip into evergy reserves such as fat or protein, it's not going to be as efficient.

It sounds like you are starting to prepare with the right ideas, just listen to what your body is telling you and plan to peak at your event. :)

brewster
 

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More than anything it's likely the weights causing the soreness, and probably producing little if any returns as far as performance gain in the realm of cycling you're looking to participate.
 

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Stronger legs on reduced fitness!

I'm gonna call "BS on THAT!" to the comment that weights won't help with cycling.

Dude is in Ontario. I'm in Wisconsin. We still have snow on the roads, it still gets dark early, and yeah- our time on the road is not as much as we would like. My training was lots of power ice skating. It worked pretty well for Eric Heiden, a local hero.

So a nice winter day presents, and I go on my usual 58 mile loop- up the big O hill on my cyclocross bike. DOH! Only goes down to 39x26T. Normally I'd spin up in 34X27T, but up I went. HEY! My legs are STRONG! Puff! Puff! Wheeze! Puff! HEY! my wind is SHOT!

3 miles down the road... CRAMP! WHANG! OW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Worst cramps I ever had.

I'm thinking I've gotten my strength up to the point where I can easily outstrip my aerobic fitness (lack of fitness), so I'm gonna keep the faith and keep training and get as much road time as weather allows. I've GOT to remember to spin, and I'm afraid that means gearing my cross bike for long road rides.

keep the faith, hard climbs, easy spin on sore legs- repeat!

'meat
 

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"I'm gonna call "BS on THAT!" to the comment that weights won't help with cycling."

That's not what I said.

"I'm thinking I've gotten my strength up to the point where I can easily outstrip my aerobic fitness (lack of fitness), so I'm gonna keep the faith and keep training and get as much road time as weather allows."

So what would be the point of getting them any stronger? I've never heard of anyone who can't "outstrip their aerobic fitness" no matter how weak or strong they are. There has been some research done on this issue and there is even plenty available on the web in relation to muscle strength and endurance performance. Here's a good primer:

http://home.earthlink.net/~acoggan/misc/id4.html
 

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joebyrne72 said:
hello,
allow myself to introduce err.. myself

i am joe, male 34 yrs old got back on the bike 3 yrs ago.. a Toronto Donut rider

I am training for the Etape Du Tour.- July 10th (187 km.. three peaks .. finishing on alp duez). I come from southern Ontario.. where there are perhaps a few hills that takes maybe 9 mits to get up).

so far i have been doing weights 1-2 times a week to build muscular strength (this will end by april 1 and will be replaced with specific hill workouts).. some shorter hill repeats once a week to build muscular endurance. And of course getting my miles up gradually with a couple of endurance rides per week. (i will also do a recovery ride the day after a Break Through work out)

I am finding my legs are very tired after a hill or weight work out (and this is ~after~ 48 hrs including a recovery ride or two) .... i don't think i should need to take three days to recover.. are heavy legs to be expected? is it ok to ride with legs that get easily sore due to previous workouts? (Joe freil has me paranoid about making sure i am fully recovered)

i guess the big question is ~~in what order should i be doing these works outs?~~

how should the week be structured?

should i be emphasizing a particular aspect of my training?

is there anything else i could be doing to prepare for the event? as the build period starts i will be including some intervals and tempo riding along with more hills and of course miles miles miles...

also food wise - any rules of thumb.. ie eat every 40 k? best energy drink? bars? best kind of/ use for energy gels.

i am liking bananas and a bottle of gatorade.. but as the miles get up there i am going to be looking for a more thought out on-the-bike diet

OH one more question - i did a century last year.. i was fine except for cramping. i would like to prevent this. potassium supplements?

any help would be greatly appreciated. Is anyone else doing this event?

safe riding!!

joe
Hi Joe,
Try these sites for some ideas:

http://www.etape.org.uk (gives a month by month training plan, also check out the stuff written about previous Etapes...you can pick up some good info in general)

http://www.velofrance.com/pages/etape_training.shtml

Between the two sites you should be able to get a rough idea of how to train.

Also check out this site for details of the 3 climbs:

http://www.grenoblecycling.com/TourDeFrance-2006Preview.htm

I'm from Barbados, and three of us from here will be going in July to tackle the Etape Du Tour. Good luck to you!
 
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