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Things like "I need to peak in May," or "I need to peak in June and again in August" cracks me up. I think we over-think cycling big time and try to turn it into some elite science that only a few people can hope to study. Dude, just get your arse in shape, and stay in shape as long as possible. When things like snow and hurricanes get in the way, then try your best to remain in shape. When the clouds part and the roads are rideable again, then get your arse back in the saddle and get back into shape. That's it. If you sucked in a race, it's not because you misjudged your "peak," but rather you weren't in shape. Of course, like in ANY sport, you can overtrain, and you have to watch out for that. However, with proper rest, you can stay in race shape indefinitely. So, again I ask, what's the deal with peaking. I don't buy it.
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Well said and inspirational

Can't remember how many times I've ridden with someone, toungue hanging out, beads of sweat dripping down his Oakleys, lamenting, "I don't want to peak too soon!"

Eddy Merckx' advice to aspiring racers: "Ride lots."
 

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yeah no not quite

Sure you can just go ride your bike. Absolutely. You go ride your bike and I will train with science then lets race mmkay. You think the difference between Jan Ullrich, Lance, Tyler or Chris or Mark, you think winning the SF Grand Prix or Tour or Wachovia is just fitness?? Peaking is overloading your body with specific workouts to single out strengths and weaknesses to perform at a higher level for a relatively short amount of time...4-6 weeks tops. Before peaking you stick to specific workouts and allow your body to rest by adjusting the intensity and duration. If you don't believe in this, you won't be as successful as you potentially could be. I used to just go out and ride, then I got a coach and actually started placing in races. I also spent alot less time frustrated about what I was doing wrong and I wasnt nearly as exhausted

Tyler Hamilton is the best example of Science paying off with training. What Tyler did with CSC's and former TDF winner ( you know who ) was amazing. I would be aurprised to see him perform the same ever again..I hope I am wrong
 

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I absolutely agree with you. I think all this periodization and base miles and peaking BS is geared for PROFESSIONALS who ride 25,000 miles a year and need to let their bodies and minds recover. For the rest of us, we are no where near as good and we should not even pretend that the same training advise will apply to us.

The best advise is to ride year around and ride hard. When you feel tired then rest. Watch your weight and work hard and you won't need to worry about peaking too soon because you will always be strong.
 

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What's all this whining about someone elses training efforts?

Max-Q said:
The best advise is to ride year around and ride hard. When you feel tired then rest. Watch your weight and work hard and you won't need to worry about peaking too soon because you will always be strong.
I'm not sure anyone should take your "advise", but Eddy's advice of "ride lots" is sound -- but that's got nothing to do with peaking. Some years racing isn't important to me and I just ride and race when I feel like it. Some years I feel like targeting a specific race or set of races and I do what it takes to optimize my chances for being as fast as possible for those events -- I try to "peak". Most times it works, some times it doesn't.

I suspect none of you who are worried about how other people are training are all that concerned about racing -- fine. Do what works for you -- maybe that even includes trying to rag on people who are probably both faster and smarter than you. But for me and a number of my riding friends it is entertaining to see what we can do with training to optomize performance at certain times during the year. Frankly, you should only care about my efforts to "peak" if you're worried about me whipping your tail at some race we have in common...
 

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PT said:
Frankly, you should only care about my efforts to "peak" if you're worried about me whipping your tail at some race we have in common...
LOL! What a freakin' dork. :rolleyes:

By the way, I don't think anyone cares about your efforts to peak. As for you whipping anyones tails why don't you list the races you will be doing so we can watch out for you. You are no doubt an incredible rider along the lines of Aaron Toy or Sprint Nick!! :p
 

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hmmm

you're entitled to an opinion, but I'm going to have to disagree.

Take any sport, swimming, running, cycling, etc. Periodization is key in any of these sports, you can't argue with the numbers. Swimmers peak and taper for a reason. Chart their times throughout the year, and you'll have no choice but to agree.

You can't hold race fitness forever, if you are truly race fit, or else, buy the end of July, you can hardly get yourself on the bike. I think everyone on a team has seen this with a teammate or two.

Improvements in training are the biggest reason the Eddy Merckx's times wouldn't hold up anymore, and periodization is probably the biggest part.

A lot of people do use peaking as a BS screen, but that doesn't make it any less true.
 

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You said it first.

filly said:
Of course, like in ANY sport, you can overtrain, and you have to watch out for that.
Overtrain.

Instead of peaking, consider having a season with a valley (which obviously lies between two peaks, but lets not go there). Take a rest, re-charge, avoid injury. The guys who don't periodize usually have to take two weeks off with a cold, sinus infection, whatever because they are burned out. After that, work back into shape (sounds like a second peak to me).
 

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Ahh, put that's the point...

Max-Q said:
By the way, I don't think anyone cares about your efforts to peak.
Touch a nerve?

No one should care about my efforts, at least no more than beyond what they can learn from analyzing any given individuals training program. The other point I apparently failed to make was that slamming someone's efforts at trying to maximize their performance for an event that is important to them only makes you look mean-spirited. And pompously stating that training for a peak is only relevant to profession cyclists just makes you look stupid -- it flies in the face of a large amount of published research and virtually any serious endurance athlete's experience.

Since you apparently are big on advice, here's mine: calm down, ride how you like, be supportive of other's efforts, study the literature, experiment, and have fun.

There's too much negative energy in this thread... I'm going for a ride.
 

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I had a "peak" experience last night, if you know what I mean.
 

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racing

filly said:
Things like "I need to peak in May," or "I need to peak in June and again in August" cracks me up. I think we over-think cycling big time and try to turn it into some elite science that only a few people can hope to study. Dude, just get your arse in shape, and stay in shape as long as possible. When things like snow and hurricanes get in the way, then try your best to remain in shape. When the clouds part and the roads are rideable again, then get your arse back in the saddle and get back into shape. That's it. If you sucked in a race, it's not because you misjudged your "peak," but rather you weren't in shape. Of course, like in ANY sport, you can overtrain, and you have to watch out for that. However, with proper rest, you can stay in race shape indefinitely. So, again I ask, what's the deal with peaking. I don't buy it.
It appears you have never experienced the pure joy of a true peak. I discovered this by accident several times. There were times when I rode and I simply had awesome power compared to most other times. it felt like magic. I had a good 20% or more power than normal, hanging with people who regularly dropped me like a rock.

After discussing this with some good racer types here, I discovered that I had truly peaked. I had laid a good base, then ramped up mileage and intensity, almost overdoing it, then had cut back mileage but retained some intensity -- each time, then shizam!, super Doug appears and kicks butt, followed a few weeks later by back to normal.

So, I know that it is a "real" phenomenon. The issue, then, is whether anyone desires to or needs to do it. If you race, and there are some important events to you, you'd be a fool not to do it. It works. If you don't race, or don't give a hoot about how you do racing, then by all means don't do it.

Remember that there are all types of riders here, ranging from someone who rides 5 miles a month to racers doing 500+ miles per week. No one thing will work for all.
 

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DougSloan said:
Remember that there are all types of riders here, ranging from someone who rides 5 miles a month to racers doing 500+ miles per week. No one thing will work for all.
Don't forget us racers doing 5 miles a month!
 

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I race, and I coach track. I guess if you're interested in finishing "somewhere in the pack" periodization and an actual training regiment might sound like too much work. But for those who discipline themselves, there are clear and marked results. I have to bow to the wisdom of those who've cme before me and have studied the phisiology, biology, anatomy of sport. Having gotten into this late in life, I'm planning on being around as long as I can. That means following a program that's going to keep me injury-free. If I can slowly build over successive seasons, I'll eventually reap the benefits in the long run. In the short run, I'm planning my peak around my most important race. It can be done, and there's lots of science to support this.

I'm sure it's not for everyone. Anyone can ride,but not everyone can read. And even fewer can discipline themselves (the coach talking, here). It certainly thins the herd. I've had to coach prima donnas who thought they knew better (and never got better) because they felt they had to "hammer" every day. Then there are those with little native ability and lots of discipline who've slowly, surely, caught and surpassed those prima donnas. Ask any coach. You see it all the time. In any aerobic sport, if you follow a periodization schedule of training, you will peak and you will reap some pretty significant rewards.

Just my 2 cents, but it's hardly anecdotal.

-OwMyNads
 
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