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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering what people do for a normal weekly training routine. I'm new to road biking but I am in pretty good physical condition as a former runner and swimmer. Right now, I'm doing 1 hour rides at an average of 30km/h, 3 times a week.

I plan on starting something like the following:

Short Interval
  • 20 min. warm up
  • 5 sets of 1 min. sprinting and 3 min. recovery spinning
  • 5 sets of 1.5 min. sprinting and 3 min. recovery spinning
  • 15 min. cool down

Long Interval
  • 20 min. warm up
  • 2 sets of 3 min. sprinting and 3 min. recovery spinning
  • 2 sets of 5 min. sprinting and 5 min. recovery spinning
  • 15 min. cool down

Distance Rides
Maintain velocity of 30km/h and increase distance by ~10% per week.

Sunday - Short Interval
Monday - Rest or moderate ride
Tuesday - Long Interval
Wednesday - Rest or moderate ride
Thursday - Distance ride
Friday - Distance ride
Saturday - Rest

So, what to you typically do and what do you think of the above?
 

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Too much recovery

I think that your plan is ok, but you have too much recovery. You should only have a 1:1 work:recovery ratio if you are literally going 100%, which should only be 1 to 1.5 minutes anyway. For the longer intervals, I would suggest doing them at "race pace" or "tempo." They are in quotes, because those two things mean different things to different people. I would say that they are about 80-85% of max or about aerobic threshold. In other words, you should be breathing hard and suffering somewhat, but able to keep going. You should do the 5 min tempo with only 1-2 min recovery. This will eventually teach you body to deal with less recovery and to recover faster. The 1 min max effort, sprinting, efforts should have a 1 min recovery. Just a suggestion though. Plus you'll be able to fit in more intervals, which is good.
My workouts consist of three or four consecutive days of shorter (30-45 min) rides on the trainer and two or three days longer outside. I work 3 or 4 days a week, 12 hours shifts, and to make it worse I work night shift, so the trainer is the only option. My short rides are intervals and tempo work. The long rides are hills and longer tempo work. I have at least one ride that is a recovery ride, usually on the trainer, that will include easy spin-ups and one leg drills, but both really easy. Some will think that I need a complete rest day and I do, but only eery other week. Once race season really starts, I will have a rest day each week.
Anyway, hope that helps.
 

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Not Enough Recovery

Obsidian said:
Short Interval
  • 20 min. warm up
  • 5 sets of 1 min. sprinting and 3 min. recovery spinning
  • 5 sets of 1.5 min. sprinting and 3 min. recovery spinning
  • 15 min. cool down
If you are really going to 'sprint' for one minute (Anerobic Capacity) then take five minutes off. Chose 1 or 1.5, no need to do both. Maybe work to 2 after 3-4 weeks. Start with four intervals only, add one every week.

Read Lemond for a good weekly plan. Do your intervals when fully rested, do your long days after intervals. It works great with 2 days off per week.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
bots21, could you describe leg drills in a little more detail? What do you do exactly?

Spunout said:
Chose 1 or 1.5, no need to do both. Maybe work to 2 after 3-4 weeks. Start with four intervals only, add one every week.
Thanks, I guess I'll try 1 and 2 min intervals.

I've read on http://www.cptip.com/intervl.html that "the first interval or two provide most of the benefit and the remaining intervals are subject to the law of diminishing returns." So, what is the maximum number of intervals that I should be adding every week before I start to top off in terms of returns?

Spunout said:
Read Lemond for a good weekly plan. Do your intervals when fully rested, do your long days after intervals. It works great with 2 days off per week.
What's Lemond? Link please?

Do you mean to say that I should rearrange my schedule to something like this:
Sunday - Short Interval
Monday - Distance
Tuesday - Rest/Recovery
Wednesday - Long Interval
Thursday - Distance
Friday - Rest/Recovery
Saturday - Off

Thanks for the help so far. Since I'm just starting off, I need all the coaching I can get.
 

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No...

bots21 said:
I think that your plan is ok, but you have too much recovery. You should only have a 1:1 work:recovery ratio if you are literally going 100%, which should only be 1 to 1.5 minutes anyway. For the longer intervals, I would suggest doing them at "race pace" or "tempo." They are in quotes, because those two things mean different things to different people. I would say that they are about 80-85% of max or about aerobic threshold. In other words, you should be breathing hard and suffering somewhat, but able to keep going. You should do the 5 min tempo with only 1-2 min recovery. This will eventually teach you body to deal with less recovery and to recover faster. The 1 min max effort, sprinting, efforts should have a 1 min recovery. Just a suggestion though. Plus you'll be able to fit in more intervals, which is good.
My workouts consist of three or four consecutive days of shorter (30-45 min) rides on the trainer and two or three days longer outside. I work 3 or 4 days a week, 12 hours shifts, and to make it worse I work night shift, so the trainer is the only option. My short rides are intervals and tempo work. The long rides are hills and longer tempo work. I have at least one ride that is a recovery ride, usually on the trainer, that will include easy spin-ups and one leg drills, but both really easy. Some will think that I need a complete rest day and I do, but only eery other week. Once race season really starts, I will have a rest day each week.
Anyway, hope that helps.
Recovery lets you go harder, and longer, and lets you train harder and longer.

If you do a 5 minute interval with only a 1 or 2 minute recovery, your next interval is not going to help you as much, you need to almost recover completely before starting another interval to get the most benefit out of the work that you're putting in. Taking short recovery times does nothing to decrease your recovery time, it gets you less fitness. If you're doing planned work on the bike, you need to do it as 100% as possible. Taking short recovery times does not allow for this.

In your example of how you're riding, you're not allowing enough time for your body to recover by linking together too many hard rides back to back. Don't do one legged drills, they do nothing to help you. When do you ever pedal with just one leg in a race or a fast ride? Never.
 

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Obsidian said:
Thanks, I guess I'll try 1 and 2 min intervals.
No. Pick one.

Obsidian said:
I've read on http://www.cptip.com/intervl.html that "the first interval or two provide most of the benefit and the remaining intervals are subject to the law of diminishing returns." So, what is the maximum number of intervals that I should be adding every week before I start to top off in terms of returns?

What's Lemond? Link please?
I don't agree with that. If you can't do the power, don't do the interval. Plan for your total time in the zone.

Lemond is a guy who used to race, wrote a good book.

Sunday - Short Interval
Monday - Distance
Tuesday - Rest/Recovery
Wednesday - Long Interval
Thursday - Distance
Friday - Rest/Recovery
Saturday - Off
That is the idea.
 

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Alittle clarification...

I guess I need to explain myself a bit more. As far as the recovery time goes, if you are doing "sprints" then you need to recover 100%, which is usually the same length of time that you "sprinted" for, in some cases longer. If you are doing "tempo" intervals, ie less than 100%, more like 80-85%, then you can rest for a shorter period of time since you aren't taxing the body as much. Since you brought up racing, whens the last time you got five minutes to recover in a crit? just wondering. And yes, by resting less your body will learn to recover faster, meaning flushing out toxins such as lactic acid quicker. And yes, it is a law of diminishing returns, but its more like a race that way, at least in my opinion. This is nothing new and is another thing that intervals helps with. I guess you can say that "tempo" intervals aren't intverals, but more of "tempo efforts" since they last longer than 1 minute. Whatever..

As far as the one leg drill goes, no I don't ever pedal with one leg in a race, but thanks. But it does teach your legs to pedal in a better circle. I realize that this is a debated issue, I'm not asking you to do it, but the OP asked what I do, so its what I do. To answer the question, one leg drills are simply pedaling with one leg. You should use an small gear, unclip one leg and just pedal. You'll notice that you are very clunky at first and must concentrate on the pulling back with your foot at the bottom and pulling up in the back. I think it helps, but obviously others don't.
 

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my weekly training

my weekly plan looks like this, based on my coach's feedback. i race Cat4 in Colo.

M- Off
T - 1.5hr Cruise Intervals (5x6min on, 2 mins off, in Z4/5 @ 80-90rpms)
W - 1hr Active Recovery in Z1
Th - 1 hr 12-15 30/30s (after warmup, do 30 sec on/ 30 off at RPE of 9 out of 10) these hurt!
F - 1hr Active Recovery
S - Race or 3hrs Z3/4 climbing
Su - Race or 3hrs Z3/4 climbing

my season just started, so i'm sorta in Base 2, as "real" team competition racing isn't 'til May.
 

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bots21 said:
And yes, by resting less your body will learn to recover faster, meaning flushing out toxins such as lactic acid quicker. And yes, it is a law of diminishing returns, but its more like a race that way, at least in my opinion.
You do not train your body to recover. Recovery is a function of aerobic fitness, just like the ability to maintain power for an extended period of time. You can't train the two separately; if you're training one, you're training the other. Regarding diminishing returns, that's only true if the early intervals are done at a power that can't be maintained over the full course of the intended workout. Otherwise, what mattes is the total overload placed on the body during the course of the entire interval session. So, for example, in trying to improve VO2max power, it makes little difference whether someone does a set of 4x5' or 5x4'.
 

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Look...

at the training routine presneted by his coach. Cruise intervals, aka 80-85%, 5 X 6 min with 2MIN RECOVERY, which would not be 1:1 ratio of work to recovery. I realize that the thought of training your body to recover is strange, but like you said, if you train one then you train the other. It is a law of diminishing returns, but think of if in racing. You can sprint your as* off on the first lap of the crit, but what matters is the last lap and how you can sprint then, when you haven't had any recovery. So why not train like that. If you train to sprint hard while you are tired and not fully recovered during training, then to me you will be able to do the same in a race under similiar conditions. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand. I agree that if you want to apply the same wattage at the same rpm over and over again, then you need to be fully recovered. But that isn't realistic, so I'll continue to train realistically.
 

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bots21 said:
... But that isn't realistic, so I'll continue to train realistically.
I think I'll continue to train in such a way that I get the greatest adaptation in the systems that limit my performance for the minimum accumulated fatigue from that training. Then I'll maximize the volume of training for the greatest possible improvement.
 

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Sweet, and I'll continue to train as Carmichael Training Systems suggests, like some other recently retired cyclist did. We'll both be fine then.
 

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bots21 said:
Sweet, and I'll continue to train as Carmichael Training Systems suggests, like some other recently retired cyclist did. We'll both be fine then.
I think a certain Italian had a lot more to do with it the Chris Carmichael.

Floyd quote from the book Lance Armstrong's War: "Come on. You've met them both, who would you listen to?"

Seeing as he apparently has worked the Dr. F as well, I don't think there's any doubt which one he thinks is the idiot. Keep putting your faith in your program if you want, but look a little deeper before you pass judgement.

BTW, Asgelle is right. Good recovery comes from good aerobic fitness. Although, short recovery can help that, in fact, in a 5-6 minute threshold interval, recovery should probably be more like 30 seconds-1 minute, since you're basically tricking your body into thinking it's a continuous effort.
 
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