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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking ahead to this winter, I currently plan to cut my riding down to 2-3 rides/week. My object is to allow for physical recovery and mental "freshness" without losing too much condition, if this is possible, so I can start my build-up for next season from a higher base point.

I realize this is a general question, but I'd be interested to hear any suggestions for types of workouts that would best accomplish this objective. Also, please let me know if you think my approach is misguided.
 

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kingfisher said:
Thinking ahead to this winter, I currently plan to cut my riding down to 2-3 rides/week. so I can start my build-up for next season from a higher base point..
How do you figure cutting your riding down significantly is going to give you a higher base point? You can lower intensity during the first half of the winter but you need to do as many or more miles to build a "higher base point".
 

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Sonomasnap said:
How do you figure cutting your riding down significantly is going to give you a higher base point? You can lower intensity during the first half of the winter but you need to do as many or more miles to build a "higher base point".
I agree with this. You cant really expect to have a much higher base going into next season unless you are either doing more miles during the winter or you are doing some crazy intense long rides 2-3 times a weeks.


I'll put in another vote for Joe Friel's book The Cyclists Training Bible. There is a ton of good information in there.
 

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kingfisher said:
Thinking ahead to this winter, I currently plan to cut my riding down to 2-3 rides/week. My object is to allow for physical recovery and mental "freshness" without losing too much condition, if this is possible, so I can start my build-up for next season from a higher base point.

I realize this is a general question, but I'd be interested to hear any suggestions for types of workouts that would best accomplish this objective. Also, please let me know if you think my approach is misguided.
You can not expect to have a "Higher base point" heading into next season only riding 2-3 rides per week...unless you did absolutely nothing heading into last season...which would make any riding a bonus compared to last season.

The reality is you need a good 5 days a week of riding over the winter if you want to come into next year with a good base.

Out of those 5 days, 2-3 of them should be longer, less intense riding (2-5 hour rides)...i.e. endurance paced riding.

The other days can be shorter rides, but some intensity over the winter isn't always a bad idea...make them generally tempo based rides with a few lower intensity intervals thrown in for good measure (i.e. 20 minutes at low threshold/high tempo).

I generally do intervals year round...but in Sept, Oct, Nov they are lower intensity...just outside of the tempo range. Starting in December I start picking up the intensity since our race season starts in mid February.

With that said, I also spend 11-14 hours a week on the bike during the winter...whether on the trainer or outside (if the weather is nice or it's a group ride). At least one ride a week has some high intensity with VO2 max sections thrown in...usually during group rides when I'm on my single speed.

In the end 2-3 rides a week won't cut it if you want to head into the season with a good base. You will be "Mentally Recovered" but not physically any better off than last season.
 

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Agreed that 5 days per week seems to be a good number. Why? No clue, but it works! :D

As wookie indicated, there is much to cycling/training.

You mentioned that you wanted a better base point. In which ways? What do you hope to accomplish? What do you plan on doing with this result?

A good training plan helps keep you fresh by doing specific workouts in regards to intensity, duration, length/type of interval, etc. Rest weeks are integrated to help avoid plateaus. The overall schedule allows you to be at your peak at certain times of year. I think your post indicates that you heard that cyclists take some time off to prevent overtraining.

Friel's book lays out a good general calendar and plan. I used it throughout the winter and beginning of spring, but got sidelined with weddin' planning and having to work lots of extra hours to pay for a @#$# new air conditioner and furnace. The previous year, I had done nothing but group rides and intervals. Despite a lack of riding this year, I felt a lot better during the races. My top end was nowhere where it needed to be, but I had much better endurance. I'll assume my top end could have also been good if I had been able to stick with the plan as intended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. This is really helpful.

I had a good offseason last year, and generally a good year of training and racing, and I would like to start my racing build-up next year, say in February, as close to this level as possible, without burn out or overtraining, with the plan of coming into Battenkill a notch stronger than last year. I won't shift to "winter" riding probably till Thanksgiving.

I've heard (maybe it's a myth) that it's easier to maintain fitness than gain fitness. With that in mind, I'm hoping to find a program that allows to me maintain my current fitness with as little work as possible through Dec/Jan.

For example, if I rode one solid 4-hour aerobic ride/week; one 2-hour tempo ride with 2 20 minute intervals at my current threshold output; one 90 minute ride with 6x3min high intenstity intervals, would I lose much fitness? Would I find these workouts get progressively more difficult through those two months?

I typically ride 5 days/week for about 12 hours/week, so this would be a reduction of 4 hours/week.

From the responses, it sounds as though the experience of the forum members indicates that I'll need to ride the 12 hours/week during the winter to maintain my current levels of fitness.
 

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Really, the hours, types of workouts, intenstity, etc., should correspond to the phase of training that you should be doing at that given time. The amount of time for the last week of base 3 really shouldn't be the same amount of time you're spending on a rest week, for example.
 

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I've read friel's book and several others and while there is some good info for getting in decent shape i don't like or follow it.

Once you have a decent base, meaning you can do a 5-6 hour ride or have a good full season under your belt there is no reason to do a long slow ride more than maybe a couple times a month. Too much time on the bike even at low intensities just wears your body down while providing what benefit? none really... well, your body gets better at burning fat which will help you if you plan on touring or something, but races are high intensity and your training should match.

Train real high intensity, 2x20s, 5x5s, 3x20s, things like that. If there are fast group rides in your area during the winter, hit those up once a week.
 
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