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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:41 am 
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kos wrote:
The ability to ride hours without cardiac drift. In other words, your heart rate doesn't go up for the same power output deep into a ride. There is decoupling between heart rate and power.


Aerobic decoupling? Al la Friel? Oh dear....


Here's a more simple premise:- of two riders (all other things being equal) who would be able sustain a 200 watt output for longer - the rider with an FTP of 250 watts, or the ride with an FTP of 350watts?

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Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:41 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:48 am 
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Bgoetz wrote:
So what you are saying is that the training programs of the pros are not that great and they are able to muddle through on superior genetics and natural talent :roll:


All pros? No. Are there a lot of pros doing sub-optimal training? Yes, definitely. Especially those without the crutch of performance enchaining drugs.


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...but to think they are not following some of the best training plans is just delusional. Keep in mind there are a couple hundred other guys out there just as talented/genetically gifted, if there is a better way to do it you had better damn well believe they would be doing it!


A commonly held belief but falls short of reality sadly.


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You don't think that if someone said "you can get the same or better results on half the effort" they would not be all over it. I guess they just like the 30+ hr weeks so much they won't change OR wait they have never heard of HIT or Tabatas before, that must be it. If any one of them read this they would be laughing all the way through tomorrow's 6hr training ride.


Some are definitely following plans at the cutting edge of sports science. Others are mired somewhere in the 1950s... or earlier. And it is most definitely is not about "getting the same results on half the effort". Volume is neither the sole determinant to performance nor is it unnecessary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:02 am 
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If you are making all of these claims you had better have some real insight into the life of a pro cyclist or training beyond just reading a few books. So are you a pro or are you a coach, what are your qualifications?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:07 am 
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Professional troll most of the time.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:13 am 
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:unbelievable: :unbelievable: :unbelievable:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:24 am 
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I don't know what Tapeworm posted because he's on my blocked list, but that's indicative of the quality of his posting in general. I used to take him seriously, but after his hilariously bad log revealed that he barely rides, isn't fast, doesn't produce much power, and will never disclose who he actually has worked with, I lost interest in pissing matches with him.

If you're asking me if I'm a pro I'm not. Nor am I a pro coach. To me a coach actually has to know a lot about race tactics and have some experience at the high level, which I will never have. I've just read about every applied physiology text I can from running, XC skiing, cycling, and the online journals that I have access to and tried to organize into a coherent and repeatable pseudo methodology that I use to help friends learn how to use a powermeter and train more effectively. Currently I am looking into developing a program that uses PMC data and an algorithm based on self assessment responses to predict training performance/prescriptions.

If you spend some time reading those and talking to high level physios that actually spend time in lab settings or working with high level teams you'll soon come to realize that the entire SST concept was born out of Coggan's interpretation of Lydiard's early work that was then populated on the early Wattage list, then by Frank Overton, and finally taught/disseminated by USA Cycling. Unfortunately he has never trained an athlete at the high level nor has the idea been scientifically tested. I was actually coached by Peaks for a season and did loads and loads of SST and L4 work and it was by far my worst season ever. I have a few former teammates that went through Overton's company for a while and stagnated massively. It wasn't until I got frustrated doing lots of long, boring intervals that didn't lead to tangible performance increases that I started to dig deeper into the methodologies employed in other sports and scientifically validated concepts. When I started training in more of a polarized manner with harder, shorter efforts and a lot more easy L2 riding, things immediately changed. Same thing in friends and others I have worked with. To me the lack of scientific evidence for the approach, my own experience, and the results of others has convinced me that even low volume athletes would benefit more from actually working at a variety of power levels doing interval work with high specificity and sticking to a polarized approach than just simply piling on shit miles. The exception to this would be if someone only did TTs or events that required a relatively static power output for long periods of time. Or races that had the same NP and power characteristics, but I've yet to see a road race with a low enough VI to be close to a SST effort even though the NP can be similar.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:38 am 
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KWalker wrote:
I don't know what Tapeworm posted because he's on my blocked list

No way champ, you love it.

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but that's indicative of the quality of his posting in general.

Hello pot, this is kettle.

Quote:
I used to take him seriously, but after his hilariously bad log revealed that he barely rides, isn't fast, doesn't produce much power, and will never disclose who he actually has worked with, I lost interest in pissing matches with him.


Yes folks, I am not a pro, never have been and if you look at the log I was able to improve my power out while juggling work (avg 50hr week), training in two different sports, two children and a pregnant wife. Man, I suck so bad.

The studies confirm it, knowledge of coaching and physiology are directly proportionate to power output. :roll:

As for whom I work with, I am a professional, and client details are not released unless express permission of the athlete is obtained. Sorry I don't do the "athlete brag".


The rest of the post confirms that one person's experience with a training methodology or approach is largely meaningless. Didn't work for KW, works very well for others.

So is it good or bad? Answer is neither.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:40 am 
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kos wrote:
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What, exactly, is a "well-developed base engine"?


The ability to ride hours without cardiac drift. In other words, your heart rate doesn't go up for the same power output deep into a ride. There is decoupling between heart rate and power.

As for a plan, mine is "ride in zone 2 as long as I can, whenever I can", with individual rides lasting 2-3 hours, 3-4 times during the week, and a longer 4-6 hour ride on the weekend if family responsibilities allow it. Pretty simple. That's obviously tough for people with busy lives. That's why I got lights and started riding at night. There was no way I could keep such a schedule with work and two young kids and coaching soccer and all the other things life throws at me.

I admit, I cheat every once in a while to stave off boredom. But even then, I make sure I keep my zones tightly controlled -- the bulk of the ride in z2, with some z4 work up a climb or three. It's actually a cool way to ride -- I'm pretty fresh when I hit the climbs so I can punch them hard. And even on those rides, I'm still in z1-2 for 75-80% of the ride.

Freddie's rule of thumb is 95 percent of work in z1-2. The study above says 80-85%. I'm running at about 90, but the more fit I become, the higher that number becomes. I don't hit z3 over slight inclines or small hills and the like anymore.


No, that is not the definition of a well-developed base unless your only source is Friels.

In fact, there is no true definition of what a well-defined base is. Lydiard thought that you need 7-9 months of base training before preparing for intensive anaerobic workouts. Zapotek defined it by HR at a specific pace of his PBs. Others have described as an athlete's current pvo2 max or tmax. I've seen a few coaches use it, but don't buy it for quite a few reasons especially for those that drink coffee, ride in hot weather, go on a lot of long rides, or go on mountainous rides that have a high muscular demand with lots of work over threshold. I've seen AWFUL decoupling in great April weather when it was amazing the week before only because I had slightly more coffee and I hadn't adjusted to the temp/humidity yet. Judging the quality of base by decoupling seems myopic. A former client of mine had terrible decoupling because he had to take ADHD medication that raised his HR, yet he could do 7hr rides on his TT bike at 245w with zero issues or power drop off.

The cheating you described should be encouraged, if not reigned in (as you noted). I can't count the number of people I see in February and March who can't seem to adapt to a moderate race pace because they spent all winter in tiny gears spinning up hills so they didn't spike their power and rarely trained the NM patterns that one sees in even a moderately hilly road race. This doesn't mean turning every hill into a 200% effort, but if the spike is under 30s and not that far above threshold its usually not that big of a deal and won't ruin the efficacy of the workout.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:42 am 
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^ And just to show I am not negative all the time, I agree with the above. Cue fireworks.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:51 am 
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Tinea Pedis wrote:
Durations would be over half an hour, otherwise what's the point of SST work - given the idea is that it's power that you can (or should) be able to sustain for long periods.

And if your FTP and MMP tests showed that the latter training program worked, then certainly that's the way to go - for you. It's no slight on SST work/its merits as a training protocol. Any good coach should be able to recognise, after time and feedback from the rider, what approaches do or do not work.

I certainly feel though that, at least for those I race against (not, obviously, at National level), that a lot struggle and would benefit from SST work. As one glance at my ave power 90 minutes in to a race will tell me how many guys I know will be at their limit and about to blow. Which, I should add, does include me!


A problem here is that field tests are often unreliable predictors of true lactate threshold and for most people, SST is probably closer to 4mmol of lactate than what their threshold is.

For me, the sweet spot seems to be 80%-90% of FTP. The shorter intervals usually have hard bursts or surges, the longer are obviously different. I guess when I see a problem its when I hear someone say "I did 2x20 at FTP yesterday and then 3x20 (of 2x30) at SST today...." and I just think well that tells me that your 2x20 probably wasn't that hard and your 3x20 probably isn't too hard enough and you've just gravitated towards eeking out a lot of mediocre work. Like you said, a really good, long SST interval can really take you out, which is why its funny when forumers and others seem to do it 3-4 times a week. Even in some of Hunter's recent work he's stated that he believes that for a 2hr ride there is no point in riding below tempo, which seems to fly in the face of just about every methodology or study ever done and such sessions can still be quite beneficial for a lot of riders especially if they separate days with real quality.

You're also racing at a much higher level than most people, which I think can be explained from an email exchange I had with a sports scientist that works with rowers in your home country:

"I've never seen any other "training zone" document that drags zone 4 down so far into sub-threshold territory as the Coggan chart. I've suspected for a couple of years now that Team Sky have been hammering 20-30min intervals, but for those guys, this is closer to CP (ie: their threshold is so high its almost the same as CP). Andy Coggan totally ignores the evidence that suggests the better trained you are, the closer your FTP gets to CP. So when Team Sky do their L4 work, they probably do it at almost 90% VO2max. Whereas for the average cat 1, 2 or 3 cyclist, 90% of VO2max would generally be considered L5, since their threshold isn't as high (as a %VO2max). Coggan's power zones which are percentages of FTP also totally ignore this important point ie: different cyclists of differing abilities have a different %VO2max at threshold. So I would argue that Team Sky's approach most likely supports the notion that if you want to improve your threshold, you should do intervals at about 90% VO2max or above. Imagine if your FTP is 85% VO2max and you do intervals at 90% of that. This is like 70-75% VO2max or something. A professional cyclist can hold that intensity for 3-4hrs!!"

For your average Joe SST is a much lower percent of vo2 max and, at the low end, won't have the same effect as it might for a pro or someone such as yourself. When I hear of dudes with 300 watt thresholds sitting there doing work at 255-260w I just don't get it especially since most cat 2 or 3 road races have NPs that are much higher than this (especially on selective courses). If your FTP is 400, like it is for a pro, then intervals at 90% of FTP are still 360W, which is well over the NP of the race duration (albeit probably close to it for certain periods of time). Moreover, many of these riders practice steady state SST work often indoors and don't simulate the same surges or NM patterns experienced in a race. To me, this is where the real "no man's land" comes from- lots of mediocre, unspecific work that is draining, but not even close to race pace or a high percentage of their vo2 max.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:05 am 
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KWalker wrote:
To me, this is where the real "no man's land" comes from- lots of mediocre, unspecific work that is draining, but not even close to race pace or a high percentage of their vo2 max.


Hit the nail on the head! :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:14 am 
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Ahhh! KW, Just read your last comment, seems we likely would not agree entirely, lol. Oh well to each their own :beerchug:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:43 am 
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So for me, as a guy with a 315w FTP, training at ~280w in 2 X 20's, 4 X 15's etc is wasted/junk miles?

That seems to be the spot I've identified as a very solid pace in a lot of RR's, circuit races and crits I've raced. I feel MUCH more comfortable at that pace as a result of training that zone and so far, at least in very fast group rides with 1/2's, I hang much better then when I'd be shot out the back quickly.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:25 am 
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SLCBrandon wrote:
So for me, as a guy with a 315w FTP, training at ~280w in 2 X 20's, 4 X 15's etc is wasted/junk miles?


If you a) have factored them into an overarching plan, b) recover from the efforts c) have demonstrable improvements, then they aren't junk. Though normally there would be a bit of a sliding scale in terms of the relative intensity i.e.: if doing 280 for 20mins then 15mins may be 290, 10min for 300 etc.

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Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:25 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:45 am 
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Bgoetz wrote:
So what you are saying is that the training programs of the pros are not that great and they are able to muddle through on superior genetics and natural talent :roll:

I can confirm I know of a Pro who has a Tour de France stage win who that describes perfectly.

And he is not alone.

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