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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:27 am 
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I'm starting to plan for my fall/winter base phase, and really want to squeeze as much as I can out of my training between mid-August and April.

I'm a college student and have plenty of time to do a traditional base and ride 12-15 hours a week.

My question is would it be helpful to follow a traditional base with a sweet spot base? I'm pretty undeveloped in the sense that I've only ridden for 11 months and haven't done a real base.

My threshold is 3.7 W/kg but it doesn't feel that way because I haven't gotten the physical adaptions from doing a real base phase. Would I see diminished returns doing a sweet spot base and just waste time I could be building? Let me know what you guys think


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:44 am 
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If you don't have a "base" after 11 months of riding, race cross and max out your effort this winter to build some power and V02. W/kg really doesn't mean squat if you can throw down when you need tom



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Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:44 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:45 am 
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Hellgate wrote:
If you don't have a "base" after 11 months of riding, race cross and max out your effort this winter to build some power and V02. W/kg really doesn't mean squat if you can throw down when you need tom



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk


I have a base, but not nearly as much time in Z2 as I'd like to give time for my body to develop capillaries and have a big aerobic engine that burns fats efficiently. I'll have 37 weeks to train for my first event, I'd burn out before April if I did too much V02 and interval training right? I'm trying to figure out if 8-12 weeks of Sweet spot training mixed in with some long Z2 rides would do any good, or if i'd be better off logging more traditional base miles and doing a 12 week Build.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:57 am 
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Location: Vienna Austria
Is anyone still doing base miles? Even pro riders have cut their yearly kms by 10000


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:53 pm 
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I was a cat 1 by 20, so trained all throughout college. I would typically do 15-20 hours a week during winter, sometimes up to 22. I had one winter where I went way over, building up to almost 30 hours a week, but I severely overtrained and lost the whole season, so that sucked. My "successful" seasons were on 15-20, though, and a typical week from Nov-March would be:

Mon: easy/off
Tues: 3 hours with SS/threshold intervals, starting off at 3x10 and progressing to 4x15 (though I never usually made it)
Wed: 4 hours
Thurs: 3 hours with ~60 mins of hill repeats
Fri: easy
Sat: 4-5 hours with a group or race
Sun: 4-5 hours easy or with group

I think it was a crap plan. I feel like I was constantly overreached, and I'd be struggling in July from over-doing it. I only realized that much later on.

Now, I'm a far, far more successful cat 1. Last year I cracked 15 hours in a week two times. This year only once.

I instead do 8-12 hours most weeks, especially in winter when it's more like 7-10 hours which includes 3-4 commutes. I usually do tempo/sweetspot/threshold 4-5 times a week, building up throughout winter. This year I pulled off a 2 hour, 2.5 hour, and 3 hour sweetspot session. 3 was too much. Will probably stick to 2 hours in the future.

But anyway, I do a ton of that stuff, and then I do again mid summer. My threshold is a good bit higher and I can roll breaks like never before (I used to either not bother at all or barely hang on to breaks). It's been a significant improvement and my results are way better than they ever were in college.

I don't think it's necessary to go over 15 except special circumstances (a block to prep for a stage race or 110+ mile road race, etc) and then you'd need commensurate recovery to go along with it. I'm a much bigger fan of quality.

It's amazing to think how many of my 15-20 hours were just "easy" rides in my little chain ring where I'd probably only be pushing 180 watts or something. An absolute and utter waste of time from a fitness/physiological perspective.

Get the quality in, pad it with some good quality endurance (mid to high z2) and if you're too tired to hit those numbers, take 1-2 days off at a time. I don't ever, ever, every do a ride that is z1 (or even low z2 for that matter) as I strongly feel it does nothing for you. Some may argue that, but I think it's a holdover from yesteryear and there's plenty of people who are mighty successful at riding bikes fast that don't ever dawdle about in z1.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:59 pm 
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JBeauBikes2 wrote:

I have a base, but not nearly as much time in Z2 as I'd like to give time for my body to develop capillaries and have a big aerobic engine that burns fats efficiently.


An aerobic "base" isn't built up in a winter. It's a culmination of your entire life's aerobic foundation. A famous running coach asserts that it takes 8-10 years of dedicated training to fully develop an aerobic base.

Suffice to say, you're not doing that in one winter.

All the riding you've done and will do will contribute to that "base" and your overall efficiency on a bike will continue to improve. There aren't really shortcuts to that. Some people respond very quickly and are blitzing fast from the get-go, some take longer to develop over the years.

I certainly wouldn't spend any significant blocks just riding around in z2, though. I'd include some type of intensity year round, even unstructured (strava koms are lots of fun in the fall and spring!).

My next winter plan consists of starting off in October with a focus on tempo and high z2 with one vo2 workout every two weeks or so. Then it transitions to more sweetspot than tempo, continuing with a vo2 session. Then it transitions to more threshold and finally around Feb or Mar I'll start doing the all-out, 30s and 60s intervals to get race prep in for end of March and April.

Basically a traditional build from high-end endurance to threshold to max, but always, always including some faster riding.

I'm essentially doing my own amateur version of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzq8aWYnN0I&t=545s

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Sweetspot is kind of a time-saving way of getting your base level fitness.

It used to be that you would put in 15-20 hours of Z2 riding during the off season to build fitness. But now that people have power meters, it is more efficient to do sweetspot work.

That said, if you have the time and want do the riding, go for a traditional bass off season. I did it once a few years ago. After a few weeks of 15-20 hours, I started to hate riding, but I was also working a full-time job then and didn't have the same freedom and flexibility of a college student.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Posts: 391
JBeauBikes2 wrote:
Hellgate wrote:
If you don't have a "base" after 11 months of riding, race cross and max out your effort this winter to build some power and V02. W/kg really doesn't mean squat if you can throw down when you need tom


I have a base, but not nearly as much time in Z2 as I'd like to give time for my body to develop capillaries and have a big aerobic engine that burns fats efficiently. I'll have 37 weeks to train for my first event, I'd burn out before April if I did too much V02 and interval training right? I'm trying to figure out if 8-12 weeks of Sweet spot training mixed in with some long Z2 rides would do any good, or if i'd be better off logging more traditional base miles and doing a 12 week Build.


Depending on where you live and the Winter climate, doing 15-20hrs outside can be impossible, and trying to put that much time in indoors can lead to madness. If you are winter climate restricted, you can look up "Reverse periodization". Even traditional "Base-build-peak" training advocates like Joe Friel consider it viable if it works best with your ability to ride in winter, but basically, you would do your short intense work over the winter, then, when you are able to do long rides outside, work on the longer endurance stuff, and then work on setting up your peak. It sounds like your first event is quite early in the season though, so I understand that this could be challenging to squeeze in much endurance work in that early spring time period.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:31 pm 
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To the OP really hard to say as there is not enough information available.

1.) How long have you been riding and typically if you do a long session how often, how many hours?

2.) For a recreational cyclist, you don't really need a solid base, what are your goals?

3.) If you are doing one day races occasionally it depends on the type of races. For a crit, strength and speed is more important, however if it is a 100 mile race, you will need endurance with a reasonable base.

4.) If you are doing stage races, say 5 days in a row, you need a pretty good base, if it is a 3 week tour you need exceptional base, followed by all the types of training to address your weaknesses by the time you peak.

In short this is like building a house:
You start with the foundation (base), then you build the walls (build), then you put on the roof (peak) and during the racing season you maintain the roof tiles.

After a six week tour, the walls will start loosing some paint and mortar, there may even be foundation damage, so you have to go back and do a little maintenance there before going back to cleaning the roof tiles. Otherwise the house starts falling apart.

If you are just a 60 mile day racer, perhaps twice a month and you are fit/in shape, you can afford to spend more time on cleaning roof tiles and do a long distance easy recovery ride (foundation and walls) about 3 times a month. You have to be able to read your body, to determine what is needed and when.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:09 am 
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Posts: 93
Location: Prescott, AZ
3.7W/kg? Thats getting into Cat 3 level, after only 11 months? Were you fit before or something? Ive been riding consistent for 5 years and thats where I'm at.

Just work on your weaknesses. Dont trade one for the other, just emphasize working on your weaknesses while maintaining your strengths, and keep and eye on your numbers. If you know your doing too much, stop.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Location: On the bike
http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/podcast ... pot_432260

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"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:28 am 
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Posts: 22
Willem wrote:
To the OP really hard to say as there is not enough information available.

1.) How long have you been riding and typically if you do a long session how often, how many hours?

2.) For a recreational cyclist, you don't really need a solid base, what are your goals?

3.) If you are doing one day races occasionally it depends on the type of races. For a crit, strength and speed is more important, however if it is a 100 mile race, you will need endurance with a reasonable base.

4.) If you are doing stage races, say 5 days in a row, you need a pretty good base, if it is a 3 week tour you need exceptional base, followed by all the types of training to address your weaknesses by the time you peak.

In short this is like building a house:
You start with the foundation (base), then you build the walls (build), then you put on the roof (peak) and during the racing season you maintain the roof tiles.

After a six week tour, the walls will start loosing some paint and mortar, there may even be foundation damage, so you have to go back and do a little maintenance there before going back to cleaning the roof tiles. Otherwise the house starts falling apart.

If you are just a 60 mile day racer, perhaps twice a month and you are fit/in shape, you can afford to spend more time on cleaning roof tiles and do a long distance easy recovery ride (foundation and walls) about 3 times a month. You have to be able to read your body, to determine what is needed and when.


I've been riding for 14 months now, coming from a Football and golf background. I ran 3 years of cross country, but that ended 5 years ago. As far as my goals, I race crits and the few road races there are in my state. I want to upgrade from Cat 4 to 3 next season.

I'm in college, so last fall and winter I rode my bike about 6-8 hours a week but ended up doing a SweetSpot base with TrainerRoad in the off-season. After doing some research on the adaptions that occur in the body with a Traditional Base I want to do one of those this fall, but don't know whether or not a Sweet Spot base after would be worth it.

I'm starting this at the end of August, which gives me 37 weeks before my first main event in April. It's a lot of time, but I think 18 weeks of base and 18 weeks of build is too much of both, maybe sweet spot in between would fill in the middle part of that period efficiently?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:36 am 
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Posts: 22
eyedrop wrote:
3.7W/kg? Thats getting into Cat 3 level, after only 11 months? Were you fit before or something? Ive been riding consistent for 5 years and thats where I'm at.

Just work on your weaknesses. Dont trade one for the other, just emphasize working on your weaknesses while maintaining your strengths, and keep and eye on your numbers. If you know your doing too much, stop.


Football was my main sport throughout high school, I'm 21 now. We ran track in the spring and spent hours in the weight room so I guess my legs are developed towards the strength aspect. I'm heavier than most cyclists at 180 pounds, but always had good cardio.

I did TrainerRoad and did 224 watts for my first 8 minute FTP test and tested at 301 watts for a 20 minute test after my build and peak a few months ago. I fall lower on the charts when it comes to endurance, maybe I'm just good at suffering for those FTP tests. I have really big aspirations for Base training this off-season to develop endurance, a smoother pedal stroke, and teach my body to become better at burning fats instead of carbs.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:04 am 
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Posts: 108
JBeauBikes2 wrote:
Hellgate wrote:
If you don't have a "base" after 11 months of riding, race cross and max out your effort this winter to build some power and V02. W/kg really doesn't mean squat if you can throw down when you need tom



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk


I have a base, but not nearly as much time in Z2 as I'd like to give time for my body to develop capillaries and have a big aerobic engine that burns fats efficiently. I'll have 37 weeks to train for my first event, I'd burn out before April if I did too much V02 and interval training right? I'm trying to figure out if 8-12 weeks of Sweet spot training mixed in with some long Z2 rides would do any good, or if i'd be better off logging more traditional base miles and doing a 12 week Build.


Z2 is a waste of time. if you are burning fat for energy you are BONKING. Why even get to that state. Do a mix of hard FTP intervals 5, 10 and 20 minutes... maybe 2 per week.... 1/4th rest in between. mix in two high end vo2 work outs per week. if you got any legs left do a z2 work out.

I see a lot of teammates wasting hours upon hours on the trainer at 200w then getting dropped all year

at the end of the day it i almost impossible to get that high end power on the trainer though, you only get that from racing/hard outdoor group rides


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:08 am 
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eyedrop wrote:
3.7W/kg? Thats getting into Cat 3 level, after only 11 months? Were you fit before or something? Ive been riding consistent for 5 years and thats where I'm at.

Just work on your weaknesses. Dont trade one for the other, just emphasize working on your weaknesses while maintaining your strengths, and keep and eye on your numbers. If you know your doing too much, stop.


a lot has to due with genetics/athletic ability/athletic history

I got up to 5.3 watts per kilo after only two years on the bike, getting that number higher is now much more difficult


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Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:08 am 


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