Non training plan training plans

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Shrike
Posts: 1603
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Interesting how so many replies are pointing towards polarised training. And not just here either, it's really catching on, even in places where sweetspot is usually seen as the bread and butter of time crunched training.

I'm thinking myself to do a polarised base this winter for the first time. Not sure how to go about that, on the face of it it's quite simple (if you look at Seiler's intervals and general conclusions), but actually it's quite tricky to nail down if you try to work in progression.

by Weenie


AJS914
Posts: 3359
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Polarized is interesting because it's not obvious. Riding below LT1 (aerobic threshold) feels ridiculously easy.

I think the question isn't exactly answered if you are truly a time crunched athlete. It's hard to do 3 hour rides if you are a 5 or 6 hour a week rider. Seiler though has said in one of the Velonews podcasts that even for a time crunched athlete, he'd rather seen them do 3 rides per week instead of 4 if you can convert one of those three into an extra long ride on the weekend.

Shrike
Posts: 1603
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

If it was 3 sessions, would the other two sessions be one VO2 session (over 90% FTP intervals) and one Zone 1 ride?

Then at the weekend do as long a zone 1 ride again as you can manage? Longer the better.

demoCRIT
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:04 pm

by demoCRIT

Shrike wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:39 pm
If it was 3 sessions, would the other two sessions be one VO2 session (over 90% FTP intervals) and one Zone 1 ride?

Then at the weekend do as long a zone 1 ride again as you can manage? Longer the better.
i would say 3 sessions per week are minimum.
Depending on your current fitness, either 3 endurance rides or 2x endu + 1 intervals (and some endu) would be best call.
(again, i dont have coaching background, just saying from what i learned and own experience).
Remember - they are supposed to be easy! and yes, longer better (but maintain a build-up phase, dont go for 3h rides from day to day)

atb

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

You can't "only" do sweetspot or intervals or hard riding. Not only are you going to end up injured and/or overtrained resulting in a long-lasting plateau, you're actually not adequately training what you need to be training.

If you don't have a coach or a structured program, you need to identify what exactly it is all this running is doing to your body. First let me give you a rundown of the landscape that we are dealing with (I am going to do a lot of generalizations here for brevities' sake so don't jump on me for not being 100% precise):

What systems are involved in endurance training?
1) Endocrine system
- Basically your hormones, and critically, human growth hormone. You also have hormones that govern perceived fatigue, energy levels, appetite, stress, mood, things that can make you feel like a million bucks and want to train, or if improperly stimulated, make you want to sell your bike and quit. All these things are influenced by endurance training.
2) Cardiovascular system - Your heart and your blood vessels. More specifically, we are really concerned about stroke volume and number of capillaries to efficiently distribute oxygen.
3) Muscular system - These are your muscle fibers. Specifically, we have fast-twitch and slow-twitch. In all but the shortest track events, you are utilizing BOTH. Here, we care about the number of fibers as well as the strength (resilience) of each of those fibers.
4) Respiratory system - Lung capacity and maximal oxygen uptake. This isn't necessarily an area that can be trained, but know that it is being used.
5) Nervous system - Here we are talking about your brain's ability to process your movement patterns and determine efficient means of moving your muscles. Here we are talking about muscle memory and biomechnical efficiency.
(X) Energy usage - I cover this as a separate category because it relates to several of the above systems. We are most concerned here with number of mitochondria, your efficiency in converting glucose into glucose, and your liver's ability to recycle lactic acid into usable energy.

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts that are interconnected, that we need to develop. If we are to further summarize the above into directly translatable training objectives, here's one attempt:

A) Develop muscle strength
Trait 1- Increase number of fast and slow-twitch fibers through adequate stimulation of both. Doing only hard rides will too heavily rely on fast-twitch fibers. We really need to develop your slow-twitch fibers for most forms of cycling. If you go too hard, your body will automatically recruit fast-twitch fibers for the effort, which actually hurts the development of your slow-twitch fibers. Depending on the proportionality of your training efforts, your body may develop a greater relative number of one type of muscle fiber over the other. This is fluid. You can be 20 fast, 80 slow, and train yourself to be 50 fast, 50 slow.

As a corollary, in order to build muscle fibers, you need growth hormones (and recovery). You maximize HGH production at around 45 minutes, so you need 45 minutes of consistent, stable aerobic effort. A hard and short 20 minute ride will undercut this.

Trait 2 -Increase the resilience of your fibers. Lots of long slow miles will make your slow fibers tough. Lots of longer interval reps will also strengthen your existing short fibers.

B) Increase ability of your body to transport oxygen through blood
Trait 3 -Stroke volume is essentially the volume of blood your heart is pumping per stroke. You can train this, and typically the training effect is capped at around 60% of maximum HR, so you don't need to go fast to increase your stroke volume.
Trait 4 -Number of capillaries. Essentially any speed of cycling will develop additional capillaries. Key here is not intensity, but duration. Typically caps out for the day around 60-90 minutes.

C) Increase lactate threshold
Trait 5 - What we commonly refer to lactate threshold is the OBLA point, or 4.0 mmol/L concentration of blood lactate. Lactate accumulates because your body is utilizing glucose and your liver cannot recylce the resulting lactic acid fast enough. Training at or around your OBLA point is the most effective way to increase your lactate threshold, getting too close to or above your OBLA point will be extremely fatiguing and jeopardize your training for the other Traits. "Tempo" pace (maybe around 90% of OBLA) is commonly utilized by pros, and this will train your liver to recycle lactic acid more efficiently, and train your body to use that lactic acid as additional energy.

D) Increase Vo2Max
Trait 6 - This isn't necessarily a training goal, but more of a measure of your current ability to utilize oxygen. Generally the higher it is, the more fit you are. You can train your Vo2 (*note I call it Vo2 here and not Vo2MAX) by going slow and by going fast. People have been misled into thinking Vo2Max can only be increased by going at Vo2Max efforts due to sloppy descriptions. You can train your Vo2 and hence, increase your Vo2Max, by doing ANY aerobic exercise.

E) Increase your energy efficiency
Trait 7 - If you go slow, you are burning maybe 50% fat / 50% glycogen. When you are going fast, you are nearing an anaerobic (oxygen debt) state, and thus your body relies increasingly heavily on glycogen. This results in greater lactic acid and can compromise your ability to maintain your effort levels. But your body can become more efficient at utilizing both fat as an energy source, and glycogen as an energy source. You do this by training at the appropriate energy levels (i.e., slow to train fat usage, fast to train glycogen usage).

So there you have it. Roughly 7 Traits that are essential to becoming a successful cyclist. As you can tell, some of these traits require long, slow training (and lots of it) to improve, and others require fast, short training to improve. This is why modern endurance training programs rely on a lot of long slow training combined with modulation of effort, meaning, a wide variety of stimulus and different exertion levels, to hit all 7 Traits.

Of course you must prioritize, and figure out which of these Traits are most important to you based on your goals and the time you have to train each week. Structured training is an attempt to distribute your available time to hit as many of these Traits as possible each week. But you don't necessarily need structure or intervals to do this. No sir.

There is something called the 80/20 rule, which is a good rule of thumb (but not perfect), which says 80% of your training should be slow, and 20% hard (really hard). 80% is slow because if you look at slow training, it hits all of the above traits with the exception of lactate threshold. Fast riding hits lactate threshold, but is not so good at some of the other traits, such as the really big one of increasing the number and strength of your slow-twitch fibers.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

RocketRacing
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Thanks for that info.

So i like simple. And i am being a bit of a devils advocate...

For the 80/20 “rule”, can your “20” be split up, or all in one ride? I probably do quite close to 80/20, i just do it every ride, give or take, with variable lengths to each ride. Some days it is 20/80 or 0/100 or 0/0. But 20/80 is probably a good average.

TheRich
Posts: 350
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

spud wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:22 pm
Unless you can produce a lot of data spanning at leat 3 years, it's just as possible that your improvement was simply due to cummulatively spending more time on a bike. Not suggesting the training plan was duff, just that people will improve markedly over the course of a few years, especially depending on their prior athletic background and base fitness.

In that same vein, I've been riding for ages, and even now, my FTP goes up 30-40 watts peak season vs off season, when I continue to ride. Form vs out of form.
You can say the same thing about the group ride approach.

The group ride approach is also outcome goal based and therefore inherently flawed.

RocketRacing
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

I think this training stuff is like dieting for weight loss. Research shows that all reasonable diets work, but the weakest link is not the diet, but rather the human dieting. Motivation and follow-through are the greatest determinants of long term success.

Another example is diabetes. Studies show that people will have better sugar control if they have more clinic/doctor follow up, all else being the same. It is about accountability. I see personal trainers as being the same thing to a degree.

Maybe all (reasonable) training plans work, they key is to push your limits (“it does not get easier, you just go faster”), but not so much as to delay progress due to excessive recovery needs/injury. most inportant of all is to train.

There are many ways to train to get from A to B faster. Just train.

Diets are more likely to work long term if they are sustainable. The trick is to not stop dieting. Replace diet with “cycling training programs”.

Now, bulking up your legs with fast twitch fibres will not help that 2 hour climb... not as much as aerobic training. But it would best sitting on the couch. Just like 5 hour rides at endurance pacing will not help your 100m sprint as much as strength training and intervals. But it would beat sitting on the couch.

The trick is finding your training goals (outcome), and training in a way to improve, without burning out, becoming bored, becoming stagnent with progress, or injuring yourself.

In training for 5-10min max efforts, i have made huge gains in average watts over those distances already. My 1 hr ftp has improved, but not at the rate it improved when i was training to improve my 1hr ftp. But when i trained to max my 1 hr ftp, my peak power, and 5-10min efforts did not vastly improve (they did improve).

I.e riding more will make most of us stronger riders. But targeting training will give better results in the area targeted. But i don’t think it needs to get fancy. It needs to be customized and sustainable to you however.

robertbb
Posts: 971
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

The last several posts in this thread capture perfectly why I'm moving away from structured training.

As I've said before, structured training is only useful if you want to compete on some level and can prioritise cycling (this includes not only active ride time, but diet, recovery, and all other aspects of life that contribute to progression/performance). This will lead to the smaller improvements necessary to be competitive, over and above the fitness gains that people experience simply by riding their bike.

For enthusiasts and weekend warriors it is more than enough to following some simple time-tested and science-proven principles as an overarching guideline towards how to approach the riding you are able to do. For example, the 80/20 rule spoken of here... and in doing so, ensuring that you have your zones correctly identified.

I really believe that for anyone *not* aspiring to compete, the idea of "testing" for zones and then committing to a structured pre-detemined plan is outdated.

Get out there and ride lots with a power meter. Feed your data into a good tool with a robust modelling engine (e.g. WKO5, maybe XERT, or if you can get past the clunkiness Golden Cheetah) and it will give you a good set of metrics to determine your current capabilities and training zones, as well as pointers for what targets you need to hit on days when you are willing and able to do more than ride at or under your threshold (i.e. days where you want to tickle that 20%).

jlok
Posts: 1027
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

robertbb wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:14 am
Good topic.

Unless one is actually racing to compete (crits, road races) and wants to reach CAT, state, national, pro levels... and has the ability to prioritize training... a structured training plan is overkill. Particularly one that relies on strict execution of workouts in a particular sequence and that can't adapt to missed sessions without manual tweaking.

This is where sites like Trainer Road, Sufferfest, IMHO are really starting to look old.

The way forward if you want structured training but can't always prioritize it, is some tool/site with an adaptive training tool that (as @velolv said above) can take goals and reverse engineer them into workouts that adapt as you go (either within the workout itself, or changing the structure of the week or the month in case you get sick or injured or simply can't prioritise riding). XERT is probably the best known example.
+1 to Xert.

For whatever reason you don't feel like working indoor, Xert can guide you working to your goal with unstructured outdoor rides. Here's how.

1. Say I want to crush everyone in the regular group rides (or just hang the f on), and the required Focus* is 5min power.

I know the Focus because I could review it from past data of similar rides.

Example data of a regular "friendly" group ride. Note the reported Focus.
Image
Image
Image

2. Tell Xert that your goal is to train towards the required Focus.

Give it a Target Date to crush your mates and how much time that you wanna spend each week, so that Xert could tell you how you should ride (whenever you want to ride) towards the judgement day. Normally, a complete plan includes Base (45days) / Build (45days)/ Peak periods (30days). If you think your base is good enough, set the Target Date accordingly to skip the Base phrase.

3. Ride according to Adptive Training Advisor.

The Interval Targets Wattage is the power you better target your to. The more time you spent at that power, the better the training effect at that particular time.

Image

Bonus 1: Pacing "cheat" with MPA and TTE

Using Time to Exhaust to see how much is left in your tank for a pre-defined power. e.g. how long could I sustain 500W at the time being?

Monitor your Maximal Power Available (MPA) at real-time. The more time you ride in above CP W, the lower the MPA is. Sit in the group to let MPA to recover high enough for the final sprint.

Plan your attack / breakaway around those figures and the situation.

MPA
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/1e3b ... 47be6d1c50

TTE
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/9159 ... 17764738b1

Bonus 2: Pace yourself to PB on any Strava Segment.

https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/b627 ... 0b99a135f3

Finally, I'm not trying to say Xert is the best. It is just particularly good at allowing you to ride "unstructured" towards your goal.

GC is a good companion to Xert to allow detailed post-ride analysis (e.g. automatic Match identification).
Litespeed T1sl Disc / BMC TM02 < Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc 1 < Propel Adv < TCR Adv SL Disc < KTM Revelator Sky < CAAD 12 Disc < Domane S Disc < Alize < CAAD 10

User avatar
LouisN
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:44 am
Location: Canada

by LouisN

mcfarton wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:59 am
wheelbuilder wrote:You are trying to build fitness and speed? Find an experienced fast group ride in your area. One with racers who use the ride as race simulation/training. Guaranteed to get stronger and quickly. Don't be discouraged when you get quickly dropped. Keep going back. You will make it farther and farther each time until.........no longer dropped. No training, no plans, just keep participating until you understand how the dynamic of the pack works, where to recover, when to try to get in the front, etc. These rides are everywhere. Just have to investigate a little.
This is the best non training plan training plan
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
+1
wheelbuilder wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:30 pm
demoCRIT wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
agree to disagree.
Riding "harder" will get you pretty fast to some level (plateau level) and thats it.
Doing smart work (not necessarily hard) will get you MUCH MUCH further but will probably take just a little bit longer.
Group rides are a recepie to stay motivated, have fun and enjoy riding but they rarely benefit you ftiness wise.

I got numbers to back it up, been riding for 6 months in grp rides, pretty much every outing was "hard work" thta took me nowhere...
Wanted to get into racing so figured i will go with a coach (trainingpeaks). Just after 4 months of structured training i gained >40ftp,
can ride longer, know my "zones" and can keep with guys i had trouble riding with past months.
Suprise suprise, after some assesment and tests i did my coach decided i need solid base/endurance build up phase, this was 80% of my plan.
Did Vo2Max tests at local clinic before and after, and i improved A LOT.
PM me if i can be of any help!
atb
You weren't riding in the kind of group I'm talking about.
+1. Go back and read wheelbuilder's earlier post.

LOuis :)

AJS914
Posts: 3359
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

robertbb wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:01 am
For enthusiasts and weekend warriors it is more than enough to following some simple time-tested and science-proven principles as an overarching guideline towards how to approach the riding you are able to do. For example, the 80/20 rule spoken of here... and in doing so, ensuring that you have your zones correctly identified.

The biggest problem is that most weekend warriors don't know what the time-tested and science-proven principles actually are. I see the guys in my club. They go out and smash themselves, ride in the middle zones and then never get any faster. They get into some shape because doing something is better than nothing but then they lose focus over the winter, get out of shape, and then repeat what they do every year.

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

RocketRacing wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:53 am
Thanks for that info.

So i like simple. And i am being a bit of a devils advocate...

For the 80/20 “rule”, can your “20” be split up, or all in one ride? I probably do quite close to 80/20, i just do it every ride, give or take, with variable lengths to each ride. Some days it is 20/80 or 0/100 or 0/0. But 20/80 is probably a good average.
Yes, the 80/20 can be split up in one ride, can be split up based on hours, can be split up by rides. But you have to be careful.

Let's say you're going on a 2 hour easy ride to really work your slow twitch fibers while getting all the aerobic benefits. But you decide to go really hard for the first 20 minutes or so (80/20 rule). What happens? Well you've just completely geared your energy utilization towards rapid glycogen usage and creation of lactic (which are good benefits, but was this this the point of your ride?). This has consequences and costs (are you aware of these costs?) <---- if you haven't figured this out yet, every single ride should have some purpose (since there are consequences), even the easy ones.

The biggest problem is, you've just recruited a whole bunch of fast-twitch muscle fibers to do the work. They're going to be firing well into your ride, well after the 20 minutes that were actually hard. This is very bad for two reasons. One, you're not really getting the full benefit of training your absolutely most important muscles for cycling (your slow twitch), and two, you've effectively fried your fast twitch muscles so they won't be as ready when you actually need to go hard.

To clarify how serious this is - let's you are training for a 5 hour long "century", where you will utilize 90% slow twitch fibers vs. 10% fast twitch. But you've been hard training at relatively fast speeds, where you have been utilizing 50% fast twitch and 50% slow twitch. So you've spent 50% of your training time developing muscles that will only be used for 10% of your goal event. This is highly inefficient and ineffective and probably will lead to some form of injury or overuse fatigue. Not to mention, you would have gotten the same exact aerobic benefits by going slower, and the only thing you would have lost is maybe some lactate efficiency and glycogen efficiency.

If you decide you want to mix in a "hard" portion during an otherwise easy ride, two conditions should generally be met: first, you're not planning on any "actual hard days" in the next two or three days and second, you do the hard portion at the end of the ride so you don't activate your fast twitch muscles until the very end. But it's not ideal to mix.

And since it's really difficult to get in mileage when you're hammering yourself due to fatigue, one thing to do is have very long slow warmups and cooldowns before and after an interval or tempo session.

The only thing I generally suggest is throwing some short sprints into a long easy ride during the period of training before you are doing serious intervals. This helps maintain your fast twitch muscle fibers, but the sprints are short enough that they won't fully activate and turn your easy ride into one where your fast twitch muscles are doing more work than they should be doing.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

robertbb wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:01 am
For enthusiasts and weekend warriors it is more than enough to following some simple time-tested and science-proven principles as an overarching guideline towards how to approach the riding you are able to do. For example, the 80/20 rule spoken of here... and in doing so, ensuring that you have your zones correctly identified.

I really believe that for anyone *not* aspiring to compete, the idea of "testing" for zones and then committing to a structured pre-detemined plan is outdated.
I think it's a shame that people seem to be dividing into the camp of "I don't care enough" or being misled into buying into some hardcore training program. Getting very good at endurance sports is very simple, and there are a lot of good resources available for free, that you can get very very good results without having to care much at all.

Just ride a lot consistently (better to ride a bit everyday than 2-3 big rides a week), go slow most of the time, and go really really hard a few times. You shouldn't be plateauing until at least your 5th year of cycling. Simple as that!
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

by Weenie


RocketRacing
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Very interesting.

Can you comment on the physiology/training theory of the beginner? The fit individual that maybe wants to get fast (ruling out overweight types that may require a different focus).

Can you also discuss more on the topic and physiology of peaking. Lets think short term first. Say preparing for an event.

Now what about peaking as an individual? I mean reaching your max potential. I suspect that this is where small improvements become hard to obtain, and require focused training since we are really pushing our physiology beyond the 95% intended. The caveman was never designed to run away from sebertooth tigers in such a manner, so it takes a tight balance to maintain, or improve upon such performance.

My armchair logic would be that early on, for a fit beginner, there are lots of low hanging fruit gains. But as you get stronger, and closer to your maximum potential physiology, structured/purposeful training becomes more important.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post