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What do you guys recommend to train to recover from these types of efforts mid race? Ideally, I'd like to be able to do at least one more effort at that level. Or, am I asking too much?
How long are said climbs? Is the pace still relatively high/moderate on top of the climb?
Depending on duration you could be using a fair bit of anaerobic contribution to your efforts which is hard to recover from when the pace is kept fast.
You could be dipping to high above your FTP and then riding arround your FTP to recover which would make it feel quite hard. There would be a few good workouts for that. What duration are you looking for?
During the race, when you feel yourself approaching "the edge" concentrate on deep breathing and relaxing while turning the pedals smoothly.
Easier said than done. At some point you really are just outclassed and you go back to interval training.
An example of the problem area was last race, where I was responsible for bringing back a breakaway near the end of the race. Most of the lap I was in Zone 2/3 (Friel's HR zones seem a little wonky, but my HR was between 155 and 163 -- I have a LTHR of 180). For 4:18, I averaged 27.3 mph on the flat with a headwind with my HR topping off at 189 bpm, for an avg HR of 185 during the effort.
Once I brought back the breakaway, I sat in the pack to recover back at Zone 2, but only got 2:30s before we went into the final climb. At that point, I tried to hang on, but couldn't ramp up my effort past LTHR and got dropped.
I had a similar situation happen at a circuit race (bridged to a breakaway group, rested and got my HR under control but then was spent). I had more time to recover at the circuit race, but once the effort ramped up again, I couldn't get past LTHR even for a short while to make it over a small powerclimb.
Granted, 189bpm may just be my point of no-recovery, but I'm still curious if there's a combination of intervals or what have you that can make digging that deep for 3-4 minutes not so detrimental to the rest of the race.
Reading your post you seem more concerned about you HR not droping back then the actual sensations during the race.
What is the best workout to prepare for being able to, in a race, perform a 4 min effort at near max perceived effort, recover for 4 min or longer at moderate/low effort and then reproduce the same 4 min near max effort?
Now, the reason I provided HR info was because I would tell you that my second 4 min effort was at a perceived near max, but if I had a power meter, it would only be at FTP or less.
Is the answer for me to incorporate 4x4 intervals?
I'd also work in vo2max type of efforts, 4-6x4min, 4-5x5min, 4-6x3min. You can also work these shorter efforts with different pacing strategy such as starting hard and finishing hard, or starting hard and survive untill the end.
Over under efforts would be good too. Some 5min to 20min efforts alternating between sub threshold intensity and supra threshold intensity.
Sounds to me like you wasted a bunch of energy and didn't have the gas when the real move went. Sounds like a deficiency of tactics as well as power.
I used to do a lot of vo2 max work as I found it gave me that extra oomph in races and really allowed me to top off my FTP and 3-5min power thus helping in a lot of road race situations. This year I did exactly 5 vo2 max workouts the entire year:
6x3min with 3 min rest. Ride 10min, then 4x2 (Did that one twice)
4x8min with burst every 2 min. Rest 4 min (Did that one once)
40/20 for 6-8 reps for 2-3 sets (Did these twice)
A very experienced local NRC pro/coach (I'm talking years on the road with teams like Navigators, multiple championships) told me last year he has riders do no more than 5 weeks of vo2 work before peaking that the fatigue is not worth the risk of doing the work longer nor does it produce any bigger results.
So far this year after doing this work I've felt a lot stronger and a lot more fresh in races. I've been in situations in hard 1/2/3 crits where I had to pull back a break or be active in a doomed early move and have had more than enough punch to do so and very good recovery between efforts. Don't overcomplicate it.
Depending on what you are doing, I think you should hit the intense stuff.
I like that 8min workout, might give it a try, would you hit them at arround 105% FTP?
Find a 2km long 6-9% hill, and do vo2max intervals up it. When you get to the top, turn around, head back down, roll off the hill, turn around, and head back up.
I have a nice 2k long hill here with a 7.5% gradient. It's perfect
At minimum, you want to do 2 hc's. But preferably 3 or more if your fit enough.
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