Maintaining fitness over 4 months with little riding

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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thencameyou
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Location: Nu Zild

by thencameyou

Hi all,
I'm coming up to (hopefully) my last ever set of exams (in August/September). I'm a keen rider/racer with an emphasis on TT at present but will be doing a bit more road racing too. I will have likely 5-6 hours / week to ride over this time (possibly less), the riding is important for sanity preservation but I'd also like to maintain my form as much as possible (it'll be winter/spring here). Currently FTP of 300 (4.4w/kg) and 5 min power 395 - did both of those on the weekend so think they are an accurate reflection of reality...
Be grateful for any advice on how I should approach this.

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

by Shrike

Was looking this up recently too, need to do the same over a three week trip. Seems that working at intensity is key as you lose fitness from the top down. So threshold blocks and VO2 intervals. Scrap anything endurance based. Wouldn't bother working any lower than sweetspot.

TheKaiser
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by TheKaiser

Shrike wrote:Seems that working at intensity is key as you lose fitness from the top down. So threshold blocks and VO2 intervals. Scrap anything endurance based. Wouldn't bother working any lower than sweetspot.


Yes, my understanding from Joe Friel and other endurance focused coaches is that you can maintain fitness for an extended period at a 50% reduced volume, as long as you maintain the amount of high intensity work you are doing. If I recall correctly, that was based on some research that looked at a time period under 3 months, but it didn't indicate a tail off after that. It was just a limitation of how much time they had to run the study. One would have to assume that at some point your endurance for longer rides would begin to suffer, but I haven't seen any data establishing how far out that would begin. For a TT rider, endurance at the 2+ hr mark shouldn't really matter anyway.

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MattSoutherden
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by MattSoutherden

Turbo.

It may not be exciting, but you can make a significantly higher percentage of your time count on the turbo than you can on the open road.
Snacking on carrot sticks - Where did it all go so wrong?
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thencameyou
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Location: Nu Zild

by thencameyou

thencameyou wrote:Hi all,
the riding is important for sanity preservation but I'd also like to maintain my form as much as possible (it'll be winter/spring here). C\


see bold above. but i know the turbo is best. i find 2x20's nearly intolerable on the trainer even at 95% percent of what i can do outside so may have to resort to the sufferfest again

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

If you have limited time to bike you should try running.Its important to maintain cardiovascular fitness and running will certainly do that
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MattSoutherden
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by MattSoutherden

thencameyou wrote:
thencameyou wrote:Hi all,
the riding is important for sanity preservation but I'd also like to maintain my form as much as possible (it'll be winter/spring here). C\


see bold above. but i know the turbo is best. i find 2x20's nearly intolerable on the trainer even at 95% percent of what i can do outside so may have to resort to the sufferfest again


You don't have to do all the time on the turbo. Maybe do a couple of hours on on the road one day a week when the weather is nice, and put the rest of the time on the turbo.

If you can set it up in the corner, you may also find that you get more time 'riding' than you would out on the road as you can just stick some shorts on and go. Then just jump in the shower after and get on with what you were doing. No need to clean the bike after rainy winter rides. No need to hand up lots of dripping kit. etc
Snacking on carrot sticks - Where did it all go so wrong?
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Finsbury Park CC

KWalker
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by KWalker

The best thing you can do is try to be as active as possible with any and every activity and stop worrying about it. Enjoy the challenge of being less fit.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
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AJS914
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

thencameyou wrote:You see bold above. but i know the turbo is best. i find 2x20's nearly intolerable on the trainer even at 95% percent of what i can do outside so may have to resort to the sufferfest again


Try 80-90% to see if it's more tolerable. Or, break it up by doing 5 minute intervals with a 1 minute rest. Breaking it up really makes the time go by much faster for me.

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