Non training plan training plans

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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RocketRacing
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

So i have never been one to formally train. I just kind of ride when i can, as i can... and go balls out on local strava segments. Usually 2-4 per ride depending on location, and ride duration. Most segments that i care about are in the 5-10min diration locally. I call it interval training. I also do rest days, easier rides, shorter rides (time/life/work/kids), and rides where i try to keep high average speeds (kinda sweetspot training).

I do the same on zwift, but mix up rides based on segments from 3-5min, to 20 min, to 50min. So in the winter my training is probably more balanced.

I am not a big kms guy cause i dont have the time. 150-200kms per week is about what i can manage consistently, aside from the odd 300 when stars align.

I have looked at training plans (strava, zwift) for such lengths of climbs/goals (5-10min climbs) and they dont seem to add much to my training aside from rest days (i do them) and maybe increased volume of shorter intervals (i dont have interest in that outside).

So i just keep doing my thing, go balls out for the segments i want to kom, and i get faster.

Is there an art to this? or is it just about finding your max, then pushing more (with structured rest). Am i missing anything zen or revolutionary?

by Weenie


velov
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:09 am

by velov

People with more experience than me will chime in...first things first though, what are you looking to get out of structured training? Anything you do (training wise) should be back engineered off of that.

AJS914
Posts: 3470
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

A couple of things pop out for me. Volume really does help though I note that you said you don't have time. But try to get in the long/slow ride once a week if you can make the time. Doing a 3 to 4 hour ride once or twice a week has really helped me improve endurance. I think that doing that extra long ride even once or twice a month is beneficial.

Think about rest. Easy week every 3rd or 4th week depending on how fast you recover.

This topic has lots of good info. The links to the Velonews podcasts are particularly good IMO. Polarized traning really works well for me.


viewtopic.php?f=8&t=155915

RocketRacing
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

velov wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:49 am
People with more experience than me will chime in...first things first though, what are you looking to get out of structured training? Anything you do (training wise) should be back engineered off of that.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't do structured training. I just ride, and ride harder at times (segments).

RocketRacing
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:35 am
A couple of things pop out for me. Volume really does help though I note that you said you don't have time. But try to get in the long/slow ride once a week if you can make the time. Doing a 3 to 4 hour ride once or twice a week has really helped me improve endurance. I think that doing that extra long ride even once or twice a month is beneficial.

Think about rest. Easy week every 3rd or 4th week depending on how fast you recover.

This topic has lots of good info. The links to the Velonews podcasts are particularly good IMO. Polarized traning really works well for me.


viewtopic.php?f=8&t=155915
I will admit that I did a 120km ride (pretty solid pace, 1 rest), and I felt like a machine 2 days later.

robertbb
Posts: 1048
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

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.

If you aren't specifically training "for" something, might sign up for a fondo or two in the Summer or have a cycling trip with family/mates, and in the interim just like riding and using segments as intervals... then a tool that can:

- show you models of your fitness levels and changes just by `feeding` in your accumulated ride files
- highlight where your strengths/weaknesses are
- give you power targets to assist you in pacing your rides (e.g. climbs) and not over/under cooking your intervals

becomes invaluable. That way, whenever you do ride, you'll know where you're at and what you have in you. WKO5 (paid) and Golden Cheetah (free) come to mind here.

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wheelbuilder
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:10 am

by wheelbuilder

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.
Never cheer before you know who is winning

mcfarton
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:15 pm

by mcfarton

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


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demoCRIT
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:04 pm

by demoCRIT

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

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wheelbuilder
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:10 am

by wheelbuilder

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.
Never cheer before you know who is winning

demoCRIT
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:04 pm

by demoCRIT

wheelbuilder wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:18 am
... 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...
Yea i think we mean the same, just have different opinions.
I agree you will learn to read the pack and get what "drafting" is about but it wont make the best out of you fitness wise.
My 2 cents.

atb

AJS914
Posts: 3470
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Interesting. My story is similar to democrit. I was doing the organic training - doing the group ride and chasing strava segments. I was frequently fatigued and not able to break through to a new level. After discovering the polarized method I started at scratch with 11 weeks of base miles plus a single group ride on Saturday. My PR times on key uphill segments of my group ride improved by 15%. Instead of getting dropped I'm now riding with a whole new crowd on these climbs. I'm guessing that FTP bumped up by 25-30 watts but I haven't tested recently. After base I started methodically doing stead state intervals - some SST - tempo - threshold, working my way up to Dr. Seiler's 4x8min (or 32 min).

Prior to the consistent base miles I couldn't handle 32 minutes of interval work per week. The long/slow ride is the bread and butter of polarized training. It's given me stamina and endurance that I didn't have.

Especially for a non-racer I don't think intervals need to be super complicated. Just commit to an interval scheme and then do it for 4-6 weeks. When I make a change I typically see gains and new speed coming on after 4 or 5 weeks. If I feel tired I skip the intensity and stay the course with long/slow miles and recovery rides until I'm fresh again.

I think coaches and coaching software tend to make interval work uncessarily complicated.
Last edited by AJS914 on Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MagicShite
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:33 pm

by MagicShite

The consensus for most training styles seems to be having 2 hard sessions on top of endurance aerobic base. Get some rest in now and then and peak for your A races.

If you don't enjoy doing structured training, this is what you could do. (What i do as well)

A coach can help you go further into specificity, but at the same time if you're that disciplined to begin with you better be cooking all your own meals as well, i.e. a proper diet plan is as important as training. Oh, don't forget to sleep well.

We aren't pros. Life is difficult enough as it is. I've known guys who have coaches and follows the plan religiously to the extent of avoiding group rides (a huge social aspect of riding), yet gets completely owned during races, having little to no results to show.

demoCRIT
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:04 pm

by demoCRIT

100% with AJS914 on this one. ( and with Magic - you were posting at the same time i guess)

The secret (it's not really a secret to be honest ;) ) is aerobic capability.
Race simulations, chasing strava segments etc. will get you to a certain level of this but you will be doing vo2max efforts and hit a wall.
Aerobic -> endurance = better vo2max = better treshold
Focusing on base + adding some intervals is what 90% of us will find beneficial in a long term.
Easy days are supposed to be easy and hard days are supposed to be really hard - just balance it right way (more easy days!).


atb

by Weenie


spud
Posts: 803
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:52 am

by spud

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
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.

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