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Thread: Time to stop riding and start racing...

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    Default Time to stop riding and start racing...

    I've hit information overload...after all the shit that's happened to me in the last couple of years I've decided to start taking my depression and frustration out on my bike. I've started looking at training plans and I'm completely overwhelmed. I know some of you guys are coaches and I'm not looking for that necessarily...maybe a good book to help me build a good interval training program.
    Insubordinate. And Churlish.

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    Quote Originally Posted by quickag View Post
    I've hit information overload...after all the shit that's happened to me in the last couple of years I've decided to start taking my depression and frustration out on my bike. I've started looking at training plans and I'm completely overwhelmed. I know some of you guys are coaches and I'm not looking for that necessarily...maybe a good book to help me build a good interval training program.
    I don't know if any of the suggestions will make you less overwhelmed, but this is a good starting point.
    Amazon.com: The Cyclist's Training Bible (9781931382212): Joe Friel: Books
    But, in reality, there can be many good starting points.
    Racing season is upon us, and you'd need to adapt what you've done to what's suggested.
    Just make sure you have fun out there.

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    Since you seem to need to start "now" on a program, perhaps the Time Crunched Cyclist would allow you to target a few races. The program is 12 weeks or so. It's a "peanut butter smear" approach, one size fits all so it's not going to give you what a high quality coach would but gets you going when you aren't sure where to start.

    Probably the biggest nugget I've focused on is uncovering my own personal load/recovery amounts. You can get into a death spiral with too much load, no recovery. Especially when you're older (I'm 52), more is usually NOT better.

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    Our season started last weekend. No one (especially me) is at full race speed. Pick a race and start. Nothing gets you into race shape like racing.

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    you have a power meter?
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    A power meter will not teach you how to suffer. If you want to race successfully, then you have to embrace the suffering.

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    Let me elaborate a little...I tried not to make the post sound like I wanted some free help from the coaches around here.

    I race in the local gentleman's races and do the Tour de Okinawa every year, but this year will pretty much be a wash. Next year will likely be my last year here in Japan and I'd like to actually train for a few races and try to be competitive. I've started looking at training plans and books, but there is so much information out there and much of it is contradictory.

    I'm a big, strong guy. I know that most of my training will be to lose weight, but I feel like I can really accentuate my strength by doing intervals the right way.

    Like the rest of us, I have a tight schedule. I teach, own a bike shop and have a 5 year old and a 1 year old. My only real time to train is 0400 in the morning. I'm not adverse to doing my work on a trainer if I must. I have access to the Spinervals DVDs, but I feel like I could compress the work done in those DVDs into a smaller timeframe.

    If I'm totally off base, someone please straighten me out. And I don't have a power meter...spent all that money on princess dresses and tiaras last month.
    Insubordinate. And Churlish.

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    Default Re: Time to stop riding and start racing...

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    A power meter will not teach you how to suffer. If you want to race successfully, then you have to embrace the suffering.
    I agree with this. I usually tell myself "I will not get dropped" at a key moment and then just drive myself as hard as I have to in order to stay in contact with the pack.

    But the OP is asking for a training roadmap. I would not start intervals unless I had a good solid base, at least that's the conventional wisdom, per Joe Friel, etc. I also echo the comments that it is important to factor in recovery into your training regimen. You can't move forward if you don't let your body heal and repair itself from very hard efforts.

    I've taken a bit from Friel and a bit from some old school Eddie B to come up with something that works for me and is evolving. I always take Fridays off and, if I am tired, will also take Wednesdays off. Otherwise, the week looks like this:

    Monday: Recovery day. I ride REALLY slow. I'm talking 11-12 miles an hour, sometimes slower. Large gentlemen riding on beach cruisers pass me on this day. Under absolutely no circumstances do I pick up the pace past 11-12 miles an hour.

    Tuesday: Intervals. Different kinds. Decending intervals (e.g., 4 minutes, 3.5 minutes, 3.0 intervals, etc.), pyramid intervals, and 1 minute on/off intervals. I find mixing up the types of intervals has helped me a great deal. 1 minute on/off intervals come close to actually simulating what you have to do in a crit. The longer decending intervals and pyramid intervals help sustain speed for more prolonged efforts.

    Wednesday: If I am riding, it is a medium effort, zone 3, according to Friel. If I am feeling tired, I take the day off.

    Thursday: This is power day for me. I do some steep hills (average around 11-12%) varying in length from 0.5 to 1.5 miles and just grind them out. I try not to go over my LTHR on the climbs, as the whole point is to develop power, not tax your anaerobic system. Not sure if Friel or anybody else agrees with this, but I am not a good climber, and this is a way for me to work on one of my biggest limiters.

    Friday: Off.

    Saturday and Sunday: Do really fast training rides with the local racers or enter races. The only way to get fast quick is to ride with people faster than you. These are tough rides, and I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth, but I've gotten faster and faster every week out there.

    It is important to read and experiment with these training regimens to come up with something that will work for you, factoring in your schedule and your limiters. As previously mentioned, Friel The Cyclist's Training Bible is a good starting point.

    But, as mentioned above, have fun. That is key. Otherwise, this whole thing comes off as a job and what is the fun in that?

    Good luck!

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