Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 136 total)
  • The training mega thread
  • Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    I did a TR workout in zwift today and it went well up to a point – TR on my phone, controlling the trainer bluetooth in erg mode, and zwift using ant – left the trainer control blank in the pairing screen as you’re directed to do.

    I went up the epic KOM, though, which might not have been the best choice as when I turned round at the top of the radio tower the descent was dead hard! Some combination of erg mode, my bike having no low gears, and / or trainer difficulty (I usually have it quite low, 25% I think). But in the middle of a sweet spot interval it got way harder to keep power than when I was climbing.

    Might be better to stick to flatter routes.

    Premier Icon robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    Sounds like something went wrong with the pairing there Garry. I have done kids of workouts like that and the route doesn’t matter as TR controls the erg mode and shouldn’t be affected by gradient at all ok Zwift. I used to select the hilly routes on purpose to gain elevation towards the tron bike.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    Inspired by this thread I did an over/under workout on BKool, which I’m guessing is similar to Trainer Road as it’s a series of coloured blocks moving slowly (oh so slowly!) across the screen. A bit of Spotify helped, but it’s still pretty dull. I’m debating whether or not to sign back up to Sufferfest, but I got a very cheap yearly deal on BKool through my club and it’s all paid for up until Spring…

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    @whitestone , well I can’t see me doing 10hour z2 on the turbo, plus one or two top end interval sessions. It’s not so hard to get longer hours in out side in better weather, but I’m just not that committed to 2-3 hours turbo after work and quite like my family 😁

    For me I think there’s a benefit in whatever z2 I can do for health/exercise reasons regardless of whether it’s enough to continue to force further adaptation. I guess like was mentioned for mitochondrial and heart health like with MAF ideas for running.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    I think that’s why Sweet Spot oriented training took off – most of the adaptations without the huge time commitment. Like you I find long turbo sessions, particularly the “boring” Z2 ones, pretty hard work mentally. This is the description from TR about their traditional base plan:

    As its name implies, the Traditional block takes the old-fashioned approach to base training. It requires a large time commitment to give you significant gains. Unless you have at least 10 hours/week to train, we do not recommend the long, low-intensity Traditional approach.

    This block is primarily geared toward Grand Tour athletes or those recovering from an injury who want to avoid high-intensity intervals.

    That last line is probably key. You have to be pretty focussed and committed to spend that amount of time training and for most of us, even in lockdown and if we were furloughed, it just isn’t practical.

    The TR Sweet Spot approach isn’t unique to them, Chris Carmichael’s “The Time Crunched Cyclist” from 2012 takes a 6hr per week approach to training and is also biased towards Sweet Spot with over-under workouts and VO2max intervals. Incidentally Chris Carmichael is the ‘C’ in CTS, the company that Dylan Johnson coaches for.

    On that subject there’s a big thread on the TR forums discussing Dylan Johnson’s comparison of Polarised vs Sweet Spot. Lots of geeky stuff but one point being made is that lots of training at the Z2/3 (power) boundary improves lactate clearance so helps with sprints or higher intensity efforts. Another recurring theme is consistency – for most of us the actual strategy we follow doesn’t really matter so long as it encourages you to train consistently.

    I currently do just 3.5hrs/wk over three workouts on the turbo. Even that small amount per week over the course of a year (admittedly a bit intermittent through the summer) gave me a 13% increase in FTP and that was from a decent base. Allow half an hour for preparation and showering after each workout and that’s 5hrs/week.

    For me that’s probably the absolute minimum to see improvement, i.e. my MED or Minimal Effective Dose. I’m not totally sure what my MRD or Maximum Recoverable Dose is, partly because there’s also just riding involved as well which adds to TSS, but if we were in a full lockdown I reckon I could do TR’s Mid Volume plans which are five workouts amounting to 5.5 – 6.5hrs per week. I’d probably have to go from a 3:1 work/recovery week ratio to 2:1 to make sure I didn’t overtrain.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I’m bouncing off the walls at the moment as I actually have the means and the roads/trails around me to probably get in a good volume of riding, even at this time of year (a Christmas hamper of Stolen Goat winter riding gear helps a lot).

    Problem is I think I’ve given myself some sort of ‘nodule’ under one of my sit-bones from using aggressive short nose saddles too much, so ironically the only riding I can really do is short hard sessions on the turbo, at least the pressure through the pedals takes pressure off the sit-bones! I’ve given myself an arbitrary limit of 4hrs a week to give the ‘nodule’ a chance to recover.

    It’s weird how winter weather actually makes me WANT to get out and do long slow Z2 miles, I think there’s a perverse joy in being out in foul weather but wearing all the best gear, you form your own little microclimate staring out through fogged glasses at the weather happening around you.

    I definitely feel best for lots of long slow miles, recuperating from back surgery last year required a ‘little and often’ approach, and all at Z2 to begin with, which became a really useful training tool in its own right, getting me out for little loops every morning. I could never do base on the turbo though, long sweetspot sessions are the longest I can tolerate.

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    Cheers Whitestone. I’m currently about 6 hours a week on the gravel grinder program. Often a mix of zones but largely Z2 & 3, with some threshold and Vo2 max intervals, but none of the work above tempo is very sustained really. Plus similar hours walking (work and pleasure) and short amounts of swimming (skins in the sea at 60N limits that!).

    My Z2 free rides in GG do tend to be right at the top of my Z2 hr, 135-140bpm.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Interesting article here, nothing new really but a useful read.

    https://road.cc/content/feature/what-ftp-7-key-facts-about-major-training-metric-268471

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    Cheers, interesting to note from that article that they say if your FTP is a low % of MAP then you ‘re better training medium intensity to up your FTP, so SS. Which would be me as my actual FTP is lower than from ramp test derived FTP

    If it’s a high % better training vo2 to up it.

    Unless I’m reading that wrong.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    That was the bit that caught my attention.

    I don’t really know my FTP as a percentage of my MAP, but I did take away from that the reasons why you might want to train one then the other, e.g. the earlier discussion about whether to train short intervals or long intervals.

    I took it that training short, high intensity intervals raises MAP, which then gives you more room to raise your FTP without having to spend as much time close to MAP.

    This suits me, I was going to gradually move from short/high intensity to longer intensity before moving back outdoors full time, but I guess I’ve got time to finish a 4 week block of short/high intensity, test FTP again, move towards slightly longer intervals for 4 weeks, revisit short/high intensity intervals for 4 weeks, then come end of March time start to move the sessions outdoors (I’ve got plenty of 3-5 minute long climbs around here to play with).

    Premier Icon padkinson
    Free Member

    I haven’t read all the way through this thread yet (really should be doing coursework right now), but there’s lots of interesting things to get stuck in to once I have the time!

    Something some of you might be interested in:

    I’ll be recruiting for my final year project study fairly soon – the effect of differing work interval durations on training adaptations. It’s essentially a comparison of two different HIIT based training interventions, both following a 2:1 work:recovery ratio (60:30 & 300:150). It’s not passed the final ethics check yet, but the protocol won’t be changing.

    It’s all being done remotely, so all you’d need is some way of training indoors with direct power measurement (PM and ‘dumb’ trainer, smart trainer w/ direct power measurement, wattbike etc.).
    We’re looking for people with a history of endurance activity (>5 hours per week ish), who aren’t currently engaged in an interval training programme (>1 session per week). It’s an 8 week intervention with testing either side (similar to the 4dp protocol mentioned above). You’ll get fully personalised training zones, some training recommendations, and there’ll be a prize draw for bike shop vouchers among those who finish the study.

    If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, drop me a message on here and I’ll send over the full participant information/recruitment documents once the ethics committee are finished with them.

    Premier Icon whitestone
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    The highest minute of average power in the Ramp Test is your MAP. Some programs adjust for sudden bursts that attempt to game the test. The assumption is then that your FTP is 75% of that final minute’s average.

    Thus the assumption is that most people have a 20% window between FTP & MAP. A high FTP means that window is smaller so you move from threshold to VO2max work sooner and vice versa. I think that’s what they are getting at.

    I’ve found that subsequent workouts after the Ramp Test are slightly easy by a couple of percent, i.e. my FTP is a high percentage of FTP, so I’ve upped my FTP maybe 2 or 3% by hand. This last round of workouts it’s been a mix of workouts that genuinely feel hard in the way that others have described while others have felt easy(ish) so I’ve left it as is.

    From that article it looks like I should focus on VO2max work. I noted in an earlier post that I was going to add a second VO2max each week so maybe my instinct was right, or at least backed up by current thinking.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Great workout this afternoon, possibly because of a perfectly timed pasta lunch three hours beforehand and mid-afternoon Jaffa cake binge… Even if Strava calorie count is correct I don’t think I’ll be in deficit today…

    If you look closely you can see the last few intervals start creeping up in pace, but that also the recoveries are getting deeper and deeper lol. Happy I managed 3×10 though, I’m getting closer to the ‘big boy’ 3×13 workout that wattkg.com suggests.

    Possible beasting in the real world on Sunday with a buddy who seems to be a full time Zwift time trialist, then an easy week before an FTP test on Friday/Saturday perhaps. It got me thinking though, how much can you game an FTP test? I was taught in the week prior to a CX race to largely take it easy, but then do some short hard intervals the day before to get some endorphins in the legs and to take the edge off the pain of racing. Could I do the same for an FTP test, effectively ‘tapering’ for it? 😀

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    You are supposed to do an FTP test fresh, so tapering for it isn’t daft 🤪 You’ll obviously not perform your best if your going to it fatigued and sore, save that for how you feel afterwards 😁

    Premier Icon richardk
    Free Member

    On the Sufferfest platform…

    For a ramp test I don’t need a full taper – just 1 or 2 days rest.  For the full FTP test I do need a good weeks taper, including an ‘openers’ style workout the day before.

    And why would you game an FTP test to make your workouts harder, shouldn’t you be sandbagging it 🙂

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    I’ve a ramp test on Monday (or Tuesday, depending on external factors), for the last one I did the LSCT warmup – this is a short 20min test that works out your Heart Recovery Rate – but I’ve found I just need something as an opener before I do the test itself. I don’t think it makes the test any easier just lets me perform it better – if that makes any sense. I wouldn’t be doing a VO2max workout in the day or two beforehand though!

    So long as you do the same preparation each time then it shouldn’t really matter what your lead in is.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Slight digression but probably still relevant to the thread – does anyone run a softer saddle for turbo duties?

    Bontrager did a Q&A on the Bikerumor site and suggested running a softer saddle due to how static the position is etc.

    I actually run quite a racey saddle on the turbo just because it’s my ‘best’ bike I use, but I’m actually wondering if it’s the turbo sessions with a hard saddle that are giving me saddle issues (and also I typically wear my thinnest shorts since they’re only short sessions).

    Will swap in a Fabric Line instead of my Prologo Scratch, see if it makes a difference, I just hate swapping saddles since I thought I had my positions dialled!

    Premier Icon andyr
    Full Member

    On the Sufferfest platform…

    For a ramp test I don’t need a full taper – just 1 or 2 days rest. For the full FTP test I do need a good weeks taper, including an ‘openers’ style workout the day before.

    And why would you game an FTP test to make your workouts harder, shouldn’t you be sandbagging it

    GVA says report to flogging station #3.

    The route for the Greatest Grand Tour of a Mythical Nation in the World was announced yesterday. It’s only 7 days this year as they’re being considerate about fatigue and associated weakening of your immune systems. With lockdown I’m actually going to be able to do it at the right time this year (usually away with the family on half term break). Anyone else doing it?

    First day is a killer (30 minute MAP workout + 1h46 of sweetspot at low cadence). Day 2 is a workout I’ve never managed to finish at 100% – an hour long MAP workout. It goes down(up)hill from there…

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    @13thfloormonk – it’s something I do notice, 45mins or so into a workout and I need to start standing for a few seconds now and again just to relieve tension/soreness/niggles. Hadn’t considered a softer saddle. You could get another seat post, fit it to that then you don’t have to worry about messing the position of your current saddle – a bit of tape on the post just above the clamp and you can get the exact position back.

    I’d pushed today’s workout outdoors. Just got back from a 3hr fat bike ride in the snow that I thought was “hard”, i.e. tempo and above, looked at my data: no power data on the fat bike but just 40 seconds in HR Z3! The outdoor workout actually called for 2hrs at RPE6 but conditions (8-10cm of soft snow on unfrozen and often boggy ground) meant I was probably RPE7 for much of the three hours.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    @13thfloormonk – it’s something I do notice, 45mins or so into a workout and I need to start standing for a few seconds now and again just to relieve tension/soreness/niggles. Hadn’t considered a softer saddle. You could get another seat post, fit it to that then you don’t have to worry about messing the position of your current saddle – a bit of tape on the post just above the clamp and you can get the exact position back.

    Yeah, I’m moaning about nothing really, the repositioning takes no time and at least I’ve had plenty of practice.

    Will swap turbo saddle and outdoor saddles, need to test the turbo saddle outdoors anyway as it will be my big-week-in-the-Pyrenees saddle hopefully. If a Fabric Line isn’t soft enough it’s an excuse to try that Prologo Scratch AGX saddle I keep seeing, same design as the Prologo Scratch on the turbo bike but extra padding for ‘gravel’.

    Premier Icon jodafett
    Full Member

    Hours at Zone 2/3 boundary on your HR monitor will be the best predictor. Forget all those HIIT workouts everyone likes for time-crunched whatever. Sorry there are no shortcuts here (from a 12hr TT specialist).

    Does cadence come into it at all or is it purely about staying in the right HR zone regardless of anything else?

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    Stick in the zone and self-select cadence.

    Z2/3 (HR not power) boundary is a bit harder than most people think. I was out for a 2hr45min fat bike ride in the snow this morning and thought it was “hard” but looking at my HR data I had this:

    Z1 – 2h21m
    Z2 – 22m31s
    Z3 – 56s

    OK the Z1 will have included the descents and stops but I was borderline sweating (not good in -4C and below) so I wouldn’t have been going any harder regardless.

    Premier Icon jodafett
    Full Member

    Cheers @whitstone. 3 hour ride today with the whole thing in Z2 give or take. That included ploughing through some fairly deep snow on a gravel bike! I need to try a fat bike!

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    Hmm, that was interesting.

    Went for a “socially distanced, local, my house is over there and much less than seven miles away officer” ride on the hardtail. i.e. a quick loop around the village. 18km with 480m of climbing. 28 mins was mid HRZ2 and above with 5 mins in Z4. Here’s a grab of the HR distribution:

    hr distro

    It actually felt pretty easy, I held back on the initial climb (it’s 200m of altitude gain) only just getting into Z3 on the 20% at the end, then thought I’d push it.

    My guess at the pace was tempo but with so much up and down it’s not easy to keep the pressure on. Strava’s guess at my average power was 226W which smack in the middle of my Z3 or tempo band. A couple of segments (generally rolling and of reasonable length) it guessed I was at threshold or thereabouts and that also felt a reasonable assessment in terms of RPE – that “I think I can hold this for a while” sort of feeling.

    Premier Icon simster
    Full Member

    just about all my riding is currently on zwift. and for me that means racing or hanging on in group rides (im a tail ender cat B) or some sort of workout. So im always right on my limit and its all high intensity (which i really enjoy). no easy rides. 4 or 5 days a week. as a result im constantly tired. im guessing this is not sustainable. but whats the best way forward…an easy week every now and then, or more rest days or both?

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    Both!

    A lot does depend on what you are used to but even pros on the grand tours don’t do daily hammerfests and much of their time is spent at relatively low intensity in the peloton.

    A couple of days a week of high intensity would be most people’s sustainable limit, you’ll need the other days to properly recover. An easy week, no intensity, every fourth week or so, maybe every third if you are older, but certainly no more than five hard weeks before a recovery week. Sometimes you’ll see what is often referred to as “block periodisation” where entire weeks are high intensity workouts but these are short term blocks, rarely more than a couple of weeks.

    That tiredness can descend into overtraining – my results aren’t what they should be so I’ll train more, etc. – which can take months or even years to recover from. Training is as much about recognising symptoms like that and pulling back from the edge. Here’s a couple of TrainerRoad podcasts on the subject:

    I’m sure that there’s more both from TR and other coaches.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Oof, yikes, yeah that sounds like a recipe for burnout!

    I’m not versed in more advanced training strategies, but as I understand it there are two common approaches, polarized or sweetspot.

    Polarized would mean 20% of the week you go hard (e.g. races) and 80% super easy (recovery). I think if you already have a good base fitness you can omit some of the easy stuff, but still not do 4 or 5 back to back high intensity sessions.

    ‘Sweetspot’ basically means going as hard as you can without ever going ‘high intensity’ (e.g. sitting just below your FTP) and in theory you could do multiple sessions a week, but you would be nowhere near your limit so wouldn’t be very competitive at races!

    Premier Icon piemonster
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    Well this is a handily timed thread. I’m just debating sweet spot versus polarised.

    Someone is talking about training for 300km rides too which is exactly what I’m trying for.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Full Member

    Some good discussion in the comments too.

    Premier Icon simster
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    so is sweetspot a sort of quick hack for a long ride. Ie you dont have to sit for hours going easy, instead you hack it with a shorter sweetspot ride?
    -edit – just watched those videos. interesting stuff. although i really dont fancy lots of zone 1 riding.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    I’ve been following a big thread about the Dylan Johnson video, some passionate debate (think 26″ vs 29″ wheels on here but worse) plus there’s some confusion about what the main proponents (like Seiler) actually said at the time and what they say now. AAAGH!

    I think polarised works best when you have lots of time available to train whereas sweet spot is better for time crunched riders (i.e. The Time Crunched Cyclist by Carmichael).

    It’s rare/unusual for training plans to be entirely one or the other, usually the mix between low, medium and high intensities varies as you progress. For instance the phases in a typical TR plan go:
    20% endurance, 60% SS, 20% threshold;
    20% endurance, 20% SS, 40% threshold, 20% VO2max;
    20% endurance, 20% SS, 40% threshold, 40% VO2max;

    That’s on 5 rides with 6-7hrs per week and for something like CX racing. The long distance plans might get to 20% VO2max near the end, most of the work is SS and threshold.

    For long rides just being out on the bike for as long as possible is probably as good as anything, but not easy at the moment. Combine that with some higher intensity, maybe only as high as threshold which if you’ve never ridden at that level before for any length of time is surprisingly hard.

    @simster – the point about sweet spot, which is more of a concept than an actual zone, is that it’s tough enough to force adaptations in a short period but not tough enough that you couldn’t do several back to back days of such workouts. It’s sort of a short cut but ultimately the longer you take to build fitness the longer it sticks around which is why true HIIT is only really done in the weeks leading up to an event/race, you just can’t maintain it indefinitely.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    That’s how I think of it, typically if time doesn’t allow for 3hrs outdoors I’d try 3×15 or 3×20 sweetspot on the rollers.

    Premier Icon simster
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    @whitestone appreciated. those TR type plans better suit my schedule and head (id get bored doing lots of endurance).

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    The long distance plans might get to 20% VO2max near the end, most of the work is SS and threshold.

    This is what I’m still hugely confused about, periodised vs. reverse periodised.

    My event is 5 long days of climbing at the end of July. I’ve just finished a 4 week block of VO2 max and threshold intervals. Am thinking I’ll do one more block to ‘raise the ceiling’ but then phase back in SS and threshold stuff, building volume and lowering intensity as the event approaches. Ideally I’ll be mainly outdoors by March/April anyway.

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    Ultimately my goal when we can, and when I’m physically able again is audax type rides (2-300km, maybe even try a 400) and bike packing/tours of up to a week. Not racing at all.

    Is there a ‘prescription’ that I can work around for building up for that largely on the turbo at present?

    I know the rides themselves will be largely z2/3 of necessity ( other than some hills) but for turbo work am I best building up the number and length sets of SS intervals for more manageable time on there?

    I’m generally ok doing up to 2hrs z2/3 on the turbo once or twice a week, and sometimes have done 3 sets of 2hours in a day on a miserable weekend with a short full break between them.

    I need to avoid threshold and over work as a rule, but short blats I’ve done seem to be OK heart wise judging by bits I’ve done on the gravel grinder program on zwift, but they are only upto a few mins at threshold, or less at vo2 max powers.

    With better weather and more idea how I’m coping I’ll be doing at least one long extending ride outside on a weekend

    Ta

    Premier Icon whitestone
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    I think Sweet Spot is probably ideal for balancing intensity and boredom. It’s more about extending your Time To Exhaustion (TTE).

    There’s a Sweet Spot progression “plan”

    * 9-minute warmup: 2min at 50%, 2min at 70%, 2min at 90%, 3min at 50%.
    * 5-minute cooldown, starts at 50% and ramps down.
    * 3-minute rests between work intervals.
    * All work intervals are at 90% of FTP.

    Start with 10min intervals, 2 or 3 depending on preference. Then build up the total time in zone and/or reduce rests so something like:

    3 x 10
    3 x 12
    2 x 15
    4 x 10

    And so on.

    You can also add a bit of variety by doing “hard starts” to the intervals so do the first 30seconds at 150% of FTP or thereabouts, then drop back to SS. These stress or flood the legs then you basically have to hang on! Think of them as short sharp climbs followed by a long drag.

    Premier Icon longdog
    Free Member

    Cheers 👍

    Premier Icon piemonster
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    I think Sweet Spot is probably ideal for balancing intensity and boredom.

    How about if a chunk of your easy Polarised training efforts is done via a second activity?

    e.g. Running*, in my case with the dog who is one of life’s long distance plodders

    *in practice I mean jogging. The dog really does like to take in the experience at a relaxed pace.

    Premier Icon piemonster
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    This may be a little OT.

    Anyone able to point me in the direction of resources discussing food strategies for self supported multi day riding with no access to re-supply. Days not weeks/months.

    Ive a reasonable idea, but it can’t hurt to read up.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    How about if a chunk of your easy Polarised training efforts is done via a second activity?

    I kind of treat running (or like you, jogging/walk-running) as having no overlap with cycling, so I’ll do it on recovery days/non-bike days.

    By that logic, I wonder if gentle running will really create the same adaptations you’re looking to achieve from gentle riding? Apparently lots of gentle riding will increase ‘mitochondrial density’. I’ve not read up on the biology but I understand this is part of the mechanism which converts fuel into energy within the muscle, and thus increases power.

    If running uses different muscles then I guess you wouldn’t be achieving these adaptations in the muscles you want to use when cycling?

    Anyone able to point me in the direction of resources discussing food strategies for self supported multi day riding with no access to re-supply. Days not weeks/months.

    I think the answer is – go into massive calorie deficit, come home skinny and hawt 😎 Last time I saw my abs was at the end of 10 days self supported bikepacking with minimal re-supply…

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