Winter training – base level training – LSD vs Intervals
For the winter I don’t think it matters too much, just don’t tire/burn yourself out (intervals would) build up a good base fitness (LSD, most “reasonable” riding) and enjoy it – if you are training properly you’ll find the high intensity stuff very hard and miss fun rides in the spring summer.Posted 6 years ago
For the winter I don’t think it matters too much, just don’t tire/burn yourself out (intervals would) build up a good base fitness (LSD, most “reasonable” riding) and enjoy it – if you are training properly you’ll find the high intensity stuff very hard and miss fun rides in the spring summer.
If your training properly, as in doing an amount of volume at a pace that suits your fitness, then you shouldn’t find all the high intensity intervals vey hard. Someetimes they can be hard yeah, but If thats the case then its probably a case of over training.Posted 6 years ago
If training for a big race in May, you really need to be training over the winter. Like lots of people I train for races, only rarely do a fun ride, if its not training its a waste of time. Well thats what i think most of the time. I like the odd “fun” ride though.
Based on the idea that it’s tough/tiring (impossible?) to maintain fitness at a high level all year round, I always thought the winter should mean plenty of time on the bike at a low-mid intensity, steady enough to not tire you out but you need some efforts here and there to maintain some fitness – just not at the level of structured intervals or similar.
I’m not sure if you should mix the efforts in with lsd rides though. They may not be needed anyway, I read that strength is lost a lot more slowly than cardio fitness (? hope I remembered that right) and it’s not so difficult to re-gain strength/form if you have a sound base endurance.
Safe to say lsd only counts if there is a ‘long’ element, so 4-5hrs + I guess based on the miles club roadies do every sunday. Otherwise it’s just a ‘short easy ride’ and you’ll settle back to that level over the winter.
Personal experience is that I’ve ridden steady hilly road rides or SS during the last 2 winters, 1 long and 1-3 short rides a week that include some hard efforts but are 90% low-level, and have been going better in the summer than I have done for years – but as I don’t do structured training or measure anything it’s all subjective.
Interested in this one.Posted 6 years ago
If your training properly, as in doing an amount of volume at a pace that suits your fitness, then you shouldn’t find all the high intensity intervals vey hard. Someetimes they can be hard yeah, but If thats the case then its probably a case of over training.
Isn’t the theory (Joe Friel’s at least) that you do intervals 2+ months prior to races, at a level that takes you close to overtraining, and that if your body isn’t prepared (by LSD or similar) you could get injuries?Posted 6 years ago
That shouldn’t be taken to say that a very effective program couldn’t also be structured around a large amount of early season LSD. However, assuming someone isn’t coming off an extended period on the couch with an endless supply of potato chips, then it’s probably worth noting that over the years the terms “base training” and “base miles” seem to have gotten inappropriately tied into the LSD concept. Base simply refers to building and fine-tuning your aerobic engine. Intensity levels higher than LSD are more efficient (per hour of training time) for this purpose, so long as recovery is adequate.
If you have large amounts of free time, you could probably build a great program with large LSD components. However, if you’re under 10 hours per week you should also seriously look at some newer-school concepts of building base through more “sweet spot” or tempo riding.
So why do professionals spend huge hours early in the season doing what (for their relative ability) is LSD? The answer is that most riders and racers (aside from these professionals doing long stage races) aren’t hampered as much by aerobic efficiency as they are by aerobic capacity. These pros need the aerobic efficiency to tap out that final 1%-2% in their potential, and it takes many saddle hours to achieve this i.e. no shortcuts. For the rest of us, we’re nowhere near to maximizing our aerobic capacity, and so our training is better to be focused on this instead of trying to squeeze out the last bits of efficiency.
Where 15 years ago everyone wanted to train like a pro, assuming that would also give them the best results, it’s now a fairly commonly held belief that training like a pro doesn’t necessarily scale down well to a smaller number of available training hours, and for riders who aren’t doing 20+ days of ~200km racing. Current methodology for “real” people has come somewhat full circle in that regard.
Then again, there’s many different ways to build and execute a successful training program, and it varies by individual. Although you can collect ideas from other people to experiment with, the biggest challenge is to find a program that works for you specifically.Posted 6 years agoShandySubscriber
Just be realistic about how many hours a week you can manage right now without knackering yourself.
Take that base and aim to improve on it steadily. You can increase duration or intensity, but both at the same time will start to wear you out. If you do start feeling tired, throw in a bit more rest and an easy-paced session.
The balance that the Friel book always goes back to is fatigue versus form. You need to fatigue yourself to get fitter. You need to rest to recover, or regain form. That is what you are trying to balance out over a season so that you are “in form” and rested when you want to be fastest.Posted 6 years agoprincessalbertMember
Not enough for it to matter too much what I do at the moment. 5 hours.
Then again I only ever peak at 10 hours a week and that was for a 12 hour (multisport) race. Too much other stuff to do.
If you have the time, LSD works, but it does depend on what you’re training for of course. If you’re racing something that will last an hour, there’s really no need for any session to last more than an hour and a half IMO.Posted 6 years ago
Having had a bit of a go at training, I distilled the theory to this:
winter – aerobic fitness – takes time to build up, and can be mostly sustained when you are doing the high-end stuff only. Gets your body used to recovering after a certain no. of hours, muscles used to the work etc. Can be varied if you like, so can be on rides with mates, fun stuff…and precision in what you are doing is not to critical
After that you’re just tapering up (then tapering down/resting prior to race) with intervals etc, in 4 weekly cycles, if you’re doing this right you get close to overtraining each time.Posted 6 years agotrickydiscoMember
I hardly ever prescribe what the OP refers to as zone 2. IME it’s an utter waste of time for the vast majority of riders.
Hours at zone 2 give very few exclusive fitness gains – you can get fitter/faster, in less time with a different approach. Even training to be efficient at fat burning can be achieved by certain interval sessions at certain times.
IMO many coaches prescribe zone 2 as it fills time in a schedule and makes it look like they’re earning their fee’s. I’d rather make efficient use of a clients time, but of course some can’t see that I’ve saved them x hours per week. They think that paying for training means there should be lots of training rather than the minimum effective amount which is closer to my approach.Posted 6 years agorock_hopper81Member
Personally I think it depends on where you are at with your current fitness. If your building up and want to start racing and doing intervals a month or 2 of steady endurance riding can give you a good base so that you can cope with the harder workouts to follow. I think a bit of a misconception is that endurance training is easy, it’s not noodling along at an easy pace, it’s between 70-80% max heart rate and your legs will really know about it after a 3 hour constant ride. I found that a good endurance base sets you up for a good spring/summer but there is nothing wrong with throwing some zone 3/tempo intervals in there as well.
Winter is also a factor, who wants to spend 3-4 hours in 2 degrees when it’s raining………..my rides are going to be shorter but a bit harder this winter.Posted 6 years agochamleyMember
Because of limitations with when are where i can get to etc my riding consists of 5miles each way commute into manchester (no hills) plus bmx tracks at weekends for fun.I only manage to get out on a decent xc ride about once every 6 months. I’ve never done any long distance training just intervals while commuting and riding the bmx track becomes an interval session without trying.
Recently I did the climachx trail and we did 2 laps with few stops and I certainly didnt feel lacking. For what I do, I’m not sure what the extra hours of long distance riding would give me, it doesnt seem efficient to me.Posted 6 years ago
I’m not training for anything in particular. Which might be a problem in itself. So, I might start looking to do a dew events next year.Posted 6 years ago
I maintain a good base level of fitness by playing competitive 5-a-side a couple of hours a week.
I also have been doing some tempo road miles. About 3hrs worth a week.
Come winter I want to maintain / improve my cycling ability.
Strangely enough, I’ve found dropping half a stone thru dieting the biggest improvement to form, I’ve never been fat but that small drop has paid massive dividends. Well…. I think so.trickydiscoMember
idaves former colleague (alex@rstsport) sums up base training
Base training is training that improves threshold power.
Pretty much anything that keeps you riding, motivated, includes efforts at all intensities, with the majority of work up to and including threshold power levels is base.
Tooling about at recovery / low end power levels all the time really is a wasted opportunity IMO. OK for a week or two for a break and some fun, or if you’ve had a long break and are restarting.
And for those who are indoors a lot in the winter, heck, up the ante on the trainer so you don’t have to spend so much time on the turbo for good effect.Posted 6 years ago
i think the thing to take from this, is that no one REALLY knows. you have to do what suits you. i’m a big fan of endorphins so tend to go hard even if it’s just at the end of a long session.
i know guys who are very fast who spend a few weeks every winter doing low intensity long distance work. they have high training volumes though.Posted 6 years ago
thomthumb – Member
i think a bit of everything is best. don’t want to come race day and be ace at high intensity but only an hour or be able to sit in zone 2 days but blow up if you ask your body to sprint a section.
the difficulty is in the balance of slow and fast training.
Shirley you won’t be good at high intensity stuff if you’ve not done aerobic base?Posted 6 years ago
nah, that’s not true. i did no aerobic base sessions in 2010. no sessions over 1hr 30, most sessions were 40 mins or less and won an hour long race (admittedly a local thing, but you know, quick enough)
i sometimes did 3 sessions in a day though.
what i meant was, you can get away with the above but if you’re training for a 24 hour race for example, lots of low intensity long distance is the way to go.
it’s not rocket science, i don’t think.Posted 6 years ago
Personally I think it depends on where you are at with your current fitness. If your building up and want to start racing and doing intervals a month or 2 of steady endurance riding can give you a good base so that you can cope with the harder workouts to follow.
Yep, training for training.Posted 6 years agoace_sparkyMember
Some interesting & relevant reading…
Where do you feel you are presently with regards to your level of fitness? What is your age? What are your goals, what do you want to achieve and realistically how much time do you have available and are prepared to commit? I believe the latter will ultimatley decide the limit of your possible achievments i.e. having only 4hrs per week wont permit you to be competitive within a 100 mile mtb race.
You will need to incur some sort of training stress on whatever energy systems you are looking at developing and ensure enough recovery to premote development. Some form of progressive and structured training along with a nutrtion program is the best way to go here. There is a science behind all this but the art is knowing how to put it all together 😉
Perhaps the most significant predidtors of performance in endurance events are having a high lactate threshold & VO2 max, although a high VO2 max may not be a prerequisite for performance in endurance events.
Think of VO2 max as an athletes aerobic potential and the lactate threshold as the marker for how much of that potential they are tapping. Whilst genetics plays a major role in a persons VO2 max lactate threshold is trainable and there are many ways to skin this cat.
FWIW last year over winter I felt my base level of fitness never really progressed and I seemed to lack the sort of endurance I was aiming for. I had plenty of frequency in my program, 6 out of 7 days I’d concentrate on building my aerobic fitness but with my low intensity workouts in the region of HR zones 1 & 2 and usually limited to 1-2 hours with an additional long weekend ride I realised that I didn’t have the volume at that intensity to promote significant physiological changes other than burning calories.
So my plan over the winter looks something like this, the majority of workouts will be high end zone 3 or tempo workouts varying in length from 3×20 min intervals to a full 2hr block whilst maintaining a high cadence, training in this ‘sweet spot’ area in between zones 3-4 has shown in some instances to give the best bang for buck when it comes down to physiological changes and development. Some long low cadence, high resistance hill type intervals will come later. I have also upped the length of my LSD (long, steady, distance) rides to 5-6hrs (weather permitting!)which include a few sets of short Vo2 max intervals, 1 or 2 of these during the week, sometimes back to back. I’m also going to try out 3 & 4 day training blocks with a complete rest day every 6 days and some short recovery rides in between combined with stretching and some basic core workouts this should see me through the winter months.Posted 6 years agoTreksterSubscriber
only rarely do a fun ride, if its not training its a waste of time
Know quite a few old school types with this attitude and they never seem to get any better!!
Some of my young friends are in the BC/SC talent squad and the moto is;
“Train less but train smarter”
As has been said above no point busting a gut during the winter and end up fatigued come the first racePosted 6 years ago
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