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Training during the week leading up to a race.(6 posts)

Training during the week leading up to a race.xyz
Apr 16, 2001 5:03 AM
I'm looking for suggestions for some training routines for the week leading up to a race. What should I do 1-2 days out? How about earlier in the week?
Not much change in my routineMass Biker
Apr 16, 2001 7:53 AM
I tend to stick to my core training schedule. I will however, alter my intensity accordingly. It usually breaks down to taking a day off two days prior to the race, but definitely getting out the day before for at least an hour to do some fast spins and then a few bigger gear efforts at intensity. In my experience, you don't want to roll to the line having taken the day before totally off - the legs ought to fell a little tight/worked (but not too much). So, assuming a Saturday race:

* Mon: weights or ride 1-2 hours
* Tues: hills
* Weds: hard midweek ride at race-pace
* Thurs: off
* Fri: 1+ hour spin with jumps to open up the legs
* Sat: race
* Sun: another race or long ride

Just one way of doing it....MB
Questions about your core schedule...bigdave
Apr 16, 2001 8:23 AM
Not critical questions, just curious ones :-)

I am new to this racing thing and trying to make sense of a good schedule. Currently, I'm doing 2-3 hard group rides per week as opposed to the one midweek hammerfest you mention. In your experience, what's the right mix of those rides?

What I mean is in some of the group rides I feel pretty good, poorly in others. I am uncertain if more group ride time will help my fitness more or if I should devote one or two of those days to drill work like your Tuesday hill day.

For example, assuming a Sunday race, mine is:

Mon -- 1-2 hour recovery ride
Tues -- hard group ride
Wed -- 1 hour ride with some sprints at end
Th -- hard group ride
Fri -- easy 1 hr
Sat -- 2 hours mellow with some bursts (like you mention)

I sort of feel like I should be devoting more time to hard interval stuff like hills, etc so I am better prepared for the hard efforts that come in group rides or races. Maybe I am just in a lull right now and my improvements are around the corner, but I sort of feel at a loss right now. Many of our guys on my team do a similar schedule to what I do, so I know it's not bad, but I can't help but think I could be preparing better.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,

--Dave
Less is moreOnrhodes
Apr 16, 2001 8:40 AM
I'm no coach, however If you are riding hard 3 days in a row every week and racing on the weekend, that is 4 days of intensity a week. You're body is not going to want to keep that up for an extended amount of time. I would suggest 2 days a week in the early season for 4 weeks, then an easy week completely. then repeat. Once an appropriate base has been developed, I would concentrate on 1 hard group ride a week (other then racing). You're going to want to use Monday as Friday as a rest day (either active or passive on monday) and use Friday as a relaxing ride with 2-3 small (but hard) efforts.
We do our group rides on Tuesday here. Wednesday is a temp to and Thursday is LSD. Race Saturday & Sunday
Core schedule - answersMass Biker
Apr 16, 2001 10:43 AM
I agree with the other poster that "less is more". Even though my ride time has been cut dramatically since my collegiate cycling days, I feel that I can do "more with less" due to a) building the appropriate base early in the season b) erring on the side of conservatism when training and c) trying to identify races/times when I want to peak during the season.

The key to my core schedule is building base. I'm usually off the bike for December (I live in New England), but by that time, I have been lifting for 1.5+ months. I am back on the bike the first week of Janaury, and try to get at least 6 hours a weekend in, ice and snow permitting. These rides are done at very low intensity on a winter beater. The only time I use the big ring is on the rollers. Come early/mid March, I am riding the regular road bike - Saturday is usually 80 or so miles by this time, and Sunday around 45 miles. The first training races are mid March around here, and that serves as the one intensity workout for me. In these races, I am just riding into strength - my goals are usually much later in the season. With the onset of daylight savings, we add one midweek intensity ride (~ 45 miles). Between the midweek ride and the weekend training race and/or regular race, that is enough hard group riding.

I do think that specific drills are important. In fact, now that I have less time, I have become a better cyclist by making each workout quite focused. The hill workout we do is not more than 1.5 hours long and is not done at super-high levels of exertion. In my experience, going full bore up a hill and calling it "hill training" teaches you how to blow up spectacularly while climbing - not enough people spend time teaching your body how to climb more effectively. Having a loop that has varied (i.e. short steep "walls", vs. long steady grades) hills helps in this regard (as well as a sense of riding into strength as the season progresses).

Getting a good hard group ride is probably the best way to get stronger and quicker. There is nothing quite like it for race simulation training. However, it can be too much of a good thing. I feel that if you are doing one race a week, then one hammerfest is usually enough. One way to look at it is that the body responsds wonderfully to stress - that is why intervals help make you stronger. But if you don't have the base, and don't give your body enough rest between those types of workouts, you prematurely reach the limits of your abilities. If you are torn between the hammerfests and intervals - just alternate them (each week, that is). As for me, I don't think I could handle two hard midweek training rides each week - but then again, I no longer beat myself up about taking a day or two off here and there.

Put in your time during the cold, dark months and then live the mantra: "less is more"....
Thanks for the thoughtful replybigdave
Apr 16, 2001 11:36 AM
I appreciate it greatly. I am in Wisconsin, so I face the same environmental challenges you do (I also lived in Boston for two years and commuted to work by bike all four seasons, so I know what you're talking about... I went from Watertown Square essentially to the Museum of Science every day).

My base was mostly spin classes in the winter and rollers... probably about 6-8 hours a week (the upper number if I include weight work). I guess I thought my *base* was covered, with the only difference between the spin bike and road bike is the longer crank arms on my road bike. Took a little adaptation but it's fine now.

I also have a real job and home life, so I can't be on the bike *all* the time. Your suggestion about the hill workout (and especially the type of riding it is) and the one group ride in addition to race weekends is a great one, me thinks. :-) I have a perfect hill route that is about that long and has the mix of hills you mention... it was my regular training loop last year in my weight-loss mode.

The last group ride I did was not a good one performance-wise for me in that my legs gave out way sooner than I expected them to... backing it off and being smarter about the workouts as the core of the season gets underway is a great suggestion that I think will help me.

I plan implementing on the *less is more* philosophy and giving that a go. In other words, I'm not going to go too hard except on the *hard* days. Makes good sense, as does the alternating between intervals and gonzo group stuff.

Thanks again.

--Dave