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Volume vs. Intensity(8 posts)

Volume vs. IntensityMass Biker
May 4, 2001 8:14 AM
Just wondering how people change their training schedule as the racing season picks up/wears on. With the fitness base established in the late winter/early spring, and the onset of weekly races, do people begin to cut back the training miles in favor of training intensity? I'm wondering if continuing to do 4-5 hour training rides on a "non-race" weekend leads to diminishing returns (vs. doing shorter, harder training in order to maintain fitness). Anyone want to share their thoughts? - MB
Wow, I was just pondering this also.J.S.
May 4, 2001 9:30 AM
My Intensity has ramped up dramatically because of races every weekend but my volume has plummeted. I think I'm gonna try to increase my volume again on non-race weekends and see how it goes. I actually feel like I make more progress when my volume is high but it's a catch-22, I did the volume so I could race well but racing takes away from the volume, oh well.
i was looking this up last night in my bookishmael
May 4, 2001 9:50 AM
the book is called serious cycling and it recommended doing long rides to build up aerobic threshold by riding at i think it was about 60% of max heart rate for about 4 or 5 hours..but when racing comes on to only ride 20% to 25% longer distances than you actually plan to race...its their theory and ive found some things in the book which i disagree with but its an answer to your an example of some of the answers in the book i also looked up how much water to drink and it said to drink when you are thirsty, sounds rational but i think my dog couldve told me that
Some more thoughts - volume vs. intensityMass Biker
May 4, 2001 10:23 AM
So maybe it goes like this. All the way through April, keep building your volume and intensity. I find this period to be the most "stressful" in terms of risk of fatigue. However, as June rolls around, cut back on volume but maintain high intensity workouts a couple of times a week. To allow the body to rebuild/keep fresh, intersperse some lower intensity/higher volume workouts every few weeks (i.e. fourth week in a four week cycle). If you can do 4-5 hour rides in April comfortably, the endurance (for a 2-3 hour race) is there. I don't think that cutting back on volume on one rest week (out of four) during the season would lead to any degradation in high end ability or base fitness (endurance). Again, it appears that the real key to this is building a good base in the off/early season and segueing into intensity workouts/early races intelligently. In other words, if your endurance is lacking early on, it might make sense to deemphasize high end efforts and keep working on your base, but if your endurance is fine, then time should be spent refining your abilities at the thresholds (and backing off on such threshhold efforts when needed). MB
drink when thirsty? NO that is wrongsteveuk
May 4, 2001 1:23 PM
It's often said that if you feel thirsty that means your body is telling you that it is dehydrated! You can't wait until thirst strikes because by the time you notice and get the fluid into you and it crosses through the stomach lining you are well and truely dehydrated and underperforming! YOU SHOUILD NEVER FEEL THIRSTY ON A RIDE! NEVER I SAY! Keep a little puddle of water runing around your belly and you will never dehydrate. Drink a set ammount every 15mins and make sure at the end of the ride your ready for a urination and it's not a dark colour. If you don't go for a urination within 10mins of stopping you haven't been drinking enough liquid. Bernard Hinault says he used to ride drinking maybe 4 bottles but eventually found he was dehydrating on the bike only to rehydrate AFTER the ride - bad move performance suffers. He went on to drink twice as much as he had been - and win a few Tours too.
Still train on crit daysBipedZed
May 4, 2001 10:14 AM
I used to wonder about this so now I'm now working with a coach. According to my training plan, my volume has definitely decreased and intensity has increased, especially since I'm racing 3 days a week right now. Typically I'll do a Wed TT, intervals on Thursday, and then race Sat/Sun. If it's a weekend crit then I still go out and spin afterwards for at least an hour or two. If I'm only racing one day of the weekend then the other weekend day is usually only 50 miles (2.5 hrs). I'm peaking for a stage race end of June and on Memorial Day weekend with no races I have 3 days of really hard intervals combined with volume, 2.5 hrs, 4.5 hrs, and 4 hrs with intervals incorporated each day.

So far I've been really pleased with my results.
I'd call that volume AND intensityAlex R
May 4, 2001 10:28 AM
You must have thighs like a dinosaur, that's some serious training.

What's the race you're peaking for?


Colorado State Road Race ChampionshipBipedZed
May 4, 2001 1:09 PM
Which is also the first stage of the Estes Park Stage Race at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Needless to say, LOTS of climbing.