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Improving my training(8 posts)

Improving my trainingdbrogan
Jun 28, 2001 1:27 PM
I was hoping to get a little help in improving my training regimen.

I'm 40 and have been riding seriously for about a year. Lately, I feel like I've been making less progress (although I don't have any specific goals beyond general fitness and getting stronger and faster). I'm planning to ride in my first organized century in September.

I currently ride four times a week, with the following types of rides:

Tuesday: 15-mile time trial. Very flat course. For this ride, I try to go as all out as possible.

Thursday: 20-miles on a somewhat rolling route. I don't sprint this ride, but I do try to push things a bit.

Saturday: 25-35-miles. Pretty relaxed ride.

Sunday: Longer ride. Lately this has been about 65 miles. I'm adding a few miles each week in preparation for the century.

Depending on the weather, I may do the longer ride on Saturday and recover on Sunday.

I'm not currently doing much in the way of hills or intervals, but I'm open to both. I've also just gotten a heart monitor.



re: Improving my trainingJon Billheimer
Jun 28, 2001 1:52 PM

For a new rider you've done not a bad job of structuring your training. Plateauing is common, and after you've earned about 80% of your potential fitness (which you have) from your four day a week schedule, the remaining incremental gains come at the cost of considerably more effort and mileage.

I would suggest that you think about what your goals and timelines are first. This is an absolutely essential step prior to restructuring your training. In the meantime do some reading on training for cycling. Some of my favourite titles are Smart Cycling by Arnie Baker, Serious Cycling by Ed Burke, The Lance Armstrong Performance Program, by Carmichael and Armstrong, Cycling Beyond Fifty by Joe Friel (this has a very effective century training program in it), and Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel. Also, to introduce some variety into your riding, try contacting some local cycling clubs and join them for some group rides. That'll open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Good luck, and keep the rubber side down.
re: Improving my trainingLone Gunman
Jun 28, 2001 2:56 PM
Cyclist Training Bible by Friel will put your training in perspective with periodization. Also, a saying used by many coaches is you need to learn how to go slow before you learn to go fast. This relates to training in specific zones time wise. Friel for the most part looks at time spent training and not on miles ridden. If you read it and understand how to use the training it should help.
speed and sufferingDog
Jun 28, 2001 4:58 PM
I had done the same thing. I improved vastly after I started riding with some racers, long before becoming a racer myself.

Bottom line, to get faster, you gotta ride faster and suffer a bit. Gotta do the intervals of some type. My favorite way is hill intervals. You probably know the routine; go hard, rest about equal time, go hard again (after warming up, of course). Go by heartrate, if you can.

In the alternative, do some fun rides, but sprint up every hill, or sprint every time you see a Jeep or something; that sort of mixes it up and makes it more fun, but less structured.

Take it easy with the number and duration of intervals at first. Do them no more than once a week, until you really get fit. My theory used to be to do one more than I think I could; now it's the opposite - do one less. I'd start at 3. The first and last are usually the most painful. Work up to 5 or 6.

If you want to be really careful about them, do the intervals on a stationary trainer. You'll have absolute control over what you do, then. I do that in the winter.

As you do the intervals, you may need to back off on your midweek mileage. I'd make up for it by extending the long weekend ride. At least that's what I do.

Check back and tell us how it's going and what improvement you see.

re: Improving my traininggot2ryd
Jun 29, 2001 7:02 AM
there is some good information on this website,, coach carl online. someone here on this message board posted the address a little while ago. could you be over training for your fitness level?
re: Improving my trainingdbrogan
Jun 29, 2001 1:30 PM
Thanks, guys. Those are all good suggestions.

I'm off to the bookstore with your recommendations, and the LBS looking for a group ride.

Speaking of which, I've never done one before (I really enjoy the solitude of my rides), but I realize it's something that I need to do. I'm a little leary of violating ride protocol. Any suggestions for a first-timer?

Better yet, anyone know of a Denver-area group that would be appropriate for me?

Thanks again.

Check your e-mail. nmLazy
Jun 29, 2001 1:39 PM
found the other day. can't site source (forgot). funny as heck!Haiku d'état
Jun 29, 2001 2:41 PM
The Ten Commandments of Group Riding

Thou shalt surely arrive on time, with more than sufficient time to pump up thy tires and to empty thy bladder.

Thou shalt be able to do the ride which thou hast signed up for. If thou hast problems routinely maintaining 20mph, thou shall not sign up for the Advanced ride. Moreover, thou shoudst be most certain that thy bicycle is also up to the task in every respect. Thou shall avoid cheap tires and tubes which causeth many flats and much waiting whilst thou repaireth same.

If thou canst do more than the speed of the ride which thou hast signed up for, thou shalt exersize self control. Thou shalt not bloweth the ride apart because thou art the biggest fish in thy lake. Remember, thou mightst at some time ride with Bohemoth, and he couldst take thee for a real ride.

Thou shalt not second guess thy ride leader. If thou truly hast a better idea, thou shalt sign up to lead a ride. Thou shalt not rain on thy ride leader's parade, rather thou shalt make his job easier.

Thou shalt announce to thy fellow riders the potential hazards of the road. However, shouldst one of thy fellow riders fail to do so, thou shalt not verbally flagellate thy fellow rider, thus building tolerance for those times whence thou screweth up and dost not announce said hazard.

Thou shalt be an equitable companion, engaging in verbal communication where appropriate. Thou shall, however pay great attention to what thou art doing and what thy fellow riders art doing as well, so that thou shalt not either fall down or cause thy fellow riders to do so. Thou bloody shalt not discuss investment strategies, rates of return on investment real estate, or any other subject which wouldst divert thyself from paying great attention to what is going on.

Thou shalt not overlap wheels with thy fellow riders, lest thou either (again) fall down or cause thy fellow rider to fall down. Further, thou shall not pedal and coast, pedal and coast, leat thou drivest thy fellow riders bonkers.

Thou shalt remember that the cry "car back" from thy fellow riders means that thou shalt get into thine paceline immediately. Thou shalt not hang out in the middle of the land when traffic is overtaking thine paceline.

At the rest stop, thou shalt conduct thy business quickly and with dispatch, not causing thy fellow riders to wait whilst thou purchaseth the week's provisions.

Thou shalt obey all the rules of the road, and thou shalt not flippeth the bird at motorists who do not. Thou canst not outrun a Yugo, so why ticketh off the motorist? He might not hittest thou, but couldst hitteth one of thy fellow riders.