RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - General


Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )


To be a better, faster cyclist, do I go all out(8 posts)

To be a better, faster cyclist, do I go all outbill
Jul 2, 2001 2:47 PM
for as much time as I have (typically, an hour or so two or three mornings a week, we'll get to weekends in a minute), or should I work very specifically on developing certain abilities? For example, tomorrow morning, should I do the 17 mile loop at 80-85% of max, which I've heard described as the "dead zone" -- too fast for recovery, too slow for overloading muscles as really needed to develop, or should I, for example, go three miles and go hard up the same hill, with recoveries in-between? Everything I've read suggests the latter, but I'm trying to understand it through your collective experience. I'm trying to reconcile the one thing that has made sense to me -- practice what you are trying to do (and I seem to go fastest longest in the "dead zone") -- and the things that appear with near ubiquity in the books -- "beware the 'dead zone,'" and, "train smarter, not (necessarily) harder."
On weekends, I'm either cruising with some buddies who go a bit slower than I do or struggling to keep up with riders faster than I am. Or, sometimes, I just try to go far.
I'm trying to work a little more discipline into the program. The goal? To ride with the faster guys and have it feel like a ride with the slower guys. I also may get stupid enough to try some racing next year.
I've got decent cardio fitness, decent handling skills and technique, and decent (you know, for a lawyer other than Doug Sloan) speed. I'm okay at lots, very good at none.
This isn't exactly the answer you were looking for....Horace Greeley
Jul 2, 2001 3:23 PM
but I often am faced with the same question, for the simple reason that life's other responsibilities dictate I don't have much time to cycle. I really have the same question as you, rather than a good answer. However, I can tell you about my experience (particularly this year's training, which hasn't gone as well as expected). When a I can get a weekday ride in, its usually at 5:00 a.m. On the weekends I can usually grab one (sometimes two) long ride days. What happens is that I'm so elated to be on the bike and finally riding, I tend to go out way too strong. In my head, I'm trying to catch up for missed fitness, rainy days, kid's games, etc. On a quiet day I'll even go out twice if given the opportunity. Problem is, in the end I'm always more fatigued and I take away from the other riding opportunities I may have that week. Rather than catch up, I tend to stand still or go slightly backward because I was too enthusiastic. My advice is to temper your training, increase gradually, but take advantage of those times when you really feel good. Conversely, try to back off slightly when you don't feel so good. Otherwise, if you can't effectively train your next ride or two due to fatigue, etc., you're not making much progress. In my experience, I only get stronger after I've properly recovered from hard efforts. Recovery doesn't always mean staying off the bike, but for me its a combination of reduced effort, getting sleep (which I rarely do), cross-training (weights, running) or more bicycle specific tranining such as working on spinning and form.
Ah, but, how to take advantage of the times I feel good?bill
Jul 2, 2001 3:49 PM
Because I've been feeling pretty good. I really don't mean to convey frustration; actually (purely, no doubt, as a measure of a meager baseline), I've felt that I've been continuously improving through this season, in terms of technique and fitness and, consequently, speed. I just foresee a time in the not too-distant future where I'm going to hit a plateau (which I understand is to some extent inevitable, no matter what I do, I ain't a pro and ain't about to be one), but I'm interested in doing this right and in maxing out what time I can put into this.
And maybe this is part of the lesson; at my level of ability, maybe the "dead zone" is not all that bad a place to be, for as long as it provides improvements. I just think that it will stop providing benefits pretty soon.
I think you know the answerMikeeR
Jul 2, 2001 4:39 PM
Seems to me you know what to do. You know what your goal is. You know you must introduce some discipline in the form of a training plan to achieve your goal. Try to use your a weekend ride with the buds as a long slow endurance ride and introduce some intervals to one or two of your midweek rides. Focus on your goals, stick to a training plan. But I reckon you know all this. By the way I'm much better at giving advice than following it myself.
re: To be a better, faster cyclist, do I go all outLBS Guy
Jul 6, 2001 3:19 PM
From personal experience and every book/article i can find on the subject i've learned that... its not enough to go out and ride as hard as you can as long as you can, as much as you may think its not doing your body near as much good as you oculd do. Intervals and endurance training are the best most gratifying of the excercises, now a shorter harder ride is good, but a longer easier ride, with many 30-90 second sprints is best, have a good 15 min warm-up at about 75%, then you want to ride at about 65-70% and then go to around 85-90% for the interval, then let you body recover back to 65-70% ride about 5 min, then have a longer interval with a longer recovery, this has been the greatest for my personal endurance, power, recovery and everything in between,
fun riding to all, and remember its not the bikes fault your in pain, and most likely its not the bike that needs the diet, Later
NOWoof the dog
Jul 4, 2001 1:12 AM
No matter what you will tell me in your answer post, I totally refuse to believe you and your books on the grounds of my own, and obviously correct, beliefs supported by my experience. Sounds obnoxious, but you get an idea. Your word against mine, man....who is right? How do you know whats best for you would be best for everyone....of course you don't. In a race you sprint the whole friggin' time, you go up the hills every minute literally as hard as you can. Yes, thats how some individuals get ahead of everyone because they can stay at it longer. I truely believe that in training you try to simulate the race-like conditions. That is why there is a saying that the best training for racing IS racing...and if racing is going hard all the time....then to be good at it, you gotta go hard. Bike racing is fast and that is why its fun, so don't spoil the fun with all the stuff about training smart....slow here, slow there....come on. Racing is brutal, even if you suck wheel sometimes. Simulate racing, rest well, and you are all set to win some major bootey.

mmmmm....I love playing devil's advocate here.....hee hee hee....corrupting young minds.......hahaha.

But seriously, I think you are right in many aspects. Some slower rides are very important 'cause you can't go hard even every other day.

Sincerely yours
Woof the dog. P.s. read my cyclingforum.com posts on training.
Mixing up your workouts is the best way to get faster.boy nigel
Jul 4, 2001 10:52 AM
Bill,

I've done a fair amount of reading/research on this topic. I used to race (years back), and I'm back into riding a lot, but not towards that end.

I'd strongly suggest following a basic training program. Every pro does this, and virtually every racer out there (and certainly the successful ones) does the same. The sample assumes that you have more time on Wednesdays, etc. A sample would be this:

Monday: EASY ride. Enjoy the ride, and even go easier than you think you should. This not only helps your body recover from the harder weekend rides, but also utilizes body fat as fuel. The slower/easier you go, the more fat (vs. carbs) your muscles burn up.

Tuesday: Sprint workout. Warm up for about 10 minutes, pretty easily. Shift into either a big gear (for big-gear, muscle-workout sprints) or a medium/small gear (for faster, leg-speed sprints). From almost a standstill, JUMP out of the saddle as hard/quickly as you can. Get to maximum speed, and hold it for as long as you can, whether sitting or standing. Cool down after the effort properly, then repeat a couple/few times. This makes gives you a better jump/sprint, so when the faster guys pick up the speed (or sprint for a designated sign or lamp-post), you'll be with them.

Wednesday: Longer, moderate-paced ride. Ride the big ring when you can, but not for huge efforts. Crusing along to improve endurance. This improves, naturally, your endurance.

Thursday: Intervals. Similar to Tuesday's big efforts, but without the standstill before the effort. Ride along at a moderate-to-quick pace after warming up. While seated, shift up a couple gears and go hard, timing yourself for say, 30 seconds. You should be pretty tired after the interval, but these aren't maximal efforts like when sprinting. Close to max, but not all-out. Cool down for a minute, then go again, this time for a minute (or 30 seconds again--there are many ways to do this, so check a book). Just a sample for you. Again, you may want to get either "Bicycle Road Racing" by Eddie Borysewicz (Eddie B.) or "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel. Intervals will help with those up-tempo surges when riding with the fast group.

Friday: Same as Monday. Easier than you think you should.

Saturday and Sunday are moderate/quick group rides and races/intense rides of some distance with good efforts, respectively.

This will help your speed improve, your endurance improve, and you'll be recovered properly. The books are the way to go, though.

I'd strongly suggest getting a heart rate monitor as well. I just got one recently, and it's changed the way I train--for the better. Well worth it.

Have fun, and good luck.
Nige
Mixing up your workouts is the best way to get faster.boy nigel
Jul 4, 2001 10:53 AM
Bill,

I've done a fair amount of reading/research on this topic. I used to race (years back), and I'm back into riding a lot, but not towards that end.

I'd strongly suggest following a basic training program. Every pro does this, and virtually every racer out there (and certainly the successful ones) does the same. The sample assumes that you have more time on Wednesdays, etc. A sample would be this:

Monday: EASY ride. Enjoy the ride, and even go easier than you think you should. This not only helps your body recover from the harder weekend rides, but also utilizes body fat as fuel. The slower/easier you go, the more fat (vs. carbs) your muscles burn up.

Tuesday: Sprint workout. Warm up for about 10 minutes, pretty easily. Shift into either a big gear (for big-gear, muscle-workout sprints) or a medium/small gear (for faster, leg-speed sprints). From almost a standstill, JUMP out of the saddle as hard/quickly as you can. Get to maximum speed, and hold it for as long as you can, whether sitting or standing. Cool down after the effort properly, then repeat a couple/few times. This makes gives you a better jump/sprint, so when the faster guys pick up the speed (or sprint for a designated sign or lamp-post), you'll be with them.

Wednesday: Longer, moderate-paced ride. Ride the big ring when you can, but not for huge efforts. Crusing along to improve endurance. This improves, naturally, your endurance.

Thursday: Intervals. Similar to Tuesday's big efforts, but without the standstill before the effort. Ride along at a moderate-to-quick pace after warming up. While seated, shift up a couple gears and go hard, timing yourself for say, 30 seconds. You should be pretty tired after the interval, but these aren't maximal efforts like when sprinting. Close to max, but not all-out. Cool down for a minute, then go again, this time for a minute (or 30 seconds again--there are many ways to do this, so check a book). Just a sample for you. Again, you may want to get either "Bicycle Road Racing" by Eddie Borysewicz (Eddie B.) or "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel. Intervals will help with those up-tempo surges when riding with the fast group.

Friday: Same as Monday. Easier than you think you should.

Saturday and Sunday are moderate/quick group rides and races/intense rides of some distance with good efforts, respectively.

This will help your speed improve, your endurance improve, and you'll be recovered properly. The books are the way to go, though.

Have fun, and good luck.
Nige