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Reposted - Critique my training schedule?(4 posts)

Reposted - Critique my training schedule?sodade
May 10, 2002 7:00 AM
I am sorry for reposting this, but I really want the helpful people on this board to give me advice and my original post was quickly getting shoved to the bottom by the ongoing antics of radicalron. At the current rate of ronposts, it would be on page two by the time the west coasters got to their cubes. I realize that my post is narcisistic and self-serving too, but at least it is a serious post about riding.

Anyway, here it is:

I started off the year with high hopes of following a structured training program, but due to many factors, the program has devolved and I am looking for feedback on my current weekly schedule.
First, a little background. I got myself psyched up early this year (late Dec)and dilligently rode the trainer for 40-60 mins 6-7 days a week. Easy(ish) at first, then progressively harder with some easy days. As the weather broke (off and on in New England), I started riding on the road which, for me, is never easy - the roads here are always rolling and I fricking hate cars so I madly speed through the trafficed sections. Anyway, I rode 1-1.5hr rides in the freezing weather about 6 days/week. Then the weather got nicer and my program devolved...

I worked myself up to 3hr rides over 6 weeks, and now here is what my typical week looks like:

M - off
T - off
W - 2.5hrs medium speed
Th - off
F - 2-3 hrs a little easier than W
S - 3hrs hard
Sun - 3hrs medium

I have basically become a (three day) weekend warrior. This is due to a number of life factors (work, twin 2yr olds, etc...) and the fact that my legs are sore enough after the weekend that I need to take two days to get them back.

Maybe I should ride less hours over the weekend, but it is sooo fricking hard to not go on long rides when the weather is nice and I have a break in the responsibility flood.

I should also mention that my goals are:

1. Get faster and go longer so that, by mid June, I won't totally slow down my brother-in-law (retired Euro road racer) when I spend a month in Norway.

2. By Fall, be able to do a 3 day, 225 mile tour with some real climbs (2000ft+)

Any advice welcomed - thanks in advance
I'm not a trained coach....Gregory Taylor
May 10, 2002 7:15 AM
But I think that I see a couple of things that you may want to consider.

First, I'd switch the Sat. - Sun. rides around. I'd go hard one day, with an easier effort the next. You need to give your muscles a chance to recover after a hard effort. Your "medium" effort on Sunday after a hard ride may be sabotaging that. How about a "medium" ride Saturday, with the all out effort on Sunday, and a recovery on Monday.

Second, consider taking a short, easy ride on that rest/recovery day. Getting the legs working helps flush the lactic acid out of them, and makes them less sore. Even if you just spin on the trainer for 30 minutes or so, moving your legs will make a difference.

Third, I'd invest in a good book on training to help hone your crap detector when you start reviewing all of this wonderful advice that you will be getting, including mine. Joe Friel's Training Bible is recognized as being good. Chris Carmichael's "Lance Armstrong" training book is aimed at the true beginniner, but there are some decent workout schedules included that can help map out your training.

my advice:lonefrontranger
May 10, 2002 7:31 AM
Depending on your work-life constraints, that is. You really only need one long effort a week to build endurance base. Don't be tricked into thinking it isn't worth getting the bike out if you can't go for more than 2 hours which is what I'm seeing in your schedule. At a certain level, quality of training becomes more important than quantity.

Keep Saturday and Sunday as-is. Drop Friday back to an hour and no more to ride *mellow* as a prep for Saturday's hard effort.

Monday, do a 30-45 minute recovery ride, and I mean this is take your wife and/or kids, dog, neighbor kid, etc... to the park kinda easy. I'd actively seek out someone really slow to ride with to use as an "anchor". This will flush out your legs and move the blood around to recover from the hard efforts on the weekend. You may not think a 30-45 minute ride is even worth the time to get dressed for, but try it and be the judge. You can use this as "bike-errand" night if you wish: pick up groceries, go to the library, any other kind of fun stuff you can think of that will get your legs moving in easy circles with no stress on them.

Add an hour to 90 minute ride on Tuesday, with short hill sprints or some other type of strength building exercise to help increase your speed-endurance (this is what you'll need to hang with ex-racer types). You will feel just as worked after this ride as after your 3-hour Saturday, trust me.

For comparison here's my schedule, with the disclaimer that I'm a criterium racer, so my workouts are very specific to this:

* Monday: easy recovery ride of no more than 1 hour at less than 65% of max heartrate
* Tuesday: 1 hour to 90 minutes sprint intervals (max efforts); these include strength drills, speedwork and form (small gear spinup) drills
* Wednesday: 2 hours of hill repeats at lactate threshold (70-80% of max heartrate)
* Thursday: VO2MAX intervals; 3x2 minutes of 85-95% of max heartrate, 3 sets, 10 minutes rest in between. I play it safe with all this intensity and go for a moderate group ride on Thursday if I'm feeling too shot from Tues/Wed
* Friday: off or same as Monday
* Saturday: 30-45 minute criterium race at repeated maximal efforts; followed by a 90-minute to 2-hour recovery ride at 65-70% of max heartrate.
* Sunday: another race or a tempo workout. If I do another 30-45 minute crit on Sunday, I do tempo ~70% of MHR for 2 hours afterwards (group ride or MTB / cyclocross on-dirt ride typically). If I don't race, I go for 3 hours at tempo.
re: Reposted - Critique my training schedule?BryanJL
May 10, 2002 7:35 AM

I like what Gregory said about "honing your crap detector." You'll get a lot of advice, including some from me here, and others...take it with some grain of salt, and definitely get Friel, Carmichael, etc. so you can understand *why* you should train a certain way for a certain event, and during certain times of the training year.

In general:

Two days off in a row--I would suggest only taking one day, and take it after a hard day.

"Medium" days can be counterproductive. You are not pushing hard enough, but you're not going easy enough to recover either. It's a risky move. I'd suggest changing medium days to either hard or easy.

Remember quality over quantity--harder days should, in general, be shorter, more intense efforts, while easier days are generally easier efforts. (In other words--hard days don't have 2 hours worth of solid highest intensity work; alternatively, easy days aren't long hours of barely moving the pedals).

Check out
for some training program ideas.

In general, a program might look like:

M--off or easy recovery ride
W-endurance ride
Th-hard intervals or hard group ride (hard day!)
Sat-Hard group ride
Sun-Another hard day if you can (perhaps shorter) or alternatively a longer, easier endurance ride (which sounds like it would be better suited for your plans)

I realize you said you need two days to get your legs back--that's one of the benefits of a recovery (very easy spinning--think "let's just cruise around, get the blood flowing, enjoy the outdorrs and scenery" kind of cruise) ride. It helps repair your legs.

Well, hopefully you'll get more feedback, and from all of it, you will get a better idea of what works for you. I wish I could give you THE answer...for now, you'll have to work with AN answer.

Good luck, let us know what you think, what you do, and how it works!