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Since we're all pressed for bike time ...(9 posts)

Since we're all pressed for bike time ...scottfree
Jun 5, 2002 7:36 AM
A lot of the time we devote to the bike is 'before and after'the ride: Getting your kit on, filling the water bottles, checking and pumping the tires etc., then showering/crashing on the couch afterwards to recover.

So you could probably save a considerable chunk of time each week if you simply rode the same mileage on fewer days.

Physiology/training question: Using roughly round figures, if your normal weekly mileage is 100, would there be any noticeable difference as far as training effect/improvment if you rode 3 times a week averaging 33 miles a ride instead of 6 times a week averaging 17 miles a ride?

My initial guess is that fewer but longer rides would give you more time for recovery, which is where the adaptation takes place (and which most of us get too little of). So that would be a plus. But then you might tucker out and autocruise more toward the end of longer rides, so total weekly intensity might be greater given shorter rides.

vary it?DougSloan
Jun 5, 2002 7:50 AM
I'd think that ideally you vary things a bit. Do some shorter, more intense rides, and some longer. Then, you get both power and endurance.

Here's some info on riding on little time:

more info on training:
I guess my question more basically isscottfree
Jun 5, 2002 8:07 AM
all things being equal, will a given average weekly mileage provide the same benefits regardless of how many days you actually get out and ride?

It could also be phrased: If I just rode a century every weekend, would I be as fit as if I rode a hundred miles every week in six rides?
same pace? nmDougSloan
Jun 5, 2002 8:16 AM
Yeah, say allscottfree
Jun 5, 2002 8:21 AM
things are equal: The six rides you do are six segments of the century route. And your average mph for the hundred miles is the same.
No it's not the same...elviento
Jun 5, 2002 11:34 AM
Do you think it's OK to eat a huge meal and starve for the rest of the week? No because your body doesn't work that way. Same thing with training.
neat link, thanks (nm)szybki
Jun 5, 2002 10:37 AM
re: Since we're all pressed for bike time ...mixinbeatz
Jun 5, 2002 8:26 AM
IMHO- The amount of time on the bike is not as important as how you use that time. Before I started racing, I rode about 100 miles a week on various 20-40 mile rides. Most of these were tempo rides and I rarely had a goal for the ride. Once I started my training program I only was riding about 50-75 miles more a week, but I got much, much, faster. The key was on the bike strength training at least once a week and two hard interval days on a six day program. The key is to develop a program and stick to it. The last month I have been doing a lot of tempo rides trying to recover from a crash. I had not done a true interval workout in three or so weeks, and the result in my first race back was to get shelled off the back(has never even got close to happening before). I found that no matter how many miles I spent on the road, I could never get the same benifit if I spent the same amount of time on the fluid trainer. I just had a hard time getting my intervals in riding around town. I am back to the trainer and can already feel an improvement. Find a program that works for you, I found Smart Cycling my Arnie Baker to be a valuable tool in developing a program. I tried Friel but it was a little to complex for my liking.
I do not believe that you could translate. The options youbill
Jun 5, 2002 9:34 AM
suggest are very different programs that will do for you very different things.
I do not believe that one ride per week will do much more for you than beat you up once a week. As I recall, various studies suggest that two or three sessions per week are required for fitness benefits. After about three or four sessions per week, the benefits plateau, and, at some point, depending on your program, if you don't allow for recovery/adaptation, you start to decrease fitness.
What one poster said about time is critical -- it's not the amount of time you spend, it's what you do with it. Going 17 miles x 6 days is going to train you to . . . go 17 miles. You need to overstress to improve, and you need to rest and adapt to make the overstressing work for you.
The real question for me is "active recovery." How much better for you is it to get out and tool around for 30 minutes to an hour versus staying in bed? I suspect that, if you really hold to your program, active recovery, getting the blood flowing a little, probably is a good thing. Maybe a very good thing. Without the necessary discipline, however, to forego, for example, chasing down the grandmother who just waxed you because you're trying to keep your effort low, you're better off in bed.
I ride many fewer miles, but I suspect with more discipline, than a lot of riders with whom I can hang. I think, though, that to reach my potential and to do more than just hang, I need the same discipline and a lot more miles.