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"Base training" questions.(7 posts)

"Base training" questions.jesse1
Jan 19, 2003 8:32 AM
I have to admit that though I've been an avid recreational/competitive biker for the last 5 years, I've NEVER worked on building a "base".
Last year, all year, every ride was never less than a "moderate" effort, and I was disapointed with my performance. I've seen the light and I'm going easy for the next 6-8 wks.
My questions:
Would more than 8 wks. be better?
How much time/distance should I add per week?
I'm 52 & in pretty good shape (I can manage a four hour LSD road ride now - but at the end I'm ready to stop).
re: "Base training" questions.Jon Billheimer
Jan 19, 2003 9:28 AM
A four hour long ride if, for instance, your races are in the 1 - 3 hr category is sufficient. So your endurance base objectives are going to be relative to the events you're preparing for. Without knowing the specifics of your former mileage, the amount to which you allow yourself to detrain following racing, etc. it's difficult to prescribe the necessary length of your general preparation phase. But eight weeks would normally be a minimum and twelve weeks optimum. Depends too on when your racing season starts.

I'm thinking, from your description of last year, that your problem possibly wasn't lack of base, but that you plateaued and stagnated from a mild state of chronic overreach. In other words, you weren't allowing recovery between hard efforts. The body can only hold a fitness peak for a short period, e.g. two to six weeks. It might benefit you to do some reading on periodization and its rationale. Two excellent sources are anything by Joe Friel and/or Tudor Bompa.
Whats your background Jon?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 19, 2003 10:49 AM
From what you said both now and in previous posts you seem very knowlegable in the terms you use like overreaching. So out of curiousity what background do you have?

Whats your background Jon?Jon Billheimer
Jan 19, 2003 11:36 AM
As a pre-retirement project a couple of years ago I did a year of anatomy and physiology and exercise physiology as a part of the qualifying curriculum for the CSEP Personal Trainer Certification. For years I have kept relatively current on the training literature and insights from applied physiology, nothing that any interested layman can't do. I keep current with Peak Performance Online, ed by Owen Anderson, et al, Performance Cycling Conditioning from USA Cycling, Coaching Science abstracts and other monographs and papers available through the internet. Bompa, Friel, Carmichael, and Testa are basic, available resources for anyone interested in applied physiology and coaching.
Whats your background Jon?Raven1911
Jan 19, 2003 1:01 PM
Do you have any links to websites you use to get info? Any would be appreciated and I would like to learn more myself. Thanks.
Here's a listJon Billheimer
Jan 19, 2003 5:40 PM
Well, you asked for it, so here's an annotated list of my favourite sites. There are more, but these are the best, IMO. This is the Peak Performance home page, with lots of archived articles. The newsletter itself is worth every nickel of its subscription price, as it's hands down THE BEST source of cutting edge information for endurance athletes. Fred Matheny and Ed Pavelka's e-publishing site. Includes a free weekly newsletter with lots of interesting road bike tips, etc. Sportscience, A Peer Reviewed Site for Sport Research homepage. Coaching Science Abstracts. Tons of abstracts organized by topic. Joe Friel's website. Includes archived free monthly newsletter tips. Friel's material is always worthwhile. The Ultramarathon Cycling Assoc. website. A variety of good articles covering distance training topics. Dan Empfield's triathlon website. Frequently a good source of training and bike fit info. John Cobb's website. He's the guru of aerodynamics, positioning and bike fit. He and Steve Hed do wind tunnel testing every year at Texas A&M. Check out their occasional training and fitness items as well as letters and interviews. Ian Jackson's website. His breathing techniques are revolutionary. He coached Carmichael, Grewal, John Howard & co. at the 1984 Olympic Training Camp, under Eddie B. Reportedly, Lance uses his breathing techniques. That is anecdotal, however. The Association of British Coach's website. There is an excellent archive of training articles here. The Journal of Exercise Physiology Online. If you want to "play with the pros". Stephen Seiler's Ex. Phys. website. He's a doctoral candidate in Ex-Phys. This site is an excellent layman's primer on cellular respiration/cellular energy systems as they apply to endurance sport.

There are other sources as well. You're only limited by your imaginative use of your computer's search engine:)- Happy reading! In addition, I think Friel, Bompa, Burke, and any good physiology text, e.g. McCardle and Katch are foundational, must reads.
Thanks Jon...jesse1
Jan 19, 2003 9:31 PM
...for all the good info in regards to my questions above! I'm looking forward to applying all this info towards my best season yet.