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OK, we've done dead zone and junk miles. Now: Base miles?(6 posts)

OK, we've done dead zone and junk miles. Now: Base miles?OldEdScott
Feb 6, 2003 11:54 AM
What the HELL are they? What counts?

I've been serious road riding (riding, touring, playing, not racing, but tens of thousands of miles) for over 30 years. Evereyone has always talked about base miles. But I've never known what they are.

Are they 'special' miles, LSD early season miles, LSD anytime miles? Or are they all the miles you've ridden that year, whatever miles are behind you and in your 'base' when you get on the bike? Are they cumulative? Do I have, like 100,000 base miles in my legs because I've probably ridden that many in my lifetime? Or how long do you have to be off the bike before you have to start your 'base' fresh?

So many questions! So little knowledge for an old man of such experience!
Feb 6, 2003 12:04 PM
base miles as referenced to an annual training program refer to all of the aerobic endurance (LSD, Z1/Z2, whatever the heck you wanna call it) miles you ride between your "detraining" phase (off-season break) and the beginning of your "build" phase.

However, and where the line gets fuzzy, when you start working with a training program, you do also consider the cyclist's long-term or "cumulative base", meaning how many years and/or miles/year they have been riding up until the start of the proposed program, regardless of what zone these miles were done in. This gives the coach some guidance as to how much tolerance for intensity and volume said cyclist may have.

Clear as mud, right?
Clearer thanOldEdScott
Feb 6, 2003 12:16 PM
I've ever heard.

So what if you don't really take a break to 'de-train?' I (and a lot of us) reduce volume Nov-Dec-Jan but don't really take a break. In that case, since you didn't detrain, you're building base those three months, but on a higher plateau? If that makes sense?
base is base...Spunout
Feb 6, 2003 12:23 PM
To reach a higher plateau, you should consider some 'build' work. Screaming, blood-sweating intervals interest you much?

Just make sure you are not overtrained (the reason for an offseason). Even in base training a slow week is necessary.
that's what I wonder abouttarwheel
Feb 6, 2003 12:43 PM
I ride year-round, generally almost as many miles in winter as summer. I do tend to ride slower in winter because of the wind, cold temperatures, lack of riding partners and extra clothes. But I don't race, so I'm not sure if all the discussion about base or junk miles really matters. All I care about (mostly) is keeping the old spare tire to a minimum.
Base miles?cyclopathic
Feb 6, 2003 12:27 PM
yeah aerobic LSD miles. Racers tend to put most of them early in season. Late spring/summer/early fall is dedicated to racing, racing related high intensity work outs, recovery and "maintenace" miles. However for ultra endurance, randonneurs and tourers pretty much any mile counts as base and bulk of it comes as season progresses.

Personally I wouldn't count any miles as base unless I've been riding more then 2-3hr; it takes long time for old man metabolism to kick in. That would be complicated it is much easier to judge aerobic fitness level by how many doubles you've done and how long ago.